It's better now

Today Mimi is 4 weeks old! The first two weeks dragged by in a haze of sleeplessness and soreness but the last few weeks have gone by in a blink. I actually thought Mimi was only 3 weeks old until I checked the calendar. The first week or so after my c-section was pretty rough in terms of pain but except for a little tenderness at my incision I'm feeling pretty good now.

Even though I breastfed E and thought nursing would go more smoothly this time around it the first couple of weeks were a struggle. Along with Mimi's prodigious size comes a prodigious appetite and for a while she had trouble getting enough milk when nursing. I had enough milk she just couldn't get it out. So I would pump some milk or give her formula in a bottle after each feeding to top her off.

When she was a week old I took Mimi to the lactation clinic and they couldn't figure out what wasn't working so they suggested putting away the bottles and using a little neonatal feeding tube connected to a syringe of breastmilk. Basically I would tape the end of the tube to my (clean) finger and then stick my finger in her mouth and slowly press the syringe plunger down as Mimi sucked. The theory behind it is that feeding her this way is closer to breastfeeding than using a bottle and that it would help her learn to suck more effectively.

I fed her like that after every feeding for about three days like the consultant suggested. It was kind of a production: the syringe only held 10 cc and Mimi would need three or four of them after she nursed to feel full. And then two hours later I would have to start the 45 minute process again. After four days of using the syringe I went back to giving her a bottle if she was still hungry. And then after a few more days Mimi seemed to get the hang of it and was able to nurse until she was full at every feeding.

Before I had E I didn't realize that breastfeeding could be so difficult. And before I had Mimi I didn't realize that the first few weeks of nursing could be difficult even if you've done it before. In the middle of our struggles I would get discouraged and feel like it was NEVER going to to get better.

But then it did.

(Phew.)

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