The first couple of days at the hospital were amazing! [You can watch our birth Vlog here]. The surgery was great and everything went perfectly! I learned how to safely handle my baby, change her diapy, how to nurse, and the many ways our sweet flower enjoys to be soothed. [I was so scared to be a mom here, but it turns out those instincts really do kick in automatically, yay!]. But newborns get hungry every 2-3 hours around the clock. Not to mention all the poking and prodding as the nurses come in every hour or so to check yours and babies vitals, draw blood, test baby for this and that, etc. The anxiety alone goes without saying. Although Violet was such a calm baby, she taught me the true meaning of exhaustion!
After 4 long days and nights and the hospital, I was discharged and ready to to finally take our sweet baby home! The first night home is what opened my eyes to the reality of being a mother. You don't get a full medical staff to assist you anymore. There is no little red button to call for help. Even though my mother helps tremendously.... this night was when it became real. Violet would no longer wake to feed. And when she did wake, she would cry bloody murder. My baby was inconsolable. Where was my usual lovely baby!?
Violet had been exclusively breastfeeding since birth. She was latching and sucking beautifully until our first night home when she wouldn't latch at all literally overnight. She was rejecting my breast and she hadn't eaten in over 6 hours! My heart was racing and then I realized... My baby is starving.
Long story short, I hysterically reached out to a LLL (La Leche League) leader and she attempted to guide me off the ledge. Thankfully that day, we also had our first appointment with the pediatrician and the doctor explained to us that Violet has lost a significant amount of weight and it was very concerning since she was already a small baby. He told us we needed to (gulp!) supplement with formula or Violet would be too weak and not grow properly.
There are no words to express the feeling that you have failed your child. That your body is not enough. I had my heart set on exclusively breastfeeding. That morning I couldn't have been buried with a broken heart. I was grief-stricken and crying at the top of my lungs.
Breastfeeding takes a lot of sacrifice and dedication!
It does not come easy for many!
But I wasn't ready to give up on breastfeeding just yet. I was recommended to a wonderful lactation consultant that came to our home. She explained to me that because I had a healthy colostrum flow that suddenly decreased, the milk that transitions into the final mothers milk was delayed for some reason. We worked through how I could increase my supply again and Jackie (The lactation consultant) gave me a plan of action that would help Violet get back to a healthy weight and growing on track.
So I began pumping and asked my cousin's wife if she could kindly donate me some of her breastmilk as she was still producing for her 9 month old. She was wonderful enough to donate me a nice supply that would last me the weekend plus a few more days (Thanks Makyra!)
Violet was a week old at our follow up visit. Violet has been gaining her weight back beautifully and is absolutely thriving with the help of the donor milk. She put us through such a scare this week but so thrilled to report Violet sleeps and feeds on a decently reliable schedule and we could not be more pleased with her progress!
We did eventually have to start formula, but I know from experience that things may not always go our way but we just have to go with the flow. I am still pumping and working my ass off following through with all the tips and tricks to increase my milk supply (I have already been mom shammed for introducing formula smh). No Matter what anyone says, the most important thing is that Violet is FED, growing, safe, healthy and happy!
Looking back at this crazy week of first's and learning how to be a good mommy to Violet, I am pleased to say that I was able to live presently and consciously in every moment spent with my beautiful flower. I owe it all to her precious big brother in heaven. Because of our son, I was mindful, and not a moment was ever taken for granted 💜. I love her so much and will always live my life doing what is best for her!
Violet's First Bath at Home! (June 19th)
I hope you enjoyed watching this video as much as I enjoyed making it! Violet has been such a shining light in our lives and we cannot get enough of her!!