Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Checking in: 27 weeks

ICLW (IComLeavWe) collided with my vacation in the lovely Maldives. I naively thought I could comment from my phone while I was there (HA), but none of that happened. But anyway, I got away and snorkeled and gazed at insanely blue water to my heart's content. I got back last night and I'm still getting my bearings back.

Tomorrow marks 27 weeks. I have not bought a single thing for the baby yet. Not one bloody thing. Almost all my essentials need to come from the States. I have to figure out how to transport baby bottles (I'm going for stainless steel ones), a gzillion tins of Myenberg Goat's milk powder, and random things like DHA and vitamin drops and probiotics (formulating a very useful post on this one, which will most likely go up on my new blog) and blackstrap molasses. I'm far too terrified to go shopping for cribs and onsies yet. None of this feels real. I wish I could get the gender now---in some funny way, I feel like this would make all this seem a little more concrete.

Next week marks the timepoint to give the steroid shots, and J would also have to get the Rhogam shot or its equivalent. Turns out in India they have a monoclonal IgG shot available that is free of thimerosol, but it comes with its own wrinkles. I'm trying not to overthink and read the literature and decide whether to forgo the 28-week shot or not (there is some mild controversy here) or think of the nebulous risks of giving the shot, or the more easily imaginable repercussions of *not* giving it.I'm so PISSED that this pregnancy has to go through this easily avoidable issue. 

I asked my mother to talk to the NICU chief at the hospital that has the milk bank, and that conversion was again a door clanging shut in my face. No milk (they get super low amounts, apparently); they advised me against a wet nurse because even if you screen for diseases, you miss out on the window period where they could have contracted a disease but do not test positive for it yet.

All in all..hello formula from day 1, goodbye milk. I totally get the desperation of parents to get breast milk to their babies,if only for a few days.  There is a rather poignant/sad yet comical story I heard about a mother who was desperate to get her baby milk after she was born from surrogacy. She paid the surrogate a lot of money to provide the milk on the sly (the doctor had told her it was not in line with their policies), not realizing that the doctor had given the shots that made the surrogate's milk dry up. They apparently tried for
days and nothing happened. I can only imagine the collective frustration of everybody involved.

How important IS breast milk? Apparently, as a baby, I got no breast milk either (and maybe did not suffer at all for it, or mildly did---these things are impossible to judge), and the same will be true of my baby. It is impossible to gauge how your choices hurt or help things along, and I've been determined in theory to not beat myself up for things I cannot help...yet...that stupid urge to nitpick my choices and wonder about what the possible repercussions could be just does not go away. Parenting lesson #1, maybe?   


  1. I know so many very healthy adults who weren't breastfed as babies. I completely agree that you need to let go of what you cannot control. There are so many other variables, and you are being so careful and planning so well and lovingly to ensure your baby has a healthy start in this world.

    27 weeks - woo hoo!

  2. Are you more worried about missing out on the bm long term or mostly concerned about no colostrum?

  3. Firstly I was not breast fed at all and I think my life has been just fine. However I believe breast milk is highly under rated. When I give it to my daughter she is the easiest and happiest baby around - when I don't she's just a regular two year old!
    If I were not able to produce milk myself I would say the risks over finding a wet nurse would be much smaller compared to the gain you would get from having a baby that was. Is there some reason why you can't produce milk yourself?

  4. Congrats on 27 weeks!!! :-) It could be time to start ordering and at least get a bassinet, diapers, onesies, and blankets.

  5. You will have a lot less time to mull these things over once the baby arrives. I did not realize through my son's gestation--by surrogate--just how tense I was. Once he was born and in my arms the world felt a lot safer. I suspect some of this "nitpicking" is your attempt to have control over a frightening situation. So nitpick away!

    May I suggest a new book? It's called "Baby Knows Best" and the author is Deborah Solomon. There's been a lot of press here in the US about this book. A lot of inaccurate and sensationalist reporting about this new parenting "trend," but it's a lovely book to read as you prepare for your baby. The tools I've gained through similar books and classes (the RIE method) have allowed me to really enjoy my time with our children.

    27 weeks is really something! Time just flies.

  6. I bought crib(s) in a flurry around 27 weeks. Yep, two. Impulsively of course. I think breastfeeding was great, and if I wasn't able to I promised to not beat myself up. A fed baby is a happy baby. I was not breastfed and I'm certain that I am fine for it.

    Stock up on some sleep. And happy shopping!

  7. I'm so thrilled to read that you are at 27 weeks. And that you got to take a vacation before the baby arrives. That is a smart move.
    Breast milk is awesome, but we have available a good alternative for when that doesn't work. A lot of things haven't worked for us in trying to have a baby, dear woman, but at least we have a baby (or will have very soon). I hope you can keep that in mind when you are feeling anxious about the details not going exactly as you had hoped.
    12 week countdown. YEAH!

  8. I adopted both of my children and while I considered induced lactation, in the end I chose formula for both. My 5 year old and 2.5 year old are both cognitively ahead of their peers and have had about 6 total sick visits to the doctor between the two of them. Breast milk is awesome and definitely should be a first choice when possible but it won't make or break your child. All will be fine. :-)

  9. There is actually very little you need for the first few weeks - not a whole lot more than a place for the kiddo to sleep, formula to feed him/her, a good supply of burp cloths (we actually used cloth diapers for this - much more absorbent than regular burp cloths), a supply of onesies or gowns, and a reliable washing machine/dryer. So even if you don't feel ready to order everything before the kiddo arrives, you'll still have time.

    And while I certainly agree that breast milk is ideal when it's possible to provide it, lots of babies are formula fed and grow up to be very smart, healthy, successful people. Try not to stress over things you can't control - you'll have enough to stress over with the things you can control. :-)