Wednesday, May 10, 2017

A New Mom the Second Time Around

I'm not a new mom. In fact, my eldest is already 8 years old. But there's a disparity on how I dealt with him when he was an infant compared to my youngest who was just born two months ago.

When Basti was born, I had it easy. I had a nanny who willingly took over in caring for him and I did not breastfeed which certainly made life easier. I slept well at night as it was the yaya who took care of the night feedings. Basically, I was not hands on in raising him.

When I got pregnant again, I swore that I will breastfeed after reading up on the benefits of mother's milk. So I mentally prepared myself for the hardships and when they handed me my baby, I said "I got this."; or so I thought.

my baby boy with his judging eyes :) @ 2weeks
I conditioned my mind that breastfeeding will not be easy but I was not really prepared for it. Though my son latched easily, my milk production was not enough. He would sleep fitfully and would wake up if not every hour, every 2 hours to demand for more milk.And I gave in to his demands sacrificing sleep and my sanity. I clung to my online group of mommy friends and they supported me with advice and answered my questions patiently. I made this my mantra: "one day at a time."

When we left the hospital, my baby's weight dropped to 2.9 kilos. When we returned to his pedia for a check-up after two weeks, he was still at 2.9 kilos and I wanted to cry then and there. Though at the back of my mind, I knew that weight gain was slow for breastfed babies, my sanity was at stake. I don't know if it's just me and if I'm weak but I gave in and agreed to giving my baby formula milk. I immediately felt better afterwards--like a big weight was lifted from my shoulders. I think I'm wired to always have a back-up plan and knowing that I'm the sole source of food for my baby put so much pressure on me. Though I could always ask for donations for breastmilk, it's not something I can depend on all the time.

Liquid gold
However, I still did not stop breastfeeding nor pumping. I still want my baby to have my milk. Everytime he's hungry, I offer my breast first and then if he's still hungry, that's when we give formula. I currently have three pumps here at home. Will write about them in another post.

Everytime I express (either through letdown or through pumping), I'm lucky to get 2 oz. I try to pump or collect milk 4x a day and my son usually just consumes the total amount I collect in just one feeding.

Right now, my son feeds every 3-4 hours. He usually sleeps at 7PM and then wakes up at 11-12. After feeding, that's the time I usually sleep. He then wakes up around 3AM and my husband is the one that takes care of him. He either gives him formula or is given to me for latching.

It may not be the ideal set-up nor what was in my mind when I was preparing myself on our post-pregnancy care but I had to make do with the circumstances.

my baby @ 2 months
I belong to a community that greatly advocates breastfeeding and I was a bit ashamed when I admitted to them that I was giving my baby milk formula. They were still supportive and mentioned that breastfeeding does not define motherhood and I will be the one to know what is best for me and my baby.

It has been two months since I gave birth. My baby has gained 2 kilos since his first check-up and he's quite healthy.  He's also a very social as he would "talk" with anyone who would chat with him. He never fails to make us smile and laugh.

When I gave birth, it was hard for me to see that all the hardships and pain were worth it. Seeing his smile now makes me start to believe that it is indeed worth it.

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