Life as we know it has changed. I heard from everyone (which got really annoying, ha) how different our lives would be. That's certainly something Josh and I anticipated but you can't really prepare new parents. It's just something you have to experience for yourselves.
Life began really changing the first night we were home. My poor baby didn't sleep a wink so neither did her tired, hormonal mommy. She cried and cried and could only be soothed if she was eating or latched. Miserable. At one point Josh was online googling lactation consultants and we found a 1-800 number with 24 hour consultants. We made the call and she helped me understand a little of what was going on. About an hour later I sent him to Walmart to buy every paci available. I know, I know, nipple confusion, wait on the paci. Sorry everyone. It was about survival at that point and I needed her to have a paci. We found one kind she would sort of take. It helped some but not much. Luckily now she takes it like a champ.
After the first night I wasn't sure how I was going to do this. I felt very overwhelmed. The next few days were a blur too. She slept only about 2-4 hours at night and normally only an hour at a time. When we put her down after a feeding she would cry and fuss. Exhausting. I started thinking that maybe part of her problem is that she's starving. I decided to pump to see what she was getting and I was shocked at how little it was. She really needed to gain weight and be satisfied so I started thinking of what to do. I talked to my pediatrician and asked advice from friends and decided I should supplement until my milk picked up.
That decision was hard for me. I wanted to be able to feed my child. As her mother I felt it was my responsibility. For the sake of Sadie I had to swallow my pride. I started giving her 1 ounce of formula after I nursed. Oh my goodness. The best decision I've made as a momma so far. She became a new child. So sweet and content (except during her fussy time at night).
I was hoping we'd only have to supplement for a little while until my milk came in. Unfortunately that has been harder than I had hoped for. It's been a struggle to say the least. I've been trying really hard to get it going. I pump after she eats, I use the "hands on" approach, I take lots of Fenugreek, try to drink lots of water, had my thyroid checked to make sure that wasn't the problem, etc. I'm trying as much as I can. It's picked up a little but not much. It's been an exhausting experience. Nurse, bottle, pump. Repeat.
It's especially exhausting when you don't get much out if it. I've changed things the last couple of days. I now just pump and feed. Since my milk isn't consistent I needed to know how much she was getting to know how much to supplement. It's made a huge difference in me too. I feel so much better. What used to take an hour or more to feed from start to finish now can take 30 minutes or so. And at the end of her feeding I know what she's eaten. I'm still working on my milk picking up. I want to give it my best effort before we go to just formula. I'm not to that point yet so for now this works for us. She's happy and growing and that's all I want for her right now.
Something else you can't really be prepared for is how much stuff you have to "pack" when you go anywhere with a baby. Wow. It's a huge process that takes lots of time and organization. Basically everything we do now revolves around Sadie. What she needs, when she needs to eat, sleep, etc. It really is all about her. Planning your day takes on a whole new meaning with a newborn. Even taking a shower takes strategic thought.
Life as we know it has definitely changed but I wouldn't want it any other way. Josh and I are in love with this little girl God has blessed us with. We love our new life. We're still trying to figure things out but I'm pretty sure that will take a lifetime. For now we're just going with it. :)