Yesterday was your 3 week "birthday." It's hard to believe you have been in our lives three weeks. Sometimes it seems like just yesterday that we came home from the hospital and other days it seems like you have always been a part of our lives.
The first two weeks having you outside of the womb was difficult for me. First of all you were not interested in eating ANYTHING the first 3 1/2 days of your life. We were syringe feeding you and you still would let the milk spill out of your mouth. My milk did not come in until the fourth night (despite trying to pump and get it to come in sooner) and when it did you were still not too interested in eating which caused extremely painful engorgement. I think we got you nursing on the 5th day, but you only liked my right side and to be held in the football hold (which I do not like). My left side had a blood clot that made it clogged and finally became unplugged with pumping. I continued to pump to relieve and prevent future engorgement and we decided to stop syringe feeding you. We thought you had to learn to suck somehow and a bottle was better than a syringe.
We also had a lot of doctors appointments the first two weeks. Because you weren't eating your bilirubin levels increased. We saw the doctor 3 times by the time you were two weeks old and we had to take you to the hospital 3 times for bilirubin checks. We also had to have your newborn screening redone as you had an abnormal reading. Your second test came back perfect. Your bilirubin levels have decreased and you have gained weight. At your two week check up you weighed 7 lbs 15 oz and you were still 20 inches long. You gained a whole pound in 11 days. It was now obvious that you were eating! We could also tell you were gaining weight because your fingers were plumping up a little (and not looking so long and skinny!)
If I had a chance to redo your first two weeks, I would limit visitors and phone calls to allow us more time to bond. After about a week, I was brave enough to tell visitors that you could only be held when I gave you up (which was only when I was eating). But your father was the one who really rescued me and asked for no more visitors or phone calls until the end of the week. I think the two of us being together helped you to eat and breastfeed better as well as increase our bond. This has also taught me to control my excitement and allow other new families space before visiting (sorry Chris & Christina and Josh & Marcie). I know everyone had the best of intentions and wanted to welcome you into the world (and kiss those cute chubby cheeks) and we ARE grateful for having such a supportive group of family and friends.
Since being your mom, I've had a few tearful moments. I was upset about you not eating and about your bilirubin level. I've even shed tears in the middle of the night as I'm nursing you and thinking about you growing up. Sometimes I miss having you in my belly. When I was pregnant with you, I always had you with me. I could talk to you or rub you whenever I wanted. I would pat your bottom because it was always poked out on my left side. I still pat your bottom and it calms you. Yet as I type this, you are snuggled up on my chest and I LOVE IT!!! I hope that you always want to cuddle with your Mama even when you're 30 and you have a bad day.
17 DAYS OLD