Friday, November 14, 2014

Adventures in Nursing

My goal was to breast feed for the first year. When I was pregnant I told my mom if it didn't work out I wouldn't be horribly upset. Well fast forward to a hormonal woman who just had a baby and struggling to breast became a big deal. The first 5 weeks of breast feeding was horribly hard. First there was the jaundice struggle for about 3 weeks. In & out of the hospital, trying to feed him as much & often as we could to get that jaundice out of his system, latch issues, porn size boobs, a baby who refused to nurse, sore nipples and the list continues. 

In the hospital I breast fed as much as I could the first couple days. We had to supplement at first because his sugar was too low. Then we had to supplement because he had jaundice really bad. I tried to keep him under the lights as much as possible when he was in the NICU, so we could go home. I would pump and feed him under the lights. My goal was to get my little man better as soon as possible. 

When my milk came in the poor little guy couldn't latch on at all. My boobs were just enormous. We had a doctors appointment a day after my milk came in. I showed the lactation consultant what I was dealing with. Immediately she said there is no way you can breast feed without a nipple shield. Well that was a game changer right there. It really helped us for a few days.  Then I got a lazy baby. He had been bottle fed so much he only wanted a bottle. The milk came much faster and he didn't have to work to eat. He had been through so much already at this point I just gave him a bottle. When it came time to nursing he would scream bloody murder. My mom thought I was being dramatic when I told her how he would act. Well she saw it first hand and couldn't believe it. 

The first 5 weeks of his life I tried to nurse. I would fight him as much as I could to get him to latch. Some days I just didn't feel like fighting. I was going through a lot with my health, numerous tests and a lot of stress for me. Nursing was just one battle I didn't want to keep fighting, so I pumped. He received pumped breast milk for his feedings. 

Pumping takes A LOT of time. I would pump 20 minutes, feed the baby, change diapers and an entire hour would pass. I was spending 3-4 hours a night just feeding. I was EXHAUSTED. 

At 5 weeks a light bulb went off and the little guy started nursing. He latched right now and nursed for an entire day until 6pm. At 6pm he screamed his head off for a bottle. I fought him a little bit then gave him a bottle. I figured if I only had to give one bottle that was a big improvement. I noticed if he had more than one bottle a day he really fought me on nursing. 

We are now going on week 9 and I have been nursing exclusively for 4 weeks. I pump 1-2 times a day just to keep my supply up. I save 1 bottle for outings just in case I can't find a place to nurse. It really is a shame how there is no where to nurse your child. If you nurse in public you get looks. I also give him a bottle when we go to church. I find it much easier to just bottle feed him a bottle once on Sunday. Sometimes I can feed him during the service and I don't have to miss anything. Other times I go to the cry room to finish feeding him. 

Public places need to have mothers rooms with a changing table and a place to nurse. A lot of places don't even have a changing table. The things you find out when you become a mother. 

I made a list the other day of places I have now nursed. I just whip it out if the little guy needs to eat. I try to stay covered the best I can, but if something peeks out oh well. This is nature people!

Chiropractor office
Old Navy fitting room
Babies R Us mothers room
Target parking lot
Nordstrom mothers room

My goal is still the same to nurse until he is a year old. I was ready to give up during the first 5 weeks and give him formula. I have tried about 5 different types of formula. Each one he gets sick from it. Either he gets really gassy, pukes, or fussy. Luckily I have enough breast milk in the freezer to help when I go back to work.