I never in my life realized just how hard all of the mom stuff was. I didn’t know what it was really like to get up in the middle of the night with a screaming child. I never knew what it was like to be peed on, pooed on, puked on. I never knew about all the little worries, the frustrations, the guessing games. I never knew that I could be so exhausted in one hour. I never had to stay up most of the night with a gassy infant. I never got up every 10 minute to see if a child was still breathing. I never slept sitting up in a glider. I never slept with a baby monitor by my head so that I could listen to a baby just breath and make funny noises. And I have never loved anyone or anything quite this much….. That is, until I became a Mom.
I brought my baby home and thought, ‘ Ok, I know I know how to do this. I have been doing this kind of stuff for years. Ok Sarah, don’t mess this one up.’ Well,
I came home breast feeding exclusively. I had gotten bottles just so that I would have them when Joe reached 4 weeks, from that point on I was going to pump. The first 24 hours all Joe did was nurse. Every 45 minutes to an hour day and night. I wasn’t sleeping, wasn’t really able to eat, couldn’t go potty, nothing. My nipples were so sore that I wanted to cut them off. It was terrible. So I called Joe’s doctor and asked which formula I should supplement with because Joe was not even satisfied anymore. At 3 days old Joe got his first ‘baba milk’. It broke my heart, I literally cried through that silly little ounce. I kept thinking ‘Why can’t I do this ?’ But not every women can, I apparently can’t.
The next day we went to his first Well Check. Let’s just say that the guy was an ass, he walked into the room and I didn‘t want him to touch my son. I didn’t want him anywhere near me. He did his thing and I had expected him to at least let me know what he was doing, not a chance. I had no idea what he was checking as he poked and prodded none too gently at my newborn. I wanted to snatch the boy off the table and hold him out of arms reach. I did not like this guy at all.
Joe was a little yellow around the nose and eyes, something that I had noticed the day before and asked about. Jaundice, something that peeks in breastfed infants at 4 days, became my tormentor. Obviously I didn’t know that at the time. This guy scared the living poo out me, the point of tears. He made it sound like if I didn’t go to the hospital right then to have my son’s levels tested he was going to end up blind and brain damaged. Then there was the formula issue. See the hospitals start babies off on Similac Advanced, that was what the doctors office told me to put my son on, that is what I had on hand. (Free samples fed my son for a week and hey if it‘s free it‘s for me. Ya know ?). The Doc seemed to think that that was the stupidest thing that I had done thus far. I was then informed that I was to put my son on Enfamil Lipil. Like I was suppose to know this because I had given birth.
The more the man talked the more like a bad mother I felt. It was like because I was a single mom at the age of 23 that he felt that he was entitled to talk down to me. By the time we left the office I was so upset that my friend had to carry Joe out to the car. The nurses asking if he had said something too upset me. No, I was crying nearly hysterically because I was uprourishly trilled my son was jaundice. Stupid questions irritate me.
So we went and had the test done. We sat an hour in traffic to sit an hour in another waiting room. I watched and talked to my son as a pair of nurses pricked his heel and took more blood then I thought was necessary. Then we sat an hour in traffic to get home; Joe screamed for the car ride home.
At the end of the day I was a wreck. I hadn’t been able to eat because I had been so worried, my emotions were just all over the place. My breast were so engorged by the end of that trip that Joe couldn’t even latch on. My head felt like it was going to combust, Joe was screaming causing major breast pain, and all I wanted to do was sleep. When I finally got home, my mothers face was a welcome sight. I was able to hand off my screaming son and a baba; escaping to the back porch. I sat there with a cup of coffee, a cigarette and my pump just crying. At that point it was all I could do. That and pray endlessly. I can’t tell you how many times I sat on the back porch in those first few days and just cried and prayed.
Later that same night as I got my son ready for bed I noticed that the yellowing was gone. It had been a hot day and 2 hours in the car had worked wonders. The fear dissipated and for the first time that day I was able to breath. Then the Doc called with the test results at 10:30 pm that same night. It was 10.5, nothing to be worried about the Doc said. Needless to say, Joe no longer sees that guy. I am not going to sit in a Doctor’s office and be belittled and emotionally abused. The day after the appointment from hell, I called my insurance company and reported him as I switched my doctor. No new mother should have to deal with that. Not ever.
The Lipil is just evil. Let me tell you straight off, it’s evil. In less then 12 hours my son was constipated, gassy and screaming. I stopped giving him the Lipil and breast fed all of day 6 to flush his system. He’s been on Similac Advanced with few problems ever since. True, if he goes 24 hours without giving me a poopy, 2 ounces of water and a half teaspoon of Karo syrup helps get him back on track. I hate to see him in pain, I hate to see him struggle.
Since all that it’s only been the minor things. Aside from the fact that Joe will only nurse if he’s uncomfortable. Like, he just went through his 3 week growth spurt. For 2 full days, from 5 am to 12 am, Joe would nurse every hour for 27 minutes then go back to sleep or want to be held as close as you could get him. He would then take 4 ounce bottles at night, one at 2:30 am and one at 4:35 am. Other then that, he’d much rather be in his favorite nursing hold, tummy to tummy (the cradle hold), with the instant gratification of a ‘baba milk’. I have no choice but to pump and put what little I have into his bottles.
He eats so much as it is, 3 ounces at a time every three hours, I don’t know how I’d keep up. I love my son dearly, more then I think is truly healthy. It truly is all about what Joe wants, when Joe wants it. I have literally dropped everything to sooth a fussy face, hating when my son cries. It was just last week ant his 2 week Well Check that he weighed in at 7.8 pounds at 2 weeks and 4 days old. The New Doctor was impressed with that fact, the fact that Joe was doing so well. Mommy’s not that impressed.
I have an appointment with a lactation consultant tomorrow and I almost don’t want to go. I feel as if I’m failing him, like I’m not doing everything that I can and should be doing. I’m bottle feeding my son ! I never wanted to bottle fed my son. I wanted it to be something that went on when I didn’t have to watch it, when I was at work. It was meant to be something that helped the rest of the family bond with my son. But I am the one who not only washes, mixes, stores, and heats the bottles; I have to give them to him too. The only way that I can explain it is that it’s a heart hurt. It feels as if some one has ripped out my heart and danced on it.
It just hurts.
All through my pregnancy I said I was going to nurse. I wanted it, needed it. I leaked through my last trimester, having to wear breast pads to save my clothes. I read everything on Breast feeding that I could get my hands on just so that I had the basics before Joe came. Now, I almost feel rejected. True I can still nurse, but only when Joe wants to. It just hurts.
I can say this about my boy Joe. He has been sleeping in his own bed since he was 5 days old. He sleeps for 4 hour stretches at night most of the time. He’s quiet, content to just sit and watch. I can rock him and sing to him for 10 minutes after he eats and put him in his bed wide awake and he’ll be asleep in 10 minutes. He’s a perfect angel, a blessing. Sometimes he’ll even sleep through the night. What a temper already, my temper. And his smile is just priceless.
Yup, that’s my Joe…..So Far