My breastfeeding story started on rough path. Everything I wanted with my first breastfeeding experience with my son went the complete opposite. Long story short, I had pre-eclampisa, I was put on magnesium sulfate which caused complications with my son Grant and his breathing. Because of its side-effects, I wasn't able to breastfed him or even hold him as soon as he was born. They took him away and he ended up spending the night in their special care unit. Because of this, they ended up giving him formula against my wishes. I had to pump colostrum, since I couldn't directly breastfeed him. It was a rough night and I ended up barely sleeping because I couldn't see him or hold him. Finally after 20 hours after he was born, I finally had the chance to breastfed him. It was really tough to get him to stay awake. One of the side-effects of magnesium sulfate is it makes the baby really sleepy. Luckily I had a wonderful support system of family members who showed me every trick in the book to get him to stay awake, like striping his clothes off, tickling the bottom of his foot.
I thought I started to get the hang of the whole breastfeeding thing, but when I went in for his first appointment when he was only 5 days old, I felt crushed when I found out his weight went down to 12 oz. He was 5 pounds and 13 oz. (He has a low birth rate as a result of pre-e) and weighed 5 pounds and 1 oz. I felt crushed when I found out he lost that much weight. I know it's normal for babies to loose weight, but losing almost a pound sent some big warning flags. The ended up finding out that he had jaundice, so I had to take him to the hospital again to go under the blue lights. the doctor seemed really concerned about his weight loss, so they weighed him before he nursed and then after. When they did this, his weight didn't change. It made me feel like a failure that he wasn't getting anything. They ended making me supplement with formula. I hated that I had to resort to formula, I thought I would never have to use formula, and hated that I had to give him formula. But his latch wasn't developed and he wasn't getting enough milk, even though I was producing enough. So for about two weeks I supplemented with formula, and Grant ended up getting back at birth-weight. I kept a feeding log, to track breastfeeding him and giving him formula. Then I started giving him expressed pump milk instead of formula. Then eventually I went back to just breastfeeding him exclusively. At times it was hard, we would have hour long sessions. And at times it was very painful, but as I watched him grow, I knew all the pain was worth it.
The other obstacle of breastfeeding for me, was going back to work. When I went back to work, I had over 80 ounces of pumped milk. At work I found it hard to find time to pump, and pumping started to become very cumbersome. Within a month of going back to work, Grant had gone through what I was pumping everyday and what I had on storage. It was frustrating that I wasn't pumping enough to keep him filled. I ended up taking mother's milk supplements, and drinking mother's tea. I still sometimes only pump enough for the day, but I'm just proud that it's been four months of pumping, and I still am sticking with it.
Now Grant is nearly 7 months old, and I'm still breastfeeding. It's funny because sometimes the sitter has to give him formula, on days that my supply is low, and he is still hungry. On those days, Grant refuses to even take formula. He'll start drinking it, and as soon as he realizes what he is drinking, he spits it out and cries. My child is a formula snob. :) What is also amazes me about breastfeeding, is that Grant is now 17 pounds and 4 oz. He has nearly tripled his weight since birth. It was all to sticking with breastfeeding, despite all the obstacles. Even though I didn't get to breastfeeding Grant right away after birth, I had to give him formula, and pump all the time out of my busy work day, it's totally worth all the pain and annoyance. I usually don't stick with many things, like dieting. But I can proudly say I have stuck with breastfeeding, 7 months strong, and I'm still at it. :)
Thank you again Megan and what a wonderful job overcoming those obstacles. We know that sometimes breastfeeding can be a struggle and often times it sometimes doesn't come at all. We are here to support one another and hopefully these stories will bring a few of us together and relate as well as sympathise for one another. What we do have to say is if you are struggling with breastfeeding seek help. Find a local La Leche League or a local lactation consultent they may be able to help.