Week 1 went out with a bang – after a visit from the lactation consultant and a trip to the pediatrician, we finally started getting some food in her – and on day six, she finally gained a little weight (thanks to four-handed feedings, a lot of tears, and approximately 100,000 Alexa alarms telling us to wake up and feed).
We still spent this whole week feeding Maise through a syringe, either down a finger, or while she was attempting to nurse. I had so much anxiety about ruining her relationship with breastfeeding, I’m sure I was very short with Sam on multiple occasions when he wanted to feed her off the finger and I just wanted her to LATCH for goodness sakes. He had to keep reminding me that FED is best. I spent a lot of time crying while Maise ate (those post-partum hormones are for REAL!). By the end of the week, we knew Sam was going to have to return to work, and four handed feeding wasn’t really an option. After a couple of faulty attempts, Maise decided she would like to eat from a bottle after all, and life got much easier. I finally had enough milk of my own in the fridge to keep her happy, and it felt like yet another huge weight had been lifted.
At her two week checkup, SUCCESS! Maise was right back up to her birth weight, and gaining like a champ. She’d even eat off the boob from time to time. She still only slept for a couple of hours at a time, I think the longest snooze stretch was 2.5 hours, MAYBE 3.
At the advice of my midwives and the insistence of my husband, I still spent almost all of week two in bed. While I was going a little stir crazy not being allowed to do anything for myself, I am so thankful for those two weeks of rest and healing, and I felt so much better at the end of it all that I knew staying in bed was absolutely the right thing to do. She’d give us a gassy smile or two every day, and loved snuggling with Daddy on his chest. There were lots of snuggles for mom in there too, but she did love those dad snuggles! She started making those adorable cross-eyed baby faces (seriously, they kill me), and she was SO expressive all the time! People told us all the time (and still do, actually) how surprised they were by how alert Maise was. She’s a little observer, that’s for certain.
Still, we ate a lot, cried a lot, and spent our nights pumping, pumping, pumping. Sam was going back to work soon and I was very anxious about that -even though my mom would be coming down to spend the week, I hated that Sam wouldn’t be home to complete our little family. I just wanted my people all under one roof!!
Right now you’re sitting in your bouncer in front of the sliding glass door – you love that spot! It just started to rain, perfect timing since we just got back from a walk around the neighborhood. I was super in love with you from the very beginning, but during your second week of life I finally started to feel like maybe we could do this – though I really didn’t want to take eyes off your daddy so he could go back to work. I just wanted all three of us to snuggle forever, didn’t you? You were such a trooper figuring out all kinds of different ways to eat, and taking each one just as easily as the next. While I was still nervous, every time you looked at me with your deep blue eyes (even if they were crossed), I knew we would be just fine. You’re such a good baby! I love you. I love you. I love you.