Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Visit to the pediatrician

Leah had her virst visit to the pediatrician yesterday. It's only about 5 blocks away but it was 20 degrees out, so we got her all bundled up. She wore a newborn sleeper, which is a bit big but not too bad. And we put her in the carseat with a blanket and the boot pulled over it. The carseat attaches to the stroller (the Bugaboo of course). We decided the car seat was cozier than the bassinet in this brutal cold. And we already know she likes being in the carseast. She didn't seem to notice the cold and slept most of the ride.

Dr. O'Connor started by asking what questions we had, which was nice because we had a lot. She answered them all. Nothing too exciting to sharr there. Although for those wondering, we did ask how long it takes for skin pigmentation to come in. She said it'll be gradual over time and we really won't know how dark she'll be for a year or so.

We stripped her down and the doctor examined her. She said she looked good - nothing to be concerned about from the physical. Then she weighed her and she was only 6 pounds - so she lost another 3.4 ounces since leaving the hospital. Then the doctor had me feed her so that she could see how that was going.

It turns out that she's not latching on quite right. We solved the problem we were having early on but created a new one. She's not holding onto enough of the areola, so she's not pulling down enough milk. The doctor worked with me for a few minutes and we got her to latch a few times, but she wouldn't stay latched on. The doctor said it will just take some work. We go back to see her on Friday and hopefully she'll be on the way back up. If not, we may need to supplement with some formula.

So I spent quite awhile yesterday afternoon and overnight trying to get her to latch properly - same result - short time on without much sucking and then she pulls away. We decided yesterday evening that we should try a lactation consultant. We called the woman listed in the brochure from NYU who is in Brooklyn. She has availability later this morning and is coming around 10 a.m. So I decided that in the meantime, I should pump to try to bring my milk in and I think I'm better off giving her expressed milk from a bottle instead of letting her latch on wrong, which is doing a bit of damage to my nipples.

This has brought to our attention that she definitely wasn't getting enough because I'm not yet producing enough. The first time I pumped I got over 2 ounces, which we split over 2 feedings, because she seemed to not be ready for all of it. We intended to increase that gradually. But since then, pumping every 3 hours is only producing half an ounce at a time. We've been giving her that, and it does seem to sate her somewhat, but she should probably be getting closer to 2 ounces at a feeding.

We'll see what the lactation consultant can do as far as getting her to latch and also what she says about how much she should eat and whether we should supplement with formula to make sure she's getting enough. We do want her to grow - and at this point if we're bottle feeding her some anyway, I don't think supplementing would do any harm. The doctor said she has lots of patients who have to supplement in the beginning and by 6 weeks they are successfully exclusively breast feeding.

So - I remain optimistic - if sore and tired.

And for your viewing pleasure - here are some pics of Leah heading to the doctor in her stylin' Bugaboo (thanks Great Uncle Howard) that is attached via an adapter (thanks Grandma & Grandpa Mecklenburger) to the Graco carseat. And the very cool Skip*Hop diaper bag (thanks Jess) is hanging from the handlebar.

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