Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Finn at One Month
It is so much easier this time. It's easier to enjoy the newborn stage and easier to lose track of time altogether. At today's three a.m. feeding, I poked Dave and whispered, "It's the seventeenth. He's a month old already!"
Cherishing the early days, even in those early hours; it comes more naturally this time around.
Finn is good at nursing. His birth was calm and he breastfed right away. BUT: I also had collected a support group for the inevitable hiccups and requisite troubleshooting. I saw a lactation consultant prenatally, then two days after Finn's birth, then a week later. The third time she told me we were official graduates, that everything looked great. I left feeling elated and equally--sadly--wondering if she had misread the ultra-precise electronic scale. That's how downtrodden I felt about nursing, so unwilling to get my hopes up, even when I was told by a professional that Everything. Is. Working. Go. Home.
I've been having an anxiety attack every few days that even though things were good "then," perhaps my milk supply has dropped and I don't know it and we're going to go to our one-month appointment and find out that Finn is malnourished. This despite the ever-chubbier cheeks, the loooong body, the cycle of eating and sleeping that produces a completely content baby. Thanks to breastfeeding drop-in group at Isis, reassuring words from my sister, and the best email ever from Bee, I believe I've turned a corner and am finally feeling consistently confident. We'll see if it lasts.
Now I know both sides of the coin, at least a month's worth. I know how traumatic it is to get mixed messages, to feel like a failure, to *know* that you're doing the best you can, but to also know that something has to change. I know how agonizing it is when something you've been looking forward to evaporates. I know what Plans B, C and D look like, and how giving up the fight can sometimes be the best cure.
And now I've experienced a full month of the nursing my baby the way I wanted the first time. I don't think I've worked harder at anything in my life; I can still hardly believe my luck.