Monday, August 4, 2008

Feeding time

First off, sorry it's been a while since I last posted. It was a pretty good weekend (complete with a visit from my parents and a nice walk through the Park Ave. Festival here in Rochester), though it has been trying at times because Jacob appears to be going through one nasty growth spurt. He's been keeping me busy, either eating all the time or being a little cranky in between. Or, less often, I'm trying to catch up on my sleep because he's on some wacky schedule right now that's been keeping me up until 1 or 2 every morning. We try to put him to bed after his 11ish feeding, but he's been waking up again by 12 or 12:30 wanting to eat again, and generally stays awake for a while afterward. He only gets up once in the night after that (generally one span of 3-1/2 or 4 hours somewhere in there), which is great, but staying up that late isn't going to work next week when I go back to work.

He's been feeding every two hours during the day, and nearly every hour in the evenings. In addition, he's had a couple marathon feedings where he sits there contentedly for an hour or two. I switch sides periodically to make sure he's still getting something, but eventually it gets a little painful and I have to pull him off, full or not. In addition I've been trying to pump (tough when the feedings are that close together and he doesn't sleep long in between), but I've been having a lot of trouble with that still. I only get something for the first 10 minutes, and even then it's probably only an ounce or two. Definitely not enough to have enough for him all day at daycare, at least not if I'm just pumping a couple times while at work. I think it's just a mental thing, that I can't get the same letdown as I do when I'm feeding him. I have tried relaxing, tried making a pumping bra (cheaper to try with an old one of mine than buy a real one--mixed results) to let me do other things while I pump, looking at Jacob's picture...and nothing is working right now. I figured that between his marathon feedings and my attempts to pump, my supply would go up and inevitably I'd get more milk in, but it just doesn't seem to be happening. Jacob's still hungry after most feedings, despite going longer than 30 minutes at a time sometimes.

As a result, it's forced me to consider supplementing with formula, at least while he's at daycare. I'll still be pumping so my supply shouldn't go down, which is one of the negatives that usually goes along with supplementing. As much as I didn't want to have to do that, I guess I don't have a choice. Here's my plan...Because I am grossed out by the smell of formula spitup and don't want to experience stinkier poop, I'd like them to give him the formula bottles early, and switch to breastmilk in the afternoon. They can deal with the icky spitup and diapers, and I'll get him back smelling like usual :) He'll still get probably half or 2/3 of his feedings as breast milk, so I guess that's not bad. He's taken to the bottle fabulously, so that's good too.

Partly out of preparation and partly out of necessity, tonight we did formula feeding #1. He'd been feeding for an hour or so and was still hungry (trying to latch on to everything and crying), so I decided that there was no time like the present. I pulled up one of the sample canisters of formula that had been sitting in our basement, and made up a 5 oz. bottle for him. Four oz. is the standard, but at some point soon he is supposed to be moving up to 5 or 6 oz. so I figured I'd see if he'd take it. He did well with the formula and sucked down the first 4 oz. pretty good. It took a little bit but eventually he seemed a little hungry again and ate the last ounce. He was still quite awake afterward, which was disappointing, but he was content and did fall asleep in his vibrating chair a little later. I just put him in bed and am hoping he stays asleep for a while. I've been hearing noises, but he's just a noisy baby, as those of you who have heard his grunts are well aware. I'm a little nervous about how his tummy will react to the formula, and how stinky his diaper will be when I get up for his next feeding, but so far so good--he ate, seemed full, and fell asleep.

I think a call to the lactation consultant is probably something I should put on my agenda tomorrow. I don't know why he's never satisfied with breastfeeding right now and why I can't pump much. It's driving me nuts. I've invested a lot of time (and now money) into breastfeeding and would hate to see it all fall apart now. I guess using just a little formula is better than using it exclusively, and since it's so darn expensive, breastfeeding and pumping is still worthwhile.

I guess this is the next step of my formula acceptance, dating back to my issues during Jacob's week in the hospital. I didn't want him to have formula then, but eventually accepted that he'd have to have some. The circumstances just weren't working in my favor with him in the hospital, between my milk not coming in quickly enough and not being able to be there for him all the time. I didn't need to put that kind of pressure on myself. Similarly now, I can't help the fact that I don't seem to be producing enough (or if I am, a growth spurt and my apparent mental block with pumping are derailing me anyway) and the physical separation that going back to work presents are the newest set of extenuating circumstances that are causing me to fall back on formula again. I've been doing everything in my power to keep breastfeeding going, and will continue to do so, but this appears to be another instance of having to accept less-than-ideal circumstances just because it's my only option if I want to keep myself sane. Arg.

In other news, this week has some interesting high points. My friend Heather has finally worked out her transportation issues (thanks to her wonderful father-in-law) and will be coming in on Wednesday to meet Jacob. On Thursday Jacob and I are going to his day care to spend some time in the infant room. It's mostly to help them find out his idiosyncrasies and presumably to put my mind at ease about things. Should be interesting. We have another road trip this weekend to Buffalo, which is great, but it means that Friday will probably be spent getting everything together for daycare--gathering up diapers, wipes, changes of clothes, and whatever else they request he have, and labeling it all. Yuck. I'll be on my own Monday morning (Craig's on the road), so I'll have to have it all as ready to go as possible so I can get him to daycare and get myself decently put together and to work on time. Could be an early morning!

Lots to keep you posted on in the next week, eh? Should be interesting...

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