Camden is five weeks old today, so I’m already really on top of the monthly snapshots I want to capture of him. Ha.
How do I describe the last five weeks? A whirlwind. A roller coaster. So much change and growth. I hardly recognize this baby as the same one we brought home from the hospital.
He is really waking up to the world around him, and has one or two alert periods during the day where he looks around. He is starting to focus more on faces, and I know we’re very close to the first genuine smile. He holds his head up for several seconds and moves it side to side. He was actually doing this his first week, which like, I DON’T WANNA BRAG or anything, but he’s a strong little booger.
Camden is gaining weight rapidly. Like, a lot. I have an oversupply of milk, and he eats very quickly. I had no idea it was possible to have an oversupply of milk while breastfeeding. I had always heard about undersupply, but never oversupply. Everyone tells me “it’s a good problem to have,” but it has actually been extremely challenging. The flow of milk is so fast that he guzzles it down, doesn’t realize when he is full, wants to suck for comfort at the end of a feeding, but can’t because there is always milk, and so he overeats. I did not think it was possible to overfeed a breastfed baby, but I think that’s where we’re at. I could go on and on about oversupply and the problems it has caused, including extreme nipple pain for four weeks, foremilk/hindmilk imbalance, extreme fussiness, etc., but I would end up with a book.
He has gained two and a half pounds in a month. You can see from the photos in this post how much and fast he has gained. It’s not fair how fast he is growing!
The past 7-10 days have been especially challenging as he has been inconsolable for most of the day. One stretch of
crying screaming lasted five hours in the middle of the night. Unless you have been through something like that you really have no idea.
Long story short, I suspected he may have acid reflux, and took him to the doctor. A fussy baby who cries for even three hours at a time might be normal, but after five hours of heartbreaking wailing I thought it best to get him checked out. The doctor thought he may be overeating and his overly full belly is causing reflux. She gave us some suggestions, which we tried out for a few days with only minimal improvement, and after more than a week of watching him suffer and losing our sanity, we ended up putting him on reflux medication.
I am conflicted about the medication….but so far it has made a world of difference. He’s a completely different baby. We will continue to monitor his progress, and will likely taper off the medication at some point and try other tactics, but for now, we are all happier.
I have read a lot about reflux and about the medicines used to treat reflux, and I don’t love that he is on medication. But I have to do what is right for my family, and all of us needed relief. Steven and I were losing patience and at an utter loss of what to do (I plowed through the book, Happiest Baby on the Block and tried everything). This is where we’re at, and perhaps my biggest lesson from my short motherhood journey so far is acceptance. This is our reality. He is our baby. He may not be like other babies. I am his mama and I may not be like other mamas. It may not be what I swore I would “always” or “never” do, and it sure is a hell of a lot harder than I ever imagined, but it is our life. We take it day by day, sometimes hour by hour, and always in love. For everything there is a season, and I know this too will pass.
I hold him or carry him during the day. Some days we are so productive we even get the laundry done and the dishwasher unloaded and sometimes we even go for a walk! Other days we don’t do much more than sit on the couch. He is most content sleeping on someone’s chest, so that’s where I snuggle him all day long.
He knows his parents’ voices and will turn his head toward us during tummy time or if he is being held by someone else.
He has the absolute cutest stretches when he’s waking up, and seeing them is the best way to start the day. I’m not sure what nicknames will stick….right now we call him a lot of different things including: baby boy, baby bird (because that’s how he looks when he eats), tree frog (because that’s what he reminds me of when he’s perched on my chest), booger butt, snuggle butt, and lil dude.
I feel guilty about a lot of things, and I doubt myself often. Breastfeeding is hard and exhausting, whether you’re dealing with over or under supply or any number of other issues. The sleep deprivation is real and quite the shock until you kind of sort of adjust to it. The highs are high and the lows are low, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss my former life sometimes. We’re still trying to find our new normal and establish a routine with a newborn who doesn’t and shouldn’t have one yet. When it’s good, it’s good, and I try to savor those moments. I try to drink them in and hold them in my heart where I hope to always find them. Especially during the not so great times.
Camden at one month is a joy and a struggle. The struggle may not be something I am “supposed” to verbalize, but it’s there and it’s real and I know I can’t be alone.