Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A Weighty Dilemma

Yesterday was Harper’s 1 month doctor visit. I had been dreading it since his last visit because I’m a wimp and I hate when tiny babies have to get shots or pricked in the heel for a blood sample. It just seems so cruel…even when I know it’s necessary.

Anyhow, once we got into the doctors office the nurse had me undress him so she could take his measurements and then weigh him. Once I put him on the scale, I knew something wasn’t right.

He’s lost weight.


The nurse didn’t seem to believe the scale and asked that I place him on the scale for a second try. But, the scale didn’t lie and his weight read 7 pounds 5 ounces. The nurse still wasn’t convinced though, so she went into another room and pulled another scale in for him to be weighed on. The scale remained the same. Every time she re-weighed him, I kept my fingers crossed that there was something wrong with the scale(s). Each time the scale stayed the same, my heart sank.

When the doctor came in he did a thorough exam and asked me about Harper’s eating habits. He told me that it was obvious that he was eating something because his weight loss would have been much more dramatic if he hadn’t been, but that I’d need to supplement with formula in order to get his weight up.The doctor said Harper should weigh somewhere in the 9 pound range, so he has some serious catching up to do. 

(Harper weighed 8lbs.3oz. at birth, then weighed 7lbs.10oz. at his 1 week appt., and yesterday was down to 7lbs.5 oz.)

I didn’t take the news of supplementing with formula very well. As a matter of fact, my first reaction to that news was anger, and I think the doctor recognized it because he told me that under normal circumstances he would never ask a nursing mother to supplement, but he felt that this was an exception.

After hearing that, I went from angry to sad. I tried to think of a million reasons why nursing wasn’t working, and asked the doctor about a dozen scenarios, but what it all boiled down to was Harper wasn’t growing and needs the supplementation. Period. So, I was given a free sample of some formula and orders to bring the baby back in on Friday for a weight check.

Once I got home, I went from sad to nearly inconsolable. I know to most people my reaction to this news seems silly/extreme/irrational, but I feel like I am failing my baby.

All you hear about is how good it is for your baby to be breastfed. Actually, doctor’s say it’s one of the best advantages you can give your child. There are dozens of ways that breastfeeding benefits your baby and of course I want to give my baby the best. Besides that, it is the only thing that I can do for my baby that no one else can. Tony and the kids can change, bathe, rock, play, soothe and cuddle all they want. Breast feeding was all mine. My time to bond with him one on one, my turn to give him my best, but now I feel like that’s been taken away. I mean, I’m still breastfeeding before each bottle, but it’s like rubbing salt into a wound each time I have to also feed him formula afterwards.

PS: My oldest child was bottle fed and she turned out perfect in every way, so if you are a bottle feeding mom, I’m not hatin’ on  you; I’m just disappointed and a little depressed that I don’t get the choice. 


Diana Joy said...

oh....hugs to you {{H}}. Have you spoken with a lactation consultant? I think there is a way to measure or figure out if you have enough fat in your breast milk. I've heard that can be a problem. Not so much that you aren't making enough milk.... or maybe you aren't.

Good luck.

susan and sometimes aaron said...

awww. don't be so hard on yourself. i was pretty much in the same boat. at avery's 3 day appt. he lost a whole pound and his blood sugar was so low they immediately put him back in the hospital. they gave him formula at the doctors and he guzzled down 4 oz. right away. i'm always a go-with-the-flow type of person, so i was really surprised at how disappointed i was. i was balling my eyes out that i couldn't provide what he needed and he was sick because of it.

i would keep at it (breastfeeding), any breast milk is better than none. i just changed what would have been our breastfeeding bonding time to morning-with-mama-in-bed time.:)

amanda said...

I'm so sorry that you have to go through this. How frustrating to have your choice taken away. Can you still breast feed but only give him a bottle once or twice a day?

Medieval Times

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