Saturday, February 9, 2013

One Month Old: Adventures in Nursing

Theo is now a month old, HOW DID THIS HAPPEN? He’s starting to outgrow his newborn clothes, which makes me very sad. I had to stuff him into that onesie like a small sausage. Obviously he is not lacking in food. His three chins speak for themselves.

So! One-month update! I must say, Joe and I totally prepared for the worst in having a newborn. You hear all these terrible stories about how you have baby and then suddenly you’re up all night trying to unsuccessfully soothe a small banshee and then it all ends when you murder your significant other in the morning. Or something.

Which isn’t to say that it has been easy but Joe and I are adjusting pretty well. Theo and I have this breastfeeding thing down and I have fondly nicknamed him “The Hungry Barracuda” for the speed and voracity of his nursing.

Man, future teenaged son, I am really sorry about all this.

We did have a couple rough nights before my milk came where Theo was like WTF MOM, I’M FREAKIN’ HUNGRY.  That was probably my toughest night so far. At one point during the night I gave him a pacifier, even though the lactation consultant at my midwife’s office suggested that we wait to introduce one until breastfeeding was well established, which it clearly was not. However, it helped sooth Theo and my hormones were still at the point were I would burst into tears whenever I looked at him so I didn’t hesitate to keep popping that sucker in. Joe woke up sometime during this, noticed the pacifier, and sleepily said, “Should he have that? I thought we were going to wait to give him a pacifier.” And I was running on a lot less sleep than he was and I shot him a look that I hoped communicated something along the lines of, OH YEAH? I WILL MURDER YOUR FACE. Because that are the kind of things your brain says at 3 am with a fussy newborn.

Theo had lost more weight at his first check up than the pediatrician wanted so we met with a lactation consultant, who suggested I use a supplemental nursing system until my milk came in. The supplemental nursing system (SNS) works like this: you have a little syringe that you fill with formula, which drips down a tiny little tube. You breastfeed your baby normally and while they are attempting to nurse, you sneak the tube into their mouth so that even if they’re not getting much or any breast milk, they are still getting some nutrition from the formula. Also this way, you keep up the breastfeeding habit and avoid giving a bottle.

Pretty clever idea, but ultimately easier said than done. Luckily we only had to do the SNS for an evening and one night before my milk came in. We did much better during the day than we did overnight, where sneakily inserting a tiny clear tube into a nursing newborn’s mouth-- while sleep deprived-- felt like a mission best suited for James Bond. A few times we succeeded only in dripping formula all over his face. But overall we did manage to give him enough supplemental formula to keep him happy and the next morning I woke up looking like a fembot so all was good from there.

What’s that? You don’t remember what a fembot is because you had better things to do than watch Austin Powers? Whatever, fancy pants. This is a fembot:

Theo is a pretty good sleeper and usually goes right back to sleep after eating in the middle of the night so I don’t feel too sleep deprived usually. The biggest sign of sleep deprivation happened the other day when I was in the middle of drinking my morning tea and realized it was sweeter than usual. Upon further investigation, (as in, looking in the mug… my detective skills are unparalleled) I realized that I had forgotten to put a tea bag in. So I was essentially drinking hot sugared milk-water. Which is kind of delicious, actually.

Wish me luck in month two! He slept 6 hours last night, which was ahhhh-mazing. I’m hoping this is a trend. Please don’t smite me, parenting gods. 

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