Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Four weeks

I've had a lot of things swirling in my mind the last little while. It has been a difficult few weeks. Seeing my little girl in hospital being poked and prodded, worrying about her health. Staying in hospital for 5 days away from Ian, worrying about him and how he was coping with his mommy being away during a time when he was already dealing with the adjustment of having a new baby in the house. I'm feeling a little numb these days. Trying to process these last four weeks. A lot of bottled up emotion that doesn't want to come out.

It turns out Avery had viral meningitis AND a bladder infection... how the hell did she get so sick? Though she seems to be doing well now she will be monitored for some time to make sure that the meningitis did not affect her heart or cause any neurological issues. She's also on antibiotics for the next 10 days. She seems to be doing really well though and that helps me get through the days. I feel so grateful she's home with us now and seems to have gotten through this without any long term effects.

I am still pumping after every feed and despite help from a lactation specialist Avery is not doing any better at the breast. Her latch is fine but she mostly just sleeps at the breast... (but will happily gulp a bottle of expressed breast milk!). This whole breastfeeding thing has really surprised me. Because things went so well with Ian (it was SO easy!) I never expected that I wouldn't have the same experience with Avery. I guess success at the breast has a lot to do with the baby, not just the mom and the milk supply. This has added a whole other layer of stress we could have done without. I WANT to breastfeed my baby. I know it's what's best for her. I breastfed Ian for 16 months, I feel like Avery deserves the same. It doesn't seem fair to her not to breastfeed, plus she is sick, so breast milk just feels right. On the other hand, I'm not sure how much longer I can keep pumping after every feed. The only reason I've been able to do it this long is because Ian is still in daycare. Friday is suppose to be his last day. Being the incredibly active, curious and willful child that he is, there is no way I'll be able to pump this often when he is home with me. I was looking forward to being home with both of my kids, but now it's turned into this stressful deadline... and I am sort of scared (how will I be able to give them both what they need?). But I don't want to give up. On the other hand, I am exhausted and feeding Avery has become an hour long thing for each feed (feed at breast, pump, give bottle) and this takes away from time with me that Ian needs too. Plus I'm just not sure she's going to get any better at the breast. Because she lost so much weight before (and never cried to tell me she wasn't getting enough) I don't really trust her on the breast alone... how will I know she's getting what she needs? It is hard not to feel stressed out about all of this.

My sister says there is some 'magic' that happens at the six week mark... that if I can just stick it out until then it should be ok. I guess we'll see.

Throughout all of this I've felt incredibly grateful for surprise visits at the hospital from family and friends with magazines, snacks, vermicelli salad, a good book and drop offs at our house with stew and carrot cake and my mom taking a six hour bus ride to stay at our house and provide extra support to Ian and Derek (coming home to a clean house was SO nice). But mostly I'm grateful that my baby girl is home with us and so far seems to be healthy.

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