Thursday, September 2, 2010

My breastfeeding journey (so far) and motherhood lesson

My pregnancy was full of surprises and I had to learn to except that things do not always go the way I plan. My husband and I were planning a natural birth with no medication. We were Coo Coo for birthing class and  practiced all the techniques like we usually do combos on fighting games! We were syked to go through the challenge.

We planned on doing a natural hospital birth with Blip and running toward the chance for a birthing center for our future second child. Well waddling, I was pregnant after all. We even talked about a home birth in the future. I loved being pregnant and despite horrible 'All day sickness' in first trimester all was great till I ended up getting toximia in my third trimester. I was given the order to do lots of relaxing which consisted of laying on the couch watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer reruns and drinking TONS of water.

Unfortunately my blood pressure spiked and my Toxemia ended up reaching the point of danger and we had to have an emergency C-section. I was really upset and scared. hey gave me the horrible epidural and
I threw up all over the poor doctor. Gus held my hand while they performed the surgery. It ended up being a great bonding experince since we went through something that was scary for us.

It was worth it and Blip was healthy. We lost our chance to try for a natural birth in the future since they had to cut me vertical. I was shocked when they told me and I did not care. My baby was here and in the end I did not care how. I also had to stay on MAG for over 24 hours after.

I was so sick but it was still one of the best days of my life. Now on to the breastfeeding....

Breastfeeding also did not go 100% as planned, but it does have a happy ending!

After my c-section I begged the nurses to let me breastfeed ASAP.  They thought I was nuts and luckily my doctor knew how much I wanted this and once Blip was breathing well and I was stitched back up they took me back to a labor room to let me attempt it.

  I was still all numb from surgery and shaking from the MAG. To make matters worse, I had to keep these crazy little bags by me since I was STILL throwing up. My dad and Gus ended up making a crazy pillow fort around me to prop Blip on. Despite the setbacks he latched right on. It was the most beautiful moment. I could not keep my eyes off him.

The nurse wanted me to let him stay in the nursery for the night and to let him have a  few bottles so I could rest. I refused. I was sick and really out of it since I was on MAG. My husband helped me and we managed to exclusively breastfeed the whole time in the hospital. I'm glad since it seemed to really help me bound with him and we did not have to worry about nipple confusion in those first days.

I was also unable to eat for a total of around 48 hours between the c-section and being on MAG which did not help the breastfeeding. My lactation consultant came in for her one time visit right after a high dose of MAG so I was throwing up and could not concentrate on her help. We were doing good with latching on but he would unlatch himself and I was having so much trouble with let down and positioning.

Once we got home things were still rough. Blip ended up losing way to much weight. Our pediatrician was amazing, funny, and supportive and told us to hold off and keep trying. Finally we decided we had to do something, Blip needed to gain weight. My milk did not contain enough calories due to me being sick. My pediatrician explained that we should supplement formula just for weight gain.

I cried so hard. Maybe I was being silly, maybe it was the hormones, but my heart was broke. My peditrican and husband reminded me not give up and to just give him enough formula to provided needed weight gain, to relax, eat more and drink lots of water, and nurse a lot.

My husband was amazing. He made me a relaxing play list to nurse to and would light candles and even bring me a snack so I could relax and nurse. It was rocky but one day things just came together. Blip gained his weight! He is a naturally small baby, but is healthy. To top it all off suddenly my milk seemed to satisfy him. It was amazing to be able to not depend on the formula and know I could satisfy him.

Now we can breastfeed anywhere and in many crazy positions. I have complete confidence that he is getting enough. He may not have be exclusively breastfed like I really wanted but we are still working toward our goal of extended breastfeeding for over a year. I'm lucky to have people around me that support me and apparently the will to not give up. I was worried about nipple confusion, but the kid loves the boobies.

Maybe breastfeeding is not for everyone but I'm glad it was for us.

Things do not always go the way you want and something motherhood has taught me is to roll with what life gives you but still fight for what means a lot to you. You may have to switch cars and go an alternative route but you will get there with patience and will! Excuse the lame car medaphor, but it's a lesson that is good to know since life with kids seems to be crazy and never go the way you expect.

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