(Sorry for all the instagram pics. I left my nice camera at home)
Miles is a week old. Wow, time is flying by.
We are still awaiting clearance to leave Utah with him and I am getting more and more anxious to be home as the days go by. Matty, my Mom and Sam have all returned to Washington, and Miles and I are just semi-patiently waiting for the go-ahead.
I am enjoying my alone time with "Mymy." He is such a chill baby. He is becoming more and more alert every day and loves to be talked to.
He sleeps best while being held and although that will be a problem soon, I am soaking up the opportunity to cuddle.
Miles has the longest arms and the strongest neck! He can already hold his head up and look around a room. It makes him seem so much older than he is.
Last night was my first night alone with Miles. We did pretty good. He is still a little confused about when to be awake and when to sleep but we are working on it.
This picture melts me, especially because when he smiles he reminds me of his amazing birthmother. I am so thankful for her, and especially grateful for this amazing little boy.
I am feeling especially lucky today. How could I not?
A huge dream of mine since my first son was born was to nurse without stress! Sam was born sick and immediately put into the NICU and so we didn't really get into the swing of nursing until he was 2 months old. It was HARD.
When we decided to adopt, I did a lot of research to find out what it would take to be able to nurse an adopted child. We were thrilled when we were matched with a birthmother that was due in 2 months, just enough time to prep for my milk supply.
I started by taking Fenugreek 3 times a day and drinking Mothers Milk Tea every morning. You can find both of these at GNC. I was also trying my best to drink a beer every day, a good stimulator for milk supply, but I am not of fan of any beer. Some GNC's carry a hops and barley pill, but I never started taking either of those.
After a week of Fenugreek and MMTea, I started to pump with a hospital grade Medela pump.
NOT FUN. But I kept reminding myself that it would be worth it.
I started pumping every 3 hours during the day. After about a week I was starting to get beads of colostrum, but never enough to freeze it.
After a month of Fenugreek, MMT and pumping colostrum, I started to get a clear fluid. At this point I also started Domperidone, a medication not FDA approved in the US, but I was able to bum it off a friend who has a prescription in Canada. Here are some websites where you can learn more about the drug and order a generic brand.
About 4 weeks before our adopted baby was born I was taking 3 Fenugreek and 5 Dom (50mg) 3 times a day. I was also pumping every 3 hours during the day, 2 times at night.
After a week I started producing milk!
The biggest difference with this route is that your milk doesn't really "come in" as it would after a birth. For me it came in slowly, gradually improving supply over the next few weeks. When my son was born on Wednesday, I was producing 1oz out of both breasts. That may not seem like a lot, but it is enough for a newborn and what an amazing experience it is to be able to nurse a baby that I didn't carry. Totally worth the work! And lucky for me, Miles is a PRO at breastfeeding.
A quote I read when I was researching said to "expect to be able to nurse your adopted baby, not to breastfeed them." My baby is only 4 days old at this point, and although we have had to supplement a few feedings with formula, things are working out great. I am still on my pill regimen and I pump every time I feed him a bottle in hopes that my milk supply will improve as he grows.
What I have to remember, is that there is more to nursing than feeding and the bonding is so important.
UPDATE: At 4 weeks old I went ahead and pumped instead of feeding and found out that I was producing 4 oz of BM a feeding. This was on 60mg (3Xa day) and 3 Fenugreek (3X a day). Unfortunately this was the most I was able to produce and as Miles grew and became more needy, I started to have to supplement more. However, I am still so proud to say that things worked out so well for us and I feel so strong for getting through the worst of it all to be able to have this experience.
Matthew and I arrived in Utah on Tuesday, just in time to have a wonderfully fun dinner with our birthmother and her daughter. We spent the evening laughing and learning about each other. It was a time I will never forget and we will cherish it forever.
We got to the hospital early on Wednesday morning for the scheduled C-Section. I was lucky to be in the operating room with our birthmother and I did my best to comfort her and I thanked her over and over again, knowing I would never be able to even out the debt.
At 7:38 Miles was born screaming a perfect little cry. I melted, and tears of joy were shed by me and tears of sadness were cried by her. It was very emotional, and his cry only made it harder for her so we left the room and finished up his cleaning and care in the nursery where we met Daddy for the first time.
He weighed in at 7lbs 5oz and 19" long. He's a stocky, healthy boy with a very calm demeanor.
Miles was immediately handed over to us and I was able to nurse him within the first hour of his life. It was magical! He is a GREAT eater and perfect nurser. I can't stress that enough!
The first 2 days were spent in the hospital in a small room outside of the nursery. I'm fairly certain he was never put down. We snuggled him every chance we got.
I got to talk a little to our birthmom on Wednesday afternoon. She seemed to be doing well and was curious to hear more about the baby. She had decided that it would be too hard to see him, and stuck to her plan. She was (and is) so strong. We feel so lucky to have met her and I could not find a better example of strength and selflessness if I tried.
On Thursday afternoon, after all the paperwork was signed, our healthy boy was discharged from the hospital. Getting him "home" and showing him off to my Utah family was so fun, and we have really enjoyed every moment we have had with him.
Our first night, although exhausting, was wonderful. The bonds that happen in the middle of the night are irreplaceable. Miles let me sleep for 4 hours between feedings and didn't mess around when it was time to nurse.
Today we got out a little and visited the pediatrician. Everything is perfect! We are so proud of our littlest and our adoption could not have gone more smoothly. What an experience!
Tomorrow Miles gets to meet Grandma and big brother and I am pretty sure it will be the most amazing experience of my life to have all my boys together!