Little C's 3rd Week!

Hello all! It's been three weeks since my Little C joined our family and today also marks my third week with breastfeeding. Now, three weeks may not seem like much, especially in comparison with moms who have breastfed for 6 months, a year, 2 years or even 5 years (Hats off to you, Mommy Abbie!), but in comparison to my breastfeeding experience with J, three weeks is a big deal for me.

For the most part, Little C is breastfed, but there have been some days when I needed to supplement, first with glucose water in the hospital, then with formula when we got home. Despite supplementing, I am really happy with the fact that a large part of his nutrition is sustained by my milk. It's a whole lot better than it was during J's time, when my milk barely came to a third of J's needs.

In his first few days while we were at the hospital, Little C was nursed 24/7, but for some reason, he would get frustrated and have a hard time nursing. I don't really know why. At the suggestion of the pedia resident, we would let him latch, but use a dropper to give him glucose water. Latching made sure that he was stimulating milk production and letting him practice sucking, but the sugar water satisfied him enough to keep nursing from me. I wasn't happy about giving him glucose water, but for me, it was a lesser evil compared to giving him a bottle.

After two nights, I succumbed to the need for rest and would pump milk at night while Yaya gave him expressed milk using our Calma teat. But during the daytime, Little C nurses directly from me, until about 9 in the evening when I nurse him for the last time. At night, he'd take expressed breastmilk. Most nights, the milk I provide is enough, but on the nights that I'd come up short, we gave him formula, using the Medela Calma teat. This works pretty well for us, since Little C hasn't had any problems so far latching during the day even though he's bottle fed at night. I'd recommend the Calma teat for moms who feel the need to supplement with a bottle. In our experience (so far) it really doesn't interfere with direct feeding.

Breastfeeding is hard. No one is ever really prepared for it, and I think that the only reason why I'm not having such a hard time with it now is because my experience with nursing J has given me an idea of the challenges I should expect. But still, I'm dealing with the discomfort of sore nipples, of being tied to that one chair where we breastfeed, to have to gobble down food because Little C is already asking to be fed even though it's time for Mommy to eat, and to take bathroom breaks when I can. I'm still trying to find the balance of feeding Little C, while still giving J the attention he badly needs, especially now that he has to share everything with his new brother.

Despite these adjustments, breastfeeding is still the more convenient choice, at least now that I'm still confined to staying home. All I have to do is pull up my shirt, let him latch and Little C is happy. And one of the most wonderful and heartwarming memories I will keep from nursing my son is the image I have of him unlatching from my breast as he sleeps, milk pooling at the corner of his little mouth. Nothing affirms my mother's heart more than the knowledge that my son rests contentedly because he is full from the milk that I have provided for him. While he doesn't gain weight as quickly as J did, Little C is alert, already aware of his surroundings. At less than a week old, he turns to his side by himself, and is learning to hold his head up when we have tummy time.

However, I'm preparing myself to transition to exclusive pumping.

You see, I've had to take a good long look about what it would be like for us when I am allowed to rejoin the world (in 10 more days!). Despite my willingness to try babywearing, I have to confess that I'm not so comfortable taking Little C around with me while he's still so small. Also, since we live a bit far from most places, it's really not possible for me to just be gone for two hours in between feedings. The travel time alone would take me an hour and a half. Because of that, I'd really be stuck at home. Hence, the decision to express milk for Little C. I've gotten a lot of support and advice from other moms who have done the same thing, and have successfully managed to keep their kids on breastmilk.

When I was still pregnant I was determined to exclusively breastfeed. But each day brings new lessons, and I guess my experience with mothering two kids so far has affirmed what I already know. That parenting choices varies from family to family and you have to go with what works. After much deliberation, I felt that the decision to express milk is a good compromise. It will allow me to provide the best possible nutrition for Little C, but also give me the time to spend with J. Apart from that, it will allow me to take time and breathing room for myself. Much as I love my kids, from my experience with J, I know that it's important to take "me" time. I also need time to spend with my husband, just as a wife and not as a mother. We still have our quality time as a family, but it is also important for me that Big C and I have quality time as a couple.

So starting Monday, I will attempt to become an EP (exclusively pumping) mom. Hopefully, my supply will sustain itself and increase as I go along, because I have a growing boy on my hands! In the meantime, say hello to my little cutie, who turned three weeks old today. :-)


Jenny @ Chronicles of A Nursing Mom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jenny @ Chronicles of A Nursing Mom said...

hi dianne, is it not an option to pump during the day and directly feed you get home? when you say his last feeding is 9pm, do you still pump at night?

quakermommy said...

Yup, he nurses until 9pm, after that, he stays with yaya na. I pump twice during the night and as soon as I wake up at 6, and he just takes the expressed milk. I tried to pump during the day and feed at night, but we both had a hard time. He'd keep crying and we both didn't get to sleep, which made my supply go way down by the next day, so we decided to just express the whole day and supplement as needed. Sometimes I still let him nurse during the day, more for me than for him, because I miss it. :)

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