As a way of creating memories, in a sense, I began to log every feeding including my pumped milk, poopy diapers and times of feedings. Through doing this, I found that I was able to generate a sense of reflection, that I too could conquer the feeding challenges of the early days. At the end of this experience, I let out a release of what I had done had truly been a log- somewhat like the early trail explorers did on the expedition of the Lewis and Clark Journey. To me, every expedition has to do with some inner work and basic record keeping.
What kept me going through this logging tribulation was something simple like this anger to myself that I could not do it and it ultimately led to a lot of realizations and epiphanies that supported myself through the process. The goal was to stick to 8 feeds per 24 hour period and space them evenly through the night.
Sometimes at the end of a two week journey there is a fascination of how you began. A sense of grief that is also a gift, and when I look back that I had logged my first feeding, I began to sense that these first two weeks did belong to me in a way that I had saved for reflection.
Although when I would have a question about something for a professional such as a doctor or midwife, nurse or another lactation consultant I would try to refer to the log, and found that there were some discrepencies in it, that it could not be totally precise, but still in that, I knew that it was still helpful to me. In these ways, I saw it to be helpful by sticking to a minimum of providing baseline information and holding true to the concept of estimation. We all have that experience in middle school math where we have to guess the amount of jelly beans in the jar. To me, looking back, I remember that estimation was really guestimation and it was a kinetic concept to the brain. Something that could possibly help yourself to keep a reference point and to me this helped me with my logging experience.
Looking back, I found that also just one point on the grid could help me with the motivation and dedication to not skip a line or a feeding. Postpartum is not forever but it should be a time of focus and collaboration. For me this generated success through honesty by connection. The lines on the grid in a downward column were time, urine, stool, skin to skin, time of breastfeeding, how much breastmilk or formula given and how much was pumped or hand expressed. When I grouped these with a sense of time, I could almost feel the feeding as a wrote it down through keeping it a holistic experience. What I mean by grouping is you don’t pump every single feeding but keeping it as an option can help you to realize the benefits of other objectives of the feeding (associated with time).
Things I learned along the way were,
Skin to skin is more for the initial experience after birth whether a moment or longer
Urine and stool help to record a feeding without writing, there should be at least 6 poopy diapers in 24 hour period but I also wasn’t able to keep track of this as accurately as a should and thus another column could potentially compensate for another. There was a building energy…
Length of time could relate to the next poopy diaper
Ultimately pumping could be an after thought that tie together the dyad of mother and baby.
As I wrote in the night and day, the fact that there were two languages listed also supported me to have a sense that I was not alone, we were all in this together as moms, as writers, as loggers.
Generation of question could also help me to see areas that were no longer black and white. The difference between firstborn and second born, toddler and baby, boy and girl, preemie and term, first and last, showed me the way that body compensation made a sense of equilibrium reverberating through our family.