November 4, 2017

Welcoming Her Into the World

Since January, so much has happened. We were successful getting pregnant with a healthy little girl, we moved into a house in a new town, Ryan accepted a new job and we got a dog! It feels like I’ve lived an entirely new life with so much change. Especially with becoming a mother. We welcomed Nova Violet Fullerton on October 8th at 11:37am. She is perfect and we just love her to pieces! 

While motherhood is beautiful and an amazing experience, it hasn’t come on as naturally as I had hoped. I was fully aware that it would be hard and thankless but that still wasn’t enough to prepare me for this type of hurting. Breastfeeding has been what I consider to be the biggest. challenge. ever. While I was pregnant, I was asked several times if I was planning to breastfeed and my answer was always “yes!” (note the explanation point). I’ve always been passionate about it! In the hospital, she just would not latch. It was frustrating to come home with little to no guidance beyond the pile of packets that was included with my discharge papers. 

That first night home was miserable. I sat in Nova’s nursery with her screaming out of hunger. She was so tiny and fragile. Again, she wouldn’t latch. I sat in the rocking chair crying with her thinking “Is this how it will be? Is this my new life?” I was only two days in and already about to give up.  

Eventually, she learned to latch and I was so grateful. At her first appointment with the pediatrician we discovered she lost 10% of her birth weight. I felt awful. How could this happen? She was basically attached to my breasts ALL day. It didn’t take long to figure out that my supply is just too low. I quickly ordered all the supplements, started to drink even more water, nursed her twice as much. Next appointment came around and she had only gained two ounces. At this point, I had to supplement with formula to help her gain weight. 

Feelings of guilt, inadequacy and hopelessness washed over me like I have never felt in my life. Formula was the last thing I wanted to introduce her to. Fear of nipple confusion and colic ran through my mind as I gave her that first bottle.

Nova finally passed her birth weight, feedings have become more regular with less formula and she actually sleeps during the night with only one or two feeding wakes! Things are looking up. Motherhood is so tough. Tougher than I could have ever imagined. I see other moms and feel an immediate appreciation for what they do every day. 

This isn’t the last time our little family will go through a huge learning curve but now I feel more prepared for hard things to come. I’ve come out the other side stronger so if this is what it takes to be a better mom and wife, it is so, so worth it. 

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