BEYOND THE OVEN: Baby Update (6 weeks)
He’s already six weeks old today and I realized I haven’t updated you guys beyond his announcement. Elliott is a happy camper these days and already loves smiling and talking to mommy and daddy. However, our start wasn’t all fairytales and cuddles. He was born July 31st after a long and hard 48 hours of labor (I’ll skip the details) and we were very excited to bring our son how after four days in the hospital.
Our first night home, which now seems like a black hole, was a nightmare. He was extremely unhappy and was just screaming. Heart breaking screams. Mr J and I were unable to console him, not even for a minute to feed him. I knew instantly this wasn’t normal, even though everyone says babies cry…that’s just what they do. So first thing the next morning we went to our pediatrician who figured out that he was STARVING as he lost over 20% of his birth weight in just two days. At this time my milk was still not in (and didn’t come in until a week later) and the doctor suggested supplementing right away with formula.
I knew she was right yet this decision broke my heart and lead to days of tears (on my side of course). I was feeling inadequate as a mother and that I was failing already less than a week into it (add to that sleepless nights, raging hormones and pain from childbirth >>> I was a mess). Two days later, we went for a follow-up visit and he had gained 6 ounces. Another two days later he was back up to his birth weight. This made me feel better as he was growing and was healthy. He was instantly not a grumpy baby anymore so we kept with the supplementation and whatever he was getting from nursing.
And just as we got comfortable around two weeks and thought we got this, we hit another bump. Breastfeeding became a challenge and he was extremely gassy which lead to new woes. Several lactation consultations and way too much time on kellymom.com (<< great resource for breastfeeding moms, although i feel like it’s judgmental at times), we figured out I was now producing too much milk and he was gulping and struggling to keep up (something called forceful letdown). Conclusion?? We tried different baby bottles and nipples to reduce air ‘gulping’ and I went dairy-free to see if he was lactose intolerant. We are still nursing but he is not a fan of it and why we are 90% bottle feeding him the breastmilk. He’s been growing very well so we stopped supplementing a week ago and he is now exclusively on breastmilk (which adds it’s own pressure on my production).
Now he is a very happy baby and he is discovering the world around him. He loves staring at lights, curtains and his monkey friends on the mobile as he attempts to reach for them. He’s sleeping great at night (3-4 hours) and we are much happier during the day as the gassiness is almost gone.
As for me, I am now used to this new life as a mother. It was an extremely rough start but for the past few weeks it’s been easier and we are enjoying this little nugget as he continues to surprise us everyday with his abilities. (Look at how well he holds his head up at just 6 weeks??). I am also slowly getting back into the kitchen in the afternoons while he naps or in a baby wrap. I’ve made a few fall recipes that I can’t wait to share with you soon.
Age: 6 weeks
Height: 21 inches
Eating: He’s exclusively breastmilk although we are 90% bottle feeding (see above on nursing woes). He eats every 2-3 hours during the day and 3-4 hours at night.
Sleeping: We are slowly seeing a pattern this past week. He goes to bed around 10pm and sleeps 3-4 hours, wakes up eats and does another 3-4 hours until 5-6am when he is up for the day. During the day our naps are 1-2 hours.
Development/ Milestones: Smiles, babbles and is starting to grab things which doesn’t seem fun for his dad’s chest hair so far. He’s also got a strong hold of his head. My favorite development is that he stays awake longer now during the day after feedings. You can get a good hour of happy time where we chat, stare at the mobile and just smile.
Concerns: Breastfeeding: I’m noticing my production of milk is slowing down and I am trying not to stress about it so it doesn’t get worse. But I am doing everything I can to keep up with it, from drinking milk tea, lactation cookies to all kinds of fruits and veggies that are good for milk production. Going back to work: I am dreading having to go back to work/lab in a few weeks and thinking of being away from him is starting to hurt my heart. Oieeeee! I cannot even…tear works.