The story continues…

OK, so I thought I’d already posted again this month, and I’m not sure what happened.  But I am keeping going and keeping my promise.  So here we go…

 

Every attempt at nursing became traumatic.  I felt forced to feed him every two hours because he wasn’t crying to be fed.  I kept trying and my little guy had trouble latching on.  I probably needed to practice more, but it’s a little difficult without the baby.  A doll would only do so much.  However, one thing I’ve learned both from my experience and from other moms: every mother is different, as is every baby.

Thankfully I was able to give my son the “super milk” that comes right after birth.  The official term is colostrum.  I still had issues, and not one successful feeding at the hospital.  (insert “but all women have issues right? Or “but doesn’t it just happen?” )  We got formula soon after returning home, though in some ways I’d have preferred to stay at the hospital a little longer.  If for no other reason than I would have been able to heal quicker.  So I’m trying to nurse at home, and the advice is to breastfeed or nurse exclusively for the first six weeks of life.

Now in hindsight, it’s quite accurate.  My Blue Eyes was put on a bottle within a couple days, and with the breastfeeding problems, it was more and more on the bottle.  He was so used to the bottle that when I actually tried to breastfeed again, he had no interest.

I really wanted to breastfeed.  Better for Blue Eyes, free, and it would help me lose weight.  I still had problems nursing.  We’d gotten bottles before Blue Eyes was born, and I’d gotten new tubing for the pump. I told hubby that once the baby got teeth, I was done nursing, but I still wanted to nurse.  It was a nightmare.  The whole bonding experience during breastfeeding never happened for me.  I didn’t love breastfeeding, but it was better for Blue Eyes.  And the anxiety of, even if I was successful, not knowing if I’d be successful again, really affected my nursing.  And when I was having trouble, Blue Eyes could sense my anxiety, which would have him bawling and screaming.  That screaming and bawling, when thus far you’ve been surrounded by soft, pretty images and stories of loving every minute with your newborn, is heart-wrenching.  Perhaps because I was a first-time mom and feeling completely clueless about being a parent.  Granted there’s no handbook, but I felt like I had no idea what I was doing.

So every time I successfully nursed (a few times at most), I let Blue Eyes feed for a good half hour.  Another side note: the nature of my relationship with my mom notwithstanding, she formula fed me and my sisters, so no help there.  Anyway, in the hospital I was told that my “job” as far as breastfeeding time was concerned, was fifteen minutes.  Anything beyond that was my decision.  Given my situation, is it any wonder I let my baby feed longer.  Fairly soon it became clear that we’d have to supplement with formula.  Despite my best efforts, pumping was not going great.  I was tired, but I dutifully pumped after every feeding.  Unfortunately, I didn’t always nurse, so pumping didn’t yield nearly as much as I would have liked.  Also at that point, in hindsight, I regretted not pumping beforehand to stock up on breastmilk.  It took so much time pumping just to get enough for one feeding.  So with all this I did some research on the different between formula and breastmilk, since I knew there was one.  From my research, and having no medical degree in the slightest, the only thing formula lacked was the immune system enzymes that science cannot (I don’t think) duplicate.  Which could explain why kids who are breastfed don’t get sick as much as formula-fed kids.  I can attest to having a crappy immune system myself.

Knowing what was in formula mollified me a bit, but I was still resolute in my desire to breastfeed Blue Eyes.  And despite labor laws telling companies that they can’t prohibit a mom from pumping at the office (and apparently need to provide a room/spot for the mom to do said pumping), it’s still not easy to do.  Any mom who’s pumped knows a good pumping session takes at least 30 minutes.  The fifteen minute window is just the pumping itself.  It doesn’t include the actual getting to where you’re going to pump (the handicapped bathroom stall in my case), setting up the whole system (tubes to cups to pumping apparatus with storage containers to hold the milk), actual pumping, aka, being exposed, hence the need for absolute privacy (and if you’re lucky, setting up a new container if you fill one or both), then the clean-up and store everything away.  It is a process, and there aren’t any shortcuts.  And the recommendation is to pump every 2-3 hours.  So the pumping schedule becomes morning, mid-morning, lunch, mid-afternoon, evening.  That equates to an hour and a half for pumping alone.  Most jobs you get a 30 minute to maybe an hour lunch break.  And not all jobs give you a break before or after.  So pumping at work was a huge struggle.

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~ by phaerygurl on May 5, 2014.

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