I’m so overdue to update you guys! Life has been wonderfully crazy these last three weeks. Someone told my husband that having one child is like having one child, but having two children is like having ten. They are not wrong! It’s been a big adjustment for all of us, and especially for my toddler who all of a sudden realized he’s no longer the center of attention. As you can imagine, that did not go well. He loves his little brother to pieces (which is awesome) but is finding all sorts of ways to act out.
Mix 1 part misbehaving toddler, 1 part newborn, and 2 parts overtired parents. Get one big houseful of crazy.
But like I said, wonderfully crazy!
Anyway, let me go back to our first days at the hospital which did not go quite as expected.
The evening of Theo’s birth, my pediatrician came to visit us with some news. Our son tested Coombs positive. What is this Coombs test you ask? Good question. I had the same one for my doctor, as I had never heard of this before. Barebones explanation: Mom and baby’s blood types are incompatible, causing HDN (hemolytic disease of the newborn) which manifests with severe neonatal jaundice and anemia. Fun! Not. In our case, I’m O+ and Theo is A+. Anyway, my pediatrician proceeded to warn me that there was a high likelihood that Theo would need to go into the CCN (Continuing Care Nursery – one step down from the NICU and another new term I got to learn) and spend the remainder of our stay at the hospital (48 hours) under the bili lights.
Sure enough, at 5am the following day, the nurse came to tell me that Theo had been placed under the blue lights and would have to stay there. We needed to go to him for feedings every 2-3 hours and he only had 30 min before he needed to be placed back under the lights. Cue hormonal crying. So for the next 2 days, my husband and I diligently made our way to the CCN every few hours and spent as much time as possible with our newborn before we had to be separated again. It sucked.
But we made it through and Theo and I were discharged together thanks to the best advice I ever got from my pediatrician and one I’m absolutely intent on sharing here! If your child is Coombs positive, jaundiced and you are intent on BFing, start pumping immediately to establish your supply, freeze your milk (bonus – I now have a good freezer stash), and give your baby formula until he has fully cleared the jaundice. Yep. You read that right. Feed your baby all formula! Why? First – Because the only way for newborns to clear bilirubin is to pee and poop them out, it’s important they eat consistently early on (if you’ve ever nursed a newborn, you know that it can generally take a few days to find a good groove and for your milk to come in). Second – Breastmilk inhibits the breakdown of bilirubin (something we have first hand experience with now since as soon as I resumed nursing his bili levels shot back up :( ).
It took a full 10 days to clear the jaundice and as of last Tuesday, Theo is back to 100% breastmilk with no signs of it returning and gaining weight like a champ. Happy dance!
So that updates you on all things Theo.
Moving on – Breastfeeding.
A long time ago, I wrote a post where I briefly mentioned that there was no love lost between me and nursing. I don’t like it. Mostly because it hurts. With my toddler, I lasted two weeks before switching to exclusively pumping because I couldn’t take another day of toe curling pain. Everyone, told me so much pain was not normal, so I sought out the help of an LC who looked at us and said she saw no problem with his latch and that I was properly hyper-sensitive. I needed to give it time for them to “toughen up”. Yeah… right.
This time around I was a little more determined to make it work. Of course, whenever you set your mind to something, life has a habit of throwing you some curveballs. Theo’s and my nursing relationship got off to a rocky start since I had to bottle feed him so early on. Then when I was allowed to start nursing, he took to the breast with no problem, but his latch… owwwwwww. So I called an LC (NOT the same one as last time) and during her visit she got Theo to properly latch and OMG! It’s true! Breastfeeding isn’t supposed to hurt! (insert angry thoughts at prior LC who told me my nipples just had to “toughen up”).
Of course, because things can never stay smooth sailing for long, that night I got a plugged duct and in my desperation to get it cleared, I didn’t pay as much attention to the latch as I should have. I ended up developing mastitis (nothing will make you want to give up on breastfeeding like mastitis) and for the life of me, can’t get Theo to latch correctly again. So back to pumping I go, occasionally nursing him. I’ve hit my maximum nipple pain threshold and have the magic LC coming to visit again tomorrow. Hopefully, she can get me past this hurdle. And if not, well, I’ll be back to EPing for at least 12 weeks and then depending on my supply (and how much time it takes away from my toddler), I’ll either keep going or switch to formula. Luckily, I have zero problem with formula so I’m not super depressed or conflicted about it.
If the last three weeks have taught me anything, it’s that:
“Que Sera, Sera
Whatever will be, will be
The future’s not ours to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be”
Read more: Doris Day – Que Sera Sera Lyrics | MetroLyrics
That’s it for now and I’ll try to update more consistently from now on! Love to all <3