It’s been a week now since we’ve had Forest in our life. With the postpartum hormones and my general sentimentality it doesn’t take much for me to break out in tears, especially when I think about how quickly the week passed by. The time at the hospital seemed to creep slowly, but of course by the end of the day and the visitors left I’d think that it all went so fast. And here we are now a week later and my baby is a week old and only going to grow older with each passing day, it makes me want to grip the reigns on time even more tightly.
We’re settling into a routine here at home. Chris has two weeks of paternity leave, with the first week being primarily spent at the hospital and this second week being spent here at home. We’ve got our feeding schedule down and of course we’re starting to have some cluster feeds thrown in during the evening which throw things off a bit. At the hospital we had to deal with Forest having too low of a blood sugar during the first 24 hours of his life. At first it wasn’t expressed to us how dire the situation could be if we didn’t get it up to a certain level. I was breastfeeding and he latched on pretty darn well right away. I knew that I wasn’t going to have much other than colostrum for him until my milk came in but everything I’d read and everything everyone said assured me that this was ok. Apparently though, with the larger babies this isn’t really the case and it took one knowledgeable nursery nurse to inform us the consequences of not supplementing with formula during that first 24 hours. So, we settled into a breastfeed for 10-15 minutes per breast followed by 20-30 ml of formula during each feeding. At first we were on an every two hour feeding schedule. That means you feed every two hours, starting from the time you begin feeding. So if it takes an hour to get through a feeding you only have an hour of downtime to sleep or take care of whatever else you need to. It was quite rough that first night or two.
Because we wanted to primarily breastfeed we wanted to begin weaning him off of the formula after a few days. We got advice from multiple nurses who all had similar input regarding weaning him off of the formula, basically reducing his formula intake to 10 ml per feeding after breastfeeding. This was not an easy night to get through. Finally the morning we were discharged the neonatologist came by to check on him and talk about the heart murmur that had been heard the previous day, and we got her input. She basically told us that the nurses were right for regular sized babies but for babies of his size that it wasn’t the right thing to do. He was needing more milk because he was a bigger dude and until my own milk came in and came in well, which could have been several more days at that point, giving him the formula after breastfeeding was what we should continue to do. We weren’t seeing any nipple confusion or latch issues so we weren’t worried on that end. So, that’s what we did. I’d breastfeed and he’d be happy to do that until he’d sucked what colostrum was there dry, and then we’d switch him over to formula where he’d down anywhwere from an ounce to two ounces at a time. This satisfied him and he’d get through a three hour feeding schedule just fine.
Now a week later my milk is in and ramping up since I’ve also been pumping too. If he’s a lazy feeder, which is usually the middle of the night, I tend to pump a little more. We’re still in the supplement with formula or pumped milk phase, though he is reducing his supplementation intake which I’m taking is a good sign that he’s getting more from me when I breastfeed. We’ll see how things change over the next week in this regard.
Chris and I have a pretty good night routine at the moment. I’m sure it will change a little when he goes back to work next week so that he can get a little more sleep and of course it’ll change once again when I go back to work in November. But for now I do the breastfeeding initially and first diaper change when we wake him up, and then Chris will do the formula or pumped bottle while I pump after the breastfeed. Sometimes he’ll fall back asleep easily, other times he takes a little bit longer to get back to sleep. Being on the 3 hour feeding schedule helps a lot as we can generally get 2-2.5 hours of straight sleep in between those feeding times. I’m noticing that my body has already adjusting and is starting to wake up on its own on those 2-2.5 hour cycles, but we do set the alarm to be sure to get up.
Forest is such a good baby and rarely cries unless it is something specific like a wet or dirty diaper or he’s hungry. And as soon as you take care of either of those items, he’s golden.
As for life around here, I’m still having to take it easy with the c-section recovery. That’s something that is hard to do as I want to be doing all of the little chores around here and I know that with the cool front that is coming this weekend it will entice me to be outside! My mom’s coming next week and has offered to pull weeds and trim plants for me, so I may sit outside in a chair with Forest while she gardens for me. It’s been nice having this week with Chris at home. It’ll be hard for me to send him off to work next week but the upside is that we will get to have lunch together every day since we live so near the office.
I’m sure there’s more I’m forgetting to write about. I’m trying to keep up with all of the little sayings we’ve got for him already and just ordered some photos to start for his scrapbook. We’re planning on doing a photo book as well and I need to order announcements. In between all of this I have find time to take a nap or two.
Here’s a smattering of photos from the last week, including a few from the time in the hospital.