Monday, January 9, 2012

Feeding Ada

Dear Jen,

Who would’ve thought I’d be waking my baby to feed her! My first two were little alarm clocks who made it known when it was time. Now I have Ada, who Catina calls Sleepy Baby!
The first days were very emotional in regards to her eating. I’ve never been a natural at breastfeeding. It’s awkward for me and I feel insecure as to whether or not I’m doing it right. When I had June I told the mother/baby nurse that even though I nursed before I really wanted her help as much as possible. I wanted to make sure things were going o.k. before I left the hospital. I’m so glad I did and was able to nurse June for a year. In fact, she liked it so much I couldn’t get her to take a bottle until 9 or 10 months old!

Photo by Erica Emmons

When we went to the pediatrician for Ada’s two day follow up and she had lost 10% of her birth weight. That is the maximum the doctor is comfortable with, so he set me up with their nurse who is a lactation consultant. As soon as the first nurse walked in for that appointment I got all blubbery. I really hadn’t cried about anything yet and it hit me how emotional I was about Ada not eating. Greg was with me and I’m not sure he knew what to think. The nurse kept trying to talk to me about Down Syndrome as if that is why I was crying, and even though I kept talking about her feedings she kept referring me to groups and websites. I totally appreciate what she was saying but at the moment I was most concerned about Ada fading away into nothing!

Photo by Erica Emmons

For now I am giving her a bottle after trying the breast, and we’ve had a few successes here and there where Ada will at least suck 5 or 10 times. She did gain 2 oz by that following day at her 3-day follow-up appointment. Yesterday she fed from me twice! And once without pumping beforehand to encourage let-down.

Ada will be weighed again on Monday. She will also be going in for an echocardiogram this week. They are not suspecting anything wrong with her heart but it’s standard procedure just to make sure. We are praying for a good bill of health and for our insurance to pull through before then.

As for now…we keep on keeping on!



Talk about a baby fog. You forgot to mention a detail that I know is true–you are feeding EVERY TWO HOURS from start to start. Just the mention of it makes me all limp and froggy-throated.

Of course you know the twins didn’t come home from the hospital until they were 3 weeks old, so in the meantime I did the one thing I thought I could to parent those babies: I became The Pumper. I pumped every 3 hours around the clock, enduring mastitis (2x) and countless yeast infections because I was overpumping. Then they came home and I wanted to start nursing, but I couldn’t figure out how to juggle the whole “pump for letdown, nurse Baby A, burp, bottlefeed to make sure he’s full, burp, and set him up in a baby trap where he’s screaming because he wants me…pump to letdown for Baby B, nurse, burp, bottlefeed, prop” and then of course PUMP AGAIN because we had to keep up my supply to feed two babies…every 3 hours from start to start. I had enough time in between feedings to pee and call you or Levi and cry.

OK, I know this isn’t about me, but I just remember all that and get such anxiety and I remember you reminding me of the theme of the fog: It’s Just For a Season. Whether they eventually started nursing or if I pulled the plug and called in the bottles full time, it was still only for a season. I know you are fully aware of this, but in the fog I think it’s a good reminder. Motherhood is 18+ years long, so this really is a blip on the screen.

I’m so glad Erica took these great photos! I can practically feel her sweet cheeks already. Counting the days until I get to kiss on all your girls again.


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