Being a first time mom is hard.
The first week in the hospital with a newborn was hard and the first month home with a newborn is hard. Sleep deprivation is no joke. Breastfeeding is so hard. Calming a colicky baby is even harder.
The first pediatrician appointment was two days after we got discharged from the hospital. They checked in on both him and I and since he gained 2 ounces they were happy with our progress. I felt good. The next appointment was scheduled for 4 days later for another weight check. They said that since I was breastfeeding and also using nipple shields they wanted to check his weight often. They also set me up with an appointment with a lactation consultant that day.
That next appointment was very disappointing. He had only gained an ounce in 4 days and since they recommend 1/2-1 ounce per day, they were concerned. They said there’s no need to supplement formula just yet but they want him gaining more so to try and feed him more often. Since I was already feeding him every 2 hours, I got emotional over this news. We went to see the lactation consultant next and she gave us some great advice and helped him latch without the shields. She said he was getting milk because he did gain 1 ounce, but not enough. She told us that babies have to work a lot harder to get milk with the shields. She wanted us to work on weaning him off the shields by the next appointment, which was in 3 days. She predicted that as soon as we can wean him off the shields then he should start gaining more. I had another emotional breakdown after that appointment and thought I was a terrible mother. This was the second time I found out he was not getting enough food from me.
I worked very hard at weaning him off the shields and by the end of the second day he was 100% off the shields.
The next appointment we found out he had gained 6 ounces in 3 days. That was over the recommended amount. His next weight check was 4 days later and again gained 2 ounces a day. Getting rid of the nipple shields was key! They said they usually want him back to birth weight by 2 weeks, and although he didn’t return to birth weight until 3 weeks they were happy at his above average weight gain once he was weaned off the shields. He just had a slow start.
Now that we figured out the weight gain issues it was time to battle the colicky baby challenge. They thought originally that he was colicky because of the slow weight gain and said that he would probably calm down and sleep better once he hit birth weight. WRONG. He was up and crying most of the day and night. They say babies are only alert 15% of the day at his age and I feel like he is only sleeping 15% of the day. If he’s awake he is crying. He is fed, changed, swaddled. We use white noise, we shhh, we rock him. We have tried gripe water and gas drops. We bought a swing. We tried his vibrating seat. We tried leg bicycles. I wonder if this is normal and I’m just terrible at calming my own baby down?
I mentioned this to the pediatrician again. They suggested cutting out dairy. He may have a dairy intolerance. This isn’t just dairy it’s the dairy protein Casein. This is even in a lot of dairy free and lactose free items. So although I’m addicted to cheese, I will try anything to calm him. I hate seeing him like this. 1 week off dairy and although I thought it helped at first, yesterday and today it has gotten worse. Today he has been up and crying for 19 hours so far. He is even flailing back while breastfeeding now and after 5 min of sleeping waking up screaming. We have tried everything. I took him back to the pediatrician today. They think it may be reflux. Silent reflux since he isn’t spitting up much. So today we gave him the first dose of a reflux medication. The pediatrician said that there were two medications that treat reflux and they both work differently so it will be trial and error if this one doesn’t work.
So this is my first month as a first time mom with a newborn. He is 4 weeks and 1 day old. I really hope the medication works and my baby isn’t so sad anymore. I feel so bad for him. I’m tired, emotional, depressed, and so upset I can’t calm my own baby down. Like I said, being a first time mom is hard.