You’ll probably cry all the time.
You won’t sleep.
You’ll hate everything (and most likely everyone).
You’ll probably even hate yourself sometimes.
You’ll feel bad about all of the hating above.
You’ll cry more.
Our first week home was tough for reasons that we assumed it would be and reasons that it shouldn’t have been.
During his initial hospital stay, Christopher lost more than 10% of his body weight, he also had pretty bad jaundice and a high biluribin. We had a visit with his pediatrician scheduled the next day which turned into 2 more visits, day after day and a last one the following Monday. Each visit, they pricked his tiny little foot after weighing him and noticing he wasn’t gaining weight. He still had a high bilirubin. Next day, it went down and he gained a couple ounces. Next and last visit, it went down to a normal level.
During this time we were able to get a prescription written for WIC saying he needed formula. Turns out, I had a low milk supply and wasn’t producing enough for him.
So first reason we weren’t getting sleep, especially me, was because of the “breastfeeding”. We had to fill a syringe with 30ml of formula, at each feeding, connected to a little red tube that we attached to my nipple while he breast fed (to avoid nipple confusion). I couldn’t do it by myself, so Marcos had to be up each time for about 40 minutes. Then after, in order to increase my milk supply, I had to pump each breast for 20 minutes then store and clean everything. That all took about an hour. Took about 20 minutes to get back to sleep. Chris was eating every 2.5-3 hours. I’ll let you do the math on how much sleep I got.
Then, my husbands sister started a job that had her working from 10pm-6am. She has 3 kids, she had just had a baby a few months before me so along with Chris we were stuck watching a 3 month old, a 4 year old and a 6 year old. The youngest screamed for hours. The middle had separation anxiety and wouldn’t sleep unless my husband stayed out there. When Chris was asleep, the other baby would wake up and vice versa. It was absolutely awful. We got zero sleep for 3/7 days that first week.
Crying: man….I felt like I not only failed as a woman but as a mom when they told me he was losing weight off of just my breast milk. Then to be told I had a low milk supply was worse. Then to sit there pumping and pumping and pumping, taking fenugreek, drinking mothers milk at one point.. to pump 1/2 an ounce. It was hurting me physically, mentally and emotionally. I cried every time we had to set that bottle up. I felt like such a failure for so long.
The one thing i have to suggest is having an outlet. I didn’t realize it until recently, now that I’ve been getting sick and after talking to my home nurse, I am suffering from post partum depression. It just crept up on me in different ways. I love my baby more than I ever though I could ever love anything, but sometimes when I am mixing formula for him I want to break down. When people ask why I’m not breastfeeding, after seeing the formula, it really hurts me.
I get that he’s fed and that’s what matters, but I’m still hurt that I can’t give him everything he needs from me. I’m almost on the verge of tears when I take him off my breast and I can see milk around his mouth. Also, i hate when people ask how I feed him in the first place…it’s nobodies business. Women are shamed for breastfeeding in public but shamed for giving their baby formula. 🙄