Saturday, January 9, 2010

Breastfeeding Woes and Staying Home

First off let me start with...WOW I LOVE MY SON!

I honestly never thought motherhood could be this great...and even then, I wanted to be a mom. Now, I cant even explain in words how much I love being a mom. Everything little thing is amazing. Every little thing is worth it.

Every single diaper change, bath, nap, book reading, talking, is all perfect and amazing.

Here is my one, single, tiny, yet seriously huge.....problem. Breastfeeding.

I wanted to breast feed so bad. Seriously. I went to classes, read books, talked to other successful BF mothers, talked to lactation consultants, bought a pump, bought nursing bras and tank tops. I did it all...I was super prepared for sleepless nights and sore nipples.

But somewhere along the lines it became difficult. But not on my part...not even on my son's was the drs part. Here's where it started....they had me start supplementing when he was 2 days old. They had me continue supplementing until his drs appt at 2 weeks. This is where it fell apart.

I started taking Fenugreek. I kept a 2 liter bottle of water with me at all times. I made sure I ate enough calories. And most importantly...I PUT HIM TO THE BREAST EVERY TIME.

What I hate is the fact that I heard the same thing from everyone...women who breastfed, the lactation consultant with his pedi, the lactation consultant with the health dept, etc. They all said "Put him to the breast." Always offer the breast first. Let him eat, then supplement. You know what started happening? He would latch on, eat a minute, unlatch, cry, latch, unlatch, cry, latch, unlatch, cry...until 30 minutes later and I would give him the supplement. He got nothing from my breast. He was smart enough to know that if he waited long enough he would get the bottle. *SIGH*

When he was about 3-4 weeks old I got a call from a friend of mine from BZ. She had just given birth to her daughter (we're on the same due date club) and she had been exclusively breastfeeding since she was 45 minutes old. I was so jealous. She told me about a supplement she used with her first child called More Milk Plus. I havent taken it...only because I am already taking Fenugreek and it's the main ingredient. She suggested that I give it 2 days. I was leaking and able to express milk with my hand. We knew that my supply was there. 2 days of nothing but breast.

I did it. It didnt work. My son was on my chest literally all day except for diaper changes. No joke. He was never satisfied. He slept for maybe 30 minutes at a time. It was awful. We went back to the bottle.

So where did the problem start? Maybe the fact that I didnt get to breast feed him until he was a few hours old? They rushed him off after I had him to check him and didnt bring him back until he was about 4 hours old. Is it because we didnt have a good latch and the LC with the hospital didnt notice? He would breastfeed for an hour non stop while in the hospital. Was it the bottle? DH and I decided to the bottle once we got home because it took waaaay to long to hook my boob up to the little tube with formula just to breast feed him when it didnt work anyway.

So here are my questions: Did I give up too easily? Is it too late to try again?

Here are my concerns:

#1: I have never gotten more than 1/2 an ounce when I have pumped. This makes me think I have milk, but not enough.

#2: I have never experienced engorgement. NEVER.

#3: I cannot hand express any milk after he has been latched on for just a few minutes.

#4: He only stays on the breast for up to 15 minutes and the very occasional 30 minutes. Usually around 5-10 minutes, though. Then he unlatches and cries and tries to latch back on with a big wide mouth and a bopping head. When he does get latched back on, he's only on for another second and back off again.

#5: Even if it seems he was eating well, when he unlatches he cries and roots around like he is still hungry. If I offer the breast again, we repeat #4.

#6: After what I think was a good breastfeeding, he happily takes 2-4oz of formula. And I'm not talking just takes it...I'm talking no spit up, no falling asleep while eating...he was hungry, and he ate!

Here are my reasons for hope that I might be able to start again:

#1: I leak. Not a lot, but I do.

#2: He still roots towards my chest (or anyone's for that matter) when he is hungry. Obviously he knows he can still get SOME from me.

#3: He still has a good latch. I have never had sore nipples from a shallow latch. No cracking or anything! And I can see him swallowing.

#4: Maybe the most important point...I still want to breastfeed. He needs that comfort...and so do I.

If anyone has any suggestions, besides the one that annoys me :) please offer any advice. I feel so guilty for giving up, but I just didnt know what to do.

Now for the better update...we are doing sooooo well! I LOVE staying home with him! We read books together and I swear he keeps his mouth open the entire time I'm reading like he wants to talk to me! He smiled at me for the first time the other day while we were reading The Little Engine that Could. He was so cute that I was laughing outloud while trying to read!

He loves his swing...he was little bear mobile on it that he likes to look at while swinging. He only likes the swing on the highest setting. I think it helps with gas and it rocks him to sleep.

We also had to hang up some 0-3 month size clothing last week. He was around 5 weeks when we pulled it out. It was mainly the full body outfits that he needed bigger because he's so long! He still cant even fit in most of his newborn size pants...they're still too big!

*And right here is where we took a break to try to breast feed because my sleeping baby became a hungry baby. Unfortunately, he would not latch on the left breast at all...and he latched on to the right breast for like 30 seconds. My mom's feeding him right now :(

So theres a little update from us! I absolutely love being at home with him and I'm already crying just thinking about how much he has grown! We got pics taken on the 31st as a family and did some newborn pics. I'll have to post some soon!

CONGRATULATIONS to Brooke on the arrival of Colton! Just in time for Christmas! I'm a little envious of those of you who had your little ones early! Eli was nice and comfy in my belly for a long time!