Holden Beckett: 2 Weeks Old

Week 2 was a rough one.  Lots of emotions and a bit of a hormonal roller coaster for this mama.  It all started on Sunday night when you developed some congestion and a horrible-sounding cough.  The symptoms continued through Monday, but your 2-week well baby check-up was scheduled for the following morning, so I thought a trip to urgent care could wait.  By Monday night, you were coughing so badly that I was doubting my decision not to take you in.  Which worried me big time.  I'm not sure either of us got any sleep on Monday night...you due to coughing, me due to worrying (and the annoying congestion sounds you made allllll night long).  Luckily, at your appointment on Tuesday, your oxygen levels were good and your lungs were clear.  You were also fever-free.  Yes, you had a cold, but the doctor said it was all in your upper respiratory track, rather than your chest.  (A good thing.)  She instructed us to use saline spray in your nose and give you Pedialyte after eating to loosen/thin the mucus in your throat, and hence, help your congested breathing.

Because this was also your 2-week well baby check-up, it meant an official weight check.  My intuition was that you were not gaining weight.  And I was right.  In fact, you had lost an ounce from the week prior.  An ounce is a pretty measly amount, but at that point, you should have been gaining an ounce per day, not losing.  The doc said it could be a) the result of your cold...no one eats as well when sick and unable to breath properly; or b) due to a low milk supply on my part.  I had mentally prepared myself for the latter after dealing with similar issues with Brantley, but I was also hopeful that breastfeeding would be different this time around.  So, of course, I became extremely upset and immediately started crying when I saw your weight (6 pounds 15 ounces) on the scale.  I felt guilty for not being able to provide you the nutrition you needed and frustrated that there's no apparent reason for my low milk supply.  I know formula-fed babies turn out as healthy and smart as breastfed babies (your dad, for example), but I hate knowing that we have to spend lots of unnecessary money on formula.  Again.  The doctor suggested pumping, which the mere thought of made me cry even harder.

That afternoon, I called the hospital's lactation consultant and got her advice.  She instructed me to breastfeed as normal, then pump for 15 minutes afterwards.  I did, and got nearly 2 ounces the first time.  I was feeling pretty encouraged, but each time after that, was lucky to get an ounce total from both sides. 

We went back to the doctor yesterday.  Mostly for a weight check, but she also wanted to check in on your cold.  Oxygen levels were near perfect and your lungs still sounded great.  However, you hadn't gained any weight.  (You also hadn't lost any and still weighed 6 pounds 15 ounces.)  Your doctor said that clearly you're getting milk from me, just not enough to pack on the pounds.  She suggested I continue to breastfeed and then top you off with 1-2 ounces of formula (or pumped breast milk).  In one sense, I was relieved to know you'd finally be getting enough food--one way or another--but still frustrated that exclusive breastfeeding wasn't an option and for no apparent reason.  The doctor also suggested I pump in lieu of a nursing session to see how much milk I could get.  This would give us an idea of how much you were eating.  So that I did and got 3.5 ounces!  Again, encouraging, but frustrating at the same time because that's what you should be eating during each feeding at this age. 

I think the most frustrating part of all of this is that you never seem starved.  I still have to wake you to eat seven out of the nine times each day and you always seem content after each feeding.  So it's odd to me that you're not gaining weight.  Especially when I'm getting 3.5 ounces of milk.  I guess no one said having a baby was easy--isn't that the truth?!  I suppose it's only fair that since my labor and deliveries have gone so smoothly, something would be a challenge! :)

Anyway, your cold has improved drastically and hopefully your weight is upward bound.  We go back on Tuesday for yet another weight check.  I'm feeling much better today, as well.  Perhaps it's because the sun is out and it feels like spring once again?  Or maybe it's the six solid hours of sleep I got last night?  Daddy took over your last two feedings with my pumped milk and I slept from 8pm until 2am.  That was a relief, for sure!

Mommy Update - I had a hard time this week feeling like I was missing out on life with Brantley.  Though I'm appreciative he's still going to daycare during the day, I also feel like I'm so focused on feeding you that I don't get to spend any quality time with Brantley.  I kept him home today and am enjoying the QT with both of my boys!

Food - Still trying to follow somewhat of a schedule, though I'm not anal about sticking to it.  Yesterday, for instance I think you ate ten or eleven times.  If you seem hungry, I feed you.  Otherwise, I wake you and feed you at 2am, 6am, 9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 5pm, 7:30pm, and 10pm.  Supplementing with 1 to 2 ounces in a bottle after each feeding (pumped breast milk so far, though the formula is here if needed).  You're doing great with the bottle and seem to have no issues with nipple confusion.

Sleep - You still sleep the majority of each day and sleep pretty soundly overnight until I wake you at 2am (and again at 6am).  I hope this continues!  At one month, we can stop waking you to eat overnight...let's just hope you're not in the habit by that point!

Size - 6 pounds 15 ounces.  Still in newborn clothes and newborn size diapers.

Activity - You like being held and patted on the back, swinging, car/stroller rides, and sucking on your paci.  However, you're also more than content laying in your rock & play sleeper and looking around at your surroundings.

Despite the rougher second week of life, I'm still loving every second of every day.  (Well, almost.) :)  When I got pregnant this time, I wondered how it was possible to love a baby #2 as much as the first, but now I know.  Words can't even describe the love I have for both of my two boys! <3

Lots of love, Little Man!

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