I'm finding nursing a bit of a love-hate relationship.
I really enjoy nursing her. I'm not really a super crunchy type, but in this case, nursing has been kinda magical for us. I had the same experience with Robbie. The first time he nursed it was perfect. He latched on and looked happy. I sobbed happy tears. It wasn't to last. He didn't have the stamina to take full feedings by breast and then of course, he ended up not eating at all, but for that brief moment in time, it was magic.
Charlotte also had a perfect latch right from the start. She knew what to do immediately and did it well. She was very sleepy and did a lot more sleeping than nursing for a few days. In the hospital, they had me topping her off with a bottle after she nursed, but she never took more than another 1/2 oz (and usually much less than that) and seemed satisfied.
Her pediatrician wanted to make sure she didn't lose too much weight to start because she just didn't have much to give, so that's what we did. She lost the first 2 days, then slowly started to gain again. When we left the hospital, we stopped topping her off. Her first office appointment, she hadn't gained any weight and I was pretty stressed out.
I was still having to wake her to eat, so I moved her feedings up to every 2 hours instead of every 3, and as she slowly started to wake up a little more (waking on her own, I mean) sometimes she'd feed even more often than that. Our next weight check, she had made weight. The doctor wanted 3-5 oz in that time, and she'd gained 3.5.
I have a baby scale at home, so I can also keep track at home. I try not to weigh her obsessively both because I know there are variables that make that unreliable and because I know it will make me crazy. But tonight was a weigh in night.
She's gained 1.5 oz in 4 days putting her back at her birth weight of 5lb 2oz. I wish it were just a bit higher. Right now she's gained 4oz in 6 days. Average is a little more than that. I know she's so small yet. She's still a little over 2 weeks from her due date. I'm almost certain I have plenty of supply. She has a great latch and seems to nurse well. Her diaper outputs are great. All signs point to a happy, healthy baby. But I wish it was a little more.
I know that some of this is Robbie's history bleeding into Charlotte. Some of it is because even though she's my 2nd child, I've never done this before. Some of it is probably Anxiety screwing with my mind. But I'm worried.
I love her so much and I want what is best for her. I want her to have the immunities that breast milk provides. She's so tiny and fragile, I want to do everything I can for her. I keep telling myself that if she needs formula, she does. Or I can pump and supplement her a little. But I honestly don't think I can exclusively pump again like I did with Robbie.
I'm already pulled in 2 directions all day. Robbie is handling the change very well, but at least once a day, he gives me the saddest look like he just misses having me all to himself. I try to immediately devote a little one-on-one time to him and that seems to perk him right up, but I still feel like I'm having to choose between them a lot. Adding having to pump 6 or 8 times a day just isn't going to help that. And it was hard enough the first time... I swore I wouldn't do it again. Of course, never say never, I suppose. But I really don't want to do it again.
I just keep praying that as she gets closer to her due date, she gets bigger and stronger and then it cycles into better weight gain and so on. Hopefully as she gets bigger and can control her temperature better, she'll burn fewer calories as well. We do everything we can to keep her warm, but it's not the same as having that natural internal mechanism. Hopefully more body fat will help with that.
I really just need her to get bigger and stronger all around. I worry so much about her and love her so much. I need her to be okay. I hope that allows me to continue nursing her, but at this point, I just wish I knew what the right answer was.
I would really appreciate prayers for good weight gain and for peace for me. Worrying changes nothing and I know that. But I seem to be incapable of not doing it.