Friday, July 9, 2010


How can something that seems so natural, seem to come unnaturally?!? I don't know if I ignored all the portions in the books that described how difficult nursing can be or if I just took the attitude "oh it won't be hard for me". Ugh, I was wrong. We seemed to do all the right things. Daddy was super supportive. Our families were supportive. I tried to nurse you right away. We didn't allow bottles. But you were not an agressive eater. You didn't understand how to latch and I didn't know what to do to help you. The nurses were so wonderful and had soooo many options as to how to help us. Because you weren't able to latch right away, we had to supplement with some formula after each attempt at nursing, and then I had to pump after each feeding as well. When I mean supplement, I mean that Daddy had to sit you up on his lap, fill a tiny little medicine cup with formula and feed that to you. And if I was able to get anything from pumping, that was feed through this syringe type deal that didn't have a needle. It has been a process. Eventually, we settled on using a shield. I'll admit, I felt like a bit of a failure. Everyone preaches about how good breastfeeding is and how you are giving your child such a head start in life. I was trying so hard, why wasn't it working?! I can understand how some people who are lukewarm about the idea would settle on formula feeding. I've had moments where I've wanted to give up, but I let them pass and keep trying. Once we came home from the hospital, we kept nursing. When we went back for your first check-up, you weren't gaining like you should have. I immediately thought "Another failure for mommy." We had a lactation consultant come out and work with us. She weighed you again and you were still dropping. As if my emotions weren't out of whack already, add this stress on top of it. We set up another weight check at the clinic. We worked with the lc on latches and how to get my milk supply up to par. Next weight check at the hospital and you were down almost a pound from your birth weight. Daddy and I were scared. You were supposed to be at least back up to your birth weight by this point. Daddy called Dr. Leino (at home-thank god for Daddy's connections) and we had a new plan. Every time we fed you, I would nurse both sides, then pump. Then Daddy would feed you 1-2 oz of formula from the cup. This process takes about an hour. You eat every two hours from the start of each feeding. We were determined to get you growing. Our next weight check was a few days later at the clinic. We put you on the scale and you were somehow 9 oz bigger. Nurse Chad informed us that this scale just got checked and was the most accurate. The scale that had you down a pound was obviously wrong. While this was a huge relief, you still weren't quite up to where you should be so we would still be supplementing. Another few days passed and the lc let us borrow the scale at home to check progress. Finally we were getting somewhere. By week three you are back to where you should be, but we're still having to do some supplementing. Even though things are better, I can't help but to be paranoid about how much you are actually getting from me. I can't tell how much milk you get at a feeding besides just watching your temperament and how am I supposed to tell if you are being fussing from being hungry, or tired, or just plain old being fussy. This nursing thing is not as easy as I thought it was going to be. We still have to use the shield and we still have to wake you up to eat. Add on top of this the fact that I'm not the type of person that is very comfortable "whipping it out" in public. Yes I have one of those shawls, but is it still weird for people to see that because they'll know what you are doing and that simply makes people uncomfortable?? I'm still determined to make this work and maybe I just need to stop worrying about what others think. It's a perfectly natural thing, even though it hasn't come so naturally to me. It's only been three weeks. Maybe I should just give us a break and be happy with the progress we have made! Or maybe I just need a nap. :)

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