{mom}ents: Transitions & Breastfeeding - Behind the Camera and Dreaming

{mom}ents: Transitions & Breastfeeding

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Before I begin my SUPER long post about our misadventures in breast feeding, I'd like to recognize the ladies who linked up for last week's {mom}ents.

This is just a small exert from Nicolette's story she posted last week on transitioning to a toddler bed.

During the first two weeks of the big girl bed transition, I swear my Braxton-Hicks contradictions were directly connected to my toddler's moods. Every time she refused to nap or fussed about something, my uterus went nuts. Since I didn't really have any Braxton-Hicks last time, I had to explain them to Jon. After telling him how often I was having them and how they correlated with stress from Big Sister, he concluded that Braxton and Hicks were not doctors but most likely two very annoying toddlers. I swear a sense of humor is the only thing that got us through those two weeks...
I'd also like to thank: Branson and Andrea for their stories!








There are several motherhood related things I want to write about this week, but I'm going to dedicate this {mom}ent to breastfeeding. I've mentioned it here and there, but haven't really gotten into the subject much, mostly, because there are so many different opinions and views out there. However, I want to go ahead and write about it now though because it's moving further back in my mind and my experience may be identifiable to others.

In my last trimester of pregnancy I was hell-bent on being successful at breastfeeding. I'd taken the classes, read a lot of research, talked to other moms, read blogs, etc., etc. I knew one thing for sure. The research says that BF babies have a lower chance of developing diabetes. It also says that if you have gestational diabetes your child is at a higher risk of having diabetes at some point in life. Since, I had gestational diabetes and my ONLY risk factor for diabetes is genetics, I just felt I should do everything I can to make it work so that I could reduce my son's risk for developing diabetes. That along with all the other benefits of breastfeeding I just knew I would make it work. My goal was six months at least. I work full time and I knew it would be difficult, but I guess I didn't realize to what extent I would have to be committed. But let's go back to the beginning.



 Everything I did in the beginning was planned around being successful. We executed our birth plan around being able to attempt nursing within the first 30 minutes of birth. We arranged to have a private transition nurse that would stay with Jonah and us in our room for the first 4 hours (State law says newborns have to be observed by a nurse for the first 4 hours of life - which usually means in the room then the nursery). Our transition nurse just happened to be the nurse that taught us our breastfeeding class a few months prior. It was a great experience all around. She physically showed us right after birth how to get a proper latch etc. even before a lactation specialist would see us.

We did pretty well, I thought, but at four days old Jonah had a pretty bad case of jaundice. I was so worried that he wasn't getting enough milk. On about day 2-3 of no BMs after he'd had plenty for the first 5-6 days of life - we decided to try a little formula just to get his system going. I cried and insisted that I give it to him so that he didn't get confused on who had the milk! We only wound up giving him about an ounce, but it worked like a charm and I felt like a big ole failure. It took me about a day, then I was over it and we didn’t have to supplement any more at that point.


Light Therapy "Billy Blanket" to treat jaundice.

 Breastfeeding was hard for MANY reasons. Jonah was a really sleepy baby and the jaundice did us no favors in that area. I felt like giving up several times earlier on. At about five weeks he would cry and cry in the evenings and I had no breaks from feeding him. He was nursing almost every hour - for like 30-45 minutes. This was giving me breaks of 30 minutes or less. Usually around 11 to midnight he would fall asleep and last about 4 hours. At this point we decided to start supplementing in the evening to just help him get settled down. 2-4 ounces would usually do the trick. Looking back at this, I think we made some mistakes with this, because we taught him that it was easier to get full from that little bottle than nursing. But he was still MOSTLY breastfed. I came to terms with it and for my sanity it was working.




Then, at 8 weeks I went back to work. He stayed with my mom and was still eating 4 ounces about every 2 hours (still is). About a week in, he started refusing to nurse in the evenings. SO FRUSTRATING! He would nurse until the first let down was gone and then he would pull away screaming. So, after much struggle a bottle satisfied him and I would pump. Sometimes I would have some pumped for him, but most of the time I didn't. Then, at night and first thing in the morning he would wake up and nurse fine. Same routine almost every night. Honestly, I became okay with this and tried to get my supply up so that he still got mostly breast milk.

Then, at 11 weeks - UGH - I had to have my gallbladder removed. I NEEDED pain killers, so he got formula for a few days, and then I started pumping exclusively. I was so sore and when he refuses the breast he KICKS. So, I didn't even try nursing him at that point. This was cumbersome. I felt like I was attached to a pump and missing out on spending time with my baby. So, I began pumping less and less and at about 16 weeks decided to just give it up. Things were so busy at work, I’d have to stay later because I had to take time out to pump – not okay with me – or I would just skip a pumping session to be able to get home sooner. It REALLY sucked, but still I have felt so guilty about it.


 I’m moving passed it now, but honestly writing this has made me still question myself. Was my decision to stop purely selfish? Should I have done more to keep it going?

My six month goal went totally out the window. I blame the surgery and not being able to stay at home with him, but really I feel like I will always question these decisions. Then, I remind myself that I know plenty of babies who never got breast milk and are perfectly healthy. It's a vicious cycle... but what I do know is that I love this little man to the moon and back and will do my best to make healthy decisions for us both.








I'm also linking up with Sweet Violet Photography

Grab the Button! And visit the {MOM}ENTS tab for more details!



Behind the Camera and Dreaming







You Might Also Like

7 comments

  1. You are an excellent Mama! You hear everyone say that breastfed babies are healthier, but I only made it 12 weeks with Emma and you know how healthy and smart she is! It is really hard to pump as much as they eat when you work full time. We all start out with the best intentions, but sometimes life gets in the way and we just do the best we can.

    ReplyDelete
  2. You can't beat yourself up. You had good intentions and you tried your best - that's winning to me.
    To Jonah, you are his world - regardless of how he gets his milk.

    Stacey

    ReplyDelete
  3. You did awesome and are an amazing mama! Feedings are about feeding the baby, and as long as you do that you are golden ;)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Amazing article...
    Your narration was just wonderful and it was god to read it.
    benefits of breastfeeding really does help a child grow healthier.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I struggled with breastfeeding too. Honestly, I felt kinda betrayed. No one told me how hard it was going to be. I excepted everything would just work but it didn't. I also supplemented and felt so guilty but in the end it was just what worked for us. Don't let the guilt eat at you. You are doing a great job, he is feed, healthy and happy!

    ReplyDelete
  6. You did a great job! I have no idea why, but this made me tear up. I hate so much that so many people have a hard time breastfeeding. It's so hard and I wish it weren't. I have genuinely loved nursing my babies, but I've never had supply issues and I've never really pumped which makes it so much easier. I was able to stay home pretty exclusively those first six months and that makes all the difference in the world. I'm positive I wouldn't have pumped for long. That's one of the things I love most about breastfeeding - no bottles to wash! :) I always give working/pumping mamas so much credit - that is hard work! Anyway, all that to say, great job! He's healthy and happy and loved and those are the most important things.

    (wow...that was a novel! - sorry!)

    ReplyDelete

I love the communication and connections one simple comment on a blog can bring. Lifetime friendships are formed, grown, and flourished in this little box. So, basically the pressure is on ;)

Like us on Facebook