Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Mom Guilt

I spent a really long time on Mother's Day afternoon while Owen was napping reading over all of the blog posts I'd written during pregnancy.  I remember not wanting to write at all and feeling so negative a great deal of the time but now I'm happy to have those thoughts and feelings written down to remember exactly where I was, mentally, during that time.  

It also inspired me to do more writing in these early days of his life.  There is so much changing and going on and I'm hoping this space will remind me later of what this was like.  

Last week, we went to the pedi for a weight check and to meet with the lactation consultant.  Owen was starting to slowly gain back his birthweight so I left feeling good.  Thursday was not our best day for feedings and I think he went 6 hours at one point overnight without eating.  It was really stressful but I struggled with getting him awake enough to eat most times!  Then on Friday, it seemed like we were snapping out of it.  While he still went a longer stretch in the afternoon and a couple of longer stretches at night, he ate almost every hour to hour and a half during the morning and evening.  I figured he was going through his growth spurt and was just demanding more food to help up my supply.  When I was pumping, I wasn't seeing significantly more but when you're pumping and actively feeding at the breast, it's hard to gauge what your supply is really like.  Unfortunately, he didn't have a bowel movement from Friday until yesterday (Tuesday) so I was pretty concerned about that.  I just kept looking at him on Monday and thinking that he was so so skinny!  Adam kept telling me I was crazy but now I know to never ignore my mother's intuition that something is wrong. 

Yesterday was his two week appointment.  The first thing they do is measure and weigh the baby.  He's growing in length but his weight was down... way down from even his lowest point after being born.  It's normal and expected for babies to lose up to 8-10% of their birthweight but by two weeks they should have gained it all back and he was down nearly a pound from his birthweight.  That combined with no poop had me a little shaken up.  The pedi wasn't concerned about the poop since breast milk is highly digestible but the weight loss means that we'll be supplementing with formula for now.  None of this takes us completely by surprise since the fact that my body is even making milk at all is a small miracle.  I'm not disappointed by the formula, in fact, I feel strangely relieved.  The guesswork of breastfeeding is extremely hard for me and with the formula, I can measure and know at least half of what he's getting per day.  It's also nice to know that Adam can help feed him and they can have that bonding time together.  

Last night was tough, getting him to eat such an increased volume was really hard at first.  We finally realized what it's like to have a spitting up baby that poops and pees EVERYWHERE.  He pooped and projectile vomited on Adam and peed all over the wall in his nursery.  We got to take an impromptu bath- good times.  But he's a different baby, more alert and I love getting to see his blue eyes.  (I'm starting to think they are changing and will be brown, womp womp womp).  

I struggled a lot last night with everything, for some reason nighttime makes things harder for me even when I've had a good-hormone day.  I wished away most of my pregnancy without realizing that it wouldn't be any easier to take care of him with him on the outside.  I could shield him from pain and make sure he was well fed and growing when I was pregnant with relatively little effort.  Now, I have to watch him get blood tests and shots and he has to learn to feed himself.  It's hard for me to give up so much control that I had over the situation before.  The hormones still make me feel very out of control of my emotions and the Mom Guilt sometimes takes over me and makes me feel like I am a terrible mother and that I'm failing him in someway, even when I rationally know that isn't true.  

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