Jasper’s 1st Week

I could write a novel about this first week, but the highlights will have to do, I don’t get much time between feedings (he eats like a sumo wrestler!)

A few recollections of our stay at Phelps after Jasper was born..

The special care nursery was very loud, there was a little baby girl that screamed at the top of her lungs 24/7 and lots of beeping monitors. Jasper had a little splint on his hand to protect the IV site they opened to administer IV antibiotics. The special care nurse would call our room to wake me up every 2 hours to come in and feed him or sooner if he acted hungry during the night. During the day I would just show up to either feed or spend time with him.

He was very sleepy those first 2 days. Even when the nurses pricked him multiple times to take blood sugar levels, or bilirubin tests he didn’t even wake up. He would wake up to nurse though.. and wow, that boy can SUCK!

Apparently I am a good lactater – my colostrum was almost as plentiful as mature milk. At the hospital he nursed 20-30 minutes on each side. I would leave to go rest and need to come back just an hour or so later to nurse again.

All in all nursing has been going extremely well, save one meltdown I had at the hospital. When Jasper first latches on it HURTS! He has a very strong suck and I guess my nipples are sensitive so I was convinced he was latching wrong even though some of the special care nurses said it looked correct.

The on staff lactation consultant came to observe us and declared that she doesn’t go by visuals, she goes by what I’m telling her I’m feeling, so if it hurts the latch must be wrong and she made me unlatch him and try some different things.

Her words had me convinced we weren’t doing it right, and in the meantime the pediatricians were telling us that now that Jasper had to be under the bili lights, he was at high risk of dehydration and would need to nurse a lot or else they would supplement him with formula (from a cup to avoid nipple confusion.) At one point they actually did try to give him formula, but Jasper refused it (good little man!) I was so worried about him getting dehydrated and now totally convinced we didn’t know how to breast feed that I woke up Thursday morning and asked to see the lactation consultant again.

I was told there weren’t any coming in that day. I totally freaked at that point – one of the reasons I chose Phelps was their strong commitment and support of nursing and the fact that they have lactation consultants on staff. Here I was struggling, my son in special care and there wasn’t anyone to help us other than the nurses who know alot, but aren’t specialists.

I cried at the nurses station and walked my way over to the special care nursery where there was a new nurse on duty. She asked why I was crying and I told her, and she said that whoever told me if it hurts you are doing it wrong is full of it. She nursed 3 children and when they first latch on, particularly until your nipples toughen up a bit it hurts like hell.

I felt SO MUCH better just knowing it was normal! I didn’t care at all about the pain, that I could handle just fine, it was me thinking we were doing it wrong and that my nipples would start cracking and bleeding making it hard for me to nurse later that I had been worried about.

After that incident, we have been breastfeeding confident and well ever since (though it still hurts like hell when he first latches which he does rather aggressively).

Other highlights were bringing our little guy home for the first time of course.. and then having Sarah, Jay and baby Daphne come to visit! Jasper also met his grandfather for the first time on Sunday. My dad was overseas when Jasper was born – on his birthday!

Friday, the day after our release from Phelps we took Jasper to his first visit with the pediatrician. He was only 4 oz. under his birth weight, which is great for being 3 days old. We also had to take him to a pediatric cardiologist due to a slight murmur.. we did that on his one week birthday on Tuesday. He was already 8lbs 10oz, so he gained a full lb from Friday at the pediatrician’s. So yes, I guess you could say breastfeeding is going very very well!

Our only trouble has been with his stomach. Being on antibiotics for his first 48 hours did a number on his little GI tract. He finally recovered from the diarreah (we are giving him baby pro-biotics) but he still suffers from reflux and I have to burp him several times during each feeding so that he can be comfortable enough to continue eating. If he’s gassy he really hates being on his back so sometimes its hard to get him to sleep comfortably.

For me one of the most amazing things about this first week with our baby is watching my husband transform into a father. He truly is super dad. Not only is he totally in love with Jasper, but he’s a complete natural with him and Jasper loves being with him. Jeff has also been extraordinary about making things easier for me, from cleaning the house every night after Jasper and I go to sleep to making us a really handy diaper change/breast feeding log that we use so I know how long it’s been since the last feeding and so that we know he’s staying hydrated and well fed. I bawled my eyes out the day before he went back to work.

Thankfully, my mom has been completely amazing and has brought or cooked us dinner every night since being home. She has run errands to the grocery store, buy buy baby, babies R Us, the pharmacy and come over every day since Jeff went back to work to help me. She has taken us to our doctor’s appointments and just been completely there for us for whatever we need. I can’t imagine what we would do without her.

And then there is just the joy and wonder of spending time with our precious son.. I could spend all day just staring at him and the cute little faces he makes, the adorable little squeaks and squeals.. sometimes Jeff and I just stop and ask each other if seriously, isn’t he the cutest little boy in the world? I mean, we can be totally objective right?


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Claudia says:

I finally got a chance to stop in and see little Jasper! Congratulations!

I had my baby (Jordan) on the 20th, so I totally get the latch-on pain and am glad to read that it’s normal. I too saw a lactation consultant and she said the latch looked great, but I kept doubting myself because of the pain.

Glad to see all is going well and I look forward to reading your newborn baby adventure highs (and commiserating on the lows).

Joanna says:

He really is precious. Your recent posts are making my hormonal pregnant self tear up! I am glad everything is going so well.

Melanie says:

He is perfect!! SO adorable. I’m so glad he is eating well!! The first few weeks go by so quickly, before you know it he’ll have a little personality! Enjoy every minute!

marcy wacker says:

so, so happy for you three. he is a precious boy. so handsome and alert already. enjoy every minute.

Amanda Humphrey says:

Hi Ariana,
I’m a friend of Rox’s here in LA and I just wanted to say how fun it was to read your blog. My baby girl was born in April, she will be 5 months old on 09/08. I just wanted to give you a heads up on a really great website dedicated to finding safe, non-toxic products to get our babies through teething and then onto eating solids……www.thesoftlanding.com I trust them very much and have emailed back and forth with them asking several questions. They also refuse to support and company that will not publish a full “ingredients” list. And a fun clothing site is http://www.cribrockcouture.com I have fallen victim to these awesome onesies/tees that take a playful spin on nursery rhymes. Wow, long comment….Jasper is adorable. All the best to you and yours.

Farah says:

Sounds like you are an old pro! He is quite handsome

heartartz says:

Jasper is a beautiful baby boy.
You two are beautiful loving parents.
Best wishes.
Thanks for the posts and pics.
Now be sure to rest when he does!

Kate says:

Those pictures are adorable!

Monica says:

New parents are always totally biased, but I’m here to tell you, you are right … Jasper is one BEAUTIFUL baby! Thanks so much for being so open and sharing your story. It’s been really fun to follow along. And yes … latching on hurts like hell! But it won’t forever. Hang in there!

Leah says:

One week already! Its sounds like you and hubby are doing a great job.

Dawn says:

I’m so glad you’re doing well! I think about you constantly. The photos of Jasper are precious! Enjoy every moment, they don’t stay this small for long at all!

And, while I realize you’re quite busy, could you please take down your EDD countdown? It’s making me nauseous! ;)

monica says:

Awwww I’m so happy to hear your little family is doing well. And a little scared for my nipples in the future should I have a baby that has strong suction like jasper!, ouch.

Pink says:

Sounds wonderful!! I am glad he is eating well and you have lots of help! Congrats again!

JustinK says:

See you tonight!!! I can’t wait to meet the little booger and see Super Dad in action.

Rachel says:

The latching does hurt for the first couple weeks! My baby is a little over 2 months now, and after awhile it stops hurting completely– maybe you get toughened up. I thought I was doing something wrong, too, but she was gaining weight like crazy and once she got started drinking, it didn’t hurt as badly.