Monday, March 12, 2012

The One Where I Cried At Target

A few months back, before Christmas, I was in the baby aisles at Target getting pull-ups for the boy, when I overheard a conversation that still makes me cringe.

Lady #1:  I can't believe she has bottles and formula on her registry.  Seriously. Is she even going to try to breast feed him??

Lady #2:  Oh, I know.  I was able to breast feed all of my kids without any trouble at all.  Maybe it's too hard (laughs sarcastically) for her.

Lady #1:  All I know is that breast feeding is best, so why even touch formula?

I cried.  I sat there holding a bag of pull-ups and wept.  I wept for that poor new mama they were ungraciously buying a gift for and I wept for myself.

This is not an easy post for me to write.  In fact, I am tearing up right now, thinking of my story.

Here is part one:
The Prince was a great little nurser, in the hospital.  Latched right on, made me look like I knew what I was doing. It was great!

Then we got home, and it wasn't going so well.  He would latch on, but not suck hard enough and then get frustrated. Instead of crying, he would just give up.  So I pumped before each feeding to make it easier for him.  I visited the lovely, wonderful ladies at the La Leche League and got advice and help.  They thought it had something to do with the shape of his chin that made it hard for him to get a good latch.  So we tried using a breast shield and that seemed to help.  His first week of life was complicated with jaundice, and his mama trying to recover from a c-section, but I persevered.

I took him in for a check-up and he had lost weight.  Our doctor wasn't concerned.  The Prince was such a big baby, some of his weight was bound to be water weight, and since he was peeing, pooing, and alert when he wasn't sleeping we didn't need to worry.

Second week, I was concerned.  He wasn't unhappy or acting hungry, he just felt "light" to me.  I don't know how else to explain it.  I took him back in to the doctor and he had lost more weight.  This time the doctor was a bit concerned.  We decided that I would come back in later in the week for another weight check and have the nurse sit in on a feeding.  When I did, he had continued to lose weight, despite eating well for me, and acting contented.  The nurse watched (such an uncomfortable memory!!) and could see nothing amiss.  We set up another weight check.

By the third week, we were going to the doctor at least twice a week for weight checks.  Now I had a system:  I would feed him right before we drove to the appointment and prayed the whole way that he wouldn't pee or poo til after the weigh in!!  Despite my efforts, I was told that if the Prince lost any more weight, he would be considered "failure to thrive" and would have to be hospitalized.  Thankfully, our doctor was committed to helping us avoid that at all costs, she was so wonderful!!  We decided that I would begin supplementing with high calorie preemie formula after each nursing.

Next weight check, two days later.  Weight gain!! The first since his birth!! I was so relieved.  I remember sitting there in the doctor's office with all four kids (you didn't think I went to all these appointments alone did you??), just crying with relief.  We were finally onto something that was working . . . part two to come.

Maybe you are wondering, why post this stuff now, when the kid is three.  I guess, in part, because my grieving process has finally gotten to the place where I feel I can share a bit of what I went through publicly.  And through my grief has come compassion and a bit of understanding that wasn't there before . . .


The Momma Chronicles said...

Oh my friend, I'm so sorry this happened to you. I wish I could take your grief away, but I'm glad for the woman you'll eventually be able to come along side because of your experience. (I also wish I could have a minute or two alone with those two women. *ahem*)

Chelle said...

You're so right...people wonder why "bad things happen to good people". I think there are a lot of reasons...but I think part of the reason why is so we can come alongside other hurting people.

Mama J said...

My #2, when she was 5 months old, cried all the time. When we went to the doctor for her check up she had lost weight. I felt like such a failure. She wasn't a crabby baby. She was hungry. An early start to cereal loaded with high calorie infant formula and corn oil. It made me sick to feed it to her. But you try your best and move on to do what is best for the health of your child. Thankfully she would still latch on for a few minutes a day... just to keep me happy. :)