Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Update on Justus

Well, I took Justus to the check-up yesterday and just as we were about to see the Dr. he had to run out to attend an emergency at the hospital. The nurse mentioned re-scheduling and I just asked her if she could weigh Justus and she agreed. It turns out he's gained nearly a pound in 8 days since his WIC check-up! The clinic always does poor length measurements so I don't really believe that he's gained an inch in 8 days too, even though that's what they said. His head is growing and he's about 10th percentile now.

So, the formula has definitely caused some weight gain! However, I did a lot of reading and studying on building supply yesterday thanks to your helpful comments and I came away with a renewed committment to do everything I can to exclusively breastfeed. I realize some women truly can't, but I also know that many give up, like I was tempted to, because of sleep deprivation or worry over weight gain, when these problems can be helped in other ways. Since we only used some formula for less than a week, it won't be too hard to wean Justus from these supplemental bottles. But in order to wean him, I have to build my daytime supply up enough to satisfy him. Last night I went to bed insanely early and each time he would wake up (about every 2 hours) I gave him a very lengthy feeding on both sides so that the following feeding, there would be all the more milk built up (..the more you empty...the more you make...).

I didn't realize how much breastfeeding can become an emotional issue until now. There is so much guilt involved; guilt over what you should have been doing to keep your milk supply up and guilt over starving your baby by not giving formula earlier, guilt over "cheating" the third kid and wanting him to have all the best that the first couple of kids had, etc.

You read some of those breastfeeding articles online and come away thinking that formula is liquid poison and your child is going to die from drinking it! =) Yet lots of my friends' babies have lived through it and are healthy, cute little kids! Ultimately, I've been thinking a lot about what I know to be true about breastmilk and my own body and I know that for me personally, I would feel guilty and ashamed if I switched to all formula at his young age, and yet if my body just can't keep up, I'm not going to feel bad about using supplemental formula in order to keep my kid from starving. I will give it my very best shot, resting, taking herbs, and pumping if necessary in order to exclusively breastfeed for a year, as was my goal. I know I can breastfeed until a year, having done it with Jeremiah, and 10.5 months for Ali, and so this helps to motivate me. Formula seems way easier to use, due to the fact that your babies tend to sleep through the night faster, it's physically less painful (biting, soreness, etc.) you can pass the baby to someone else to feed, they go longer between feedings, you can do it in public a lot easier, and you can have a night off without taking baby everywhere with you, but in spite of that, I want to avoid it if I can.

The great news is that last night I noticed lots more milk at every feeding in the middle of the night so hopefully I can get similar amounts coming in the daytime too. Thanks for all of your encouragement and tips! Even though it's a busy time of year, I'm going to force myself to take some "nursing vacations" in the next couple of weeks! Thanks for your prayers!


Lesley said...

I'm so glad!!!! Don't feel bad about doing what you need to do to feed your baby -- as my mom always says, "formula babies DO thrive" because she had to do it with me but nursed my brother. I admire you for wanting to breastfeed as long as possible but like you said, if you can't keep up, don't feel bad about giving Justus what he needs to stay well fed. You're doing a great job!!!!! :)

Sheila said...

Just do what's best for your baby. It sounds like he grew so much when you supplemented with the formula. Please don't let what others think or say make you feel guilty if you need to do this. I have 12 and 8 year old extremely healthy kids who were exclusively bottle-fed. I personally am an extremely healthy 42 year old woman who was exclusively bottle-fed because my mom was unable to breast feed. Keep in mind that formula wasn't as good back then as it is now, and yet I've been very healthy, have almost no allergies, and am pretty smart. :) Everyone's situation is different. Do what is best for YOU. God bless you!

Thia said...

Praise God that there seems to be an increase in your milk. I know I am heading into a day or two of marathon nursing since she hasn't been eating much due to when I am sitting and nursing, I will be praying for you!

~Laura~ said...

I will be praying for you.. I know what you mean about not understanding breastfeeding/emotional issues until you experience it. I remember what my "trauma" was like just a few months ago.. :) It will come out OK! Keep keeping on!

Spring Lela Kane said...

Wow- I didn't know you and Josiah had three children! You are certainly one growing little family! :) I'm glad to have found you on here- it was neat reading your blogs and seeing where you guys are at. Your children are beautiful and your new home/apartment looks great!

Kristin said...

I'll just echo what everyone else is saying:

Way to go Justus, at gaining weight!

Way to go Mama, at producing more milk!

Get rid of the guilt. Formula isn't from the devil!

You are a wonderful mother and your children are great kids, whether breast or bottle fed.

But do keep getting your rest! Not only do you kids need a rested mother in each of their own ways, but you need it for yourself and your hubby.

Mrs. Jo said...

It's so reassuring to hear from you guys, especially those of you who were formula fed or formula fed your own kids! Thanks for all the encouragement!

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