|Heading home from the hospital|
But alas, we were home. Ready or not...we were on our own.
Within 5 minutes of walking through the door Pat changed a blowout poopy diaper and was peed on.
The next day I let Graham pee on his own face while trying to change his diaper. Since then he has peed on himself or someone else at least once a day. Today, he is in his third outfit already and it's only noon...
Our first trip out together was for Graham's doctors appointment on Friday. It was a lot of work getting myself ready and then getting him ready and all packed up. We were late to the appointment and didn't realize we forgot the diaper bag until the nurse had us strip him naked to weigh him.
It was pretty embarrassing to have to tell the nurse we didn't have a clean diaper to put back on him. Luckily she gave us a diaper to use - although it was about three sizes too big. In the meantime, he peed all over the exam table while she was taking his measurements.
He ended up peeing in the diaper she gave us (and out of the diaper since it was too big) and then pooped in the next diaper she gave us. We ended up using three of their diapers. We didn't need to have "new parents" tattooed on our foreheads because we made it quite obvious.
The first night home Graham slept really well... I did not. I was so paranoid that he was going to stop breathing or something was going to happen to him while I was sleeping. So I barely slept and just kept watching him to make sure his chest was still moving. And I never turned off my bedside lamp. Paranoid, I know.
I was so excited for people to finally get to meet him. I wanted that experience we never got in the hospital where people were constantly stopping by to meet the baby. So we welcomed visitors the entire week. Everyone was extremely generous - bringing us meals and gifts for the baby. We are so blessed with awesome friends and family!
But the more visitors we had, the more tired I got and by the end of the week, I came to the brutal realization that I had overdone it and had spent the week trying to pretend that I was 100% when I definitely wasn't. Coupled with several all nighters in a row, I was absolutely exhausted.
|This is what the day after an all-nighter looks|
like. All my boys asleep on the couch.
When Graham started crying again because he was still hungry, Pat said, "So this is what all the parenting jokes are about."
On top of the lack of sleep, Graham and I were having some serious breastfeeding issues. Call me naive, ignorant or just plain stupid, but I just assumed that the baby is born, you put the baby on your boob and everything just works.
Unfortunately this wasn't the case for us. It would take about 45 minutes to get the baby on the boob (and he was screaming the entire time we tried), and when he was finally there, his latch was bad and extremely painful - like make me cry the whole time he was eating and makes my boobs bleed kind of painful.
The whole process became very stressful for both of us. After several days of just fighting through the pain and tears and the frustration of him screaming the entire 45 minutes we tried to get him to latch, I finally decided it wasn't working. It had gotten so bad that I cried as soon as he woke up knowing the pain and frustration I was going to have to experience to try to feed him.
So on Sunday night, when he was just eight days old, I decided to introduce the bottle and used breast milk I had pumped and frozen. This was not a decision that came easily for me. I can't even begin to tell you how many tears I had shed.
I read books, took a breastfeeding class and it had been drilled into my head "breastfeeding is best." It had never crossed my mind that breastfeeding might not work for us. And now, here I was - not able to breastfeed my baby. I felt like a complete and total failure as a mom. It was so difficult for me to accept.
But I wasn't giving up that easily. The next day, I went to a breastfeeding support group to talk to a professional about the issues we were having and come up with a plan to make things work. At this point, my nipples were blistered, bloody and even pussy.
After I stopped crying and was able to articulate why I was there, the lactation consultant looked at my battered nipples and told me I was in need of a prescription nipple cream and that my nipples were "way beyond Lanolin" like I had been using.
She then weighed Graham and we realized he had lost about ten ounces in just three days. "It's time to start supplementing with formula," she said. I wasn't sure how this could happen since I felt like I was nursing all the time but she explained that between his bad latch and my anemia, I probably was suffering from low milk supply.
This could explain why Graham was getting so frustrated before feedings - because he knew he wasn't going to get enough milk from me. She tried to correct his latch, too, but wasn't successful so she suggested using a nipple shield.
But for now, she suggested giving my nipples time to heal and continue pumping and bottle feeding. So that is what we're doing and things have been much less stressful for everyone. I do feel like all I do is pump and yield very little results but I am not giving up. As of now he is getting half breast milk and half formula with every bottle. I am taking an iron supplement, drinking mother's milk tea, eating oatmeal and drinking lots and lots of water - all with hopes of increasing my milk supply.
Someday I would like them to be full breast milk bottles and maybe even get him to nurse again (because let's face it - formula is not cheap!). But for now, I have come to terms with where we are and I know that the most important thing is that my baby is getting the food he needs - regardless of the source.
In addition to crying over breastfeeding, I also shed quite a few tears over Pat going back to work. I felt like we had just started to get into a "routine" - as much of a routine as you can with a newborn - and I wasn't sure how I was going to be able to do it all on my own without him. I was terrified of being by myself.
But with the help of my mom and my friend Aubrey, I survived Pat's first few weeks back at work. It was so nice to have their help and it felt much less overwhelming. It is definitely getting easier every single day. And most importantly, I am absolutely in love with our little boy. I know I'm biased, but I think he's absolutely as cute as can be.
|Photo taken by Julie D Photography|
Even when he's peeing on me.