Saturday, August 6, 2011

Jessna is 3 months old and update on my nursing struggles

Mom and Daughter
Grandma Linda

Bro and Sis


Trying to talk

I'm 3 months!

Whew, what a different baby Jessna is compared to Shrade (read his 3 month post and see his pics!).  Shrade was Mr. Happy.  Jessna is Miss Fussy!  However, I can get her to smile now.  She is highly interactive and very observant.  But she will let you know if she is unhappy.  She loves to sleep and craves motion and white noise.  Can't go to sleep without the pacifier or fan.

She's cooing, smiling, lifting her head (showing good head control) and when sitting on my lap she pulls her torso forward.  She eats every 3 hours, takes several good naps and has slept through the night several times.

It's been tough getting out and about with 2 kids, but we try to attend story times and we went to a concert in the park.  I hope to do more fun activities when the "school" year rolls around.  You will see why I didn't do much when you read the story below about the struggles I have had with feeding.

Jessna weighs 11 lbs 10 oz and is 23.5 inches long.  She is very chunky in some places, but people still think she is very small.

On our trip to Minnesota Auntie Janine got her to say her first word- "Whoo" like an owl.  It is so cute.  We got a video.  Of course, she will only do that for Auntie Janine.  But she does have a voice and it's so adorable.  When things settle down, I hope to spend more time playing with her.  It's just been very rough this summer.  It's also been a very hard adjustment for me with 2 kids.  But I'm learning how to work it- they take afternoon naps at the same time now!

Update on my nursing struggles:

On May 6, 2011 my world changed.  Our precious, beautiful Jessna Josine was born that day, 3 months ago.  Little did I know how much my life would change in that 3 months.  One thing I desperately prayed for to be different with this baby was being able to nurse exclusively and I did until a few days ago.  For the first 3 weeks of Jessna's life I worked HARD to develop my milk supply and things were going smoothly as far as feeding.  Schedule was haphazard, but she was newborn and that was expected.  What I didn't expect at about 3-5 weeks was the constant crying.  I thought she had colic.  She cried a lot, but not during feeding.  Then she started crying during feeding.  By her two month appointment I was so distraught, but I persevered no matter how emotional it was for both of us.  I thought I could get through it.  At this point I thought she might have reflux.  I was feeling great.  I didn't feel the pain I felt the first 3 weeks.  I LOVED nursing when she calmed down.  At this point I tried to nurse with no distractions (ie.  Shrade needed to be elsewhere- where do you send a 2 year old?).  She nursed best when sleepy, but that was not always possible.  Things started getting worse and worse.  She wouldn't calm down and the only way I could possibly nurse was while bouncing on a big ball, holding her head to me (she pushed away), patting her back and saying "sh" as loud as possible.  It was awful! I thought, this can't be right.  There was NO way for me to nurse in public, even though I had to at times during a recent vacation trip.  I was completely embarrassed and humiliated.    I finally came to the conclusion after crying out to God for the umpteenth time that something needed to change.  How was I going to nurse for a whole year like this?  Like I said, this was my heart's desire. I wish she liked nursing because I sure do when it goes ok.  In the meantime I was emotionally and physically exhausted.  My son was getting out of control and I had nothing left to give to my husband or take care of myself, and poor Jessna was so upset every time we had to feed (like 7 times a day!).  So I went to the doctor hoping to get some answers.  He suggested that Jessna and I were not compatible (ie.  she is rejecting me, she doesn't root, but turns away).  I was devastated.  He told me to pump and feed, but that's time consuming.  My conclusion was to give up nursing and phase out with pumping to switch to formula.  I don't want to do this, but I have to for sanity in my family.  My heart was breaking for my son who I was upset with all the time because I was stressed trying to feed little sister.  I know in the long run, this will be much better. I'm going to try to pump as much as I can right now, but nursing is out unless she changes her mind.  We did not anticipate the expense of formula so I will try the pumped milk as long as I possibly can. So, once again, I have to say goodbye to nursing way too early.  I will never have this chance again, but I'm so glad I can make a good decision for my family and I feel so relieved.  Thank you for your prayers and I hope that God will continue to help me in parenting these two precious children.

Jessna is the most precious and adorable little girl and I want to remember her happy when feeding with me!  I'm taking it one day at a time, but I want to do what's best for everyone in my family and I know that God has heard my prayer.  I'm glad I get to be a mother and my children are healthy no matter how I feed them!


Annette W. said...

Despite the struggles, hard work, and disappointment, you are thankful for the time you could nurse.

We had serious nursing milk supply with either, and a hospitalization due to dehydration at 2 days of age (when they aren't even supposed to need much). Needless to say, we can't emotionally go through all of that we won't, though that is sad to say.

Jackie S. said...

She is so cute, Shonda! Praying for at this difficult time!

Kim of Mo Betta said...

She is adorable! Just curious...does she do okay with a bottle? I'm assuming the doctor ruled out reflux and allergies (sometimes babies are allergic to something the mom is eating). Sorry, I'm a nurse - not trying to pry into your business! I only breast fed for a couple of weeks with each of mine (I have three) and yes, it was disappointing, but in the end, I had to do what was best for my sanity and the baby. Those first few weeks are rough!