Wednesday, July 31, 2013

"She's so tiny!"

The first thing everyone says when they see Scarlett for the first time is, "She's so tiny!"

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!


  1. She is so adorable!!! My son was 5lbs 4oz at birth. My parents brought me a Jimmy Johns sub in the hospital and it was the same size as my son LOL! Nursing is so so so hard! I

    was a nanny prior to being a SAHM and took care of lots of babies. All formula fed. What a big difference it was to me to go from knowing exactly how much the kids I babysat would get in a bottle vs. nursing where I had no idea how much he was getting.

    I nursed on demand and I think that helped with my supply. Do you folly Nancy Holzman on Twitter? She is a HUGE resource of information and can answer all of your questions. She also does webinars (free) that are so helpful. Hang in there with the nursing. Shifting hormones, lack of sleep and trying to figure out breastfeeding is so hard and resulted in me crying A LOT!

    I remember standing in the nursery at random hours of the day/night just trying to get my son to latch. I would cry and cry and cry thinking I had no clue what I was doing (no one really does).

    You are a good mom and you are doing a great job!!!!! If you ever need someone to just talk to feel free to email me :)

  2. She is so cute! She will be so big before you know it so enjoy every moment with her!

  3. She is so sweet and cute! There shouldn't be such a stigma with formula feeding - sometimes it's the best thing for mom and baby! I had a really hard time with nursing Wyatt, and while we didn't have to use formula I did a lot of pumping and bottle feeding until we got it figured out. It's not easy! Hang in there, it gets better, and I know whether you're feeding her frmyla or breast milk you are doing what is best for her and you - you are a great mom! :-)

  4. That's amazing she gained 7 oz. in four days! You're obviously doing a great job!

  5. She's adorable! I know it's easy for me to say don't worry about the bottle vs breast. I'm not in your position. I've learned over the years from various friends that exclusive nursing is only best if you and the baby are thriving. You are doing what is best for your baby. And more women sharing how they feel about it is the best way to help get rid of the stigma attached to both breast and bottle feeding (amazing isn't it how many people feel so strongly about each...) Anyways as far as I'm concerned, you're a rock star! She's so blessed to have you guys as parents!


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