I know he's been gaining weight slowly. Jake was the same. I just assumed that like Jake, he'd catch up in his own time. At 8 weeks, he was 9lb exactly. I expected him to be at least 10lbs at 12 weeks, especially considering how often he feeds.
He was 9lb 6oz. He'd dropped two lines on the centile chart (and below the 0.4th), so we had to see the GP. As soon as they said he had only put on 6oz, I knew the discussion of formula would come up. It's not that I'm against formula. It's just that I wanted to breastfeed. I had no concerns previous to him being weighed. He's smiley, he is alert, he sleeps through the night. There was nothing at all to make me worry.
The doctor sent us up to Birmingham Children's Hospital. We ended up in A&E department as that's where the RMO's were (Registered Medical Officer). We were taken to cubicle and Zack was asleep in his pushchair, so the RMO was talking to me, asking me questions about Zack, about me, about Jake, about my pregnancy. She had a feel of his tummy, checked him over and said that she didn't think there was anything wrong with his tummy or anything and that we should top him up with formula, just as I expected she would. I said that I didn't really want to and that I wanted to fix breastfeeding first. So she admitted us and arranged to Zack to have a blood test, in which I cried more than he did and was reduced to a snotty mess. So much so that even the nurse took pity on me and wiped my nose as I had no hands free.
I still feel a bit angry, because I feel like if I'd agreed to the formula, she would have just sent us home, but because I put my foot down we had to endure a horrible 24 hours in hospital. He looked so small in the huge cot in his room, and I had the delight of sleeping on a faux leather recliner for the night, in a hot, stuffy room.
The doctors came round in the morning and again, had a poke and a prod. Then a dietician came in and spoke to me.
I have had to compromise. We have agreed that he has two feeds a day of a high calorie formula that promotes catch up growth, and that I breastfeed as well. I have been prescribed Domperidone to try and increase my milk supply. I think it's working, I feel fuller, anyway. Zack has to be weighed every week and I am to call the dietician with his weights so we can plan the next course of action, which will hopefully at some point be to drop the formula altogether and go back to exclusive breastfeeding. All this is fine, if the dietician ever calls me back, as so far, I've had no feedback from her.
It's taken me a long time to be OK with this. Not because I don't want him to gain weight, not because I don't want him to have formula, but because I feel like I've failed him.
One of the most natural things in the world is to breastfeed your baby, to nurture them, and I couldn't do it alone. Whether it's because of everything my body has been through over the last two and a half years, I don't know, but I wanted to be able to do this so much and the fact that I couldn't upsets me more than I can put into words.
He's put weight on, he's climbing back up the centile chart, even though it seems to have slowed down a bit now.
He is the most smiley baby you can imagine. I am so smitten with him it's untrue.
This month, my must have items have been Tommee Tippee bottles, as he has taken to them really well. If he has to have a bottle, then I'm happy with this one. The Closer to Nature range is designed to mimics the natural flex, movement and softness of a mum’s breast, to make switching between breast and bottle easier, Zack likes them and that is most important to me (he still won't take a dummy though!)
My other item which I must say I love are the Huggies Newborn Nappies. When Jake was tiny, we really didn't get on with them, almost every one leaked. But this time round they have changed the design of them and I really like them. They have a strip on the front which starts as yellow, and when they are wet, the strip turns blue, which isn't that useful for me as I usually tell by feeling the nappy anyway, but for grandparents/aunties/uncles/friends that don't change nappies that often and don't know what to feel for, these are a brilliant idea.
Glad this awful month is out of the way. Onwards and upwards to month 4!