Yesterday had to be one of the longest, most emotionally challenging days of my life.
It started with Eden’s 4 month check-up at the Doctor’s office. She had grown 9 cm in length and 3 cm in head circumferance from her last appointment. I was eager to see how much she weighed. I laid Eden down on the scale and watched the numbers.
11 pounds, 6 ounces.
That couldn’t be right. The nurse checked her 2 month record and her weight there: 11 pounds, 6 oz. We both didn’t believe it so we put Eden back on the scale. The numbers didn’t change. Eden went from being in the 75th percentile for weight at birth to the 10th. I thought she had inherited her fathers lean physique.
The Doctor came in and said she had to be seen by a pediatrician right away in the emergency room. I cried on my way over, wondering what could be wrong with my little girl.
After I arrived at the ER, I was interviewed for about 45 minutes, Eden had her vitals checked. Then I was to feed her so we could weigh her again and see how much she was eating. Eden was fussy again while she was eating. She had been a little fussier while eating about 50 % of the time for the last month which everyone assured me meant she was teething. We put her back on the scale. 40 grams. I didn’t know what the meant. The pediatrician looked at me and said the words I never wanted to hear:
“You have to supplement her”.
2 things happened at once: 1) I immediately and uncontrollably started crying… hard. 2) It was like a flashback of the last month appeared to me – her diapers hadn’t been as wet and they kinda smelled a little more, she had less bowel movements, I hadn’t felt as ‘full’ before feeding, the fussiness, the fact that her 3 month clothes still fit her… GUILT for not noticing these things or putting them all together…
“Do you want Similac or Infamil or Goodstart?” were the next words out this heartless doctor’s mouth.
“What can I do? This isn’t permanant right? What do I do to build my milk supply back up?”
“You gave it a good 4 months” was her reply.
I wanted to slap her across the face. She just stared at me blankly. “Doesn’t see understand?”, I thought. This isn’t just feeding my baby. This is an incredible bond I feel with her everytime I feed her. It’s an amazing natural process and bond between mother and child. It’s so easy and convenient. And can I help it that I’m Dutch? Formula cost money… Don’t get me wrong, i have nothing against people who choose formula over breast but for me, this was a very strong and loving connection I felt with my little girl that I wasn’t about to just call it quits on. I tried to explain this to her. She prescribed a drug to increase my supply.
Then Eden had her blood drawn and urine assessed. I sat in the ER for 8 1/2 hours. I was exhausted from all the tears I had shed and guilt I had been building on top of myself.
I’m not giving up. Jack Newman (www.DrJackNewman.com) wouldn’t let me give up either. I’ll be taking this drug, eating as healthy as I possibly can, pumping between feeds and postponing my arrival to California so that I can get this back on track. I’ve read this isn’t that uncommon to happen between 3-4 months.
I’m not giving up.