WHEN WILL THIS POSTPARTUM BLEEDING STOP????
Timothy is a very serious baby. Most of the time he has a bit of a frown on his face, studying the world around him intently. His eyes are alert and intelligent – which makes up for lack of smiles, in my mind. Somehow I always feel sad when I see babies with carefree “less intelligent” eyes, so to speak. And when those smiles come – they are to die for! But then I fear that there might be something wrong with his eyesight. He often keeps one eye closed. And he often appears cross-eyed.
When Timothy cries, he looks like an angry dwarf, it’s so funny He gets all red and wrinkly. I can’t help laughing at him – as long as I know the reason for his crying is light, of course. When he cries because he struggles to poop, I don’t find that funny. I hold him close and try to soothe him. I understand that c-section babies struggle a bit more with digestion problems: babies are supposed to get some bacteria as they pass through birth canal. If they by-pass the birth canal through a c-section, they don’t get those bacteria. Sometimes his bowel movements are really painful. And he poops about 5 times a day (fun, eh?) so there’s a lot of soothing going on.
I still have an occasional episode of suspecting that he doesn’t like me. Perhaps because he’s so serious. It saddens me. I sort of know it’s bullshit, but still… I fear he doesn’t like me. Or that I am not spending enough time with him.
I try to keep him at each breast for at least 15 minutes: I don’t know how to otherwise ensure he gets to the hind fatty milk. So with a change of diapers before each feeding and some burping here and there, our breastfeeding sessions can last up to an hour. Knowing that the next one is 1-2 hours away (except at night) I try to get him in the bouncer as soon as possible to either eat, or drink, or just relax a bit with a book. Although he sits and studies the world around him quite contently, I feel pangs of guilt. Should I be spending more time with him? But then I don’t want him to be too dependent on me. I want him to be able to entertain himself and just generally be on his own. I am terrified of stories of babies that won’t sleep alone, won’t stay alone, won’t play alone. I do play with him a bit here and there: rattles, talking, singing… but I need some time not spent with him. And I feel guilty about it.
He started spitting out the milk. He almost never did this before – even burps were light and occasional. Does that mean he eats too much now (meaning I have plenty of milk, finally) and gets rid of the extra milk he gulped? Or perhaps he is not getting enough milk because he spits it out? Yeah, I still worry I don’t have enough. Every time I start feeding him, I look at the clock and count for how many minutes he actively gulps on each breast. Anything over 5 minutes of non-stop swallowing makes my heart sing. But I always listen and worry that the gulping will stop too early and I will discover I don’t have enough…
I don’t find myself too preoccupied with worrying that he’ll choke on his spit-up or that he’ll stop breathing – nevertheless, every now and then I check: is he still breathing? Especially when I put him to sleep at night and he falls asleep right away: usually he goes through a couple of times of spitting out the pacifier and whining about it before he drifts away. I wonder at what age they learn to shove the paci back on their own…
And the most ridiculous fear: I am not a palm reader, but his life line is awfully short. It freaks me out. I worry. Did I spend too much time with my laptop while pregnant? Should I stop browsing on my mobile while I breastfeed?
So you see, there are still lots of fears… They do not end once the baby is born. They just become different fears…
The other day I thought: if we are blessed with another child, and we decide to not risk it and go with a scheduled c-section, how hard it;s gonna be to pick up a date! I mean, we’ll be choosing his birthday. Not that I’m all gaga about horoscopes, but it does feel weird – choosing the date…
We went for another pediatrician visit yesterday. I suspect she made a mistake last time when she said Timothy is not gaining enough. How could it ne that back then he gained only 20 g in 5 days and now 170g in 5 days??? Anyway, the main thing is all looks well. It seems I have enough milk, Timothy is looking great, and we are to come back in 3 weeks.
In other news, Timothy is 3 weeks and 2 days old. How time flies!!! He smiles more frequently – he smiled at my hubby and my sis. He tries to reach toys. He follows rattles with his eyes. He spends more time awake.
And he still sleeps great at night!!!
All my desperation over milk supply problems is gone. In fact, I feel like we bonded through this experience. We worked as a team, Timothy and I, to establish my milk supply. I pumped, he sucked, I ate pills, he demanded feedings… as a team, we worked it out! We are a team. A family. And I love him even more for this!!!
Yesterday we went to the shopping mall and he behaved great. And I discovered there are nursing rooms in malls- very calm, awesome environment!
Although all the mommies around me were discussing their “useless” husbands. Mine is awesome so I didn’t take part in the conversation. Just listened, a bit perplexd. Could it be that all of their hubbies (there were half a dozen women) are that useless?
Anyway. The main thing is my son is doing great and my hubby is awesome.
Thank you all for your support and cheering me up throught the milk supply battle.
So I grit my teeth and persevere. Following an advice from la leche league consultant, I didn’t take Timothy from the breast when he emptied it thoroughly. This resulted in him hanging on my breast for 6 hours straight with only bathroom breaks on Saturday. Then we went for a walk to get him to sleep and he was back on my tit for another suckling marathon session. He still needed a formula supplement in the evening, but only 60 ml this time.
And on Sunday he was eating normal. And I was pumping and collecting after each feed and gathered 50 ml – enough to leave him with hubby and get for a little while for the first time. So rejuvenating. And then I got back and started pumping even more after each feeding. Now even if he is hungrier than what I have in the breast, I can feed him my milk from a bottle and not formula. I have 65 ml already in the freezer and about 40 ml and counting. All collected since I got home at 6 pm yesterday.
I so so hope the meds and pumping will do the job! Looks like my milk supply is increasing already. We didn’t supplement AND I was able to store some milk away! The world is getting brighter.
Sorry for typos. Mobile posting isn’t the most convenient thing
He is screaming.
I have no more milk.
Hubby is giving him formula.
I am hysterical. I lost this battle. I feel useless. A failure of a mother. Defeated.
I know. It’s all about his well-being and much worse things happen. Nevertheless. I am highly distressed.
Timothy is getting more and more immersed in the real world, interacting with his toys.
The other day I grabbed his hand and showed him how he can kick the little toys hanging in his bouncer. I showed him a few times – and then he repeated the movement! Now he sometimes does it himself while sitting in his little bouncer. So cute!
He is also reacting to noise much better: this morning, I was playing with him using the black and white target rattle, moving it around him – to the left, above, to the right… and he was following it! Slowly, with a bit of a delay, but he was turning his head after it!
He still doesn’t like to be on his tummy. Whenever I place him belly-down, he starts whining in a very girlish way (sounds like “eeeeeeeee…”) – even though he can hold his head up pretty well when on my chest. He’s very strong. But tummy-time just doesn’t please him. And I don’t have the gut to make him stay on his belly a bit longer, even though I know it’s good for his development.
Like I mentioned earlier, he started to smile at me. The smiles are still rare – but he does!
I am still struggling with breastfeeding. Shannon told me the amount of formula a baby needs calculates as his weight in pounds, multiplied by 2.5 – that gives the required amount in ounces. It looks like he is not eating enough. What he eats is (I guess) enough to keep him satisfied – but not enough to provide weight gain. I am now waking him up frequently, I keep him at the breast after he’s done eating (the breast is empty but he keeps gumming it – I guess that’s good stimulation?) and I pump after most feeds. Sometimes he doesn’t let me pump so I have to skip. I also eat cheeses, drink milk, eat nuts – hoping to make my milk fattier for him. It’s not all about the volume of milk, right? It’s the quality/fattiness, too, right?
This morning our pediatrician told us Timothy hasn’t gained much since last visit (Monday). They like to see babies gain 20 g a day – and timothy gained 20 g in 4 days… But overall since discharge from the hospital he’s been gaining about 15 g a day. So maybe – maybe – he was just lee hungry lately? or using more energy?
The pediatrician didn’t seem too concerned about it. Timothy is obviously well-hydrated and alert and doing well. We’re going back for another weigh-in on Wednesday. Until then, I am taking dompe.ridon, eating fatty dairy stuff, pumping and waking Timothy for his feedings at least every 3 hours. Although today he had an episode of hourly feedings. Hopefully, he’s doing this to stimulate more milk production.
I would love to post more often, but so far it’s not happening. Well, better occasionally than never, right?
So what is happening?
Last week, Timothy was getting more and more fussy. Most of the evenings, I was reduced to tears by the time hubby got home (although I usually was happy and content in the mornings… but all my hubby got to see was my evening tears). He was crying and fussing which, combined with his almost-hourly requests to be fed was exhausting. I would finish the feeding and almost right away he would start crying again. What, hungry? Again??? I wouldn’t be able to calm him down and then would start crying myself. It was tough.
The ray of light was him still sleeping 4-5 hours straight at night.
And then on Saturday he started marathon-sleeping. He would eat and then sleep for 3… 4… 5 hours straight. The same happened again on Sunday. On Monday we went to see the pediatrician (we found a pediatrician, yay!) and although we couldn’t remember what his previous weight was, we were under the impression that it went down.
So these infrequent feedings started to concern me – and as if on purpose, on Monday he ate only FOUR times!!! At his age – 2 weeks!!! That was getting ridiculous, I started getting really concerned.
We decided to use my kitchen scale. We placed a salad bowl on it and started weighing him before and after each feeding. Turned out he was eating about 90 ml each time. But I couldn’t find ANY information online re: how much milk he actually needs at this stage. Is 90 ml four times a day enough?..
I started to freak out. But I just couldn’t wake him and feed. He was just not interested.
And then on Tuesday he woke up and decided to revert to his 8-times a day feeding. And I was in tears again for it seemed there just wasn’t enough milk. After three days of feeding 4-6 times a day, there wasn’t enough. He would finish the feed frustrated, purple with crying, I would start crying, too – in deep distress for my hungry baby…
In the evening my hubby brought proper scale (our friends lent it to us), and I got a prescription for some meds that help with milk production, and I started finishing each feeding session with a 10-15 minute pumping session just for stimulation. There usually isn’t anything left after Timothy eats, but I do it.
Timothy ate about 30 ml a couple of times in the evening and then slept the usual 5 hours between midnight and 5 am and then… ate about 70 ml. And went back to his occasional eating and long sleeps. But now I am weighing him and I know that he eats 70 ml on average. Sometimes 90 ml, sometimes 60 ml.
So now when he fusses after eating, I am calm. I know he is not hungry. I know it must be a burp or a poop or just tiredness bothering him.
I still don’t know if he eats enough in a day. He seems satisfied. I wake him up to feed him, I don’t let him sleep for 4-5 hours anymore except at night. Well, we are going to see the pediatrician again tomorrow am and we’ll where we are at now.
On other fronts, our umbilical cord finally fell off yesterday.
And he smiled at me for the first time yesterday. Not the involuntary “stomach smile” after a feeding, but actually looking me in the eye and smiling with the mouth excitedly wide open. So cute!!!
He plays for longer periods of time. I have a toy that has a black and white target on it and he looks at it and talks to it and stretches his hands towards it and touches it. He can play for 5-10 minutes now!
ok, he woke up- gotta go!
There are a few advices that proved to be very useful.
One is covering the nipple with nipple cream before the feeding. Too bad I got this advce two days after givng birth when my nipples were already sore. Cream helps him suck in much larger part of the nipple, resulting in much better latch.
Anohet advice is usng the football hold position for breast-feeding after c-section for it doesn’t put weight on your sore belly.
And when the stitches start to heal – change bf positions frequently so that the baby doesn’t suck on to the same sore parts over and over.
Making clear distinction between day ane night is a great one, too. We keep Timothy around during the day, with all the lights and noise and we keep things dark and quiet with minimum communications and almost diaper changes. This way he sleeps 3-5 hour stretches at night. Although he eats almost every hour during the day.
Hope this helps. And please share your bits of advice and wisdom.
Yesterday we had our first pediatrician visit. We don’t have a pediatrician yet, so we went to kids’ clinic in the hospital where he was born. His first home, so to speak
They sent us to wait in the cafeteria ’cause shortly before us there was someone with a case of chicken pox. No wonder the waiting area was empty (I wondered about that). I hope it wasn’t enough time for us to catch it!
The wait at the clinic wasn’t too long (about an hour and a half), which I spent drinking milk. I never used to drink milk. I hate milk. But now that I am a breastfeeding mama, I seem to crave it all the time!
Timothy is doing great. Although he lost almost 7% of his weight by the time we got discharged from the hospital (48 hours after delivery), as of yesterday he was almost back to his birth weight. I was so proud I am capable of giving him enough milk! I hope it stays that way. Even if sometimes I feel that he is permanently attached to my breasts and my nipples are extremely sore. I enjoy breastfeeding so much!
I was sort of terrified of the way the doctor carried Timothy, holding him by his neck and… one leg. As if he were a chicken, not a baby. Oh well, they know better just how tough babies are…
Timothy was screaming is if we were killing him It was well past his feeding time, plus most babies don’t particularly like being undressed.
Anyway, he’s doing great! I can’t be happier
PS He slept from 1:30 am to 6 am, fed for an hour, and now slept from 7 am till now. 10 am. I feel so rejuvenated! I foresee another day spent attached to my breasts. But I’ll take this pattern over feeding every 2-3 hours. We like our sleep!