Sorry I haven't updated in a month. Wow! A whole month!
Things have been more like a gong show here than a blissful mom and baby experience. To make a very long (and repetitive *see below*) story short Henry and I were discharged 3 1/2 hours after his birth. I was so happy to go home quickly and loved being able to stay at home that first night. My mom stayed in bed with me and baby Henry that first night and we knew something wasn't quite right as he was clearly hungry but didn't want to latch onto the breast. My midwife and her student came for a home visit the next morning and advised this wasn't good so they left us with some tubes and syringes to use to feed baby. And to top it off Henry was jaundiced. Yep, he got his blood type from the donor - A from him and Rh + from me (donor is -ve). By the end of the day we were back at the hospital and Henry was admitted. That meant I was stuck there for 2 nights too. Henry didn't mind the incubator (or his 'hot house' as I called it) as it was toasty warm.
We were discharged after 2 nights in hospital and I was really glad to go home. I hated every minute being there and isolated from my parents who had to drive 40 minutes each way in crappy winter weather to visit. Not to mention the one insane night nurse who seemed to think forcing my child to try the breast for 2 HOURS at 1 in the morning was a splendid idea. Thankfully Henry is too young to remember this otherwise I think he'd have ended up with something akin to PT.SD from that experience. But I digress ...
As to the repetitive part of the story all I can say is breastfeeding has been a bit of a nightmare. Apparently my little guy was born with a disorganized suck. He is slowly getting better but he still struggles to suck not to mention actually latching. He can't latch onto the nipple so we've been working with a nipple shield and pump since he was 1 1/2 days old. The routine is tiresome: breastfeed with shield waiting for the little guy who gets really tired to fall asleep off and on before declaring that he's finished ... which can take anywhere from an hour to two hours. Oh my ... Then, if things work out I get to pump for a while. Sometimes he gets supplemented by bottle and that doesn't go any easier for Henry either. He still has difficulty 'latching' on to the bottle's nipple. I have a child who would sleep 6+ hours through the night if he were gaining appropriately. But no, I have had to wake him up in the middle of the night to feed him and that has always been a disaster since he eats so poorly at night. I have serious envy of people whose babies are allowed to sleep long at night and whose babies also wake up to demand feed because Henry didn't do that until just this past week either. *sigh*
Needless to say we've been working with a lactation consultant since Henry was 5 days old. I am not doing everything according to her wishes, i.e. feeding him formula from time to time and supplementing him more than she recommends, but he was not gaining weight with what I was giving him by breast. He didn't get back to birth weight until the day after he was 3 weeks old. It took another 5 days for him to surpass birth weight finally getting past 8 pounds (8 lbs 1 oz). He hit 8 lbs 11 oz at his weigh in today. Personally, I'm going with what works and that is breast first then supplement because he's hungry. I pump when I get a chance and he's not crying.
I hate to say it but after 1 month I am very much looking forward to breastfeeding being over. After all this I cannot say that I will ever enjoy the experience. It is a big let down (no pun intended) as I was looking forward to this, albeit not in a 'we will bond over the breast' kind of way. At this point I continue to breastfeed as much as I can because I feel it is better for Henry for a variety of reasons, it is certainly less expensive than full out formula feeding, and because I don't want to admit failure (talk to me about supply problems ... you don't want to know how many pills I take a day just to get what I get out of these breasts). I am really looking forward to moving on to solid food.
I do promise to post another update as well as Henry's birth story when I get a chance. What I can say is that the birth went really well and I can't really complain about the experience. I describe it as easy compared to what others go through.