I’ve been editing this post for a while now. There is so much I want to say. Yet I get very emotional just opening this draft.
I guess I should start form the beginning.
As soon as I found out I was pregnant with my first child, Sarah, I would dream about the precious moments my baby and I would have together while I nursed her.
Plus my mom nursed me, so I too wanted to nurse my daughter.
After giving birth to Sarah, nursing was not what I expected it to be (to read more about our journey click here).
Shortly after I found out I was pregnant with baby #2 I did extensive research.
I bought a bunch of products, I joined Facebook groups and mentally prepared for my round 2.
Just like his sister, my precious son was born prematurely. And just like his sister he nuzzled my chest and nursed for his first time.
It hurt, but I knew it would.
I took precautions and did all things I was told to do.
I kept telling myself it was going to be ok.
Less then 24 hours later my mom arrived from Florida.
I felt safe and comforted.
But then the bad news came. My baby had lost more then 10% of his body weight in a very short period of time.
It turns out he was loosing more calories then taking while nursing.
Therefore I pumped and fed him my milk with a syringe
Unfortunately he was still not gaining weight.
I was worried and stressed.
Formula was not an option this time. I was going to nurse my child.
After seeing a lactation consultant I was introduced to SNS (Supplemental Nursing System).
I was given this tube that was placed on my nipple and attached to my bra so that baby could eat formula while he was nursing.This way he wasn’t working so hard for the calories he so desperately needed.
It was tricky at times, but I did not want to give him formula from a bottle so this was my only option.
After he gained his birth weight back I stopped the SNS and continued to nurse him exclusively.
Unfortunately I was met with another set back.
First my milk had not come in. Turns out Sudafed not only dries up your nose (I had a bad cold) it also dries up your milk supply.
After we figured that out, my milk came in like a really bad flood.
I was leaking through pads and clothes no matter how much I nursed and pumped.
It got so bad, that one night I could not get out of bed! I was so engorged that I couldn’t lift my shoulders. I needed my mom AND hubby to lift me out of bed.
Turns out I have an oversupply. My son is also not able to handle my supply and constantly chokes and throws up my milk.
My LC suggested I pump before I feed.
Between a toddler who needed my attention, a newborn that needed to constantly nurse, a starving mother and the little sleep I was getting when was I going to find the time to pump??
Once again I felt defeated. Why was it so hard? Why can’t I just sit there and nurse my baby?
After a few weeks of pumping here and there, block feeding and other techniques I got sick.
Like really sick.
I got mastitis.
Now this is no ordinary cold. This cold is the kind of cold that kicks your ass and leaves you on the floor!
While I was fighting this awful infection I STILL had to nurse. It was the only way to completely relieve the infection.
I was a mess. Like sobbing uncontrollably, sitting in a pool of sweat, screaming of pain WHILE I nursed my newborn son.
It was brutal.
Then 2 weeks later it happened AGAIN!!!!!!!
On the other boob!!!!
If you think I was a mess before you should have seen me this time. I HATED nursing my son.
Nursing my son is what did this to me.
As soon as the infection was done, I swore I was going to never nurse again.
After a check up with my doctor and LC they both advised me not to quit. Between my oversupply and being prone to infections they said I needed to wean very very gently. They suggested massaging before and after every meal and replacing one meal with formula every week.
WHO HAS TIME FOR THAT????
I’m so done! I just want to stop crying!
Nursing has consumed my life.
It’s made me put my toddler, husband and my sanity on the sidelines.
I’m just done!!
I took it easy for a few days. Then a friend reached out to me and asked me how I was doing. Truth is I’m not a quitter. I want to nurse my son. I want this beautiful and natural bond to take place. I just need some more time.
Thanks to Lisa I decided to take things easy. Like really easy. I gave myself time. I said no to a lot of things and just focused on me and Jacob.
Once things got easier I was faced with yet another set back. I’m always tired. I’m very emotional. Come 4pm I get delirious and worst of all I’m not patient with our toddler. This nursing roller coaster has taken over my life.
So in order to get my life back on track I have decided to introduce formula again. For starters we have introduced just one bottle a day of formula. We have mixed it with breast milk and have given it to him as is.
I haven’t been sleeping more or anything miraculous, but it’s a step. A step I need to take.
In a few days, I will have nursed my son for 5 months!
Thanks to my friends at La Leche League I got this badge that I am proud to wear.5 months!!! I can’t believe that I have made it this far.
It might not be a big deal to those veteran moms, but its such a huge accomplishment for me. With many tears and a list of hardships, I have given my son 5 months of the best nutrients I can possibly give him. And that makes me proud.
Happy World Breastfeeding Month!