Thursday, April 4, 2013

First Impressions

     Our first days at home with Tessa had been a bit of a blur for me up until a few weeks ago. I think that may be a pretty common phenomenon among new moms, between caring for a newborn, adjusting to life at home and a new role, and just enjoying our babies, never mind the sleep deprivation and emotional roller coaster that having a new baby causes. It’s no wonder I haven’t had time to stop and think and process the experiences of our first few days at home as a family of three. But now that things have settled down, some of those first impressions and early memories have been coming back and I've had a chance to reflect on them a little bit.

     A few nights ago, as I was feeding Tessa at 4am, a memory from our first few hours at home came to me. It was her first feeding after we arrived home. We had had a lot of difficulty with breastfeeding in the hospital. Tessa lost more weight than the doctor and nurses were comfortable with, which led to us having to spend an extra night in the hospital and supplement her with formula (not what I had planned or wanted, but what needed to happen for my baby to gain weight and be healthy!!). Every feed while we were in the hospital was very stressful for me. It felt like nothing we tried was working, and it seemed like every nurse (as great and as helpful as they were) had a different opinion or technique for us to try, so I was completely overwhelmed. Things started to turn around by the morning of the third day of our hospital stay, and we introduced Tessa to a bottle so we could take her home. We finally got home late that afternoon, and Tessa wanted to eat almost right away. I got settled on the couch, prepared for another difficult nursing session, and to my complete amazement, she latched on like a pro and had a full feed. My first thought was that she just didn’t like having an audience while she ate. But I think in that moment I realized for the first time what it must feel like to be a mom. Sheer joy and relief that my baby was eating without a problem. Frustration over all we had been through when it seemed that the solution was simply coming home where it was quiet and I was more relaxed and comfortable (it wasn’t, by the way!). Overwhelming pride and love for my little girl for no other reason except that she was eating. And anxiety and worry that this might just be a fluke and we’d be back where we started with the next feed. All those emotions, all at the same time. Welcome to motherhood!

     (By the way - Tessa and I were referred to the new Lethbridge Breastfeeding Clinic (can't say enough good things about them!!) and after just 1 or 2 appointments we were back to exclusive breastfeeding. Tessa is growing like crazy and doing amazing! So proud of her!)

6 days old
2.5 months

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