Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Notebook.

The other morning I was going through Cub's books with him in the nursery. We were in the process of moving all of his cardboard-page books to the bottom two shelves and all of his paper-page books to the top two shelves, when a bright notebook caught my eye.

I gasped. I actually gasped. 

I hadn't seen that notebook in, well, almost eleven months. 

I opened it and I felt my heart immediately swell. This was the notebook where I logged all of Cubbie's feedings his first few weeks of life. Those were such difficult weeks. We had received somewhat vague advice from the attending nurse when we left the hospital regarding how frequently to feed Cub. He had just been circumcised, which means he was exhausted, so the nurse told us to just let him sleep and not worry about waking him up to feed him.

In case you are wondering, that is HORRIBLE ADVICE. Newborns need to eat at least every three hours. He went almost seven hours without eating that day and something just didn't feel right to me. I called our pediatrician and he instructed me to immediately wake him up and feed him. I remember when I was on the phone with him--sitting by the Target pharmacy, waiting for my Ibuprofen prescription. My Mom was with me and we immediately jumped up, grabbed the prescription, and grabbed this notebook before flying home. I knew I would need to keep track of the next few weeks of my new little guy's life.

The next day we took him to our doctor and he was extremely dehydrated. I couldn't stop crying--I couldn't believe that I had allowed him to go so long without eating. I just didn't know. I hadn't even been around a newborn before. It took me a long time to forgive myself. When we got home, we were given strict instructions to supplement with formula and to pump as often as I could to increase my milk supply.

Hence, the notebook. Here is a log from October 15, when Cub was four days old:

12:20am: 1.5 ounces of formula

2:58am: 1.5 ounces formula
20 minutes nursing on left side

4:00am: Pumped.

6:30am: 1.25 ounces breast milk (in bottle)

7:00am: Pumped.

9:30am: 1 ounce breast milk (in bottle)
10 minutes nursing left side
10 minutes nursing right side

12:30pm: 25 minutes (right side)
.5 ounce bottle of breast milk

4:08pm: 25 minutes (left side)
.5 ounce bottle of breast milk

7:00pm: 1 ounce bottle of breast milk

7:30pm: Pumped.

10:49pm: 15 minutes (right side)
  15 minutes (left side)

No wonder I had just a touch of Postpartum Anxiety. When did I sleep?? When did I eat?? This log starts on October 13 and goes until October 29. I remember not knowing what day it was but always knowing what time it was. That was so crazy. I could have easily gone to formula only and there were days where it was tempting, but I knew I wanted to breast feed. After that first week I was able to go to breast milk only, and it got much, much easier after the first month. But oh man, that first month was rough.

As I read back over my notes, my mind flooded with memories of groggily dragging myself into the living room, scribbling the date and time in the notebook, stumbling into the nursery to get Cub, bringing him into the living room, and feeding him, exhausted. He stayed in our room for only a week--and I couldn't nurse him in bed. With Josh asleep right next to me, it was too tempting to fall asleep myself. So, to the living room we would go! 

And now I look at my little Cub, almost one year old, full of energy and life, and definitely with a big appetite, and those days seem like they were so long ago. I'm so much more confident now than I was then.

The first tab in the notebook says "Feeding Log for Cubbie". There are still two blank tabs left. And, believe it or not, I can't wait to fill them.

In God's timing, of course. :)


  1. i always appreciate your honesty. in both good and bad.

  2. Oh what a crazy first few weeks. Wowza. And horray for the new blog! :) It's super cute!

  3. Awe! Those last lines gave me tears. It's worth it all!

  4. Maybe Five Freddys can give you some pointers on the whole getting pregnant thing! :) Love you A!

  5. oh, goodness...I have a notebook like that. when I found it, I promptly put it back on the shelf. I'm not ready to remind myself of those days when Audrey wouldn't sleep. :)

    ...and you better not be teasing us with the whole "In God's timing, of course :)" thing. if you already know something, that's just mean! :) but we would understand.

  6. No, I don't know anything!! No teasing here!! Do YOU?? :)

  7. i am SO glad you are blogging publicly again! i have been a long time reader of yours (back from the xanga days...) and was just so bummed that i wouldn't be able to visit your blog daily! i absolutely love reading about your family, your parenting tips (even though i'm nowhere near being a parent yet!) and especially your lovely photography! i just kicked myself before that i didn't leave a comment telling you how much i enjoyed your blog, so i'm very happy to have that chance now! have a lovely evening! ( :