Day 18 is the new Day 3

by DaniGirl on February 27, 2008 · 33 comments

in Baby days, Lucas

Remember how Day 3 was supposed to be the bad day? The day when postpartum emotions and the physical toll of childbirth and caring for a newborn come crashing down on your head leaving you a weeping, exhausted mess? Day 3’s got nothing on Day 18.

We’d hit a bit of a rough patch the last couple of days that culminated yesterday. I’d been sick (wickedly painful constipation and a head cold, followed by hemmerhoids, followed by the trots, accompanied by a chest cold, with a migraine chaser over the course of a week), the boys had been sick (Tristan has spiked not one but two fevers since Lucas was born, and Simon has had a juicy chest cough for a week), and the nanny has been either sick or absent for all or a part of the last five days. Lucas went through a couple of painfully gassy phases, one in particular on Monday night that left the poor child crying for three hours solid. By dinnertime yesterday, I was bawling my eyes out as I stuffed a frozen meat pie and french fries into the oven for dinner. And you know what finally did me in? The idea that I was not taking good care of Tristan and Simon. I’d been snappish all afternoon, and just couldn’t take any more. I bawled simply because I was overwhelmed and felt terribly guilty for not being a good mother to anyone. It was messy, to say the least.

The good news is, the bawling was the nadir, and after a good cry I did feel better. Darling Lucas slept a couple of good stretches last night, and I was ready to face the world again today. The headache was gone, the croak in my throat only a minor irritation, and I thought we were back in the game. I had planned to stop by the midwives’ office for a quick weigh-in to check our progress from last week, and then head out to make up the birthday lunch I was supposed to have with my Mom on Monday but that I had to cancel when the nanny called in sick.

The bad news is, Lucas didn’t gain any weight last week. At all. He’s still the same 9 lbs 12 oz he was last Wednesday. Babies are supposed to regain their birthweight by the time they’re three weeks old, and he’s still four ounces short with his three-week birthday in two days.

So, instead of a 10-minute weigh-in, I once again missed lunch with my Mom because we had an hour and a half visit with the midwife, where we ironed out a plan. I’ve got a call in to see a Lactation Consultant, which is fine but expensive. I have to feed him every three hours round the clock, on both sides, instead of just one one-side-per-feed pattern I’ve been following. This also means, unfortunately, that I have to set my alarm to wake us both every three hours through the night, and I don’t know which of the two of us will be more irritated by this plan. I have to keep stimulating him during a feed, because I suspect he’s getting satisfied from the foremilk and slacking off into sipping and snoozing during the fatty hindmilk phase of the feed.

Because he gained nothing, the midwives have to consult with a pediatrician to make sure there is nothing medically preventing him from gaining, so it’s a good thing I’ve already touched base with mine. We have an appointment scheduled for Friday, where hopefully we’ll see at least a couple of ounces of gain, otherwise we’ll have to start a major feeding intervention by renting an electric pump and supplementing that way. If that doesn’t work, we may have to consider formula supplementing, too. And he’ll have to be reweighed on Sunday and every two days until he regains his birthweight at least.

Sigh.

Lucas is otherwise perfectly healthy, and I’m gobsmacked that he didn’t gain so much as an ounce, because I’m an experienced mother and I can see we’re doing all the right things. Lots of wet and soiled diapers, I can hear him swallowing, I can feel him draining the breast. Aside from the fact that he’s a horrendous spitter-upper (as were his brothers) and a couple of incidents of obvious gas pain, everything seems perfect.

Frankly, it’s deja vu all over again, because I went through a lot of this with Tristan. I dunno, maybe I just make crappy milk — or maybe it takes a while for me to ramp up production. With Tristan, I could blame the poor latch and lack of experience. This time, I just don’t know. It’s kind of ironic that Lucas so physically resembles Tristan as a baby, since he’s now showing the same weight-gain issues. Starving Simon, who demanded to be fed every two hours for the first — well, he STILL demands to be fed every two hours, but now it’s pogos and guacamole instead of breastmilk, never had any weight gain issues as a newborn.

So my job for the next couple of days at least is to exclusively concentrate on feeding this baby and try not to hate my breasts all over again. I swear to god, they’ve truly been my nemesis since I was twelve years old, and continue to vex me all these years later. At least they don’t really hurt anymore, because I can see we’re going to be doing a whole hell of a lot of latching over the next couple of days.


{ 33 comments… read them below or add one }

1 valerie February 27, 2008 at 2:20 pm

I know (and you know) that it will get so much better. But here’s a big {{Hug}} to help you through the early weeks.

He’s such a cutie, Dani. Sorry you’ve all been sick – we should really have spring babies like the rest of nature.

2 Madeleine February 27, 2008 at 2:39 pm

Dani, three weeks in is the other sticky point. That was when I got the “How are you?” call from a pediatrician/mom friend. It sounds scary and frustrating that you need to worry about Lucas’ eating. I hope a few days of concentrated effort it what he needs, and I hope you can get some help to feel better about the big boys and what they need.

3 thordora February 27, 2008 at 2:46 pm

Man. You’re doing so much better than I ever did. I’d be a right mess (and was) at three weeks, and I wasn’t breastfeeding.

I have a starving Simon as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

4 Meg February 27, 2008 at 2:56 pm

I have heard of this problem with a lot of third children. It is because it is hard for the Mom to sit still and feed, instead they are up and running around with the other two kids. It sucks-literally!

Committing to this schedule will make things a lot better.

5 Marla February 27, 2008 at 3:36 pm

I’m thinking of you, and wish I could make it better.

M

6 Not So Little Sister February 27, 2008 at 3:39 pm

First a big hug! I’m sorry things are hard right now. I hope they get better and that Lucas decides it’s time to fatten up! ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m petrified breastfeeding is going to be difficult but it helps to hear how other people deal with it and what they face. So, I thank you for being so candid. Our insurance also covers 3 visits from a lacation consultant so I’m super lucky to know I have that on my side already.

Hugs again. I hope you guys can get into a good feeding routine and this thing rights itself soon. My mom had to wake me up to feed me as a baby too because I slept so much…

7 Barbara February 27, 2008 at 4:03 pm

Oh man, Dani. What a tough thing to happen to such a nice mama. I had some supply issues about 6 weeks in when I took a mini birth control pill for a couple of days. Reid and I quite literally took to our bed for a couple of days to get things straightened out. But I didn’t have another couple of equally deserving-of-attention kids as well. Maybe your lactation consultant will recommend expressing some foremilk before Lucas nurses so that he gets the “cream” first. Good luck.

8 Miche February 27, 2008 at 4:39 pm

*hugs* Dani.

“By dinnertime yesterday, I was bawling my eyes out as I stuffed a frozen meat pie and french fries into the oven for dinner.”

Been there, done that… except I’d be on the phone asking my husband to pick-up dinner on the way home.

I wish you lived closer so you could borrow the pump I have …. a double-barreled electric pump is worth every penny!

Sending comforting thoughts and more *hugs*

9 cinnamon gurl February 27, 2008 at 5:00 pm

Oh Dani.

You have to pay for a lactation consultant??? I never had to pay… I went to our Early Years Centre and there were also a bunch hanging around the hospital in the days right after Swee’pea’s birth. There are lots of good things in your favour, which you know: he’s not losing weight and he’s got lots of wet and dirty diapers. Maybe the two boobs per feed will be all he needs. I remember the lactation consultant telling me that breast compressions while feeding would also help my milk come in sooner (this on like day 1 or 2)… then I ended up with oversupply – green spinachy poops and way too much foremilk. I still wonder if I hadn’t done the breast compressions if things would have been ok, because the only suggestion my milk might be slow was because I’d had a c-section. But this is about you and Lucas not me…

I hope he gains weight soon so you can go back to your long stretches at night. Swee’pea NEVER went more than three hours until we nightweaned at 14 months. Seriously.

10 Fawn February 27, 2008 at 5:01 pm

I have a couple of friends who had babies who were deemed “failure to thrive” or were close to it, and having seen their babies I truly think that there is too much emphasis on deadlines for X amount of weight gain. I mean, I recognize it’s important to investigate possible causes (one friend’s baby was allergic to something in her milk, for example, but in another friend’s case, baby is just a small person). The “hard and fast rules” cause way more stress than they should. Sending you waves of support…!

11 Chris February 27, 2008 at 5:50 pm

you know, i have to agree with Fawn. as a mother, as an EXPERIENCED mother, you are looking for all the right things and not finding them. I hope it all settles out soon. he is darling and you are certainly one of the most conscientious moms I’ve seen around, so I feel confident it will.

12 daysgoby February 27, 2008 at 8:48 pm

I agree. Have confidence in yourself. I know he is brand new and teeny, but a couple of ounces? Would that matter SO MUCH right now?

13 Kathleen in Ottawa February 27, 2008 at 9:01 pm

Have I even said congratulations yet?
I am thrilled you have been able to write as much as you have, I am utterly in love with Lucas already.
I am sure that taking the extra steps suggested will heave you over this hump. It seems to me that three weeks is a tough milestone, but you’ll have it behind you with a healthy baby in no time.
MY advice, for what it’s worth: Take Lucas to bed for a few days if you have to. I hope you can enlist Beloved and your mom to run herd on the other boys (breastfeeding issues should count as sick days).
I have two amazing eaters on my hands, but they needed to be kept awake for boob 2 every meal for the first few weeks, none the less.
Take good care – we’re all (pardon the pun) rooting for you.

14 mamaloo February 27, 2008 at 9:03 pm

I’m so sorry to hear this and so happy to hear you are getting into an LC. Double check that there aren’t any within the OHIP scheme attached to a family practice or through Early Years or the municipality. I’m incredibly surprised to hear our nations beautiful capitol does not have a tonne of readily available free LCs.

If there are no free LCs, you have to look at the expense of this one as being so much cheaper than a year of formula. It is a great investment, ultimately, if she can get the baby thriving.

I’ve gone through similar challenges with both my children.

I hope you won’t take it too forward, but about clipping the frenulum: it isn’t at all like circing. A too tight frenulum is like any minor defect that must be seen to (we had hypospadius and holy mother was that a tough road!). The operation is a quick little clip and it’s over. I don’t even think they bleed much. The improvment in latch would be well worth it, especially if the baby isn’t taking in as much as he needs at the moment.

OK, I’ll shut up. I’m a doula so talking about this sort of thing is my job ๐Ÿ™‚

Good luck!
Captcha= flag birdie

15 nancy February 27, 2008 at 10:11 pm

The fact that you care whether or not you are a good mother or not, makes you a fabulous mommy!

I paid a shitload of money to a lact. consultant and she saved us all. I hope it works for you too.

Er, um…can I send Lucas a big mac?

16 Phantom Scribbler February 27, 2008 at 10:15 pm

((((Dani))))

17 snackmommy February 27, 2008 at 10:25 pm

{{{{Hugs}}}}

As long as you are passing some of those one to Tristan and Simon they will be just fine….even with frozen meat pies and french fries. Heck, Lucas’ stock, might even go up in their eyes if it ups their weekly fry intake.

I so wish I was there to drop off a dinner.

Just keep on drawing on your experience to remind yourself how short this time is in their lives.

18 Shauna February 27, 2008 at 10:36 pm

Oh, I feel for you. ๐Ÿ™ I hope those 4 ounces are quick to gain.

19 Rev Dr Mom February 27, 2008 at 10:53 pm

As NSLS said, I had to wake her up to feed her b/c she was such a “good sleeper”…and we went through the whole not gaining weight despite being a good nurser when she was about four months. Sigh… I was overly stressed because i was virtually a single parent , especially the first three months (her dad was a submariner) and I had two others the same ages as Tristan and Simon. I ended up giving up nursing her and switching to formula which I sort of regret. But I didn’t have lactation consultants and good pumps and all the great supports available these days.

All this to say that I can really empathize. I’m sure it didn’t help that you’ve been sick. I hope things go better….

20 Cait February 28, 2008 at 9:02 am

Hug hug hug hug hug. And chocolate.

21 snackmommy February 28, 2008 at 10:05 am

Dani, I have been thinking of you a lot since I read your post. While, I will probably have to duck and run after posting this, have you thought of taking a break from blog? I know you consider it your fourth child, and the writing itself is cathartic and fulfilling, something of benefit no doubt, however, the time it takes must be a definite dent in your day. Not just the actual blogging but the mental energy as you go about your day preparing your post in your head.

I’m sure you will shoot me down fast (not to mention your readers!), however, if you gave yourself permission to cut back, it may temporarily relieve some stress.

Either way, I hope you had a good start to your day…..

22 snackmommy2 February 28, 2008 at 10:08 am

Dani, I have been thinking of you a lot since I read your post. While, I will probably have to duck and run after posting this, have you thought of taking a break from blog? I know you consider it your fourth child, and the writing itself is cathartic and fulfilling, something of benefit no doubt, however, the time it takes must be a definite dent in your day. Not just the actual blogging but the mental energy as you go about your day preparing your post in your head.

I’m sure you will shoot me down fast (not to mention your readers!), however, if you gave yourself permission to cut back, it may temporarily relieve some stress.

Either way, I hope you had a good start to your day…..

23 DaniGirl February 28, 2008 at 11:31 am

Ahh, Snackmommy, you made me laugh! (Thank you to all of you, by the way, for your sweet and supportive comments. It means the world to me to know you’re out there and thinking kind thoughts for us.) Perspective is a funny thing — I feel like I’ve been cutting way back on the blogging, and to you it obviously seems like I haven’t been. Hey, I missed a day last week! (Okay, so maybe you have a point…) If only you were here in my head, where I am blogging all. the. time — it’s a blessed relief to get to the keyboard and finally get some of this crap out of my head and onto the Internet. If you could see the backlog of stuff that’s in my head that hasn’t been blogged yet — talk about tip of the iceberg!!! It’s torture to have all this time to think, and so little time to type. I need a brain-to-blog interface that doesn’t involve my arms. Anybody want a part-time job as a scribe?

Reaching out to y’all like this is extremely therapeutic for me. I must have clicked the refresh key about 300 times yesterday between when I posted this and when Beloved came home from work. I’ve been living what I blog and blogging what I live for so long now that I don’t know how to process information without using the keyboard to synthesize it.

The lactation consultant has come and gone, and she gave me a few good tips. Mostly, though, what she gave me was reassurance. Lucas is not sickly, not lethargic, not doing poorly. He’s healthy and vital, and he’s getting milk — she weighed him before and after a feed, and he sucked back more than 3 oz, which is pretty darn good for a single feed. We’ll just have to keep it up, and cram in a few extra snacks for him during the day, to make sure he keeps it up. He’s spitting up too much, IMHO, and I’ll ask the ped about this tomorrow, but the LC thinks that with a better foremilk/hindmilk balance, that should resolve, too. She gave me a few latching and positioning tips, but mostly reassured me that I’m doing the right things — we just have to do them more frequently. Interestingly, she said at 3 weeks I should cut back on the lansinoh if I can, as it provides a lovely and moist environment that heals the nipples but also provides a lovely home for yeast. The last thing I need is thrush!

Yikes, this is practically another post on its own, but Lucas is topped up after the (hopefully) nutrient-dense feed from when the LC was here, and I’m too keyed up to nap. Thanks again for all your care and concern. Your words mean the world to me…

24 Javamom February 28, 2008 at 12:58 pm

You poor thing. Gosh…the memories…I got a little breast(feeding) story of my own, if you’re interested, and this one will make you laugh. Sending hugs and chocolate!

25 Renee February 28, 2008 at 7:27 pm

Oh, Dani, so sorry. I’ve so been there. I think we all have. I’m still there sometimes, with a 12, 10 and 3 yr old. Hope things are getting better little by little.

26 meanie February 28, 2008 at 9:38 pm

hugs all around. it’s a tough time of year to be dealing with all of this. i had my two in february as well and something about being cooped up inside…..

27 valerie February 28, 2008 at 10:52 pm

ooh, Dani – btdt with the yeast. You SO do NOT want to go there!

Glad she could help. FWIW, I tried about 3 or 4 different “free” LC’s, getting 3 or 4 different opinions (none of which felt right), before coughing up the dough for a good one – worth every penny!

28 Terry February 29, 2008 at 1:20 am

Hi Dani,
so glad that the LC offered the reassurance that Lucas is doing well. Hang in there! I’m sure that doing the double-breast thing for each feed will help. I had supply issues with my daughter (due to mastitis, among other things), and nursing her on both sides improved her intake right away. And, if you have to, spend the money on an LC, pump, etc. It’s cheaper than formula, and worth every penny- I agree with Valerie. Free help from the people at the Ottawa well-baby clinics, for example, all ended up being misguided and unhelpful in my case. Maybe others have had better luck. So proud of you for fighting through the bf issues. It’s not easy. Hugs. His feet!! What fabulous feet he has!!

29 trixie February 29, 2008 at 8:18 am

Just want you to know that as I get ready to tuck into my work day, I’ll be thinking of your breasts. Go breasts!!

30 JoJo February 29, 2008 at 9:00 am

I am sorry that I didn’t see this post sooner. A gi-normous hug to you!

LCs are wonderful aren’t they? Yup at 3 weeks Amelia and I got thrush and the LC said the same to me. I know how hard it is when baby doesn’t gain weight, I can’t imagine that with 2 other (sick) kids to deal with. You are my new pin-up superhero.

If you need it, I have everything known to woman to aid in the quest for breastfeeding including a fancy electric pump. You’ll just need to buy the tubes and breast cups. You can keep it for as long as you want.

31 colleen February 29, 2008 at 3:59 pm

Maybe Lucas isn’t gaining weight because he is growing longer quicker than expected. It may take time for the weight to catch up to the length.

32 Liz February 29, 2008 at 6:22 pm

Hooray for a supportive LC!

Since MM refused to nurse AT ALL I only have hugs to send and wishes that I could bring you a dinner for your freezer.

Hugshugshugs.

33 nomotherearth March 2, 2008 at 4:35 am

I did the round theclock timed feedings and constant weigh-ins with my first and it SUCKED. Feel free to email me if venting here isn’t enough. Hope he gains quickly.

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: