We had to give up breastfeeding... between supply and latching issues, it was becoming too stressful for both of us. It was a really difficult decision, but it's for the best - if Bryan and I decide to have more kids down the road then we'll definitely try it again. We have found a formula that works best for us, Enfamil Gentlease. We were on Carnation Good Start, but my friend Christina gave us some of the Gentlease and it ended up making her less gassy so we decided to stick with it.
So while breastfeeding didn't work out for us, cloth diapers really have. We're using the BumGenius 3.0's and they're fantastic - we've only have one leaking issue, and that was because I didn't check the leg gusset for gaps when I put it on her. We don't have enough of them to last a whole day though - so we use disposables at night. Next week I need to go out and buy a few more... we'll have to space out our purchases because they're not exactly cheap, but they'll save us money in the long run. We tried the pre-folds with covers and she wet right through those. I may just need to put her in the larger size pre-folds in order for those to work. There's a cloth diapering workshop at MSN (Mother's Support Network) next week so I'm going to try to go to that to get some tips.
One of these days I need to post about projectile vomiting.
So I've been wanting to post about the first night post-birth for quite awhile. I don't want to forget it, even though... well, I'll just start the story.
Penelope was born at 3:27 am, so we were all up and awake for a very long time. After all of the post-labor clean up and check ups, the midwives put Bryan, Penny, and I to bed at about 5am. I woke up with Penny around 7:30 and moved to the couch where Grandma was sleeping; we were able to catch a little more sleep before everyone else woke up. The day was spent resting and staring at the baby... then the three of us tucked ourselves into bed and naively thought we'd get some sleep. Ha.
Not long after we were all in bed, Penny started fussing. I attempted to nurse her, but a combination of post-labor related pain (which made it impossible to sit up properly in bed), improper latching, and supply issues made nursing in bed and exercise in futility (granted, at the time I had no idea we were having latching or supply issues). The fussing quickly turned into crying and that quickly turned into screaming - sometime in between the transition from crying to screaming I started to loose it. I had been a mom for less than 24 hours, I was exhausted, incredibly sore, and finding breastfeeding to be more of a challenge then I had expected - it was probably the lowest I had felt since, well, probably ever.
Thankfully my mom had spent the night and she came in to see how I was and if there was anything she could do. She took Penny and walked her around to try and get her to sleep while I sobbed on the bed. Poor Bryan slept through the whole thing - he was exhausted and didn't have the hormones or endorphins that had been keeping me on my feet.
So mom and I moved out onto the couch and attempted to figure out what Penelope wanted - I tried nursing again. At this point nursing had become an incredibly painful experience, which was disheartening because all of the books and literature I had read said that nursing should not be so painful that it makes the mother cry... and at that point even the thought of nursing made me want to cry and I would tense up every time she tried to latch.
After hours of attempting to nurse and attempting to get Penelope to sleep - I finally broke down and gave her a bottle. It was like magic, after she finished she slept! I was so relieved that I had figured out what my baby wanted, but a part of me was also sad - I was obviously doing something wrong if I couldn't get her satisfied exclusively through nursing.
It was a very difficult night - but it wasn't all bad. That night I started to understand Penelope's different cries and which each of them meant. I also learned that I was capable of enduring a grueling night of no sleep, and that I have an amazing reservoir of strength and patience. I learned that I will not always have the answers nor will I always know what to do - and that's ok. Parenting is done by trial and error, good parents are the one who never stop trying and learn from their mistakes.
So while I'm incredibly happy that we have never had a repeat of that unforgettable first night, I'm thankful that we had that night - it was an important night for me as a mother and helped me understand a lot about myself.
2 weeks ago