Anders, aged 1 month, July 2013
Well, we've passed the magic one month mark. We - Dear Hubby, Connor, Anders and Mummy - have survived the first 4 weeks which are usually the most difficult as everyone's adjusting to a new routine. I quickly learnt that having two children is quite, quite different from having just one.
When we first came home from the hospital, Anders would sleep for 2-3 hours after a feed and I would use that time to get things done. As he grew bigger, I noticed he stopped doing that. He cried - LOTS! - and kept wanting to latch on all day long. I also noticed that my boobies weren't the same as when I was breastfeeding Connor. Back then, I remembered they would get really full just before a feed. They didn't this time. I suspected that I wasn't producing enough milk but decided we would hold out a while before using formula. I was hoping Anders' demand for milk would soon stimulate enough supply from me.
After two weeks or so of Anders' endless cries, Connor's annoyance that I was never with him anymore, the ever-growing pile of housework as I could not do a thing but cradle Anders all day long and increasing tension felt by both Dear Hubby and I, we caved in. I went out and got 3 small packs of formula to try and see if they would work.
Anders fell asleep right after he (almost) finished a bottle and slept for about 3 hours. For the first time in weeks, we had some peace and time to get things done. Our initial decision was to only give him a bottle at the last feed before we went to bed so that I could get some decent sleep. But it soon became apparent that I was not making enough milk because no matter how long he breastfed, he could not settle. But a combination of breast milk and bottle saw our son content.
We could also see him gaining weight. It seemed like he filled out overnight. He'd been so skinny earlier and we'd both worried about his weight gain. I guess we know why now.
So now when he wants a feed, I offer breast milk first. Then I offer a bottle of formula. Each and every time, he takes both eagerly and goes to sleep almost right after. I get to spend some time with Connor, the housework gets done and both Mummy and Daddy are happier. Anders is much happier too, he cries less and sometimes is happy to just lie there after a feed and look around at the world.
I don't know why I'm not making enough milk. I'm actually feeling less tired and healthier than I was 4 years ago with Connor so I wasn't expecting this at all. I discussed the situation with the health visitor and we were both of the opinion that while breastfeeding for as long as possible was the best, sometimes we have to be practical.
So while I had hoped to breastfeed him exclusively as I had with Connor, it looks like it's just not possible for practical reasons. Do I feel guilty? Yes but I know that raising a happy, healthy child is not just about breastfeeding. Right now, this solution works for our family and we're all the happier for it.