February 22, 2011

perils and woes

oh man! did it ever get complicated.

so, the little dolphin's tiny mouth, combined with her womb-habit of sucking on her hand (one hand came out pointed upward, leading to three tiny sutures for yours truly) led to trouble latching. i thought i had the hang of it (little flutter sucks they do to let the milk down, and then long sucks and swallows for minutes at a time. she would do this three or four times per feeding. all good, right? wrong).

babies lose weight after they're born, but they are supposed to gain it back by two weeks old.

midwives: she's 6lbs, 5oz. that's nine percent of her birthweight. if she loses more than ten percent we have to consult with a pediatrician.

me: silently freaking out.

so we fed the crap out of her. woke her up to feed. and she gained an ounce! but two days later she hadn't gained any more. then, THEN, my breastmilk dries up. yeah, i kid you not. what the hell? so i'm freaking out, the midwives are giving me herbal stimulants, and the queen is like "screw this - i'm going to buy formula." i was very miserable, but i do believe he made the right choice; the baby needs to eat, and i wasn't squeezing anything out.

the midwives say she has an improper latch, so while she was getting some, she wasn't stimulating my boobs properly to make more. there's a group called La Leche League who will give you hands-on support to help breastfeed - like come to your house. but they don't have a centre in the small town i live in. so i decide i want to move temporarily back to the city to get the support i need, and get dolphin off the formula (though she has merrily gained weight - 5oz in two days! three ounces away from her birthweight and three days to go. at least somthing is going right!

so, all good right? a gaining baby, a plan for breastfeeding support (which the queen totally got behind, bless him) and here we are.

except then i've had brutal diarrhea and a high fever for four days. but i'm not presenting any signs of infection. so the midwives send us to emergency to get some bloodwork done, and at emergency they are all "whew! you are SO dehydrated! we're giving you a bag of saline via IV right now." and then they prod me and take my blood. that was yesterday. when everyone realised how dehydrated i was, they wouldn't let me express breastmilk anymore, so now it's drying up again, but i see they're right. until i can maintain my own hydration instead of voiding it on a regular basis through my rear, it's detrimental. but i was up to half breastmilk half formula and feeling pretty good about it. i just want to give my dolphin ambrosia of the boob.

so she's doing well, and i am doing very poorly. my adivce for any mothers-to-be or someday mothers? make sure you have a support system in place for AFTER the birth. i focused a lot on the birth, which only ended up being five hours (yeah, i get 'er done). i wish i had made a schedule of people to come by and help me afterward.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for sharing this - it is so important for me to know about the experiences people can have in the weeks after birth as well. Wish I was closer to offer you support in person. Glad Dolphin is gaining weight and I send you healing thoughts.