Alaise is 1 week old. It's pretty unreal. As I watch her sleep next to me (although, it took 2 hours of trying to figure out whether she wanted more food or what it was she wanted!), I can't believe she's been mine for a whole week. My husband, who has been absolutely wonderful through this whole experience, asked me today, "How's motherhood?
I think motherhood hasn't really hit me yet. I feed her and take care of her, but to be 100% honest, I haven't had the "How did I live without you?" or "I've been waiting for you my whole life!" kind of emotion that others say they feel. I expected to be a changed/different person, but I'm still me, and I don't feel any different, except for the love for this little person. Maybe things just haven't hit me yet? I dunno.
The most frustrating thing about motherhood so far has been breastfeeding. I knew there was good chance that my milk would come in late due to the blood loss/transfusion... (Well, so the doctors told me.) So we've been working on feeding Alaise with a small tube they use in NICU - we either attach the tube on our finger and let her suck on it, or we thread the tube in her mouth while I breastfeed so she can get formula that way - so she doesn't get attached to bottle nipples. This has been very trying... It's hard for me to thread the tube while I try to breastfeed, so we've resorted to the finger more often than not. Now she's so used to the finger, that she likes to feed that way, and falls asleep on my breast!
Patience is THE virtue in this case... My milk is starting to come in, and I just need to work with her. But a couple of days ago, I just had a major breakdown, and just wanted to quit. Formula and bottle seemed like such a GREAT and EASY alternative. I was just so very tired, and with the hormones raging, I was at the end of my rope. But again, Kris is there... To encourage and coax me to try a little longer. I knew in my head that if I didn't try longer, I would regret it forever.
So here we are, still breastfeeding. I put her on my breast every time she feeds, and then we supplement with formula with the tube... She gets frustrated on my breast, which gets me frustrated, but I think we're compromising. We still finger-feed her (yes, I made that up), especially when I get up in the middle of the night to feed her, but I like to think we're making progress.
I've also been keeping a feeding/diaper/nap journal, which I'm happy about. I get to go back and see how many times she ate, when and how much. I think it's a good habit for now, until we can get into a routine.
So, motherhood... It's surreal. But I look at this tiny person, and I can't help but kiss her head and her soft soft skin. I can't help but care for her. I can't help but love her, and check on her while she sleeps, and to do whatever it takes to make her happy. (I've even trimmed my nails really short for her! Can't remember the last time my nails were so short...) I hope soon, it'll hit me with the speed of light, and I will be able to say, "How did I live without you??"