She is a beautiful baby! Thank you for sharing your birth story. I am very impressed by your positive attitude regarding the down's- you seem to be very much taking it in stride! I'm glad to hear that she seems to have none of the major health issues that babies with ds tend to have. Congratulations again, she is beautiful!
Tomorrow is four weeks since Kailey's birth...I just thought I would update on where things are at...
First of all, my daughter is beautiful. And we are very lucky she is very healthy. She has no heart or digestive problems. Her muscle tone is great, as she kicks everyone, tries to stand when you hold her against your chest and always holds her head up on her own. I love babywearing and she is happy to just be along for the ride, looking around and taking everything in. We also got very good news last week about her hearing. She had failed the hearing screening in the hospital (probably due to fluid, especially since her birth was so quick). We had a repeat screening with an audiologist this past week and she got a pass in both ears (although some of the lower tones were a struggle in the left ear, again probably due to fluid, as she has really small ear canals). They will test her again in two months, but are just being cautious and are not worried.
So we really are blessed. She is also a great baby. So laid back, hardly crying for longer than a minute or two. She sleeps well at night and is alert and active during the day. The only issue we really have is feeding. Unfortunately, BF just didn't work...I really believe that virtually every woman can BF, but unfortunately Kailey and I are the exception. I never had any supply...I pumped for 20 minutes every three hrs around the clock, massive quantities of oatmeal, water, fenugreek, teas, and finally found a pharmacy to compound Domperidone (since it is safer to the baby than Reglan) and paid $150 since it is not FDA approved in the US...all to no avail. I finally was told by my OB, LCs and Pediatrician that it was time to spend my energy focusing on Kailey and that I had done everything possible, I just wasn't going to get more than an ounce at a time (from both sides, combined). It's hard because I wanted to provide her BM, more than anything...I am sure I will have the "what ifs" for a while...what if she was more interested in nursing (she can latch, but is too laid back to care about trying for long when the supply wasn't there), what if I had been a better pumper and could have at least expressed milk for her...Things are getting better as the days go by.
Right now we are just focusing on the weight gain issue...She was born at 6 pds 5 oz and went down to 6 pds when she left the hospital...she has had weekly weight checks and is up to 6 pds 12 oz at 3 weeks. Gaining, but not well. So now we have to feed her a higher calorie mix and make her eat every two hours. She is just too laid back. At first they were concerned about her ability to suck, but luckily we have a really good nurse practitioner and she took the time to feed Kailey this last week and see that she eats really well, just decides she is done. Stubborn little lady! :roll: We'll see how she does at her next appt.
Also, as much as I love her and would never trade her for the world...I am still not sure I feel like her mom...or like a mom at all. Her birth was great, but sort of seems like a distant, separate event...in retrospect it seems a little like a movie, not like something that I really went through. It just went so fast and then she was hear and then I was holding her about an hour later when the pediatrician came and gave us the news of her Down Syndrome (no inkling before then). I am not sure if the shock of hearing the news made me separate from the birth experience because I had to deal with that more immediate concern?
I have also had lots of time to reflect on what we would have done if we had known about the DS while I was pregnant. Many people have asked us if we did the screening tests...we didn't do the tests, we are youngish (I am 29 and DH is 35) and didn't think they would change how we handled the pregnancy. As my OB said, he would have talked us out of an amnio because the risk to the baby would have been higher than the risk of DS. And now, having met my daughter, I know that I have no regrets about not testing. We have an appointment for genetic counseling later this month. It was actually recommended by our pediatrician...at first we thought we would wait until later on, but now I am glad we are doing it. It is likely (from the testing we have back from Kailey) that it was just a random happening when the chromosomes split, but there is always a small chance that one (or both of us) is a carrier of DS. I know that it will be good to know, but there are mixed feelings. How will we deal with things if one of us happens to be a carrier? (I know this is rare because we have no history and no miscarriages...) We had always planned on having two children. DH is more convinced now because he doesn't want Kailey to be alone. Part of me feels this way and I already think about being pregnant again (even though I wasn't that in love with being pregnant!)...but part of me feels like I would be fine just being Kailey's mom. Hmm, I am sure this is just a normal issue with having #2...like how can I love #2 as much and not wanting to take away from #1.
Wow, this got long all of a sudden. Thanks for letting me sort out some thoughts and ramble a little.
A few photos...
I understand your feelings of not feeling like her mom. I have been wondering about the " mom" feeling too. I think the feeling of not being a 'mom" maybe from just making the transition and figuring out what being a mom means to us, individually. Sometimes when other people are holding my dd and she starts to cry my first instinct is to look for the poor baby's mom. Or at 4 am and she isn't settling, I wonder when her parents are going to come and get her. I think that if you give yourself a couple of weeks or a month you will realize that you are a mom and feel like one too.
I am glad that you are doing well and I really admire how hard you tired to bf!
Also, I am amazed at how similar our daughters look. I will have to post a better picture.
Aww, Karly, she is so beautiful!
I'm glad Mely answered here too, b/c I feel a connection to you two b/c our births were so close together and I was following your lodges as I was writing mine. So I want to answer both of you about how you feel as a mom. (Me being sooo much more experienced :dontknow: )
Melynda, you really have it right. The bonding you feel with your baby is only the beginning. Feeling like you love the baby is different than coming to terms with being completely responsible for a new human being. I remember when we brought Netanel home from the hospital, it was the first time he cried, he screamed for the entire ten minute ride home! It was heartbreaking. Then we get inside and we put the carseat on the dining room table and just stood there staring at him. We were both thinking, "Now what?" Fortunately we were only there to pack up a few things before we headed to my parents for a week. That was a huge help.
We are still very post partum, this is an emotionally and physically difficult time. Our hormones are not back to normal at all, our bodily functions are not back to normal yet either. We're still at risk for pp hemmorrage, and we're getting used to having very little quality sleep! (Even me! Tani isn't waking up 5 times a night anymore!) Don't feel weird about how you're feeling - it's completely normal. In fact, Karly, you're probably right on in thinking that the DS news affected how you related to the birth. From your posts you seem to be handling that information with a lot of strength and acceptance, but I'm sure it's not as easy as you make it sound. And it's so wonderful that she sound like she has a pretty mild abberation, based on her muscle tone and abilities! But I'm sure that does only so much to take away from the speculations of how this is going to affect her and you as she grows up.
Take it easy. And take your time. Motherhood is not something we just step into and all of a sudden becomes us. It is something we develop over time. Don't think about having more kids now. Even after you get the results. Just take that info and put it away for at least a year. Take the time to learn about yourself as a parent, about your DH as a parent, about your new beautiful baby and how you both relate to her. Take the time to really become a mother. You're going to do great! (You too, Melynda!) It just takes time and it needs to.
And Karly - don't beat yourself up about the BFing either. We know that it is the best thing for a baby, but thank God, the formulas that are out there now really do a very good job when breastmilk is not an option. You will always know that you are not one of the pple who just decided "breastfeeding is not for me" you put in more than a concerted effort. You tried evertyhing!! You are doing the right thing for Kailey and yourself right now! Your care providers are absolutely right! You need to focus on Kailey instead of trying to create a milk supply that is just not there.
I have so much respect and admiration for you, Karly. You are an incredible woman and even though you don't feel it yet, I can tell from your posts that you are an amazing mother too! KUP on the genetic testing, and on Kailey's development, she looks so beautiful in the pictures! I wish I could hold her!!