Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Second guessing

I feel like one of the most challenging aspects of motherhood so far is how much I second guess myself. It is both a blessing and a curse that I like to research and plan, but I often think myself in circles.

Take the weight issue. J had an appointment at 7 weeks on Friday, and was only 1.5 ounces short of my "goal weight" for him - he was 9 pounds 4.5 ounces. At first I was still happy, but then the doctor says he is only in the seventh percentile! The doctor (and myself) thinks he looks healthy, he has a lot of wet diapers, is satisfied after he eats, sleeps a long stretch at night, etc.... I don't think I should worry. But I do.

I read too much. I wonder if I should supplement with formula. Or pump all the time. But deep down I don't see the need. I wake him up to feed after a 6 hour stretch, but then I wonder if I'm creating a bad habit to wake up in the night if he doesn't need it. But if I don't wake him how can I get 8 feedings in per day and let him still have naps between feedings? And what if he sleeps too long so it hurts my milk supply? Blah, blah, blah....

Parenthood sure is humbling! So many areas to trust the Lord about. And so many days that I need to avoid the Internet!

I will end this random post with cute pictures, at least!

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

What BEAUTIFUL blue eyes!!!!

Carrie said...

I could stare at pics of your sweet boy all day long! He is so dang cute! Of course you're going to have tons of questions about how you're doing....that never ends. My baby is 6 months old and as soon as I have one thing figured out, something else pops up! My baby has always been formula fed, but I don't see a problem with James having one or two formula bottles. Maybe give him one during the day and one at bedtime. If he is sleeping well during the night, I would not wake him up. Your husband could give James the bedtime bottle and you could pump. And maybe you give him formula before a nap and then you pump during his nap. You could just try a few formula bottles for a few weeks and see if he gains weight a little more quickly.

Stefanie Blakely said...

You are doing a great job. Keep doing what you're doing! Breastfeed babies usually weigh less than formula fed babies and as long as he is growing and hitting his milestones, he is just fine! I'm not sure about your husband's physique, but you are naturally thin & James may be too.

I'm a curvy girl but my husband (and my dad) are both tall and very thin. My boys are very thin. My oldest son was 9lbs12oz at 8 weeks. He was 11lbs at 4 months. He was just a slow gainer... Now he's 22 months and he weighs 25lbs.

If you're enjoying breastfeeding & James is getting enough (it certainly sounds like he is!!) then just keep doing what you're doing. If you want to supplement with formula, do it! But don't feel like you have to, just because James weighs a little less than you thought he might.

Being a mama is tough, for sure-- just try to do what you feel is right for you!

Anonymous said...

The constant second guessing, isn't it awful! I struggled so much with this my first time round (and even the second!!). I think that you have to trust your doctor and your instinct. If you believe that your beautiful bub is getting enough then he probably is - you really are the best at assessing this. If he is sleeping well (and it sounds as though he is) then that is a good indicator. However, if you do have any doubts at all then you need to listen to that and act accordingly. Like Carrie said, maybe give a formula feed or two a day (then pump those sessions) and see if it makes a difference. You'll know within a week :) My health nurse (this is in Oz) always wanted to try for 150-200g per week weight gain but said 150g was a good aim for a fully breastfed baby and that often that was a bit ambitious...Hope I haven't overstepped, I can just identify and remember so much of what you articulate! I wish I was reading your trials 3 years ago so I knew I wasn't the only one!! :) Liz

:- ) said...

You have the cutest baby! And the Lord knew you could take care of him perfectly! So don't you worry I know you are doing great! Keep trusting Him.

Meg said...

My Daddy never gives advice. He's never told me how to do anything, but when my first was born he said he was going to give me some advice . . . then he slowly said "Never wake a sleeping baby." I listened to him and am so glad he spoke up. I never woke any of my babies to eat. (They weren't preemies or had any health issues). They will wake up when they're hungry and you can sure use the sleep, too.

I adore his little pictures. It makes me just want to kiss that little face!

Liz said...

First off, your son is so adorable & YOU are doing a WONDERFUL job with him. Second guessing is just part of being a Mommy. It's just what we do. I know it is so much easier said then done but please try not to stress over his weight. Some babies and larger and some are smaller. I am sure your body is making enough milk for your baby. Breastfeeding is THE BEST thing you can do for your son. Breastfed babies are usually smalled than formula fed babies. I pump and freeze my milk to use in cereal (my son is 6 months). This would help to keep your supply up while baby is sleeping also. Like I said, you are doing awesome! You can tell by his sweet pictures.

Melis.sa said...

He is so precious! It's hard not knowing what the expect the first time around. If the doctor wasn't worried then hopefully that will help you not worry as much.

Anonymous said...

he will gain weight at his own speed, if he´s happy, getting longer, sleeps well, wet diapers, pooping and etc is normal then don´t have any worries.

Your breastmikl production will be according to his need, it will increase if he needs more (feeds more increasingly).

I had the same worries and now have a healthy and very bright 2 year old girl, she is skinny but that is ok that´s just the way she is.

I rationaled that if I feed her every 2 hours during the day, I did not need to wake her up during the night... I therefore woke her rather up during the day than the night and soon she slept the whole night through...

Mellow said...

What a sweetie! Such beautiful eyes. :)

Words Like Swords said...

First, he is beautiful!

Second, I would check him against the WHO charts. A lot of the pediatrician charts are very different than what the norm really is for breastfed babies!! It might ease your mind :)

Kelly said...

Do not worry. My little guy was only 10.5 lbs at 2 months. He was around 13.5lbs at 4 months and that was the last of his "little weight gain". Now he is my biggest child (at 2 yrs old he weighed 32.5lbs which is the same as his sister who is 14 months older... LOL) and I nursed him for a whole year w/o ever giving him a drop of formulas. Kid's grow at different paces. I bet in a few weeks you will see a jump on the scale. If he is sleeping that much... chances are he is having a growth spurt. He looks extremely healthy and he will eat when he is hungry.

Anonymous said...

You are so right! Keep on breast feeding. My lactation consultant said supplementing with formula is a slippery slope and can make you lose your breatmilk quicker. I did that with my first and my second is all breatmilk all the time. If I wake up and she's not hungry, I just pump a quick bottle and freeze it for later. Stick with it you will be so happy you did! Good luck!

Melissa G said...

LOVE the pictures. James is such a cutie pie! He always looks so deep in thought and very much at peace with the world. Good job mama!

As far as the weight goes, I think this is where you should take your hubbies body type into consideration - Long and lean! 7th percentile is not bad at all... I can't remember the exact number but Leah has been under the 10th percentile - just like her daddy long and lean!

As far as the feedings go I definitely would not wake leah to nurse. Instinctually, babies will wake up when they need food. I would say if you are concerned about your supply, that pumping about 3-4 hours after he goes to bed at night is a safe bet. That way you'll have produced milk again if he wakes up at the 6-8 hour mark and you won't have "skipped" a feeding production wise.

You're doing great, and so is James. Hang in there mama!

Anonymous said...

Hi Hillary - I know where you are at!! I had difficulty with my milk supply and my son's weight gain as well. I know it is stressful, but you are a caring mommy and you will make it through! I do have a bit of advice and hope it might make a difference in your supply and James' weight gain: try to increase your feeding goal to 12 times per day - I know, that means every two hours! but, i didn't always make 12, it was just my goal. The more you nurse, the more milk you will produce. Going a 6 hr stretch might be a little long at his age since you are breastfeeding (might be ok for formula fed)- you can try a "twilight feeding" to get in another feeding while he is sleeping (you can find info on the net about twilight feeding). Over time, he will eat more at each feeding and you can slowly decrease the number nursings. I know it sounds daunting - I felt like all I did was nurse for the first two months! But it really does get easier and you are past the harder part! Just keep up the good hard work - you are doing great and I can tell you are so committed to the well being of little James. I do agree that you should use formula with caution! I did supplement my son but only at a minimum until my supply went up. Even if you pump while he takes formula, it's still not as effective as nursing to boost supply. If you feel he needs formula, here is the regiment that my lactation consultant recommended: Nurse him first, then give formula. While he is drinking the formula, pump to stimulate supply and you can save that or feed it to him at the next feeding (you probably won't get much anyway). This definitely takes the cooperation of your spouse :). Finally, if you have time - I would read a couple books specifically about breastfeeding. I really liked one called "So that's what they're for" by Janet Tamaro. I read it right when I started nursing and then again later on and it was really helpful. You are doing a great job and you're not alone out there! Breastfeeding is hard but you can do it! And it really does get easier as you go...

Anna & Kirby said...

Oh my... once again, I could have written the same post! I am the same way and I think I'm driving myself crazy and I'm not enjoying my baby as much as I could be.

I would like to know though... how did you get him to sleep longer stretches? I'd love that!

RMCarter said...

Such a cutie! :)

K was in the 10th percentile for several months. Then, without any extra pushing on my part, she was soon in the 20th, than the 30th, and now at 9 months she is in the 50th percentile for weight. They will get there on their own, and babies come in all shapes and sizes (just like adults!). Some stay in the 10th percentile forever and they are just smaller and that's okay! :) Listen to that mommy voice and if you feel like he's doing okay, and your doctor agrees, then I would try not to stress too much. I am a worrier too (and an over-researcher), so I get it. ;) That is a constant struggle for me, but I am getting better!

Vicki said...

Sweetest little guy!

I'm going to give an "Amen" to the comments above.
- My daughter has been and continues to only flirt with the 3 percentile line for weight. At almost 2 years, she's just now 20 lbs. My pediatrician has never had a problem with her weight because she was doing everything she was suppose to. Your skinny, it's ok for him to be skinny too!
- Double "Amen" to "Don't wake a sleeping baby" and "they will eat when they're hungry." As my pediatrician puts it, "they won't let themselves starve."
- Continue with the breastmilk as much as you can. My supply ran out when my daughter was about 7 months and thankfully my freezer supply got her to 9 months. I was hoping to make a year but mother nature had other plans.

You're doing great!

Sarah said...

Welcome to the world of motherhood. You will get to a point where you feel more confident in yourself as his mother. You won't question yourself as much even if everyone is doing things differently than you. I mean, we always question, but you will start to feel more secure in your decisions. It just takes time. That first year with your first baby is so hard (and so wonderful too!). Just keep praying for God to guide you through it. You are doing a great job mama! For every bit of advice, there is a book or person who will say something different. Trust your gut!

Anonymous said...

So beautiful! You are doing a wonderful job. You love him so much, so obvious. A baby that looks like he does is certainly getting what he needs. One thing though, I agree with previous posters. Never wake a sleeping baby ^_^

Melody said...

Cuteness is right!

Anonymous said...

First,Know that you are a wonderful Mom...really you are!!!

Second, if your doctor thinks he is doing well, he is not waking to eat, has lots of wet diapers and is gaining weight, he is THRIVING!! You look like a small, slight person..these things run in families..he might just be slight and thin!! Please do not worry and please do not supplement with formula. Pretty soon he will be eating solid food and you can always feed him a little bit more if you are worried. Breast milk is the very best thing you can do for him now!!!!

Let him sleep..at this age if he was hungry, he would wake up! 6-7 hours between feedings at night is fine!

As a mom of three boys..I wish I convince you not to worry about all of this..but because you are a good Mom you will. Know God is in control, enjoy these days..they go way too fast!

Blessings to you and your family!!

Cadie said...

My advice is to throw out the parenting books! :) I have not met one baby, mine are included, that follow any book. Both of my girls were/are breastfed and although much smaller than most kids, (in the third and fifth percentile), are just fine. If your pediatrician isn't concerned, don't sweat it! No baby is going to live up to all the goals we would have for them, and that's ok. Sounds like you are doing a wonderful job with James, and since he is gaining, you can just sit back and enjoy him!