Saoirse is three months old. It’s been a blur. We had such a difficult start, and it’s gradually becoming easier and easier ever since, but it still doesn’t feel easy. I guess as a general rule, caring for a three month old baby is not easy, no matter how things started. S is now 11 pounds 6 ounces, which is between 15 and 20% for weight. (We have an appointment at the doctor tomorrow for a weigh-in to find out exactly.) We are still fortifying her food to 24 calories, and I still set alarms at night so she eats every four hours, but she is doing very well. I am mostly pumping, but I’ve started breastfeeding her twice a day in the morning, and I’m going to discuss adding a third feeding with the doctor. I’m not making enough milk to exclusively breastfeed (we supplement with formula), but I make the most in the morning, and so I can nurse at that time of day. It still requires discussion, even if I make enough milk, since my milk is obviously not fortified to 24 calories, and whereas I can basically pour the bottled milk down her throat, I need her to participate and eat sufficient calories when she nurses.
When we got home from the hospital, it took me upwards of 90 minutes to feed her, sometimes 2 hours. She needed to be fed every three hours around the clock, no exceptions. You can see how this would be challenging. H took one of the night feedings, giving me four hours of contiguous sleep, but it was still extremely hard. My parents left (after staying more than three weeks to help), and I literally sobbed because I didn’t know how I could do it without their help with the girls. Well, H took on most of the work. He got them up in the morning, gave them breakfast, made lunches, worked with them on their homework, did the laundry, made the formula and on and on. And I spent 12+ hours a day feeding her, took all the nighttime wake-ups except one feeding, dealt with the feeding tube, pumped and fortified breastmilk and so on, picked up the girls from school and put them to bed. It was HARD for both of us.
Since then, we got rid of the feeding tube. We started letting her sleep four hours at night. We have fewer doctor’s appointments. I feel so much better physically after struggling with blood pressure for weeks after her birth. S also initially had her days and nights reversed, and that got fixed, thank God. I’ve taken over homework and laundry and do all the night feedings four nights a week. So, it’s still hard – easier, but not easy. The most important thing is that she has been gaining weight, and the terrible fear and anxiety have lifted for the most part. I was having nightmares about her funeral. Those have stopped.
S herself is becoming more and more interactive. She started smiling at 10 weeks and loves her toys. She loves baths. She loves animal noises and likes to be sung to. She loves interacting with us and is generally a happy baby. She cries if I don’t hold her for naps, but usually sleeps pretty well at night between feedings. In general, she likes to be held.
She dislikes tummy time and being put down. She hates hats.
We’re looking forward to another month.