Tuesday, May 1, 2012

6 Weeks Old

Time is flying by!! Carter is already 6 weeks old, and I see so many changes in him. For the past week he has been smiling for real, not just while he's pooping or farting. I love his little grin!

Our poor little guy has a condition called torticollis. It means "twisted neck" where his head is tilted to one side. In Carter's case he favours leaning and looking to the left. I noticed that he favoured his left side within his first day of life, so he likely acquired this condition due to his position in utero. He started physiotherapy to correct it a couple of weeks ago. We are doing stretches at home everyday and are already seeing improvement. He voluntarily turns his head to the right now. Yay! Carter also has a flat area on the back of his head due to favouring the left side. Because he's so young he has a good chance that it will round out with time. If not, he'll just have to live with it.

My Struggles with Breastfeeding

During my pregnancy I read a lot about breast feeding. I knew I wanted to breast feed from the moment I found out I was pregnant. I had read how natural it was, so I assumed it would come naturally for me. Well it has been quite the opposite! Within an hour of Carter's birth I tried feeding him, but he would not latch on! It was super frustrating and disappointing. I tried a few more times later on with no luck. Eventually one of the nurses gave me a nipple shield to help him latch and it worked! Yay! Then it appeared that I wasn't producing any milk so the nurses had me supplement with formula. I'm upset that they made me feel like I was a failure and had to supplement. My understanding is that you produce colostrum in the first few days, then the milk comes in. I had no idea if I was producing anything though! Finally after a couple of days a lactation consultant came to see me. She had me start pumping right away. After a couple of times pumping I was getting small amounts of colostrum. I finally started to feel like my body was doing what it was supposed to do. I was determined to get rid of the formula so we started syringe feeding Carter the colostrum I had pumped. He only had formula for the few days we were in the hospital.

What also made breast feeding extremely frustrating in the beginning was the fact that Carter was so tired. He was jaundiced which can make babies very sleepy. I had to wake him for every single feeding and he would barely wake up! Try feeding a sleeping baby. Very frustrating!

I managed to get rid of the nipple shield within two weeks and Carter has been latching on well ever since. He is a very efficient eater. I was told by everyone that he should be eating for at least 10 minutes on each side for every feeding. Well he has never done that! I have enough milk to feed a small village, so he gulps and gulps and finishes on one side in 10 minutes and is full. He spits up a lot due to how fast he eats. I was worried he may have reflux or something, but he doesn't. His weight gain has been adequate, and he is no longer sleepy all the time. He is bright and alert, and is poopin' and peein' up a storm.

I wanted to quit after a week. I cried because I felt like I was starving him, and had to supplement with formula. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with formula, I was just bound and determined to exclusively breast feed. Well here we are 6 weeks later and still breast feeding. Carter is a bit of a fuss pot when it comes to feeding. Sometimes he will eat for 10 minutes straight no problem, but most of the time he eats for a minute, pulls off, fusses, spills milk everywhere then latches back on for another minute. It's hard work, but I'm glad I've persisted as I know it is best for both of us. So, to anybody having trouble in the beginning, it does get easier! Through my experience, and speaking to other moms I've learned that it does not come natural for a lot of people. I wish I had known this from the beginning. I just assumed everyone else was a natural and I was a failure.

Carter has gotten quite a few bottles of breast milk so far. He had his first one at 3 weeks. I had been told that I should wait at least 6 weeks to introduce a bottle as it may cause nipple confusion. Well I was so frustrated and tired that I figured I was going to switch to formula anyway, so if he didn't go back to the breast after the bottle I would just quite. However, he has had no nipple confusion whatsoever. Thank God! So my sweet husband can give me a break every couple of days and give little man a bottle of milk. This has been a key part in me continuing to breast feed.

On April 18 Carter turned 1 month old. I decided to take my own photos and here are some of them:

I love being a mommy!! Yes, I'm sleep deprived and covered in baby puke and pee, but he is so worth it! I feel so blessed to have this little boy in my life. He's amazing :)

Speaking of pee.... this child loves to pee on himself and everything around him. Haha! I had heard that little boys tend to do that when you open the diaper and air hits them, but wow. He doesn't do it as much anymore as we've learned how to change his diaper really fast.... I also cover his particulars with a wipe to minimize damage if he does pee. Oh joy!

Little man is currently sleeping in his swing. He loves it! It also has a removable bouncy chair that he is fond of. That bouncy chair is a lifesaver. I have managed to shower every single day by keeping the bathroom door open and putting him in the chair in the doorway. He likes the sound of the bathroom fan, it usually puts him to sleep. He's not too interested in any of his toys yet. He will hold them if we put them in his hands, but thats about it. We bought him Sophie the Giraffe, and are hoping eventually he takes interest because that thing was expensive!

He likes going for walks in the stroller and truck rides as long as we keep him moving. He usually sleeps the whole time we are out anywhere. He is unsure about tummy time right now, and will only tolerate it for about 5 minutes.

Carter sleeps in our room in the bassinet part of his playpen. The past few weeks most nights he will sleep for a four hour stretch, eat, then sleep for another three hours or so. We are hoping this continues.

Well, thats about it for now. I'll leave you with some more photos of our handsome little man:

- Amy