Wednesday, June 17, 2009

A Little Ray Of Sunshine.

I distinctly remember asking Alaskaboy at some point during the first four days of Kiddlywink's life, "What's it like, being able to hold our daughter?" I of course was unable to go to her and she was unable to come to me, us being in our respective ICU beds.

The utterly besotted look that came over his face lit up my/our room like the sun breaking through cloud cover. "Even though I'm so exhausted, I'm nodding off while holding her, I always want to stay that little bit longer. When I can't sleep, I go to the NICU (because they let parents in any time they like) and spend an hour just holding her. She makes everything worthwhile."

This song came out a few years before I was born, but it's always been my and my dad's anthem. Today I watched Alaskaboy feeding our own little ray of sunshine, while listening to this song.

It added a whole new depth of meaning to this beautiful song.

We found out today at the lactation consultation, Kiddlywink has gained to almost 5 lbs. She was also able to successfully breastfeed for the first time since her birth. We've got a way to go before we can end the "expressing breast milk to feed by bottle plus supplementing by formula" stage we're currently in. But! She was big enough to actually latch and eat successfully today. Ate a whole 14 mls. (currently an actual feed is between 40-60mls)

Now we enter a whole new stage. Which is funny, we went to the lactation consult hoping it would get easier than what we're currently doing and enable Alaskaboy to go back to work. Instead, the feeding stuff is now more complicated but it will be worth it in the long run.

Currently I pump milk every three(or thereabouts) hours to go into the fridge for a later feed. We feed her approximately half milk and half made up formula every three hours. (The ratio can vary depending on how much breast milk is in that particular bottle and how much formula she requires after that to be full.) Not to mention diapering the baby, washing and sterilising bottle and pump parts etc

We trialled me doing everything myself for twenty four hours...hoping Alaskaboy'd be able to go back to work this week. (Next week and a half week after that is all the work left until a four week hiatus.) Trying to do it all myself, if each cycle went perfectly--which of course it rarely does--I'd get 40 mins bed time every three hours...all day long. As you'd guess, especially with me still recovering from nearly dying not too long ago, it ended in me strung out and sobbing in complete exhaustion.

Now after the lactation consultation, we'll be weighing* her before each day time feed then putting her to the breast. When she's done with that, we weigh again. (Each gram of extra weight means one ml of milk eaten) THEN we top off with expressed milk and formula as per now. And I still have to pump.

Eventually, she'll get stronger and stay longer at the breast. Eventually, I hope to produce enough milk to feed her completely myself. Eventually, we hope it will get easier. We're still hoping Alaskaboy can get back to do Some work before hiatus.

But it doesn't matter what we have to do. Because even with the extra work and sleeplessness, the money we're not earning, as Alaskaboy and the song said, "She makes everything worthwhile."

*We've ordered a cool scale that once she's successfully feeding enough we don't need to weigh her anymore, we can swap out the baby tray for the mail/letter attachment. :D We'd been wanting to get one for ages with the amount of packages we send, now we have a twofer! LOL

2 Nibbles:

sharnee said...

Oh stick with it! It's crazy hard in those first weeks (and you feel exhausted, bewildered, in love and a zillion other things all at once... as I'm sure you know!) but all of a sudden it will get better and you will wonder how you ever thought you'd never make it because suddenly you realise you're going to!!
And then your milk will regulate itself and then you won't have to pump, and then she's going to sleep all night (well... ok.... that's a little while away).

Also, hope the recovery from the caesarean is ok. It's yuck and I know how long it takes.

Denise said...

Stick with it! Aiden and I worked really hard at getting him to latch on and to successfully breastfeed- it took 5 + weeks. My supply was great and them plummeted. I never got the full supply back but I kept it up for 11 months! You can do it! It is hard but with Alaskaboy's support- you will do great!