It's been three weeks and two hours since I had my baby. I want to write up a birth story, that talks about how she was born in water (finally, a water birth!) and how I sang through my contractions, but now I feel worried and need to write about it.
Her name is Rosabel, and she was 9lbs, 9oz at birth. Three weeks later, she weighs 8lbs, 15oz. This is not a good thing, this weight loss. She is very nearly at a 10% loss, which is veering into Very Bad territory.
The signs of problems were there all along, but I didn't see them. I felt that I knew what I was doing, after breastfeeding four other children successfully. Her latch is good, she seemed content, if insistent on feeding regularly (every hour? maybe more?). I am not a scheduler with my babies, and I co-sleep with her, so feeding her in the sling as I went about my day or laying down next to her at night for however long she wanted has been no real hardship.
I saw her, but I didn't notice the signs. She hasn't been drinking enough, and it hurts my heart to think that she is basically always a little bit hungry. Why hasn't she complained at me? I guess she didn't really know any different. She is three weeks old and has always felt this way.
So we are trying new techniques, like breast compression and hand expressing into a bottle so she can gulp down those last few millilitres without putting much effort into it. Every calorie counts. Even after only 12 hours of changing tactics, I've seen a difference in her.
I have a mental list of all the ways I've gone wrong. I have one for every child, but I didn't think I would start Rosabel's list so soon. I thought I had babies all worked out. But instead, I realise that I know very little indeed.
Everyone says I shouldn't beat myself up, I shouldn't feel guilty, but it's too late. She depends on me for food, and she's not getting enough. How can I not feel guilty, I ask you? How can I not feel responsible?
But I'm hopeful that we'll see an improvement over the next few days. She has another weigh-in on Wednesday morning, and I'm aiming for no more weight loss, if not any weight gain. One step at a time; but right now, I fret.