Earlier this week I took Faye to her 2 week appointment. One of the first things checked during these appointments is the baby's weight, and if I remember correctly, the goal for the 2 week appointment is for your baby to be back up to birth weight. Faye was born 8lbs 11oz, and when we left the hospital 2 days later, she was down to 8lbs 3oz. I remember being panicked with Joe when he dropped in weight, but as a 2nd time mom, I expected it this go around.
I've been incredibly lucky in that I've been able to exclusively nurse Faye without any issues. But as many breastfeeding moms know, it's a lot of pressure to be solely responsible for your baby's growth. You have no idea how much milk you're producing, nor do you know if your baby is eating enough per feeding. I've been trying to take her lead and feed on demand, but sometimes she goes 4 hours between feedings, and other times it's an hour.
So when the nurse placed my naked little babe on the scale, I held my breath and began to feel the anxiety build. Within seconds, her weight flashed on the screen: 9lbs 15.5oz.
The nurse turned to me and asked if I was breastfeeding or formula feeding, and when I answered breastfeeding, she responded, "Wow, seriously? That's impressive! I've never seen such a significant increase from breastfeeding alone! Way to go, Mom!"
I can't even describe what that nurse's words meant to me. It probably sounds silly, but I feel like the weight I had been carrying for 2 years was finally lifted from my shoulders. When you experience pregnancy loss, no matter how many times you are reminded that it's not your fault, deep down you carry that responsibility. As their mother, I carry the weight of my losses every single day. It was my body that miscarried Sprout and it was my body that made Grace sick. My body has failed me over and over again and at some point along the way, I think I began to resent it.
So when I received that small affirmation that my body is doing something right for once -- actually, doing something well -- I felt like I finally redeemed myself (from myself). I didn't know I needed that comfort and validation, but apparently I did. I started to tear up as I picked up Faye from the scale. The nurse asked if I was okay, but I was just so overwhelmed I could barely mumble the word "yes."
I am okay. I'm better than okay, I'm so incredibly happy it almost scares me that the other shoe is going to drop. The journey of motherhood after loss continues to bring highs, lows and lots of surprises. I find myself staring at her sweet little face breathing in her shallow breaths, and I probably check that she's still alive at least 10 times a day. I have been waiting so long for her I just don't want to miss a second of it. I love the way she places one hand over the other when she sleeps, I love her little patch of dark hair in the back of her head that shoots straight up like a female version of Alfalfa, I love the the way I always catch her staring back up at me when I think she's sleeping, I love hearing all those precious little squeaky noises throughout the night... I just love everything about her. She's so perfect I can't believe she's mine. I have to admit, this feeling was absolutely worth the wait.