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March 19, 2001
a year ago
three years ago

The Baby Always Wins!

A really tough day, though it started okay. We had a nice, big oatmeal breakfast. George cooked the 6 portion amount on the side of the oatmeal box, and it fed John, George and I and there was just a little leftover. Breakfast tomorrow, hopefully. I fed and pumped before and after breakfast, and had just about enough. Then Jet not only ate before lunch, at 11:30 but also immediately after, at 12:30. Hungry boy. That was when we coined the phrase, "The Baby always wins!" Because, well, he always does get what he wants and needs. Luckily, at this point, they're pretty much the same thing. After that after lunch feeding, I ran for Longmont to see if I could get him weighed while he was still okay.

George and Isabel had gone on an adventure because it's a beautiful day today. They went to do the Peak to Peak highway to see all the Front Range of mountains. So I had the baby for the afternoon and wanted to see how far this growth spurt has gone.

The nurse was cool. She asked how we were doing, and I said that I was there to find out and she nodded, accepting that. When I had undressed Jet, she said, "I think he's 7 3." That made me blink, that was far more than I was hoping for, and when we set him on the scale he was 7 lbs, 4 and three-quarters ounces! Aiee! She was very good with the guess, and I was kind of stunned.

She commented, "An ounce a day is really good growth."

I should have embossed that on my heart and brain, I think. I think that's the only person, other than John, today, who's said that it was a very good thing. I shouldn't discount John, but sometimes I think he's biased.

I was chanting "Seven. Four and three quarters. Seven. Four and three quarters..." as the two of us headed to Target. Over the weekend John had completely rearrainged the office and in the process we'd rediscovered the picture printer that Geoff had given me for my birthday. John's Mom and Dad had wanted prints of the various digitial pictures we'd taken in the last month and they'd called around and found things are ridiculous as $10 a print! Mike's was just seventy five cents a print, but there was a setup fee if they wanted to pick and choose what prints they wanted from a disk.

Over the weekend John got it set up and installed and we tested it with the outdated film that had come with the printer. It did beautiful work, but we didn't know if we could get more film that would work if the stuff in the box ran out. The boxes that the film came in said that it was special digital picture printing film. The instructions said that the Spectra Platinum, their premium grade film, would work in the printer as well; but when we looked for it during our Safeway run, it as nearly two dollars a shot, which was darned expensive.

So here I was at Target to see if they had the film for less, and if I couldn't just get some really cheap Polaroid film and get it to work as well. Turns out that the 'normal' Polaroid film cost, at Target, just as much as the Spectra stuff, so I just got a twenty shot pack of the Spectra.

The other thing was that we had finished two cans of the four of formula, and if we were going to suppliment some more as things went, I thought we should get powdered so that it would be cheaper, have smaller quantities when we needed only a bit, and wouldn't have to throw a lot out at any given time. So I found the same formula he'd been drinking in powdered form in a big can, but the can said that it made over a hundred ounces and the can should be thrown out if it was older than a month! Obviously that wouldn't work when we were using, maybe, eight ounces a week and that only after the first five weeks. They also had a box of the one shot envelopes, that each made four ounces at a time, and so long as the envelope was sealed, would last, from the date on the box, a whole year. I could see using four ounces within 48 hours. We'd had real trouble using the eight within 48 hours without messing up stimulating my breasts properly. So I bought that.

After we got home, Jet was really cranky all late afternoon and I just wasn't able to feed him nearly enough. We even had 2 sets of 2 feedings only an hour apart and 2 feedings of an entire hour as he came out of them crying, dry of diaper and wanting to eat more. Late evening found me completely tapped out. He ate one breast and when I tried to move him to the other, he started screaming and wouldn't close on the nipple. The binky consoled him a little and I cracked, had John heat some formula for Jet he sucked down two ounces of formula. He was instantly quiet and content.

It left me something of a wreck, emotionally. We had 6 ounces of my milk in the fridge, which was enough for the night but not enough for this. So I pumped to finish off the nipple and pumped when we normally had the late feeding. Got plenty for the night, but I really despair of ever making enough milk for Jet. I had just so much trouble getting him fed today.

The Leche League book is no help at all in such circumstances. I have a cranky, hungry baby and my breasts are producing nothing at all and all the book can say is that I shouldn't suppliment because then my breasts will dry out and I'll do the criminal thing of weaning or moving to formula before three months are up.

Why do they write such things? If I'm basically getting sucked on every hour on the hour during the day, what is two ounces of formula going to hurt? Basically the main thing it hurts is my sense that I'm doing any good for my baby, because of what the book says.

Even with the evidence of Jet's good weight gain, it was very hard to think of it as adequate when he was crying from what seemed like hunger. It really didn't help when my mom, on the phone, said that an ounce a day was 'about right' given that a kid was supposed to be 20 pounds at the end. That's nuts. First off, an ounce a day would result in a 25 pound, overweight one-year-old, given that he has six pounds to start. A six-week-old should not be gaining weight at the same rate as an eleven-month-old on solid foods. She made me feel just awful saying that. It's the same kind of input that has made me depressed and unhappy about myself all my life. I can never do well enough. I don't get praise for when I do do well. Maybe no one ever does, and maybe I'll just have to make it for myself and stop complaining and blaming others.

It's only my engineering self that can figure it out rationally. I crunched all the numbers of what was reasonable and Jet's been going through a really tremendous growth spurt. I just have to know that, I guess, and not have to guess or hope that someone else will tell me.

It's really hard to think when a baby is crying, full-lung, in the ears of everyone involved in the conversation. It's hard. Thinking it all through afterwards, we did the right thing and we'll do it again when I'm dry and he really needs more food. Make sure his needs are met no matter what my mental state about it, and it's stupid to let pride about being 'all breastfed' come in the way of Jet actually eating what he wants. I guess some of it is a question of what he needs, though.

So we gave him what he needed and he was content.

Sadly, a lot of the harder bits of this were going on when John had to go off to collect his parents from the Ford dealership because their car had sustained some rock damage during the trip. There was a lot to be fixed, and even parts to be ordered. So just about everyone was pretty sad this evening.

I'm glad that I'll have help for a while longer, but also kind of ambivilent about it all, too. When there are two other people, there are, sometimes, two other opinions being offered on various baby care things. When it's just John and I it's so simple to talk things through and he knows what my hot buttons and insecurities are and he's good about trying not to touch them off or if he does, he's good about talking it through with me. It's harder with two people that I am not as close as that to, especially with the self-esteem problems I'm having with all this.

At least I do know it's me. <grin>

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