Saturday, May 3, 2008

Birth Weight by Due Date? Maybe not...

Despite my best hopes, Gwen is not back to birth weight yet - in fact, at yesterday's weigh-in she was actually down an ounce (she had gained 3 ounces before that). Crazy because it feels like she is nursing constantly. So now we are back on the fascist schedule of waking her to feed every few hours during the night. SO FRUSTRATING! Gwen wants to sleep, I want to sleep, Chris wants to sleep, but instead he and I are dedicating all our efforts to annoying Gwen enough to wake up and nurse at 2:30am. Last night it took half an hour to wake her up, then she nursed for 25 minutes and went back to sleep.

I hate hate hate having to impose a schedule on her. I want to be able to feed her when she's hungry, and if that happened naturally every 2 hours I would cope with it. But I am *not* happy having to wake her up to do it. I guess the thinking is that she's not getting enough milk, so she doesn't have the energy to wake up and ask to be fed. But I can't help the nagging feeling that all we are doing is training her to be fed every two hours, and that I will never sleep through the night again.

I have to keep reminding myself that she won't be this little forever...

The other challenge is division of labour. Chris, bless his helpful heart, has never ever said "no" to any household- or baby-related task I've asked him to do. The first few days I had with Gwen after I recovered from the virus, Chris was sick, and so I just had to take care of her on my own. Now that he's better, I find it hard to ask him for help. Obviously, he can't nurse her, but he *can* change her, and he can soothe her while I'm getting ready to nurse, and bring her to me so I don't have to get up, and a zillion other things. But I somehow feel like I should be able to do it all on my own, because he'll be back to work on Monday, and I'd better figure it all out by then.

It's all just silly hormonally-fuelled anxiety, I'm sure.

Yesterday was our first real outing - I needed more nursing bras, so Chris and Karen and I took Gwen to Woodgrove Mall. Gwen slept the whole time which is just what I would have hoped. I feel panicky about taking her out, not because I fear something happening to her, but because I feel she might need something and I won't be able to figure out what, or won't be able to provide it (maybe someday I'll be the type of mom who plunks herself down in the middle of the mall concourse to nurse, but I'm not yet). Again, I'm sure all of this is hormonally-fuelled and will pass.


Unknown said...

It's unfortunate that you even feel like you need to ask him to do those things. I don't doubt that it will be the same when Joel and I have kids but I will sure set the expectations early.
You should take advantage while he's home and tell him in just that way, ask that he do a little extra so that you can reserve your energy for when you are alone.

Amberism said...


Just try to remember that she's only 10 days old, many babies don't gain their birth weight back that quickly (granted some do but some don't). I'm more of a "watch the baby" more than "watch the weight" sort of person, assuming she's gaining. A hungry baby is obvious, they look like angry old men all the time, even when they're sleeping and when awake you can't seem to ever make them happy.

A babe will quietly starve herself so waking her up is probably a good thing. Personally I go 3 hours at night and 2.5 during the day, rather than 2 - what do the other doulas/midwives think? Unless, of course, she's crying then I feed her regardless of the time obviously.

Maybe I'm selfish (and it should be noted, both my kids took over a month to gain back their birth weight - at least, I'm assuming Claire will get that last ounce by Wednesday), but to me it seems like every 2 hours is harsh on a Mom.

I totally understand how you feel, this weight-game is frustrating and the lack of sleep is frustrating and feeling like you're totally demanding and needy is frustrating. I'm with you, I have a hard time asking and feel like I should just be able to cope.

But ask, you don't want to get resentful.

Anonymous said...

Is she getting enough of the hind milk? Spending enough time on one breast, returning repeatedly if need be? And then, offering the second breast when she's done on the first.

Does she have enough of the breast in her mouth to be effectively transferring milk? Or is she just waiting for the let down to flow it to her?

I expect babies to be back to birth weight by 3 weeks of age....

I also agree with amberism - 3h at night

And it sounds like everything else is going along totally normally! :)

Have you got a few good friends signed up for visits once Chris is back at work - sort of a step down program?

Love and hugs,


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