She was 5 lbs, 3 oz at birth, but dropped below 5 lbs for a week-and-a-half. While it's adorable to have a doll-sized baby, it is also terrifying. At first it was fun to have everyone tell us how cute she was, and that she's the smallest baby they've ever seen. But after last week, it almost feels like a reason to panic.
People tell us she looks so much smaller in person. Here she is wearing a newborn sized top, which kind of puts in perspective how tiny she is. she's in mostly preemie clothes and diapers, and I don't think we'll be changing that anytime soon.
While we are so thankful that Scarlett is overall so healthy, she has had a few obstacles to tackle since birth. The first was that she was jaundiced after coming home from the hospital. She had to live in a bili blanket, and go to the hospital everyday to get her foot pricked so her bilirubin levels could be checked.
Glowing baby in her bili blanket
I know that this is such a common problem, and no big deal. But it was scary, nonetheless.
Add to this the struggle we've had with nursing. Let's just say it has not been easy. Probably the most frustrating thing I've ever tried. And I love the bonding time with my baby girl, but it has also been so hard. I'm not throwing in the towel, but the struggle has left me wondering if Scarlett is getting enough nourishment (somehow, not all that different from her last few weeks in the womb).
We had a pediatrician's visit on Tuesday of last week (incidentally, the same day my Grandma passed away. Talk about an emotional day!) When they weighed Scarlett, they found that she had lost 2 oz in a week, and was down to 4 lbs, 12 oz. I of course took full responsibility and blame for that, and had an emotional breakdown, right there in front of the doctor. Luckily, she is amazing, and hugged me and assured me that I'm not a horrible mother. But I felt like all I had done in the past week was force-fed my baby. And yet she had lost weight.
My doctor gave me strict orders to feed her every 2 hours, and to supplement with formula. Let me just tell you how guilty I have felt for giving her formula! I hate that there seems to be a stigma in our society about formula-feeding. I think this is something that needs to change, because I can tell from personal experience, breast feeding is not easy or even possible for everyone.
We had another appointment scheduled for Friday to check Scarlett's weight. From Tuesday through Friday I was dealing with the loss of my grandma, busy attending calling hours, her funeral, and other family gatherings. And on top of everything else, there was this terrible fear that I was starving my daughter!
I tried my hardest to feed her when I was supposed to, and supplement with formula even though I didn't want to. And on Friday after my grandma's funeral, Luke and I went to the doctor's office for our "weigh-in."
I was practically having a heart attack.
Finally, the nurse weighed her, and said, "She's 5 lbs, 2 oz!" Luke and I basically cheered, and I almost cried tears of relief. Our little peanut had somehow gained 7 ounces in 4 days. Almost a half-pound!
All this to say, I can't believe how much there is to worry about as a new mom. I naively thought I could breathe a sigh of relief after she was born. Ha! I'm now realizing there will always be something to worry about. I'm glad I have the Lord to rely on for peace! And we are so glad Scarlett turned a corner and seems to be catching up with her weight!