1 October 2014

Breastfeeding || Round Two


I wrote my first breastfeeding post about halfway through my journey of breastfeeding Hazel. As I mention in that post I was pretty naive before I became a mom about the crazy world of breastfeeding. I thought... heck.. its FREE why doesn't everyone do it... then I did it... and mannnnn, its tough!! As you can read in my Breastfeeding Hazel post I had some tough times starting out with her but we powered through enjoyed a successful breastfeeding relationship for 15 months, and Im so happy I did! 

So after breastfeeding a baby for 15 months you would think I was a pro, you would think that breastfeeding baby number two would be a breeze am I right? Well... think again. 

When Millie went through her first growth spurt.... breastfeeding her for 12 hours straight...

I don't know if Millie's traumatic birth experience had anything to do with it. And I hope that someday I get to experience what its like to breastfeed my baby within minutes of their birth. To have that first easy latch on. Ive even dreamt about trying out the breast crawl (if you haven't heard about it check out this video

But that wasn't meant to be this time. Breastfeeding Millie was delayed about 5 hours. They kept asking me if she was a preemie because she was very sleepy at the breast and couldn't believe that she was 8 days overdue. So that was strike number one against us. If you've ever had to work at keeping your baby awake to eat than you know how time consuming and difficult it is. It goes a little something like this: strip them down, flap their arms, tickle their feet, stroke their cheek, and if all else fails... wet washcloth to the back of the neck... ugh. Then of course there's Google this. Google that. So.much.googling. I think Kellymom is my new BFF. For real. 

If you read my story with Hazel you know that for the first 4 months of her life I could only breast feed with a nipple shield. While I was SO thankful for that stupid piece of plastic I really wanted to get rid of it and I was pretty determined not to leave the hospital with one again this time. But... with Millie being so sleepy and my nipples being quite flat, I was pretty concerned that she wasn't getting enough, so I begged Bob to go get me one. Looking back maybe we could have powered through, but since I had gone down the shield road before it seemed normal to me. In the end the Lactation Consultant only had so much time to help me perfect the latch and it seemed Millie just wasn't getting it. 

Nursing Millie while keeping Hazel entertained

Fast forward 2 weeks later and it seems like Millie is loosing interest in the breast all-together. I was nursing for over an hour with only one let down. I knew she wasn't getting enough. I started nursing her on and off without the shield and then dropped it totally. Although she couldn't really get a perfect latch I knew she was getting more than before. And thats when all of my problems really started... 

We are talking milk blisters, blood blisters, eeerrrrrry kinda blister.... We are talking oversupply, undersupply, extremely fast let down and occasionally my milk being so think and fatty that she literally could hardly get it out... yeah, thats a thing. 


We got problems. In fact I think I've just about run the gambit of Breastfeeding problems friends. I have wanted to give up COUNTLESS times. My sweet husband is good to remind me on those hard days that the light is just around the corner. I know it gets easier. I've been there. I've done this. 

It is slowly getting better. I'm starting to see that light. I'm continually amazed at what my body can do. That it can make food to keep my baby alive. It's crazy. 




I know that all of the tears, all of the frustration and difficulty will be worth it. I won't regret a single tear shed for the privilege of those quiet mornings and still nights (hopefully not too many more of those! Ha!) spent with just Millie and I. Or to see her break into a smile as I catch her eye. 

All this being said, I've learned so much and while I would have been disappointed had I decided to stop Breastfeeding, or had to stop Breastfeeding I don't think I would have been devastated as I would have been had this been my first baby. I think as mothers we put undue pressure on ourselves and not Breastfeeding can make new moms feel like they are 'failing', but motherhood is far more than just how you feed your baby, though it can feel like everything those first few weeks. Claire over at My Devising recently had her second baby who was unable to breastfeed. Her journey through it all, Nursing Nova, is worth a read and was healing for me to think of on those tough days. 

I'm glad we are pushing through and Millie seems to be thriving (though still small!)She is happy and content and thats all I could ask for. 

Was breastfeeding easy or tough for you? I would love to hear your experience! 

8 comments:

  1. Oh Hannah, from one mama who has been there to another...big hug and high fives of congratulations. I think breastfeeding is one of the most emotionally and physically exhausting things there is to do (I can imagine especially with a toddler!) Loved this and thanks for sharing your experience. So many mamas need to read stories like this one, and Claire's story, and my story.

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  2. This was so good to read as I prepare to welcome (and hopefully breastfeed) our second in just a few weeks! I too was so naive the first time around and thought it would just come naturally...it most definitely didn't and was a huge struggle for us for the first month or two. Luckily we have an amazing breastfeeding clinic here with two wonderful doctors that I was referred to and they helped us tremendously (including using a shield for several weeks) - I can honestly say I probably would have given up without them. This is a great reminder to me to not just expect things to go perfectly and come easy just because I've done it before. So proud of you for sticking with it - and happy to hear that sweet Millie is doing well! Blessings to you mama!

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  3. Keep on keeping on mama! It is so hard in the beginning, especially. I also had to use the shield for about 5 months, and LB had very little interest in the first couple of days. We even had to spoon feed him in the beginning of each nursing session for the first couple of days. That stupid piece of plastic really is a lifesaver when you need it! ha ha! I remember nursing for what seemed like all day the first couple of months and I remember thinking how on earth will I care for a toddler and a nurse a baby?! Reading this post and seeing the picture of you playing animals with Hazel gives me hope! :)

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  4. I hated breastfeeding. I used the nipple shield the 11 weeks that I nursed, which was a pain. But it wasn't just about the physical pain for me, I had a strange emotional/mental reaction to nursing. I suppose it was like PPD, but only happened when I thought about breastfeeding or was breastfeeding. We switched to formula, all those feelings went away and we were happier mom and baby :) I'm glad that you both are doing well, though!! PS, I wrote a little blog post here: http://my-sunshines-blog.blogspot.com/2014/08/my-breastfeeding-decision.html

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  5. Aw sorry you had such a tough time Britt, but glad in the end you did what was right for you and babe!

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  6. Thank you Chelsea! Oh man, definitely a love/hate relationship with the shield!! It was tough in those first few weeks especially to be nursing Millie almost non stop and to be trying to entertain Hazel. Im just SO glad I was adamant about teaching Hazel to play on her own! lifesaver!!

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  7. Thanks Nancy!! SO excited for you! Thats amazing you have such a great breastfeeding clinic! We have nothing like that at all! Our lactation consultant at public health just retired and they aren't going to replace her!! craziness! Praying it will be a breeze for you this time around though! xo

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  8. thank you so so much! I definitely need encouragement on some days! We are slowly working it out my little Millie and I and things are finally finally levelling out! phew! Sometimes I cant believe we are having such a hard time, i feel like as a second time mom I should have this all figured out! Im glad In a lot of ways that its been hard because its kept me humble in a weird way, knowing that I don't have to be amazing at everything... which is a huge pressure I put on myself!

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