Tag Archives: premature baby

Redemption

Redemption

For every minute I sat alone with my pump, every time I washed the pump parts, every discomfort I felt in having an oversupply of breastmilk, every tear I cried through our breastfeeding battle, I found redemption in the opportunity to not only feed my child, but her NICU roommates as well.

Merriest Christmas

Merriest Christmas

By Christmas, we’d landed in a much better place. Still not on the growth chart, Oaklee was maintaining her own curve.

Let Oaklee be Oaklee.

Aside from the Haakaa breast pump, I was only pumping once or twice a day – only when Oaklee was taking a full feed (roughly 125ml; approximately 4.25oz) by bottle. In just under 6 months, we finally made it to the place I’d anticipated starting. Oaklee was an exclusive breastfeeder; I was a part-time working mama who could potentially only pump 6 times per week. This is what we fought for.

Hail to the Victor?

Hail to the Victor?

We’d come leaps and bounds in nursing since Thanksgiving. I’d made the commitment to be done with the battle by the end of the year, whatever that looked like. And then I charged forward, trying any new thing to get Oaklee to nurse better. 

I can’t say which one thing it was that helped us turn a corner. In retrospect, my husband and I are shocked by the determination I had, and often attribute the progress to that. However, I’d been determined for almost 6 months – if that were all we needed, it seemed like things would have changed earlier.

The Return to Neuro

The Return to Neuro

When the nurse practitioner entered the room, she immediately began by telling us Oaklee’s growth wasn’t terrible. While she was still not on the growth charts, she had picked up a bit of speed, making an encouraging curve. She looked me in the eye as she questioned, “I’m guessing you chose not to do the formula, right?”

What is 69 Days?

What is 69 Days?

Remember reading about Oaklee’s date of discharge – the happiest day of my life? Or do you remember reading the post “Homegoings” from the very next day? Those heavy hitters seem so long ago, but that’s what 69 days feels like. Just short of 10 weeks, it’s almost 1/5 of a year, 1/20 of my husband’s and my marriage, an entire summer… My greatest mental battle in those 69 days was knowing we would never get those 69 days back…

Too Premature

Too Premature

I wanted to roll over in the middle of the night, pick up my hungry baby, breastfeed her and set her back down to sleep. Instead, I was going downstairs, pumping, washing pump parts, storing breastmilk, heating a bottle, waking my sleeping baby and giving her a bottle. There are tons of women who do this, some even do it by choice, but it is not what I wanted. 

Maternity Left

Maternity Left

After 10 months, we could clearly say 2017 was a year of disrupted plans. Our pregnancy went wonky, we cancelled vacations, I moved into the hospital, our baby came three months early, we had to wait 69 days to take her home, I delayed my maternity leave until she did come home, and then we were faced with the decision to proceed as planned or to make some significant, longer term changes in order to best accommodate the cards we were dealt.

Never Have I Ever

Never Have I Ever

The nurse practitioner did a basic assessment of Oaklee’s development and size and immediately suggested we put Oaklee on a high calorie infant formula, adding, “I can write you a prescription, so it would be free,” as if the cost would be the only thing that might have held us back and not the overabundant flow of breastmilk I produced, or my natural maternal desire to breastfeed, or, you know, the fact that I was sick of intervening with God’s plan.