Saturday, December 19, 2009

If I Had Only Known...

I didn't know.

I didn't know that when I chose to feed the boys lunch AFTER Nolan's doctor's appointment on Thursday they wouldn't get to eat until Mike came to pick them up at 3:00.

I didn't know that when I left the house for the routine checkup at 12:00 that I wouldn't return home again until well after 6:00.

I didn't know that when my baby sucked his pacifier so vigorously he was actually searching for food.

I didn't know that when he cried he was trying to tell me that he was literally starving.

I didn't know that every time I put him to the breast he would suck until he exhausted himself and fell asleep but only received a small amount of food.

I didn't know that his tiny body was the result of hunger, not genetics.

I didn't know.

If I had only known. I would have done things so differently. I would have started pumping earlier to increase my milk supply for him. I would have insisted on frequent weight checks to make sure he was gaining appropriately. I would have forbidden pacifiers and put him to the breast every time he wanted to suck, even if it was just 15 minutes after our last feeding. If I had only known. But I didn't know. And this happened.

And now. Now my baby is scheduled to have a second blood test next week. Now he is drinking cold formula from an artificial nipple. Now I'm pumping every hour and a half and nursing too and my breasts are sore and my older children are feeling neglected. And I'm still not making enough milk. His weak suck and my ignorance allowed my milk supply to decrease to nearly nothing, and I'm not sure I'll be able to build it back up. I'm feeling betrayed by the very body I was so in awe of only weeks ago. I'm feeling cheated because I won't be able to breastfeed my very last baby the way I had planned. I'm feeling exhausted because my routine right now consists of nursing the baby, giving him a bottle, then pumping, then about 30 minutes of down time before the process starts over (day and night). I'm feeling ashamed because I let this happen--what kind of mother lets this happen? When I checked in at the hospital for his tests, I was horrified to see that I knew the admitting nurse. I handed her the orders for the tests with the words "failure to thrive" written across the top, and wanted the floor to swallow me up to avoid sitting in the room with her thoughts of how I was neglecting my baby. Failure to thrive is something that drug addicts' babies have. Good mothers have fat babies and laugh about their pudgy thighs. My baby's diaper leaks every time he pees because his legs are too skinny to get a good fit. How could I have not known? I'm terrified that his "failure to thrive"--my failure to parent--will have long-term affects on his brain and his development.
So, if you are so inclined, please pray for my very little man. And, if you don't mind, for me too.


Kerry said...

Oh, Katina, you and Nolan are in my prayers. I know it doesn't help, but it's NOT YOUR FAULT. There are SO many things we can't know... that's why we can't raise our children alone. We "need the village." Blessings to you and your family. You will all be in my prayers.

Rachelle Reed

Frugalissa said...

I goggled your name to find an email for you and this popped up. I signed you in at ETCH and I felt no judgement. I had compassion and my heart ached for you b/c I have been in a similar situation nursing my baby. I sent you a FB message that was more depth.

Melissa Cox