/ The RE's Muse: New mom with no clue

The RE's Muse

After 4 years of infertility, 2 surgeries, 1 miscarriage, and 19 months of high risk pregnancies, hubby and I now have two little women in our lives--one a toddler, the other not far behind. Buckle your seatbelts, it's gonna be a wild ride.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

New mom with no clue

Okay, so I've been rethinking the Babywise thing. I do appreciate the feedback you've given me on it. I know it works for some people and not for others. And I understand that I need to be on her schedule not her on mine so for now, I'll just do what I can, no Babywise or other 'system' in mind. And I do think she's starting to now have a schedule per se. Typically, she seems to wake every three hours or so, four on a rare night. Some times though, she goes longer, sometimes shorter.

What has been particularly hard is that some days, she'll really have the latching/breastfeeding thing down pat; she'll get right on with a good 'deep' latch. Other times she'll just grasp the nipple. Then when I try to reposition her, she'll fight me, turning her head away, using her little arms like pinwheels to forcibly push away from me and the breast. It breaks my heart. Last night was one of those nights.

We met with a lactation consultant last week and she evaluated our positioning, etc., and declared that everything was right on track and looked good. So why do I feel like Juliana and I have back slid since then?

The other thing that's been particularly hard to deal with is waking her up. Man, does this girl like to get her sleep on. It's a struggle to get her awake. We undress her, change her, bathe her (except in the middle of the night when we try to keep those feedings as low key as possible so she'll go back to sleep when done).

Now mind you, as A likes to tell me, she was born three weeks early and she was very small so she is probably is making up for lost sleep (or maybe needs more rest as a result, etc., something along those lines). My SIL suggested lightly flicking her feet (something she had to do to wake her own daughter up) but not even that seems to work.

Since Juliana likes to sleep, she is typically only getting 7 feedings a day (one about every 3 1/2 hours) instead of the 8 to 10 recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics and everything else I've been reading. And her feedings go anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes per breast (that's if I can keep her awake on there long enough to even get to the other breast when finished with one). It's the fivers that worry me, is she getting enough to eat? Is she gaining weight (at her 13 day visit, she was 2 oz. shy of her birth weight so we go back this Friday to see if she's regained it all)?

Is this working? I just don't know. Every step I take with her is tinged with worry and anxiety. She has plenty of wet diapers (with clear to light yellow pee) as I'm tracking those--anywhere from 5 to 8 a day--and her poops are good too (3 to 6 a day, sometimes more, sometimes less). Going on these cues, A says she is getting enough to eat, that 7 feedings seems to work for her. But I just don't know. It's not what the "experts" recommend. And since I'm no expert, nor do I ever imagine I will be, how do I know for sure? Sigh...will I ever get the hang of this?

(Moxie--thank you for suggesting I contact LLL--A's been saying the same thing. I probably will do it--and soon--but taking that first step is hard.)


At 6:17 PM, Anonymous Lily said...

My mom's a pediatrican and I read the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (which I would recommend even though it's kinda preachy, it still has good facts and advice). As far as everything I've read goes, diapers are the absolute best way to judge whether the baby is getting enough, 8-10 wet diapers and 2-3 poopy diapers (although it's ok to have fewer poopy ones once the baby is like 6 wks old). So personally to me it sounds like she's right on track, but call your ped. if you're worried, trust me they do not get mad, they expect calls from new moms all the time.

At 8:57 PM, Blogger Moxie said...

I think if she's gained weight at your pediatrician visit, you can stop waking her to feed (at least at night). The diapers really are the cue.

With both of my kids we had the two steps forward/one step back thing with the latch. It was more pronounced with my first, although maybe I just noticed it more because I was worried about it. I think they say most babies aren't really secure in the latch until closer to six weeks (which I know seems like an eternity at this point--at 2 weeks I couldn't even trust that I'd still be alive at 6 weeks).

Both of my boys have been 10-minute nursers. The first would glug glug glug suck it down then move on to the next thing. The second nurses for a few minutes, then loses interest, then right after I close my bra he wants to go on again. I just try to remember that I don't always want to eat the same amount from meal to meal, so it's normal for babies not to, either.

The other thing to keep an eye out for is the three-week growth spurt. (Some kids have a huge one around 3 weeks, while others save up and have a huge one around 6 weeks.) It can happen any time from 2 1/2 to 3 1/2 weeks, and she'll stop nursing, then want to go right back on. It's normal, so just roll with it. Grab a few bottles of water and the remote control and just sit on the couch and nurse as much as she wants. It should last 1-3 days and then her feedings might stretch out (or not, both are normal) and her pooping pattern might change (or not, again both are normal).

You can find your local LLL group here:
(If the password pop-up box pops up, just click "cancel." I think they made a coding mistake.)

It sounds like you're doing a great job. Hang in there. As long as you're both alive at the end of the day you're the best mom in the world.

At 1:07 AM, Blogger sweetisu said...

My first weeks with our son were a daze to me..

But I do remember him falling asleep A LOT while eating and I had to tickle his feet, rub his belly, do whatever to wake up him so He'd eat *something*. LLL will provide great support and advice / share experiences. Even if you cannot go to the meetings, most are willing to talk with you over the phone and give some guidance. I thought it was better than the LC because I could call up any of the LLL members any time (instead of only 8am-5pm, M-F)

I hope I will be able to remember more this time around!

At 3:56 PM, Anonymous Menita said...

The only piece of advice I have is: listen to Moxie!!!
That woman is wise, wise, wise. I am more greatful to her than I can say for her timely and always helpful input. Like Tom Cruise, she's done her research, only her conclusions are actually worth something!

At 5:04 PM, Anonymous Jen said...

I don't know nothing 'bout mothering no babies, but from my vantage point, you're doing a great job! Best of luck in sorting out these issues...

At 8:07 PM, Blogger Jen P said...

I'm reading the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and I quite like it. It does get a bit preachy, but so does dr. Sears and the What to Expect crew. Comes with the territory I think.

Anyways, I think A is onto this thing. He said she is early, is small and probably needs sleep. I've been reading that they go into a sort of deep sleep during the last month so that they build huge levels of body fat to help cope with the transition to airbreathing life.

I think little J is just doing what an early baby might need to do. Sleep and grow slow. They only put on 250g in the womb each week and I think she sounds perfect.

Just perfect. Just small and tired and very new. And I think you're doing a fantastic job.

I hope things smooth out soon and all is well really, really soon.

Thinking of you.

At 8:46 PM, Blogger TulipGirl said...

*hug* Breathe deep. Relax. (Yeah, easier said than done.)

You're doing fine. Your little one is , too. You're still very much in the "babymoon" stage--and need to both get as much rest and as much nursing as y'all can.

Like my Mom reminds when I need it so much, "Be gentle on yourself, Mom. . ."

Grace and peace,


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