Having a little human is hard work.
Babies are adorable, sweet, innocent and bundles of joy, but until you have one in your house, it’s so hard to imagine the amount of work it actually takes to raise one.
I will start by saying, I do not think what I do is best, I do not think anyone does anything wrong because they do something different than myself. I am very open minded and just doing what I think is best for my child. Do not mistake my views and opinions for the right way or a god like mindset. I just share in hopes that someone else can relate.
I will also like to state that I believe every baby is different and there is no mold that fits all. You can not expect it, they’re human after all.
The first few weeks were the hardest to date. I don’t know if I had the “baby blues” or whatever else you want to classify it as but I struggled.
I had my son in my home, so my house went from normal, to birthing center to “normal” within 13 hours. It was all quite amazing and confusing. I was now left with my baby, my husband and no instructions.
I had decided I wanted to breastfeed. I threw away all bottles, pacifiers and samples I had been given in a fit of “DOWN WITH THE FORMULA DEVIL” before he was born, this would later be ironic.
I was so hell bent on breastfeeding, I had read all about it, how to do it, how to trial and error, how to let them lead, how it was natural and instinctive, etc. I didn’t start to produce colostrum til the second day, I believe it had to do with the massive amount of blood I had lost post birth. However for a full 24 hours he did not get any food. I was then trying to latch a screaming hungry child. It was horrible, frustrating and heart breaking. I was determined though, I would make this work. My husband bought a nipple shield and we were hoping that would do the trick. It did. Relieved I felt a little better but still lost in the whirl wind of emotions of being alone with a tiny being who needed me constantly.
Having someone need you every second of every day other than when they are sleeping which they said was a lot but apparently Osryc did not want to conform because he was one of the most alert babies I’ve ever seen. He was not nearly close to what I had read they are “supposed” to be like. Well it’s down right exhausting.
Being in the middle of the country with no friends or family around. My husband went back to work 3 days after he was born and I was still trying to figure out how to not feel like a piece of furniture.
I was lonely and a bit overwhelmed. Every midwife appointment would come and go and he wasn’t gaining weight. Eventually I went to pumping and syringe feeding before latching and then finishing with more milk afterwards. He put on weight. He was nursing well and my breasts were producing but something just wasn’t right. He again stopped gaining weight. My days were consumed by pumping, cleaning , nursing and worrying about diapers. I couldn’t figure it out, he did everything right, he had wet diapers, he had poos, he was alert, he was sleeping regularly, I was at wits end.
I was so sick of hearing “he’s so little” “he’s so skinny” “is he a newborn?” ” was he a premie?”
The worst part looking back is I didn’t even see it. I didn’t see how skinny he was. At 2 and a half months he had gotten below his birth weight and so I did the only thing I could think of, got formula. He instantly was changed, still hungry all the time but satisfied longer. He started to gain weight fast and I was so relieved. I was also very humbled.
I admit I thought the way I now shudder at. I was an extreme breastfeeding advocate, as there are many, and I’m ashamed that I looked down on formula so strongly. I remember saying before getting the bottles and formula, “I have to humble myself and try this, if it doesn’t work, something is medically wrong”.
In the days following I instantly felt awful about the way I had thought of women who didn’t breastfeed, or didn’t do it “long” enough. This was a huge shift in my life, in my attitude. I’m not always right and I’m going to mess this parenting thing up every now and then, and that’s okay.