My son and Nicole Richie have something in common…

They are both in the 5% percentile on the weight-for-age scale.

Fuck!

We went to the pediatrician yesterday and Hunter weights 12 lbs. & 11 ounces and is 26 ½ inches long. He is in the 85% percentile for height, but only the 5th for his weight. They told me he was scrawny and they were borderline concerned. Jeez, I gave birth to a toothpick!

He feeds on demand and we have supplemented breast milk with formula since his first pediatrician visit. I have struggled for weeks with the whole breastfeeding issue. When you breastfeed there is no way of knowing how much your child is getting (a boob-guage would be so helpful!). So they tell you as long as they are having a sufficient number of wet diapers, then that can be your gauge. Well Hunter has plenty. He’s not fussy and he hardly ever cries. He’s a happy kid, certainly not the picture of starvation:

IMG_0616

It seems my milk started dwindling when we all got sick. And I have really been struggling ever since.

I have to agree with whorl: “Breastfeeding is hard.”

I am really struggling with this. On the downside, I am always lugging the pump and whatnot in and out of work. Yesterday I forgot the cord at work so I had to use the battery adapter. Today I forgot the shields at home so I had to go home to pump. Luckily I live close to work. Last week was a budget review week and the meetings everyday completely interfered with my pumping schedule. It takes twice as much time to pump and feed than it does just to feed directly from your breast. I know this sounds like an easily remedied fix – just feed the kid. But the schedule he eats on (yes, that oh so successful schedule) means he eats at daycare between 4:30 and 5 and I don’t pick him up until 5:30. Then I go home and have to pump.

Recently I have asked them to hold off on his 5 o’clock feeding so I can feed him at home. Egads! It’s all my fault his is “scrawny”. I was trying to increase my milk. I really think (and hope) he gets more milk when he breastfeeds than I get when I pump.

There are so many upsides: a bazillion studies that show breastfeeding is better for children. Okay, there’s a hundred and one anyway. Things like: the development of your child’s immune system, it’s the perfect nutrition (even tho’ they want to you give your kids vitamins if he’s not getting formula – whatever!), it protects against a butt-load of diseases later in life, helps satisfy the baby’s emotional needs and increases bonding between Mom and baby, it (is supposed to) lower the risk of ear infections (Hunter currently has one – wtf), it lowers the risk of obesity (hey, I got that on covered – HA) and reason number 101 – it’s what breasts were designed for. And frankly these DD’s would really annoy me if I wasn’t getting some use out of them.

I don’t know why I feel it has to be all or nothing. I think I am afraid my milk will go completely away and the thought of not breastfeeding anymore makes me sad. I love looking down at him while he’s eating. There is nothing like that little smile with milk coming out of the corner of his mouth – I don’t think I can describe the feeling.

So many emotions are swirling through my head lately it’s making me grumpy. I feel guilty because I think it’s so hard and time consuming. I’m full of love looking down at Hunter and I love spending the time with him, one on one. I get frustrated at the amount of mile and that frustration is bad for pumping. Lack of control over the situation (this one is big, big, BIG for me).

I feel like I have to do something different, especially now with his weight being an issue, but I just can’t bring myself to say “okay, no more breastfeeding”. I tear up just thinking about it. I want so badly to do what’s best for Hunter, but unfortunately there is no magic answer.

I’m sorry this is so long. As you can see, I am all over the place with this.

…sigh…

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7 Comments »

  1. daisies Said:

    whatever you do will be the right thing : )

    he looks super healthy and happy and loved … i remember when i had to stop breastfeeding my son, it was devasating but i had no choice because my body just stopped producing milk but at least i got five months of it and they say it is the first milk that has the most benefit ~ you know they, them those people : )

  2. Annika Said:

    You are doing great! My personal feeling is that trying to keep a schedule for feeding a breastfed baby will backfire – he needs to make the ‘schedule’ and it will change constantly. (I’m sure you know this stuff already! And you should of course do what is right for YOU.) Hunter is skinny, yes, but it is so obvious that he isn’t malnourished. Formula can actually lead to the opposite problem – babies often want milk when they are thirsty, not hungry, and breastmilk starts out thin but formula is constant and full of calories. But I should not say anymore because I feel pretty strongly about formula and I don’t want to sound preachy. I support whatever you do! YOU are his mother. You must not listen to me or anyone else (including the pediatrician) if it cntradicts what you know is best for him.

  3. Stepherz Said:

    Sheryl, he’s getting plenty of milk; just remember that he’s healthy and that your body was made to do this. Some kids are smaller than others, there’s nothing wrong with that. They can’t all be the same size! Noah is in the 7th percentile. They’ll probably end up being 6’3″ and 210 pounds!

    Don’t give up on breastfeeding yet. You will both miss it terribly, and it will be over soon enough. You are doing what’s best for him and supplementing with formula is pretty common; I do that too.

  4. Meghan Said:

    Wow, Stepherz took the words right out of mouth.

    Chin up, Momma. You’ve got A LOT on your plate… and you’re doing a hell of a good job!

  5. Rashenbo Said:

    Howdy, I found you off the nablo list!! Nice to meetcha.

  6. sherylhs Said:

    Thanks for all the support. I’m a breastfeeding maniac this weekend. We picked up some cereal and we are going to try feeding the bug some of that (stay tuned for pictures).

    I really do appreciate the kind words and morale support, you guys are great!!!

  7. Gina Said:

    Yes, don’t feel bad! They go through such growth spurts that it is impossible to tell from just one doctor visit. Things change so quickly when they are this age.

    Keep up the good work!


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