Plans change

We had our first experience this week with plans changing due to the baby. We went to the doctor Monday morning for a weight check because Will had lost 8% of his body weight before we left the hospital (babies can lose 10% in the first week, but they were worried when it was that high in just 2 days…we blame the fact that he was away from us in the nursery so often that it was hard to get in feedings, and we didn’t end up supplementing because the timing didn’t work out. His weight is fine once we’ve gotten home and do round the clock demand nursing). Somehow it took us an hour and fifteen minutes to get into the doctor – I think the receptionist forgot to check the sign-in sheet, and then was doing other stuff and forgot about us. Will looked a little yellow when we left the hospital Thursday & at the doctor on Friday, but his bilirubin number was fine when they checked at the hospital, so we weren’t too worried. We noticed how orange he looked when he was next to the other babies at Anna’s shower on Sunday afternoon, and the doctor thought he looked like he had gotten worse so she prescribed a jaundice test for Monday morning. We got the test and the number was a little high so we spent some time in the sun on Monday afternoon, got tested again on Tuesday and the number was on its way back down so there doesn’t seem to be a reason for concern. We spent some time outside again Tuesday, though, and we’ll be making more of an effort to get sunlight, which can be tough if we stay inside our house too much.

Of course Sunday and Monday nights I got almost no sleep because Will has to sit up to burp for long periods of time in between nursing, and that’s when the emotions started to hit. Middle of the night nursing isn’t easy, especially when you’re feeling pressure that jaundice will clear better with good feeding, and there have been signs in his diaper that he’s not getting enough of the good fatty hindmilk during the day. It makes all of the difference in the world if I can start the night with a 2 hour stretch of sleep, instead of not getting that until 3-4 am. I’m going to try to limit my multi-tasking when nursing during the day if I can, too, to hopefully help him stay awake for longer stretches and get more milk during the day. There are some benefits of those late night hours, though, which I try to keep in perspective when I’m having trouble making it through. Those are the times when Will is the most alert, and I’m pretty lucky to get that time just to myself. I never understood when people said all they wanted to do was stare at their new babies, but last night I felt myself staring at him lying in his bed (even though he was drifting off and I knew I should be getting some sleep, too!).

I have learned that there’s less to worry about in terms of timing than I thought there would be. I don’t have to wake Will up every couple of hours to eat like I worried about the first few nights – he wakes up and lets me know he’s hungry right on schedule. It’s also pretty clear which side I should nurse on because of how they feel, although I’m not sure if he’s getting a side empty often enough so there’s still some improvement to be made there. At first I watched to see if I was going 30 minutes on each side, but Will stops around 20-30 minutes to be burped and then we switch sides. All of the books are great and I’m glad for sites like babycenter.com to be able to look things up when I have questions, but there’s something to be said for trusting your instincts, too. I don’t write down each diaper I change in a log or anything, but it’s funny how much I could tell you about the number and consistency of each one. And I still haven’t learned my lesson about changing before we get a leak…

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2 thoughts on “Plans change

  1. micahandheather says:

    Hang in there! These first 6 – 8 weeks are the roughest in terms of sleep & figuring everything out. I think it gets easier, at least in some respects!

  2. Colleen says:

    Hi, Meagan,

    Lots of stuff to learn these first few weeks. I remember being told to have a large glass of water every time I sat down to nurse – Mike would bring it to me – and that helped a lot with milk production.

    I totally understand the staring and the kids – I don’t know if it ever ends….:).

    Much love,

    Auntie Colleen

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