Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Born Hungry

So if you remember this post, then you remember how important breastfeeding was going to be for me. I was determined to make it work no matter what--and I guess little Jackson decided he would test me to the limit to see just how serious I was about following through with my plan. He literally came out of the womb hungry. Everyone reported that while they worked on him in the nursery, all he did was gnaw on his hands and anything else that passed by his mouth. So when he tried breastfeeding for the first time I was excited to see he was an eager eater and had no problems latching on. I had been prepared for us to need time to learn to work as a team, but he took to it first thing. Only problem was he was way too eager!! By the next day, I couldn't bear the pain because he had done so much damage. And to put it bluntly, the lactation consultant called him a "friggin' barracuda!" (He gets that from his Daddy's side of the family). LOL!
I was doing my best to avoid a bottle until at least a couple of weeks from now, so we went home doing finger feeds (attached a tube to my finger and pushed colostrum and formula through a syringe as he sucked on my finger). That in itself was working, but a little cumbersome to say the least--felt like I was back to feeding Clayton since I was using the exact same syringes and everything we use with him! I continued to pump and it was Saturday night when I had the meltdown. I was pumping bloody milk and that's never good (anybody thinking TMI??). So I decided to take a break from even pumping and call the hospital the next day. And wouldn't you know, my milk came in that night. I was miserable by Sunday morning and of course that's the one day the lactation consultant doesn't work at the hospital. So I had to wait until Monday morning to actually talk to an "expert" and get some direction on where to go from there. Meanwhile, I was having a nervous breakdown about the whole thing. How long could I go without pumping/nursing and my milk still stick around? How long does it take before mastitis sets in? I was so frustrated because last time I had all this milk and my babies couldn't drink it, and now I have a willing baby and no way to get the milk to him! Talk about irony! But my visit with the lactation consultant Monday went really well, and since I had let my body rest for over 24 hours, when Jackson actually nursed again the pain was at least bearable. My confidence boosted, we came home with a new plan of pumping/nursing/supplementing with formula that will hopefully help the situation work itself out. My milk production is on the low side since I had such a rocky start, but I'm hoping with diligent pumping I can get it back up to enough to satisfy my baby. But in the meantime, it seems that no matter what/how much I feed the little guy, he still wants more! It's just hard to see the constant chewing on his hands and blankets and not wonder where all this milk is going I'm giving him!

10 comments:

Patti H said...

I think Jackson is telling you who is boss right off the bat. He is so stinkin cute.

wherever HE leads we'll go said...

He is absolutely adorable (even if he is a barracuda). Breastfeeding can be SO emotional (really with a newborn it is an emotional rollercoaster)! So glad that you got some help and things seem to be smoothing out. Hope all goes well with the new plan.

Anonymous said...

OH man he is sooo cute!!! perfect infant!!!! i know how you feel with nursing..I did all mine. Id be happy to help in any way possible!! just let me know!

Christy

Cheri Pryor said...

Could he be any more adorable??!! I think not! lol! I've already told you MY "tmi" breastfeeding story so I can totally relate. I'm sure it will all work itself out but lots of hugs until then!!

Mona said...

He will be perfect whether you breastfeed or not! And although I did not make it past the 3 motnh mark, my sis made it to 1 year WITH formula supplements! So do what works for your family - with NO guilt!!!! He is precious!!!

The Whites said...

Glad to hear it's better. Want to call but hate to wake you if you're sleeping! He's still so cute.

Bird said...

Wish I had some words of wisdom, but I was NOT good at breast feeding.

Heather said...

Okay, Ashley don't hate me for this but I'm going to give you advise. Take it, leave it, modify it....Stop pumping, stop supplementing, nurse on demand. If you have help in the home right now, have the help do every thing. Your job is to make milk, nurse and rest. We tend to treat human babies like cache animals-like fawns who are fed then left while the mother does something else. Human babies are practically marsupial. They need to have access to the breast whenever. I know it's terrible but it will regulate. Pumping deregulates your milk supply. You may end up with overproduction which can irritate baby's tummy or worse, unless you have a hospital grade pump, not even the best pump can stimulate milk production like the actual sucking of baby, and you may never recover your milk supply. If you need to take some edge off engorgement, hand express in the shower or into your nursing pad. If you have a hand pump, that can be useful but just to release a bit of pressure. Same thing with formula. Baby may be hungry but nurse, nurse, nurse and you will produce more. You know you body does it but you have to give it a chance to do its thing. You must endure bloody nipples! Do deep breathing and count to 10 when the baby latches and begins nursing. It's perfectly acceptable to cry and curse during this period but it should be less assaulting after the count to 10. Slather on the Lansinoh stuff and pick up some soothies (not the binky) at the pharmacy. If you can, ask your lactation consultant for this AWESOME jelly like stuff that promotes wet healing. It's used in burn units but they usually have it in Labor and Deliver recovery for blistered nipples. They may be reluctant to give it out because it's expensive but it is the most amazing stuff ever. Believe it or not, after your scabs come off things will feel much better. Your milk will flow better and it won't hurt as much. That's usually how you know it won't get any worse.

I know I sound totally LeLeche League but I'm not. If you need help, call them though. They are awesome and not as Nazi as you might think. In my experience, sometimes lactation consultants don't know what they are talking about. You probably feel really insecure right now. It is a new and not too pleasant experience. Nursing a baby is awful for the first few months but it will get better. We were poor college students when I had my first so I had monetary incentive to make nursing work. Now, after nursing three babies for a year or more, I swear by the health benefits of nursing. I had winter babies and they were rarely sick. It's totally convenient too. After the initial trauma of round the clock feeding, it's easy even at night. You can pretty much feed them in your sleep.

I probably should have written you an email instead of leaving a comment but I just want to encourage you to keep with it. Give it a couple weeks of straight breastfeeding so everyone can get the hang of things. Give Jackson a pacifier to give him some oral stimulation and to give you a rest. There's no nipple confusion with a binky.... There I go again, more advise...Oh, one last piece of advise. Have someone check out or buy the book "The Nursing Mother's Handbook" as an awesome reference and "The Baby Whisperer." I found both to be balanced on nursing and on newborns in general. With Nathan, my CP baby, reading those two books was the only way I managed to slog my way through that newborn period. (We had no idea he had CP.) Best of luck though, however things work out. If you have any questions or want me to ramble to you again, you can email me at goodnorning2nan@yahoo.com

Heather said...

Gosh, could I have said AWESOME any more? Hmmmm, I'm going to my awesome bed now....(Not trying to rub in the fact that I'll enjoy a full night's sleep and you'll be feeding every 1 1/2 hours tonight;))

Lee-Ellen said...

he is so beautiful ashley! absolutely perfect. i wish i could hold him from all these miles away!! hugs to your family! love you guys!