My Breastfeeding Story Part 2

In CategoryBreastfeeding
Breastfeeding has always been very important to me. When I tell my breastfeeding stories I always think of them chronologically.  I had a unique experience with each of my three children.
This will be a three part series.  One post per child!
My second son was born 11/5/06 is a much different story than my first son.  I had Placenta Previa again and was admitted to the hospital at 33 weeks.  He was delivered via emergency C-section at 35 weeks after I started hemorrhaging and spent 9 days in the NICU.  I started asking for a pump in recovery.  The nurses kept telling me it was too soon to pump. I finally got the pump about 8 hours later after trying to get out of bed to go find the pump myself.  There were no IBCLC’s available since he was born on a Friday night.  I went online and learned online how to hand express colostrum.  After much work I finally collected some colostrum.  I was so excited to even get that small amount for my baby and sent my husband to the NICU with it and the nurse told him it wasn’t enough AND THREW IT AWAY.  I later learned the nurse was a “floater”.  I was devastated.  My poor husband was afraid to come back and tell me what had happened.  I cried and started expressing again.I pumped every two hours. When I was released on 11/7/07 my husband drove me straight to a place to rent a hospital grade pump and my baby received my milk first through a feeding tube.  He then progressed to bottles.  At this point I was too tired, scared and emotional to fight for an alternative feeding method.  When he was released from the hospital he would not latch.  I would try to nurse him and then pump while my husband gave him a bottle every two to three hours.

When he was about 2 months old I had enough. I was tried of pumping and nursing him.  I despised the pump.  One day I called my hubby at work and told him I was done with bottles.  I drove him to the doctor to be weighed and spent the next two days forcing him to only nurse.  He cried, I cried and he finally got it and we got a good latch.  I did have some help from an LC but I think it just clicked for him one day.  Once I got him latched he would get very impatient waiting for let down.  The LC came back and showed me the SNS system.  I could not use it; I did not have enough hands.  I instead filled a bottle and would dribble milk on the corner of his mouth and that calmed him until the let down happened.  I had to continue pumping some because I was producing WAY more than he ate.  I started pumping just enough to make me comfortable with the hope of adjusting my supply.  The next problem we had was his frustration at my super strong let down (from all the pumping).  I learned to take him off and let the milk spray into a towel and then re-latched him.

I am very proud to say that by the time he was 2 1/2 months old he was exclusively breastfed (from the tap).

I returned to work at 4 months and pumped once again while at work.  I nursed him on my lunch break and evenings, nights, and weekends.  I was only working 4 days at first and that helped.  He easily went back and forth between breast and bottle.  He also did some reverse cycling (nursing lots at night) which was fine with me since we co-sleep.

I am very proud that he had nothing but mother’s milk.  I worked very hard at this and it remains one of my biggest mothering accomplishments.

Peanut nursed until he weaned at about 3 1/2 years old!

William Nursing about 2 years old

William Nursing about 2 years old

My Breastfeeding Story Part 1

In CategoryBreastfeeding
Breastfeeding has always been very important to me. When I tell my breastfeeding stories I always think of them chronologically.  I had a unique experience with each of my three children.
This will be a three part series.  One post per child!
When I was pregnant with Bug someone gave me Dr. Sears book “The Baby Book”.  I really felt that some parts of it really felt right.  I was still very mainstream in many of my ideas and was a long way away from the mother I would become.  Breastfeeding seemed like a non-issue.  Of course I would breastfeed.  That was best for the baby, right? 
When I shared this with family and friends some were SHOCKED I was going to breastfeed. I heard everything from “It will hurt” to “you will never last” to “but then we won’t get to feed the baby”.  If you know me then you know that I do what I decide to do.  I don’t often change my mind.
I took a breastfeeding class at the hospital I was going to deliver at.  Best choice ever!  My husband even attended and he was a great help to me after Bug was born.  
I was ready!
Bug came into the world on May 23, 2003. I had placenta previa and started hemorrhaging and he was born via emergency c-section. He had to go to the NICU for a few hours.  Once he came from the NICU the nurse told my husband and me that I was not allowed to hold him because I might be a bit out of it from surgery and she was worried I would drop him.  We said fine and she left and I immediately tried to nurse him.  The nursed walked back in and told me not to do that, it was too soon. I was a first time mother after a traumatic delivery so I listened to her.  After all, she was the expert….so I thought.
Luckily Bug latched well and nursed well. He gained weight and pooped, a lot! The first few days were a bit rough.  I can remember being in my hospital bed and trying to figure out how to get the baby on my breast.  My husband had attended the class with me and told me “honey, just RAM” through tears I could not think.  He walked over took the baby’s head in his hands, pause and suddenly thrust the baby onto my nipple.  I remember being shocked for a moment. Then I remembered what RAM meant: Rapid Arm Movement.  Basically it means, when the baby opens his mouth wide enough shove your breast in quickly!
At 6 weeks old I started pumping to prepare to return to work full time at 8 weeks old. Pumping was hard and uncomfortable but I had to get back to my 50 hour a week job and Bug needed the milk.
When I returned to work I was lucky that I found a daycare about 1 mile away.  I went to the daycare everyday at lunch and nursed. They were annoyed because I ruined their scheduling but I didn’t care.  I pumped several times a day at work.  My boss was less than thrilled. He was very annoyed to find my office door closed and locked during the day.  He felt like he should have access to me at all times that I was working.
When Bug was 6 months old I started having supply issues.  I no longer was pumping enough milk.  So I started pumping at home in the mornings and at night.  When he was 9 months old I had to start supplementing with artificial baby milk (formula).  I just could not pump enough milk.
I stopped pumping at 12 months and Bug weaned on his own at 13 months.  I was really sad when he weaned.
In preparation for my second child I researched breastfeeding quite a bit.  I didn’t want to experience the same problems.  I learned that there were many things I did and didn’t do that contributed to my low supply.  I did not nurse him enough, pump enough or start co-sleeping early enough.  I would not repeat those mistakes with baby number 2!
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Here is a picture of me nursing Bug at 1 day old:
breastfeeding 5-24-03
Here is a picture taken at about 5 weeks old:
lisa bf-cropped