Breastfeeding – The journey

When my son was first born, he was taken to the nicu and we could not hold him until 11:00am that day. My son was born at 2:37am, it felt like eternity. When I went down to the nicu at 11, it was to try breastfeeding. It was very hard, Pearce was incredibly hungry and he didn’t know who I was. After struggling I was given the nipple shield by the nicu nurse, because he had been given the soother in the nicu, they felt that the shield would help.

Once I put the shield on Pearce was able to feed, But something nobody tells you about the first few times you feed is that its absolutely draining, and you also may feel pain. The pain is the feeling of your uterus contracting back down to normal size. I got light headed and felt sick and had to stop shortly after. I went back later and had a really good feed, and Chris was able to hold his son for the first time. Even with the shield the latch is still hard to get, and trying to teach your baby how to feed can also be hard. We stayed an extra night in the hospital so that we could get as much help as possible with breast feeding.

Our last night we had an amazing nurse who got Pearce to latch for me with the shield and Showed me how to get a good latch. The next day at around 1pm, we headed home. The hospital was nice and gave us a few extra shields as they have to be sanitized between each feed. We also had made an appointment with the Abbotsford Maternity Clinic as our family doctor was away and Pearce would need to be seen every week for 5 weeks.

Once home I found it hard to be comfortable feeding, the shield was so much work, sometimes falling off, or sliding during feeds. So while at the maternity clinic I was told about the Breastfeeding consult, I thought what do I have to loose? So my next trip to the clinic I was able to get in to see her. She started by watching how I fed Pearce and gave advice on better way to hold, the best way to get a good latch. Pearce was supposed to go hungry to our appointment so it didn’t really work out because he was too hungry to keep the shield off. Next week we would try again. I returned to see the BF consultant again, this time with Pearce not as hungry. We tried the holds again and I found it frustrating, I just couldn’t master it. I left feeling discouraged, but worked on her advise. The next week when we went in we saw the BF consultant, She advised that she thought we were coming along and that it would probably take 2 days of not offering the shield at all to be able to stop using it completly. She also suggested I ask the doctor if Pearce had a tongue tie. We saw the doctor immediately after, as per the norm and I asked the doctor about a tongue tie, sure enough my son had a tongue tie. The doctor snipped it in the office and it bled for only a second. That weekend I decided I would ditch the shield, I was ready.

It was the hardest 2 days of my life, I cried, I texted my husband that I didn’t think I could do it being a mom was too hard. But I didn’t give up, I kept not offering the shield and eventually using different holds we got it. We ditched the Shield in 2 days just like she had said. My nipples were sooo sore, So the prescription cream was extremely helpful. The bond is amazing during breast feeding I can’t explain it to anyone you just feel whole.

As Pearce grew, he became more and more active and less and less cuddly. He doesn’t like to cuddle unless hes being breastfed or its early in the morning. Pearce loves to run and go down the slide, and play on the table. He is NON stop from sun up to sun down. So for me the cuddles are less and less as the time has gone on. When I was gearing up to go back to work I decided that I wasn’t ready to end breast feeding and decided I would make the transition into back to work as well into BF while working.

My routine is as follows, I wake up at 5 am and get ready for work, Walk the dogs, get Pearce and my stuff together, and then I go to Pearce’s room and breast feed him and get him ready for the day. Then Pearce goes to my moms where he is then dropped off at daycare, Pearce has a bottle of breast milk before his nap while I pump on my lunch break, I spend about 15 minutes pumping while at work, which I then freeze in my works freezer. At work I get about 2 oz a day, Pearce gets a 4 oz bottle everyday.. So you can see how hard it is keeping up! The nap feed will be the first feed I drop as I plan the end of breast feeding, I’d like to be done by the time Pearce is 2. Once we pick Pearce up from day care its come home, make dinner, make lunches, Bath Pea. Then its jammies a mini play session and then breastfeed and lately I hold him till he falls asleep in my arms and move him to the crib. If he wakes up at night I breast feed. Its definitely not easy, and requires a lot of work on my part, but it has been nice to enjoy the extra cuddles.

I hear a lot why are you still breastfeeding? Why don’t you stop? Are you even supposed to breast feed after 1? Not to mention the sideways looks I get at work as I carry my pump to clean and my milk bag. I have been extremely blessed to be able to breast feed my son, I wouldn’t give it up for the world. I will end when Pearce is 2 or if he decides sooner that he no longer wants to breastfeed, until then I will enjoy lots of cuddles.

 

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