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.