Monday, November 24, 2008

Stunned, but in a Good Way

First, I want to say Happy Birthday to my Anna who is now a big 3 year old.  She is by far my most laid-back child, but she is still full of energy and determination.  She is so easy to love.

I'm sure that if you have been following long with Henry's story that you will be happily surprised with the news that is coming next.

Henry has finally caught on.  He is finally a Good Eater.  It was touch and go the first week.  He was hostile and angry the first days as he worked to get my milk supply up.  After ten weeks of solely pumping my supply wasn't fabulous, to be sure.  There were nursing sessions that seemed hopeful, but for the most part he didn't seem to be nursing well and he never seemed contented.  We weighed him at the clinic after a week and found that he hadn't gained any weight at all.  Since he wasn't loosing any weight, our doctor thought he could have another week to try.  Her tone was rather neutral--He wasn't loosing weight, which was good, but it was time for him to "fish or cut bait".  At 42 weeks, we had certainly been patient enough with him.  I brought him in again on Friday for another weigh-in and found that he'd gained an ounce and a half!  We were very encouraged.

Today we went in again (!) and found that he had gained a whopping six ounces over the weekend!  So, I think breastfeeding is working out after all.  Really, I'm as surprised as you are.  And THANK GOD.  We figured out the cost of formula feeding and it would cost approximately  $130 for Henry to get 4 oz bottles, to say nothing of the cost as he gets bigger.  How do people afford this?  That's more than what we spend on a week's groceries for our WHOLE FAMILY.

I'm so, so glad that this is finally working out.  He will still need to get two high-calorie bottles a day because of his prematurity, but it will be so much better (read: cheaper and easier) to breastfeed the rest of the time.

If you listed closely, I'm sure you can hear my sigh of relief.  Exhale.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


It has not been easy to feed this baby. I won't belabor the point by listing off all of the things we've been though to get Henry breastfeeding, but I've reached the point where I'm hanging on by sheer stubbornness and force of will. This is my last week.

I started out on this path pumping and waiting and pumping and trying to nurse because it's really the best thing for me and for Henry. I know how great breastfeeding can be so it wasn't hard. I moved past my best intentions and started relying on patience. I figured I could wait it out and that eventually this would work. Past patience I relied on blind faith that somehow this would take off and that Henry would be able nurse eventually, provided I could keep a supply for when he was ready. Past blind faith I relied on determination--This WILL work, provided I could keep the supply, wait it out, and keep giving him opportunities to practice. Now I'm just being stubborn. I don't know how to quit. I get just enough encouragement from Henry to keep plugging away, but not enough to make this worthwhile. It's just enough success to make me hope that by next week (it's always well, maybe NEXT week. . . ) he will be better.

My honor is satisfied. I know I've put my full effort into this and I know I have done my best. I know that there is nothing that I could have done differently, though I obviously wish there could have been a different outcome. I have been patient and worked hard, but right now it doesn't look promising.

These are my goals for the week: I will not get emotional about this. I will keep pumping as needed to keep up my supply. I will nurse Henry as he is able and I will give him a bottle if he isn't alert enough to nurse every three hours. At the end of the week I will bring him in for a weight-check. If his weight is suffering and he hasn't improved his performance at feeding times, it's off to Target I go to spend his college money on formula. I may spend the rest at the liquor store on some really nice whiskey.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Finished Project Report

I didn't mean to leave such a bummer post for so long.  We've been busy with a growing baby.  He has a weight-check appointment this evening and I'm expecting him to be near nine pounds.  It certainly feels that way as I carry him around in my sling.

This is what I finished today.  The yarn was a gift from Allison at the beginning of my hospital stay this summer.  I actually finished the sweater when I was in the hospital still, but I just bought buttons last night.  This sweater is so soft.  The yarn is Blue Sky organic cotton.  I have a wee bit of yarn left and I'm wondering if I could knit a washcloth for Rachel.  She doesn't have a dishwasher so she might like a special washcloth.  Organic, even.  

When Henry wakes up again I'll make him try it on.  I think he'll even wear it to his doctor's appointment tonight!