Sunday, March 11, 2012

Days 2-4

OK, I started writing this super-long update with everything that has happened, but then realized it was probably a little too detailed and I want to maintain some privacy here. Here are the highlights.

Health-The doctor came exactly at 24 hours to clear him for discharge. but it still took us an insanely long time to leave. Like 7 hours long, which I guess fits the bill for Seven. We had his first pediatrician appointment on Friday and he looked great. She did want us to get him to eat more and he has been doing so.

Birthparent consents-M signed before we left the hospital. When the social worker came to give us our placement documents to sign, she said that someone was able to meet the birthfather and both him and the legal father are refusing to sign. The sense they are getting is that the men were waiting to see what M does. The birthfather did give a DNA sample, so we can confirm paternity. We met with the lawyer on Friday and he said that neither has given any indication that they want to parent Seven. We decided to wait until M's revocation period is up to contact them again.

Meeting birthfamily-M went back and forth, but ultimately decided she wasn't ready to meet us. She did run into E in the hallway at the hospital, but was too overcome with emotion to talk. We did meet her mother and one of her sons and they had a chance to meet Seven. Everyone who has seen M says that she is doing well and feels at peace with the decision. I can understand that something can both feel right and be hard to deal with. We hope she will want to meet us before we leave the state. She did give Seven a necklace and sent some flowers and balloons to our hospital room.

Hotel-We are settled into our hotel. Well, almost. I still can't find the time to unpack my suitcase, but we have everything for Seven in its place. Of course, just as we were getting settled, the toilet overflowed and we noticed the dishwasher still had food and water in it. So there have been some bumps in getting settled. The hotel does have free breakfast and free dinners on Monday-Thursday, which is a bonus we were not expecting.

Breastfeeding-It's going OK. I thought it was going well in the hospital, but trying to use a normal pillow in the hotel was not working out. So E got us a boppy and that has helped improve things somewhat. But my nipples are pretty sore. It is really hard to both get him latched on right and get the tube for the supplement in the right place. It seems I can get one but not the other. Until I started getting sore, I was really enjoying it. And I've noticed that Seven has figured out when he is about to nurse because he will be crying from hunger and then I will sit down and start to get him in position and he quiets down. It is so sweet. It is hard to tell how much milk I am getting. I have tried pumping after nursing him and a few drops have come out. More than when I pumped before he was born. We have given him some bottles out of frustration and exhaustion.

One question I have about feeding him. I know everything says feed him on demand, which should be every 2-3 hours. But it takes him 40 minutes to nurse. So the pattern is that he acts like he is hungry and I start to feed him at 2, he nurses with the supplement until 2:45 or so when he falls asleep or stops eating. But then he is hungry again at 3:45.

Another question is how do I know when to switch breasts? Since the supplement is always there, he will be happy to stay on one breast until he is full or asleep. Should I force him to change sides? I was doing that, but since it is so hard to get it right, if he is latched well and the tube is in the right place, I don't want to disturb him to try again.

Sleeping-We are not doing so well here. The first night home of the hospital was horrible. He wouldn't sleep unless someone was holding him. The second night we tried the swaddle blankets and it was better. But when even that won't work, we have taken turns holding him so one of us could get some sleep.

Firsts-He had his first visit to P.anera (in between the doctor and lawyer appoints on Friday), his first visitor (a friend of a friend who I connected with because she also adopted and they happen to live near where he was born), his first bath, and his first Duke game (they won!). We are about to head out for his first walk and first trip to S.tarbucks. I know I am not supposed to drink coffee, but I need it. And I did learn that the one thing M asked for someone to bring her in the hospital was a mocha frappaccino. So I'm betting that this is something he is used to!


  1. I'm no lactation consultant, but I think I'd switch him after 15 minutes, regardless. You want both sides working in harmony and you don't want him to develop a favorite side, either! You are doing a great job!

  2. I agree with La Reine... switch him after 15 or 20 minutes. One thing that was reiterated to me constantly when I was attempting to bf, was that it's a supply/demand thing. Getting both sides used to the demand can only help with your supply (and hopefully with the soreness too!).

    Hoping that things go well with sleeping, and with the birth father issues.

    I am so impressed at how together you sound... I would be wreck. The first week with a baby is the hardest, and to do it in a less than familiar place must be exhausting.

    Hang in there!

  3. Hi there. Long time reader but I haven't commented much. Though I'm not familiar with your supplemental system, I had many problems with early breastfeeding including having to supplement with pumped milk. My suggestion would be to utilize the hospital's lactation consultant(s) while you are in Seven's birth state. Once you are home, I highly recommend finding a local lactation consultant (that is an IBCLC) and also finding your local La Leche League group. The other thing that has been a help to me whenever I have had any questions is the La Leche League forums ( and then click on the forums tab). Those ladies are so smart and always willing to help with any questions you have, no matter what it is. You have to register to see all of the forums/topics they have, but you can see the breastfeeding ones without registering.

    I've been breastfeeding for just about 19 months now and have dealt with a lot (including sore, cracked nipples, thrush, and low supply) If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at koolhorse83 at yahoo . com

    Also, make sure that if you are supplementing with formula, that you are pumping as well since breastfeeding is all about supply and demand (as the other ladies have said).

    Keep up the great work Mama!

  4. Just thought of another great breastfeeding link. has a lot of great information on breastfeeding and also answers to common questions reguarding breastfeeding and related aspects.

  5. Sleep... yeah, while it's not going great that sounds about right.. no fun, but it will eventually pass.
    Kellymom is a great resource as well as a lactation consultation, but just bear in mind not all LC's (even certified ones) are created equal, trust your mom instinct if you don't click with one. Early feedings take a long time, and if he wants to nurse after an hour go for it... this will help build supply. The more time at the breast the more supply.

  6. On the nursing question - I tended to block feed, where I would only nurse on one side at a time to ge through the hindmilk. I think you'd be okay to let him only nurse on one side per feeding, as long as you make sure you switch back and forth.

    Sleeping - do you have white noise going at all? Something like a Sleep Sheep (or, actually there's a white noise iPhone app)? That plus swaddling (Miracle Blanket) was like magic for us.

  7. We struggled with sleep the whole time we were at the hotel, but once we were home it got better. Is he sleeping better after having a bottle of formula? Maybe he is not getting enough from breast feeding and is hungry? We never tried BF so I am not an expert. Enjoy your bonding time and hope everything works out with the birth father. Keeping my fingers crossed. Seven is adorable!!

  8. I agree with Aletta, I always did block feeding early on, so I think if it's a pain to get him all hooked up, you could just leave him on one side for a feeding, and make sure to switch sides every other feeding. Another thing you could do if you were just feeding on one side per feeding is try pumping the other side. This might give you a slightly more accurate idea how much you're actually producing, and should stimulate both breasts each feeding.

    I second the white noise suggestion as well. Have you read/watched happiest baby on the block? His suggestions were a God send for us in those early weeks. We actually made a tape recording of a hair dryer and would play that for white noise, it only worked if it was up as loud as their crying, but it worked wonders for us.

    Hang in there mama, you're doing a great job!

  9. About the feeding, I second Grace and Aletta - just do one side at a time; as long as you remember which side is up next, you won't have a problem. Feeding on demand *can* be every 2-3 hours but it can also be much more frequent. And this is measured from beginning of one feed to the beginning of the next feed, so if you start nursing at 2, he nurses for 45 mins and is hungry again at 3.45, that's nearly two hours. Long feeding sessions are common in the early days as the babies are still learning to get the hang of it (months later, he will eat the same amount of milk in 5-10 minutes). Try and focus on the positives of being stuck on the sofa for most of the day - I caught up on several seasons of Lost!
    As for sleeping, again it's perfectly normal that he wants to be held. This will wear off over time but depends on the child.
    Hope all continues to go well!

  10. I agree with Grace, Aletta, and Arwhen- I always nursed on one side and then switched for the next feeding. Some women wear a bracelet that they switch to help them remember which side they are on. Nursing all.the.time. is super normal for the first weeks and I would just roll with it. Watch TV, read books, etc. Sleeping was also a big miss in our house for the first months. He only slept on my for the first 4 months. Most babies tend to do a bit better then that though! After the first few weeks I would try to push feeds to every 3 hours (as Arwhen said, starting from the begining of 1 feed) and I would practice putting baby down in a bassinett/in the co-sleeper next to you, etc but I would wait until week 2-3 to start trying that :)

    I am sure you are doing an awesome job!! The first weeks can be hard but that is super normal:)

  11. Okay. I haven't read any of the comments but I only have a minute and wanted to give you my 2cents. As far as getting the tube placed - I found it easier to latch him on, let him suck as much as he would and then slide the tube into the corner of his mouth. And - I promise!!! - this part will get ever so much easier.

    Regarding switching - a LC told me to switch about half way through the feeding (i.e. if he usually takes about 2oz, switch him at about 1oz). This will make sure that your breasts get as much stimulation as possible. Okay, that said, I didn't at first. And for exactly the reason you mentioned (the tube). I waited til he got better and that wasn't such a fight before starting that. Although, I probably di a few times during the day, but never at night when it was a big fight.

    Feeding frequency - it's common for bf babies to actually go more like 1.5hrs between nursign sessions. When you lok at feeding every 2-3hrs, that's fro mthe beginning of 1 session til the beginning of the next. Also, the best thing you can do to increase your supply is nurse him. So, if he wants it, give it to him. And this may mean you're nursing more than half your day. For right now, that's your job, mama ;)

    Last thing - sleep. I know it sucks, but don't let him go more than about 4hrs at night without feeding. He may be willing to do it, but unless the pediatrician specifically says he can, at this age it's really not a good idea (even though heaven knows a mama needs her sleep).

    Keep it up mama!!!!!!!!


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