Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Comfort Nursing - Anyone?

All my life, when thinking of having babies, my thoughts turned to breastfeeding. I knew that's what I would do for my child(ren) and was undaunted by tales of latching problems, sore nipples, and pumping at work. I was ready to take it on! Well, infertility changed all of that. Just like I had to get over the realization that I would mostly likely never be pregnant, I also had to give up on my plans for breastfeeding. Or so I thought. Once we decided on adoption I was obsessed with adoptive breastfeeding. Most of the information I found said that women could induce lactation or use supplemental feeders. The supplemental nursing systems seemed a little complicated. For every feeding, a small plastic pouch needed to be filled with formula which is worn around the neck and then hooked up to a tube that is taped on the breast near the nipple. When the baby latches on it's able to get formula and help stimulate lactation for the mother. The other option involves taking birth control pills and some other drug (illegal in the U.S.) to simulate pregnancy hormones in addition to using a breast pump (every 2-3 hrs) to physically stimulate the breasts. I considered both options and decided against both. It was kind of depressing to think infertility had cost me another life experience. That is, until I learned of comfort nursing during one of our agency's mandatory workshops. I asked the nurse, who was moderating the workshop, what she thought about both options and she didn't care for either. She said that I could have the breastfeeding experience with comfort nursing. She put it in perspective when she said that babies don't expect milk from a pacifier so you can put a baby to the breast without it expecting milk. Talk about a revelation!

Once we were matched and Sammy was born, I probably waited about two weeks before I tried to comfort nurse him. I was a little apprehensive and didn't want to try it in front of Chris. I didn't want him to see me fail if I couldn't do it. My first chance came after I'd fed Sammy and he seemed to want to continue sucking. Instead of giving him the pacifier, I put him to my breast. Luckily he was small enough to maneuver and I was able to get him into position pretty easily. I had only read about getting a baby to latch on so I tried to remember what I'd read. It wasn't perfect but he was able to latch on and nursed for about five minutes. After that experience, I searched YouTube for breastfeeding videos and found lots of really helpful videos - specifically on positioning and latching on. I started comfort nursing Sammy instead of giving him a pacifier whenever he would get fussy or wanted to fall asleep. As he got bigger, it was harder to position him correctly so that he could latch on correctly but the videos helped me out. It's been about 1.5 months into our comfort nursing and we're really doing well. When he wants to nurse he sort of smacks his lips, opening and closing his mouth which is totally different from eating his fists when he's hungry. It's been a wonderful bonding experience and I can hardly believe that he's so attached to comfort nursing that if I'm holding him, he starts crying and rubbing on my shirt to nurse when he's sleepy. It's really the sweetest thing and makes me feel like I'm not missing out on the nursing experience.

Are any of you comfort nursing, considering it, or done it in the past? 

Thursday, July 8, 2010

8 Weeks Old Today!

Sammy is 8 weeks old today and will be 2 months next Monday! I can't believe so much time has passed. Time sure flies when you're busy feeding, burping, diapering, and changing a baby 'round the clock. This afternoon Sammy peed through his diaper while he was on my lap, after having a stellar poop, and then he vomited on himself and down my shirt. All I could do was laugh. I know it sounds crazy, but what could I do but laugh, kiss his chubby cheeks, and go upstairs to change both of us. He's starting to coo and smile when he sees me or I talk to him. It's the most wonderful feeling in the world. I love him so much! He's a dream come true! Of all of the "dreams" I've had - traveling to Europe, running my own company, becoming a mom - the only dream I couldn't let pass me by was becoming a mother. I'm sure I'll get to Europe and I may even start my own business someday, but I wanted to be a mother now. I feel like I'd waited long enough; I married young, divorced young, had life adventures, found new love, and remarried. Now was the time and then I didn't get pregnant as planned. Hello adoption! Adoption was always an option for creating a family but I didn't think it would be my only choice. I'm so glad we found our agency and the process worked out pretty smoothly. All of this is to say that Sammy is the perfect baby for us because we were chosen by his first mother. We never got a definitive answer regarding why she chose our profile but I'm glad she did! Without her I couldn't have had the best 8 weeks of my life. And with that I'm sure that Sam's first mom has had the most difficult 8 weeks of her life. 

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

One Month Update (better late than never)

Sammy is 8 weeks old today and will be 2 months on Mon 7/12 so I know this update is more than a little late. I'll try to do better with the two month update.

One Month Update

Sammy is thriving! He's gained almost 3 lbs since his two week visit. That means he now weighs 12 lbs! We could hardly believe it. He is consistently drinking 2 oz and has recently started moving towards 4 oz. At night he's only sleeping in 1.5-2 hrs segments so I'm usually pretty beat. I haven't yet mastered the "sleep when the baby sleeps" thing yet. I'm up too late writing this post but I didn't want to forget anything. We're getting smiles and lots of drooling. He has a little reflux (spitting up) so we changed his formula to Enfamil AR which has added rice starch to ever so slightly thicken the formula. The thickened formula is supposed to help with the spitting up and so far he's having less vomiting. For the most part the vomit comes out during burps, hiccups, and sometimes on its own in the form of major dribble. I give him tummy time on his boppy and playmat. I think he tolerates tummy time for 5-7 minutes at a time and then he starts fussing.   

 At one month old he's been to several restaurants and has managed to sleep through most of the meals. He is just now starting to have a little more awake time so he is either awake when we arrive or wakes up soon after. We also spend as much time as possible outside - mainly Rittenhouse Square and Girard Park. Stroller time is a sure way to get him to fall asleep.

All in all, Sammy is a happy, healthy baby! We love him to pieces!

Stats: 12 lbs, 22 in, 15 1/4 head circumference