Digesting Kate's new feeding situation (haha...pun intended) has taken me a few days. I have really struggled with feelings of guilt (for not recognizing her needs) and feelings of frustration (for the extra demands of our new routine). I have consulted a few experts and given the whole situation a lot of thought. And of course I have been feeding Kate a lot more and watching anxiously for her response.
The lactation consultant said Kate is most likely a baby who is "content to starve," or will only eat enough to stop feeling hungry. She is so content that she probably doesn't know what true hunger is, except maybe at night. To give her extra calories, and to help her little tummy expand, Kate is now nursing every 1.5-2.5 hours. I'm trying to keep her nursing as long as possible during each session. After some feedings, I also supplement with an ounce or two of pumped breast milk in a bottle. Kate has gobbled up the extra milk. Tomorrow I will start taking some herbs to increase my milk production.
Since we started the new routine, I have noted a few changes.
*Kate is much more alert and is spending more time awake and engaged every day.
*She is fussier and more vocal in general.
*She smiles more easily, especially for me. She used smile for everyone BUT me.
*She sleeps less.
*She spits up more.
*She spits up more.
*She seems hungry more frequently.
What does it all mean? Who knows. As for me, I devote at least twice as much time per day to Kate's feedings. I thought I was limited before! Even though I am quite sore and very tired, I am starting to hope that we might not have to live this way forever. I hope that Kate's increasing demand will help with my supply (which has never been a problem before), and that we can eliminate the bottle supplements after a few weeks. I am hoping she can be an exclusively breastfed baby, but we'll see. Kate's growth is very important, but so is my sanity.
That said, how can I help but love this little girl? She and Lexi were an adorable pair this morning.
Joys since my last post:
*Sending Zach on his first hike with the Webelos
*Rewarding Tyler with an ice cream date for good behavior at school
*Seeing Gavin play with a basketball team for the first time
*Going on our first post-baby date to the adult session of stake conference
*Having success with a new babysitter
*Enjoying warmer temperatures and sunshine
*Finishing an entire laundry cycle (wash, dry, fold, iron, put away) in 24 hours
*Cutting out doll clothes patterns for Christmas
*Attending the ward fall festival with five costume-clad kids
*Eating these divine pumpkin cookies
*Having a clean house on Saturday night