Feeding Our Girl

I assumed erroneously that breastfeeding Carly would be easy cause it had been easy with Wyatt.  Unfortunately, it's true what they tell you: Every baby is different.  

Carly was born weighing 7lbs. 14oz. and was nice & round.  Within three days though, she'd lost nearly a pound.  (They like to keep weight loss at 10% or less.  She had lost 12%.)  So despite her good latch and my previous experience, just breastfeeding wasn't going to get the job done.  So I had to start pumping, and supplementing Carly's feeds with what I'd pumped.  Not to be dramatic, but I was devastated to have to start pumping.

I didn't want to give her formula or a bottle, so I expressed what I could to get her breast milk and we used a feeding tube taped to Josh's finger to deliver it to her.  That worked really well for the last two days we were in the hospital, and continued once we got home. 

{A little Instagram inspiration-- thanks Kid President!}
I kept up the feed/pump/supplement gig for about a week.  Once my milk came in, I decided I would feed her as much as she wanted (all the time if necessary!) if it meant I didn't have to pump anymore.  So I became a feeding machine --just ask Jack.  He'll always say, exasperated, "Mom's feeding Carly. Again!" ha! Then I crossed my fingers she'd get where she needed to be.

At the two week mark she had only gained six ounces, one ounce from the goal.  But I persevered, and at breast feeding class yesterday, she had gained 12 ounces, surpassing her birth weight! Hooray!

 I can't wait for those thighs to be nice & rolly!

 Those cheeks are just gonna keep getting rounder & rounder!

 She still has a little trouble staying awake for the night feed, but the lactation consultant at breastfeeding class (a free class that's offered weekly at our hospital! so cool!) gave me some tips for keeping her awake & getting her full.  After four hours of sleep (yes, she sleeps! hallelujah!) I'm supposed to change her diaper and keep her naked for the feeding so she's not as cozy.  I tickle her toes and talk to her to try & discourage her from falling asleep.

Another thing we do at night to make her job easier is use a nipple shield.  She can't seem to latch as well when she's tired, so we make it simple with the nipple shield.  It's annoying (and I'm so grateful we don't need it during the day) but it works to get more food into her belly.  Which means a second good sleep period after her feeding.  Totally worth it!

School resumed Monday, and this is how it looks from where I sit.  Baby girl in the boppy, usually nursing, and the older three doing their lessons as usual.  Thus far, life with four kids doesn't seem impossible... but Josh leaves tomorrow to go back to Alaska... so it's about to get real.

Pray for me.

{Seriously. How delicious is she?}
I am going to keep attending breastfeeding class so I can keep track of sister's progress.  I am so proud of this girl for growing like a champ despite a delayed start!


Rox said...

Proud of you for sticking with it and staying true to yourself even when the going got rough.

Holly Parlier said...

Good job, Mama! Perseverance pays off. I've also seen studies that say a longer baby gestates, the better and stronger their latch and sucking reflex. My right at 39 weeker was my weakest nurser (in the first few weeks), while all my later babies were not only stronger suckers but also more awake. I'm thinking your Wyatt was late, so it makes sense that he was "easier" than Carly. Anyway, the good news is that all of that levels off after a few weeks! (Way more information than you probably care to know, but you strike me like you'd be interested in all that!)

Anne Harvey said...

That is so great to have the breastfeeding resource at your hospital. I feel like that is one of the most stressful parts of breastfeeding at the beginning and even all the way through just not knowing if they are getting enough.