I should have been learning this whole time that nothing goes as planned. Sex to create a child – nope. IUI to create a child – nope. Several rounds of IVF to create a child(children), yes. Trying to reflect on that journey is still a bit too close to be able to effectively parse through. After accepting that part, I moved on to focusing on the pregnancy/delivery. I wanted to have a non-invasive vaginal birth with no medicine. About 30 weeks into my pregnancy, I had to schedule my C-Section based on the way the babies were positioned. Fine. I only want what’s best for them. So, then, I knew the date. I would give birth at 38+1 gestation and have my sweet babies be as full-term as possible with enough time to prepare. Sunday night/Monday morning at 36 weeks, my water breaks making it necessary to have a C-Section within the next two hours. Fine. I only want the best for them. The babies aren’t gaining weight and Carter has to spend some time in the NICU, so I can’t exclusively breastfeed – supplementing with formula was required to get everyone out of the hospital. Fine, I only want what’s best for them. So, I keep pumping & nursing, at least every three hours, sometimes more. And yet, I cannot get more than 6 ounces per day. I’ve seen lactation consultants multiple times and am on many different supplements to try to boost supply, but I’m three weeks in and it’s not improving. The babies have been able to get one meal per day from me, but the rest is from formula (and some donated milk by a great friend). The babies should sleep in your room for as long as possible. Well, after two weeks or so of me being WIDE awake with every single noise they would make, we moved them into their room in their cribs.
So: welcome to motherhood, where nothing goes as planned. I’m slowly forgiving myself for failing in my plans and remembering that the one thing that holds true is that I really only want what’s best for them. As discussed with my pediatrician and some others: I want to be able to enjoy the time with them being happy and having them be as healthy as they can be. I don’t know if I’m going to continue trying to get my 6 ounces per day of milk or not. As they age and get more alert, I’m sure that I would rather spend my time interacting with them as opposed to putting them down and attaching myself to my milker. I don’t know if it would be different with one baby – the interesting thing is until later on (hopefully), I will only know the life of having two at once. At least twice the work and twice the love, we are learning how to navigate through this new portion of our lives.
Carter reached 5lbs 2oz at his last appointment on Friday which was the first time he has gained an ounce per day (!!!) and Isabelle reached 6lbs 5oz (her first weigh in over 6lbs). Not only are they on formula, but they’re on higher calorie formula to make sure their weight continues in the right direction. All I can say is that I’m trying to be the best mom I can for these two new little lives. It may not be what I envisioned, but adapting and evolving is the key to survival. Hasn’t Darwinism taught us all anything?
Anyway, I’m lucky to have a good support system. I have very few people who are [unintentionally] shaming me for one or more of the “choices” I’ve had to make. They will be three weeks old on Monday and the lessons just keep coming! 🙂
I’ll update with pictures and things later, just wanted to write while I remembered (and was not completely zonked) so that my babies and I can have this diary of their lives.
Cheers (I’ve had wine!!) and Love.
3 thoughts on “Coping with mom guilt (musings from a type A planner when nothing goes “right”)”
Annie, you’re as perfect a mother as you can be. My mother- your grandmother- was once reminiscing aloud and noting things she wished she had done differently. I told her that she had done an amazing job. Perfect? No. No one is perfect. She did the very best she could. That’s all one can do. You are making the best decisions you can and doing what’s best for those precious babies. What more can you possibly do?
Ugh this all hits so close to home!! I hated my body for not producing enough milk…. if it makes you feel any better, my boys have been exclusively formula since about 3-4 weeks corrected. Coincidentally or not that’s when they started sleeping more!!
Glad you got that wine finally! Motherhood zapped that whole planning ahead, organized life I had before kids too. Soon you won’t even remember it. Keep up the great work. Love you all.