Tuesday, December 15, 2009

One Month Check-Up

This morning was Tye's one month check-up with our family care practitioner. We had been anxious to see how much weight Tye had gained since her last appointment, hoping for big numbers to match her obvious growth in length. Fortunately, measurements and weighing are done at the beginning of the appointment. Tyler and I both followed the nurse down the hallway to the baby station, where Tye weighed in at 6.6 pounds. I know we both visibly deflated at that number. I was holding back tears as we walked back to the exam room, now extremely anxious to speak with the doctor. That Tye was now 21 1/2 inches in length (up from 18 one month ago) went uncelebrated as we waited.
We talked with the doctor, who covered all the bases we've been covering- sufficient poopy diapers each day, strong latch and swallowing pattern, appearing satisfied after nursing. When we asked, she assured us that a vegan diet is completely sufficient for nursing. Even if I am lacking in any nutritional area, my body will take what it needs from me and give it to Tye. The doctor recommended that I try pumping regularly to be sure that I'm producing enough milk. She also suggested supplementing with one bottle of formula a day, offered after a nursing session in order to boost intake at one feeding, and returning in one week to re-weigh.
I had brought a suggested vaccination schedule, one that spreads out the vaccinations but includes them all, to discuss with the doctor. We talked about the vaccines while Tyler entertained Tye, and she seemed impressed with the proposed schedule. Before she left, the doctor suggested that we re-weigh Tye before we left, joking that gravity can change around 11 am.
Once again, we undressed Tye and made the long walk down the hall to the scale. When Tyler placed her on the scale, I know we both held our breath as we stared at the red digital numbers as they climbed... and stopped at 7.2! Stuck in disbelief, Tyler insisted we re-weigh her again- and again, she weighed in at 7.2 pounds. That was such a sense of relief! Her weight gain is still less than average, but at least she is gaining weight. The doctor suggested we try supplementing with formula anyway, but thought we could come back after the holidays rather than next week. We left the office feeling relieved that Tye had put on at least a little weight. Only parents get so excited about a fraction of a pound...
Tonight, I dusted off the breast pump and hooked myself up for the first time... quite a sight! My production seems to be adequate. Then we approached the next challenge- bottle feeding. We had Tyler present the bottle since some sources suggest it is easier to take a bottle from someone who doesn't have food on her chest. Tye took to it immediately. The flow seemed to be a little fast for Tye (it was a Medela bottle and nipple since that's what attached to the pump), but she managed well. Then, I breast fed Tye (babies are more efficient nursers and can get more milk out than the pump- and Tye definitely did). After that, we presented the formula (in a different bottle with an infant nipple). Once again, Tye welcomed the nipple. She barely hesitated as she tasted the formula, though I think (or maybe I'd just like to think) that she did make a face as she recognized the difference. The infant nipple seemed to help Tye manage the milk flow. As Tye drank the formula, I started to worry that she had always been hungry at the end of her feedings and wasn't receiving enough milk. All in all, though, Tye only drank about an ounce before letting me know she wasn't interested in more.
Pumping and providing extra formula showed that I could be producing more milk and that Tye would use it. I'm planning to go back to the same methods for promoting milk production that I did the first week of Tye's life (somewhat strangely, exactly one month ago)- milk production herbal tea and lots of skin to skin time. Hopefully, we can get my milk production up to a point that Tye won't want to take any formula after a feeding.
Tye is stirring now... time to go feed her. Quite a day today, huh? It was one of those when, looking back, this morning feels like a long time ago...

1 comment:

  1. We went through some very similar things with Jackson in the beginning. He was slow to gain much weight (he had lost more than average in the hospital)and my milk supply wasn't quite matching his need. I am VERY familiar with my pump! If you ever have any questions, feel free to let me know! I don't pretend to know everything, but we did try lots of different things! Good luck!


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