With the delay in leaving the hospital and having small complications with regular new baby fun, breastfeeding was slightly delayed.
We were told by the hospital that supplementing would be needed and we agreed seeing Miles wasn’t getting any reasonable amounts of fluid/food. It was a no-brainer. However, it set us up for a more difficult transition to Miles’ new eating habits.
What we had was the normal every hour feeding process, but with pumping breastmilk and still trying to breastfeed. In other words, an all the time, no time for breaks, feeding after feeding.
What no one tells you is that it takes a lot of time for a newborn to feed on the breast. When the milk supply is coming in, there isn’t much to eat. When you have a delay to get the milk supply going, the delay in full milk supply suffers.
So, while you have to take a long time to get a few milliliters of the remaining colostrum, it also takes a while to get the necessary fluid requirements from the formula. From there Elizabeth has to pump breast milk to get the stimulation she lost and there goes the whole hour. Back to feeding the baby.
When you couple this with just having given birth, the need for relaxing, sleep, and stress of a crying newborn, it feels like all you do is feed the baby.
Of course, with feeding comes, diapers, comes poops, and wiping, then cleaning, and dishes and laundering all the soiled items.
What we end up with is the first week without no other memories except eating and pooping, repeating so many times that the days don’t matter and the night time is not any different than the day.
When we get to the two-week point, things start to slow down and the feeding spreads out. Even the pooping seems to calm down. But this welcomed relief comes with questions.
Is Miles getting enough food? Miles isn’t pooping enough, too much? Does the poop look right? Is the formula to harsh on his tummy?
We then have a gassy, fussy, baby like all of the babies and his name is Miles. He is beautiful but scary. He is wonderful, but a handful. Thus, with all of the newness of a new baby, I look at Elizabeth and I see a saint.
Normal is Important
As I run around trying to make up for all of the things that need to be done, while I can’t breastfeed or pump food for my Miles, I am in awe of another part of life not shared.
It is normal and important. The same was and is done for all 7 billion people now living on Earth, but the truth is ignored.
It is tough. It hurts. It is difficult and it is real. And, what it comes down to is simplicity and love. It turns what I do for work into something less significant, even though necessary.
Learning at 46
Miles, just as Andrew has taught me, shows me life. A life I currently enjoy and stress out at the same time. A life where sometimes just having Miles poop after 36 hours of worrying why he hasn’t, makes my life complete and worry-free for a moment.
I would like to know why we gloss over the very nature of how we come to be people. The growth that comes from so much needed nurturing and giving from parents that don’t typically have the understanding or maturity to do things well.
I find raising a child one of the most difficult tasks in life. It is also one of the most common and needed. It eclipses anything society tries to keep us busy with and it can have benefits like nothing we could ever imagine.
Raising Kids: Older or Younger?
I am 46 years old and I work hard every day to make things better. Like most of us, I strive to be helpful more and more each day. I find many times that I look out in the world and cannot understand why we can’t be more honest about life.
I feel lucky to have found such a good person in Elizabeth. She is a better person than I am in a lot of ways; full of love and always seeing good things in what is happening.
As I write this, I can see Elizabeth holding Miles. Andrew is playing downstairs. The dogs are quiet in their room and it is peaceful. A lifetime of hard work and planning to make us worry less about money, but still needing to budget.
A lifetime of hard work to be stable and learn how to make it through the most difficult times and make them good.
I could never have imagined that I would be having children in my 40s. I always thought I was going to have a family in my 20s. Now, I can’t imagine it any other way.