Thursday, August 5, 2010

World Breastfeeding Week.

Well the week is almost over. I wasn't sure if I was going to talk about my story or not. I'm a big fan of breastfeeding, but I'm not like an activist or anything. I will encourage women to do it, but I understand when a women decides that it's not for them.

The four months that Mister and I had a nursing relationship was wonderful. It was hard, it was amazing, it was painful, it was tiring, and it was the best. And I miss it with all my heart.

We started off rough. He was almost three weeks early and so he was slow to latch. He was just so tired all the time. I also had...unknowingly to me...inverted nipples. All of the nurses at the hospital..all but one...were wonderful. They helped me a lot. We ended up staying an extra day to make sure once he latched, that he was eating. When we got home was a different story. Whatever I had done right in the hospital, wasn't working anymore. And my milk came in. I was engorged and in pain and I needed to feed him. He was four days old, and to be honest, I'm not sure if he had eaten much that day. Luckily he wasn't was mostly me who was freaking out. I wanted this to work so bad.

I was feeding him with a syringe and crying and A knelt in front of us and asked me when I wanted to stop trying. He didn't want to force me to stop...he knew I wanted this so bad. He just wanted to be on the same page as me so that if I said I'm done trying, then he could rush out and buy some formula and bottles. He then reminded me that we knew a lady that was a part of the La Leche League and was willing to come and help anyone if needed. I gave her a call, after a little prodding and she came over at 7 that night. I sat in the rocking chair, and showed her what I was doing. She said that everything I was trying was right. Then she sent A to the hospital for two "tools" and when he got back with them, and I used worked. I never felt so much relief. Mister started to nurse. And we didn't stop.

He started to gain weight like a champ. He always wanted to eat, and I happily obliged. I wasn't confident with nursing in public, but if I found a comfortable seat, and a pillow, and a blanket I was fine. I knew that no matter who was holding him, if he got hungry...I was the one who got to hold him to feed him. It was selfish I know...but I loved it.

Then things started to go back downhill. I started to dry up on one side. I pumped after every time I nursed, drank a lot of water and almost always started on that side, and it still didn't work. One day, I just knew it was empty. That was that.

So I was down to one side. I would still try to pump on both sides and I would only get a couple of drops off of the bad side, and maybe, MAYBE 4 oz from the other. On a good day. I was trying to build up a stock because I knew I was going to be going back to work soon and that he was going to be at day care. I started taking Fenugreek to try to up my supply. More water...Everything and Anything. Once I went back to work it got harder. We had to start supplementing formula at work because I just wasn't pumping enough for him through out the day. So then at home, he would start out nursing and then still need a 4 oz bottle after I was empty. Then he got to where he didn't even want to nurse because he knew it was just easier to be fed the bottle. So Sunday May 9th...Mason nursed his last time. I cried. And cried. And cried.

I knew it would be ok. I knew he would be just as healthy and probably happier. I knew he would start to sleep longer at night. I knew Arick would be able to feed him more and easier. I knew it would be ok.

I also knew that I would give ANYTHING not to stop. Almost 3 months later...I still miss it. I still wish things had been different. I know now what I need to do different next time. I know that next time will be easier. And better. And longer.


mira said...

thanks for sharing. It sounds to me like you truly did everything you could, and made the best possible decisions for your baby and yourself that you could given the circumstances. It is a very special relationship, and I can tell you are grateful for what little time you did have to nurse Mason. Good for you for keeping it going for as long as you did, I admire that.

jerramurphy said...

I also had a lot of trouble. I did everything I could to get my milk to come in, contacting lactation experts, etc. All I ever got was 0.5 ozs!! And my girls were starving so the bottle it was. I had my heart set on a natural delivery and breastfeeding and got neither! So my advice to pregnant women is always keep your mind open. I got so attached to those ideas that is was a lot of unnecessary heartbreak. I have two beautiful girls that are doing great and are very smart and healthy. I think society puts a lot of pressure on women in this regard and it is totally false that if you work at it all breastfeeding problems can be fixed or avoided.