“I’m eerily aware of how different Christmas could be this year if things had not gone the way they did. Praise Jesus for saving our souls. And praise Him for saving our Oaklee’s life. We are blessed beyond words.”
If, at Thanksgiving, we were going headstrong into the breastfeeding battle, by Christmas, we were finally beginning to consider ourselves victorious.
Back in early December, we’d crossed into new territory, only giving Oaklee bottles when mommy wasn’t there to breastfeed. We had a lot of uncertainty as we took that approach. Oaklee’s growth was being tracked by her regular pediatrician, her neurodevelopmental pediatrician, an in-home nutritionist, an Early On interventionist, a WIC counselor, and an in-home nurse through a local Maternal Infant Health Program. We received every response on the spectrum to her size/growth from these people. Some, like Oaklee’s regular pediatrician, were un-phased by our decision. Others, like neuro, were initially forcefully suggesting we change our decision.
But 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.
A lot of moms don’t nurse to 6 months. Many don’t nurse at all. But at 6 months, I was just getting into the groove of things. At 6 months, I was at the beginning I’d expected. At 6 months, Oaklee and I could finally bond during feedings instead of simultaneously cry at attempts. At 6 months, it was beautiful.
Our greatest gift this year came in June. Our most joyful moment came in September. And our hearts were the merriest at Christmas.
We were blessed to have won the breastfeeding battle. We were blessed to have celebrated Christmas with our daughter at all.
In the stats:
Birth weight: 2lb, 12oz
Last known weight: 10lb 8oz (12.1.17)
Adjusted age: 13 weeks, 1 day
Actual age: 25 weeks, 3 days
Days in the hospital: 69
Days home: 110
Appointments since home: 21