Sunday, December 9, 2012

Raspberry: 24 Weeks

Dearest Raspberry,

Please, please be a good little breastfeeder. Your sister- she was a stubborn little thing- she refused to latch for the first three weeks, and I never was able to break my reliance on supplementation with formula, even once we got the whole thing down. And your brother, he was a champ in the beginning, until reflux began to wreak havoc on his appetite, and therefore on my supply, which diminished further when I became pregnant with you. We turned to supplementation again, and I had all of these ideas about breastfeeding as much as I was able despite having to depend on formula, but your brother had different ones. Once he experienced the ease of bottle-feeding, he had no interest in looking back. 

But at times like these, I wish that I had fought harder, pushed further. Whether it would have done more harm than good, and led to success in the end, will forever remain an unknown. However, I still have a bad habit of punishing myself with all of the thoughts of "what if?" Especially when it occurs to me with all of the kick-butt antibodies I have at my disposal, I could possibly have spared your poor brother this disastrous first experience with Rotavirus, or whatever the heck it is we're dealing with here. At the very least, I could have offered him sustenance that is much easier on the tummy than formula, and could have spared myself and your father the insane back-up of dirty bottles that we've run into over the past few days, having to offer small servings every hour or two instead of every three. "Mama-milk," after all, comes ready-to-serve. And it's free.

It probably sounds awful of me to admit it, but I am literally counting the days until Michael turns 12 months old, so we can be rid of our formula dependency, and the $200-$250 a month bill that comes with it. Maybe we can even start putting away some savings, again...

No pressure, though, my Little Sweet. I know that you will do your best, and I will do the same. Having had two very different experiences to learn from, at the very least I will have a wealth of knowledge and, consequentially, confidence, behind me this time. 

And I owe you a very big "thank-you" this week. Even, and perhaps especially, on my crummiest days, you have been kicking, punching and squirming to your heart's content, leaving me no time to worry about you while I spent my days steeped in worry over everyone else. Though your moving and shaking sometimes made me a little motion sick, I never had to doubt your health and safety in there. I did sometimes wonder, though, if you weren't trying to tell me in your own little way, "Eat, Mommy! Eat!" Certainly, those hunger pains were twice the strength of any I've ever felt outside of pregnancy, and worse than any others I've felt during. If I left you hungry in there, too, I'm sorry. The worst is behind is now (did you notice that I freely ate like a little piggy today?) and I hope that neither one of us has to do that again anytime soon.

Sadly, I always seem to have to find something to worry about, and these Braxton-Hicks contractions that have recently started, random and infrequent as they are, have gotten the paranoia kicking in a little bit. I keep trying to tell myself that even if I go through prodromal labor again, it should be easier this time, knowing what to expect, and at least I'll get a quick birth out of the deal. But it will still be stressful, and I'm not so good with stress. Not that I should be burdening you with that. After all, it's your job to grow and be strong. The rest? That's all on me.



Update on Michael: NO PUKE TODAY! And, as of yesterday, we finally have breakthrough on that top, left-hand tooth (I'll have some pictures tomorrow). We have, however, had 4-5 blowouts in the last 48 hours, which says to me that the virus is "moving downwards." It's all good, though. I'm almost happy to be dealing with his poopie messes, because I'm taking them as an indication that we're in a brand new phase of his all-too-prolonged illness, and it is on its way out.