I’ve been getting asked, “How can I pray for you?”
Usually, my answer is something along the lines of praying for Nell and her continued progress. And then I realize they didn’t ask how they could pray for Nell. They asked how they could pray for me.
So, if you pray…here’s how you can pray for me.
It’s hard trying to figure out how to be a mom. It’s even harder trying to figure out how to be a mom when your baby isn’t home with you. How am I supposed to find my place as Nellie-Anne’s mom when I can’t have her at home with me?
I’ve expressed this struggle to people and they say, “But you ARE her mom.” I know that I am. But here’s the problem…I don’t get to be her mom right now. There are a handful of nurses who watch over her all day. And while I’m super grateful for everything they do, I’m sad that I don’t get to do those things for her like they do.
I don’t know her the way they do. I don’t know the same things about her. I don’t get to feed her, yet. I only get to bathe her with the nurse. I don’t get to hold her without being watched. I don’t get to do the things I would normally do as her mom.
While I work through those struggles, I will continue to visit her every single day. I will hold her during her feedings. I will be there every three nights for her bath time. I will continue to do everything I can to provide her with the breastmilk she needs.
And speaking of breastmilk here’s something else you can pray for. You can pray for my milk supply. For the first 3 1/2 weeks, I did really well. I was producing so much I was able to stock up. You can read about all of that here.
But now…now I’m barely producing enough for her to have when she eats. She has a feeding every 3 hours. Right now, she’s at 40ml for each feeding. Every 3 hours I pump. But I’m only getting 20-35ml per session. I’ve been pulling from that stock for a few weeks. And she’s catching up to me. Soon I won’t have enough for her if my supply doesn’t go up.
I’m doing everything I possibly can. I’m drinking a ton of water, eating anything with oatmeal, and even went to a place that specializes in helping with lactation, Milky Mama. They sell lactation cookies, brownies, and drink mixes. They even have emergency lactation brownies that are more potent than the normal ones.
I purchased a starter kit that had a little bit of everything. I’ve been eating/drinking these since Saturday and so far I’ve not seen a difference. Your prayers are coveted during this time.
I know that even if I don’t produce enough for her I’ve been able to give her the best start possible. I know that anything I can give her is amazing. But this is just one more thing I don’t get to experience with her. My body wasn’t meant to do this yet. And she’s not meant to be bottle or breastfeeding right now. So, I’ll get through this. And meanwhile, I’ll keep pumping.
I know that her time in the hospital is good for her. I know that she is where she needs to be. But I can’t help but think about how she should still be growing and developing inside. I can’t help but think that I wouldn’t be missing out on all of these things with her. Because she would still be growing in me and if she wasn’t early I would have been able to take her home and learn her…at home.