Monday, July 28, 2008

An Update

Well, three and a half weeks have passed since the arrival of our little girl... What excitement she has brought! It is amazing to Blake and I how someone so tiny and helpless can completely run our household. :)

A Few Experiences From Past Few Weeks:

Riley's Weight
Riley's birth weight was 7 pounds even. By Tuesday when we went home, she was down to 6 pounds 9 ounces, but the pediatrician was not concerned. On Friday(the 18th) at her first check up she had lost 2 more ounces and we were told to bring her back the next week to check and be sure that she was putting some weight on. We were told to expect at least half an ounce a day. On the 25th(Friday wk), my mom and I took her back and I was heartbroken that she had put on less then one ounce. I began having to supplement after every feeding, which meant that I would breastfeed for 20 minutes and then have to give her 2 ounces of formula. Blake and I took Riley back t0day(5 days later) to see if the formula was doing the job... Tada! Riley weighed in at 7 pounds 6 ounces! Only 2 ounces short of putting on an entire pound! What a relief and blessing...

Riley's Faces
One of Blake and I's favorite thing to do with Riley is to watch her sleep. She makes the most adorable and hilarious faces... We will sit there for minutes and just watch and giggle at our little girl. I'm reminded of the minutes that must have added up to hours we sat and watched Will... Children are such a wonderful gift from the Lord.

Riley's Sleep
Sleep is much better and Riley has spent much of the last few nights in her cradle! What a blessing... She is waking every 3 or 4 hours to feed and then going back to sleep fairly easily. There are still some periods every night in which she wins and she finds herself nestled between Blake and I, but after she is sound asleep I sneak her back to her own bed.

Riley's Feeding
I attempted to breastfeed Riley about 45 minutes after she exited my womb... It didn't go so well. It hasn't gone well since. Last night I surrendered it to the Lord and decided that I was done fighting it... She had her first full feeding of formula.

After almost 3 weeks of feeding I was still in pain everytime she nursed. When she nursed... Riley would go to sleep everytime I would attempt to feed and seldom spent more then about 6 or 7 minutes total sucking. We tried taking stripping her to her diaper. We tried changing her diaper. We tried baths. We tried wet wash clothes... Nothing worked. I knew when I went in for her 2nd weighing that it would not be good news.

I was stressed because my precious daughter wasn't putting on weight. I was exhausted from being sick from high blood pressure for 2 weeks before delivery and from the painful recovery that caught me off guard. I was tired because she would eat every hour and a half because she wouldn't stay awake. I felt guilty because of how much time I was pulling from Will and all I was unable to do for him. I was in pain during and in between every feeding... And to top it all off, I came down with Mastitis on Monday of this week-resulting in tears during every feeding because of the pain. Last night at my mothers she and Blake both walked in while I was feeding to find me in utter shambles from everything listed above... After tears on the end of my mother and hugs from my husband, I was assured that I could be a good mother and feed my baby formula. I had silently been struggling with the decision for the past few days and with neither knowing that they both told me they had been thinking for several days that it was time for me to just give it up. "It is more important for you to be a happy, content mother then a mother that breastfeeds," my mother told me. And just like that the decision was made and I was at peace... The weight gain we found out about today was confirmation to me that God has led us to that decision. I would have to continue to supplement for a while anyway.

Will is doing wonderfully. He is settling back down and has become used to his little sister. The past 3 days he has been his normal sweet self and I am loving it. I missed my kind hearted little boy. He loves to kiss Riley and will come over every 10 or 15 minutes to kiss his sisters head or give her a pat. If you ask him where Riley is he runs straight over to her or points across the room. Between his uncles, Grammy, and Grandpa he is getting plenty of attention.

Blake Blake's paper is finished and turned in! He spent much of the last 2 weeks finishing a paper on Doug Pagitt for an independent study and just today he made the drive to the school to turn it in to his professor. YEAH! Blake has worked full time and then spent much of his free time on his paper, and yet he has continued to be a wonderful help and support over the past few weeks. I have felt so blessed to be his wife and the mother of his children. Many nights he has come home from a full day of work to help with Riley and Will and then spent several hours on his school after Will has gone down. And then supported me while I sit in bed and feed or change diapers or cry because Riley won't go to sleep and it is 3am. :)

Lydia My recovery is still coming along. I had begun to feel better end of last week, only to begin feeling as if I was coming down with the flu on Monday. My chest had been throbbing pretty intensely on Sunday and had only worsened. After discovering that I had a fever of over 100 and placing an emergency call to my doctor, I was diagnosed with Mastitis. I began the antibiotic around 10:30pm and was told to look forward to about 48 hours of crumminess and pain. Yesterday was pretty bad and I spent much of the day at mom and dads because they prescribe that you do basically nothing but rest and feed the baby for the first 24 hours. Stitches are finally beginning to feel as if they are healing. I am still sitting on my waffle pillow:) as I type this, but I am also able to walk now.

All in all, the past 3 weeks could have been much worse! The Lord has blessed our family with friends and family who have been such a tremendous help and support... A special thanks to Grammy and Grandpa(mom and dad) - I have no idea what we would have done without them! Check back soon for more pictures...

God has been so good to us... Blake and I watch our children and are just simply overwhelmed by the blessings heaped upon us.


Megan Abraham said...

Lydia, I just want you to know that I too had to quit breastfeeding because of continual problems. I felt so guilty and it took me literally weeks to finally let go and realize that I could still be a wonderful mom and give her formula. I had gotten to where I dreaded every time she needed to eat because of the pain. What a blessing switching to a bottle was for both me and her. I could finally enjoy the cuddling time I had with her each time she ate :-) You are a wonderful mom and there are plenty of special ways you can bond with your sweet girl besides breastfeeding. Thank goodness for the availability of formula that is so good for them!

The Yates' said...

Lydia, I just wanted to encourage you... I know Ruthie struggled with not being able to breastfeed Corbin but DO NOT FEEL GUILTY your mommy is right and you are a great mommy, Riley and Will are SO blessed to have you! You and your sweet girl will bond despite bottles vs. breast and look at it this way, now blake gets the blessing of enjoying giveing her a feeding, Kev loves when I pump so he can give Av a bottle!

The Miersma Family said...

oh man! i was also caught off guard by the painful recovery! who knew?!?! the waffle pillow was my friend for what felt like an eternity! ;) and i had to get real creative whenever i had to go to the bathroom! :) (i'll spare you the details though.)
also, i understand your situation with i read through your post, i felt like i was flashing back to a year ago when kate was born! i had a very similar experience with kate not gaining weight, supplementing and then dreading nursing her because it was either too painful or frustrating. i felt like all i was ever doing was nursing her! it took so long because she'd fall asleep or become uninterested, you know?
anyhow, i hated having to stop because i felt like a failure (which was a pride issue on my part) but your mom is right! it is better to be a happy and content mommy than one who breastfeeds.
i'm glad you were able to make a decision that was best for your family so early on! i continued to have difficulty nursing kate until i knew God was urging me to stop when she was diagnosed with a milk protein allergy around turning 4 months old. when changing my diet wasn't cutting it, i switched her to a hypo-allergenic formula and finally was relieved of the pressure i had put on myself to try as long as i could. megan is right, there are a ton of other ways to bond with your baby and i was actually surprised at how happy i became once others could help me feed her! praise God for formula!
thanks for posting this cause it has helped me look back, remember the trial and be thankful for God's hand in directing us as he willed for our good!
and now, with little miss lucy on the way i can only wonder what will happen this next time around!

The Rings said...

Thanks for the encouragement you all! I appreciate it so much... Other then being sleep deprived - Any advise? - I am a much happier Mommy and able to be much more attentive to my son as well...

D & A said...

Hi Lydia. Sorry you have had to struggle with the sleeping/eating issues with Riley. It sounds tiring, painful and emotionally draining. I am glad your Mom's words of encouragement gave you clarity and peace. Isn't it amazing the things that we worry over wondering what others will think and all along they really don't care (or just want what is best for us)? Thanks for sharing as it gave me peace on a totally unrelated topic! =)

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