Thursday, August 02, 2007

World Breastfeeding Week Aug 1-7

I figured since it was World Breastfeeding Week then I would post my own story.....everyone else was doing it so I thought I would join in! :) Sorry, I am a little wordy so its a little long. Of course if you know me then you know that I am long winded. lol! Here Goes......

When I found out I was pregnant with my first son (Jack) I was a newlywed of 4 months and COMPLETELY caught off guard. I didn't think much about feeding options really because I assumed that you nursed a little in the beginning and then switched to bottles early on. I am not sure where I got this idea. I grew up in a maternity home and was around babies ALOT, I was even in the delivery room for some but I guess just never paid attn to how they were fed. Anyway, I decided to both breastfeed and bottle feed because I had seen how hard it was for my SIL Elizabeth and wanted to try but kinda figured I might not succeed. By the end of my pregnancy I had really read up and educated myself much more and really had decided that I was going to go for it and Exclusively breastfeed no matter what. That said, inside I was Terrified! I had seen so many of my friends struggle and not be successful. Fortunately I had a Dr who was Very pro breastfeeding and gave anyone who was choosing to nurse their own lactation counselor that we could call at anytime. This gave me a little more confidence that maybe I could do this. Though, I have to admit, I still had a stock pile of formula in my cupboards just in case.
My labor with Jack went pretty smoothly for the most part. I did ask for an epidural when I got to about a 5 or 6 and then delivered Jack about 4 hours later. I had a midwife that immediately placed him on my chest and didn't cut the cord until it stopped pulsating. But after SEVERAL attempts by both the nurses and the midwife to get him to latch were unsuccessful we decided to wait a while. A few hours later the LC came in and tried to get him to latch on. Eventually He did latch on but it was a good 6 hrs after he was born. He nursed like a champ after he figured out what to do and after I fixed the mess that the nurses made by giving him a pacifier in the middle of the night. It took me about 6 hours to get him to latch on again. Apparently they ignored my sign that said "no artificial nipples, I am a breastfed baby". Anyway, everything was fine until I went in for his 1 week checkup and he hadn't gained any weight. I was terrified that I was starving my baby and thought possibly I should be supplementing. Luckily my Dr said to give it another week before doing something as drastic as that. I went to my first LLL meeting and collected a few more phone #s for help or support. A week and half after Jack was born I realized the struggle that women have with nursing. It became EXTREMELY painful. My letdown hurt, I felt nauseated, and sore wasn't even a valid word to describe how my nipples felt. Side note: I am not a woman who perseveres, I mean, I am one of those who gives up whenever anything gets hard. Its not something I am proud of but it is definitely true! :) The cabinet with the formula in it was looking SO tempting and yet I couldn't stand to look at this little baby, whose life was in my hands, and not do the VERY best thing I could do for him, no matter what pain it caused me. Over the next 11 weeks I used every phone # and person of support that I had and we made it through the hard part (Kudos to my hubby, who never said, "Just give him the formula" in a time of frustration). It was by no means easy but it was worth it for my baby. I not only succeeded but never gave Jack a drop of that formula. It all expired eventually and we threw it out. :) I NEVER thought I would nurse past one yr because I thought it was gross and, well, basically because I was 1) polluted by society's views and 2) not educated at all about breastfeeding. I never remember making a decision to go past a yr I just remember thinking, how would I even wean him now, he's still a baby! He nursed till he was 2 and a half and I was 6 months pregnant with my second. Nursing Asher (# 2) was somewhat easier in the beginning but still had about 3 weeks of "God I don't think I can do this" kinda pain. He is still nursing strong at 20 months and figure he doesn't have plans of weaning himself anytime soon. I may have to help him eventually. LOL! :)

5 comments:

Elizabeth F. said...

awesome story!:-) Let me just say that this girl is queen of milk supply! Just look at her boys...

Jenny W said...

i remember pleading with a girlfriend of mine who breastfed, as i was getting used to nursing for the first time, and crying "i don't how the hell anyone does this." it was SO HARD...for about 6 weeks. then i was ok, and thought "i can't believe everybody doesn't do this!" it absolutely becomes second nature

Sarafu said...

Yah, I always wonder why people quit at 3 months! THast when it is gettign good! Why the hel quit when it just now got easy?! :)
Yah, I remember crying those EXACT same words when I was first nursing. But look at us we all got through it!
As far a milk supply goes, I am pretty sure I produced a Ton with Jack becasue I worked full time and was so terrified that my milk was going to dry up that I pumped every 2 hrs I was there for 18 months. :)
Anybody wanna hear how the girls at work made butter out of breastmilk....... LOL!

Stam House said...

Love the story, very encouraging!!!! i want to hear the story about buttermilk!

Sarafu said...

LOL! The girls at work decided to try that thing that you do when your younger with a carton of Whipping Cream, You know, shake it till it turns to butter. They passed a bottle of my breastmilk around and shook it all day. I worked at a bank so its not really a place you would normally find people trying to make butter out of breastmilk. I just so happened to work with some really fun girls. :) ANyway, Sure enough alot of it turned into a buttery substance. The whole top half layer was butter. I never tasted it but now I know that it can be done. LOL! :)