Monday, June 22, 2009

Eight Pounds, Eight Ounces

Yes, you read the post title right: Elise is 8 pounds, 8 ounces!! Can you believe she's come so far? We have been so blessed and are so thankful that the Lord has blessed us with this beautiful (and chubby!) little girl.

I've been praying for a few days now about whether I should try getting Elise to entirely breastfeed or for peace about continuing to pump for as long as she needs me to.

With the news of her fabulous continued weight gain at her pediatrician appointment Friday (forgot to post her weight from two weeks ago but will do so once I confirm it with them since I don't actually remember the exact weight) and with my questions to the pediatrician about continued pumping (wondering how successful she's seen moms be who have exclusively pumped for their child's entire breast milk/formula feeding length), the pediatrician gave the go ahead for me to try breastfeeding as much as I want and Elise will participate in this week. This includes exclusively breastfeeding if she's able.

Our weekend was busy so I didn't get started until today. So far she's nursed 3 times today and done really well. She's needed the bottle (aka wouldn't nurse any more and was still hungry) after each feeding, but the plan is to spend as much time at home and without visitors as possible this week so as to focus on being able to nurse as much as Elise allows. It's a balancing act of having the right amount ready to go in the bottle, still getting her medications and vitamins via bottle, and knowing whether to pump or to wait because she might be hungry again in an hour. Phew! Friday we go in again for a weight check to ensure she's still gaining.

Please be praying for us this week. As any mom who has breastfed knows, it's not an easy thing to do for anyone. And given all that we've been through, most days it seems like it would be easier to just continue pumping rather than having to nurse, bottle feed and then still pump (very time consuming). But in the end, it will be so worth it if we can get to where we are only using bottles and the pump occasionally. It will most likely take a few weeks if we do transition off the bottle, and this week will be really telling as far as her weight gain as to how quickly or slowly we can make the transition. No matter what, as I said above, I'm just praying for peace with where the Lord leads.

Another thing to be praying for is Elise's reflux. Praise the Lord that the medication she's on seems to be decreasing the acid enough so that she's not seeming to be in pain with the reflux. It's the lowest level of medication, and we'd love to not have to go to a higher level as those medications have more possible side effects. Any of the medications only neutralize the acid though and don't stop the reflux from happening (i.e. excessive spitting up as well as coughing when the food only comes up part way). It's hard to see her sometimes lose entire feedings and to not know how much of her blood pressure medication or vitamins she might have lost when she spits up after bottles with those in them.

Overall though, we're doing well. Just doing all the normal stuff that parents do when they have had their baby home for four weeks like being sleepy all the time, feeding, changing poopy diapers, changing clothes that have been spit up on, cuddling, tummy time, etc.

I love my little family and am so grateful to have such a wonderful, supportive husband. And ultimately I'm so glad to know that I have been redeemed by my Savior in spite of all my shortcomings. God is good.



Becca Sue Congdon said...

Thank you for sharing your happy news. :) I'm very excited for you and Ellie that you're going to do what you can to work towards exclusively (or mostly) breastfeeding. I only spent three weeks attached to one of those lovely pumps, so I can only imagine the relief it would be for you after so many months! You deserve a badge of honor, my friend! Many women have "thrown in the towel" with SIGNIFICANTLY less opposition. You're a great example (even with your shortcomings) of a Mama who is loving her baby with the grace and strength supplied by the Lord.

Please, please, please let us know if there is anything we can help with to support you with nursing. Another meal so you don't have to worry about it one day? Movies to borrow? Or even just more prayers and space. :)

Love you and miss you!

Sara said...

Good luck with the nursing! Sounds like she is off to a good start. :)
8 pounds 8 ounces - that is awesome! She is a growing girl!

Claire said...

Wonderful news! I'll be praying for you this week.


The Pelhams said...

That is great news! You guys really should consider having her see a chiropractor. He will be able to cure her reflux instead of her being on meds. I highly recommend it as all 3 of my babies as infants saw the chiro and continue today. Most are Christians believe it or not. A great place to start is and search for a doctor who is rated Advanced Proficiency.

Melissa Nickerson said...

Will be praying for this transition.

Katie said...

What a great weight!!
I hope the transition goes as smoothly as the whole breastfeeding journey can go.

You are right, it isnt easy and you have to remember that if it doesnt all work out, and you become too weary and frustrated, you have done so well for her for these months and a happy mummy = a happy baby. Elise will not judge you so don't be hard on yourself.

That said, with your patience and understanding that some days just arent going to be as easy as others you will probably make it!

Katie :o)

Becca Sue Congdon said...

Thinking of you and hoping you're well. We love you guys!

Melissa K. said...

Hello there,
I'm afraid I'm somewhat of a lurker (I know you by way of a couple of other individuals and began following your blog when I realized you and I had the same due date with our babies.) My son Levi was born on the 28th of May (one day after his due date) with a complete inability to suck. So, like you, I began the pumping extraveganza. Wow, is that stressful or what? Now we're beginning to breastfeed more and more but I know EXACTLY what you mean when you talk about wondering how much to put in the bottle to suppliment after breastfeeding. It's a daily enigma to me and I HATE wasting precious breastmilk or formula when he doesn't finish what I've poured. Please know that you aren't alone. You will be in my prayers just as I am in the prayers of so many who know how badly I want to breastfeed my little one. Stay strong and keep at it - but don't get down on yourself if things don't work the same from one day to another. That's some of the best advice I've been given. Enjoy that cutie, she sure has grown!
- Melissa

Sarah said...

Found your blog via Amanda's :) and wanted to just say how great it sounds like you're doing with the nursing!!!! It can take a LONG time for the little ones to be able to fully breastfeed (my 34-wkr took MONTHS to reach it) so don't give up hope if she can't transition right away. You're doing AWESOME.

I exclusively pumped for 13 months for my first and so was probably exceptionally motivated to make nursing work with my second little guy. He's now a chunky toddler who's still nursing and I am SO SO SO glad we kept at it.

Hugs and prayers that your sweet little girl gets stronger everyday.