Friday, July 13, 2012

Never quit on a bad day

Our little Liam is now 2 weeks 2 days old and we are still struggling with breastfeeding. Things are better than they were but its still a daily battle.

We are both still learning what works and what doesn't work. I am learning his cries; when he is hungry, fussy, has a dirty diaper, tired, still hungry or  just gas. No one told me it was going to be easy but I never thought it would be THIS hard.

From day 1, the nurses and doctors were very proactive about nursing. I had lactation consultant after consultant help me while in the hospital (the first time) but no one ever told me about DAY 3. Day 3 is supposedly d-day for those breastfeeding. It is the day that most moms crack, breakdown and just want to give up. This was my breaking point. My milk had not come in, my baby was hungry, loosing weight, crying and I was beside myself. I broke down and gave him a bottle... and felt horrible about it. Once my milk came in, it only came in on one side. Breakdown #2. Two days later and both were working as they should. I went to the pediatrician and she was concerned about his weight. She wanted me to continue to breastfeed but also see another specialist. I did and thought I had everything down. Then I went into the hospital again.

At the hospital, there was more positive help, more specialists, pumping sessions, and lots of encouragement. I thought we would be set. We came home and it has been back and forth with good days and bad. I still need to learn my pump (will learn that at his 1 month apt). We are still learning the best positions so mommy isn't in a lot of pain.

Last night was another rough night. He usually does a good sleep stretch of about 4-5 hours from 10-2 and then hes up. I was so tired last night, and his latch was off, so I was in a lot of pain. He was up at 2 but would not go back down. My frustration grew, he sensed it and so he became fussier. I even tried to give him a bottle but he refused. I then thought of a saying I had heard. "Never quit on a bad day". I wanted this to work. I fed him on the better side but it wasn't until 3:30 that he settled down... and was up again at 5:30, and then 6:30 and then 7:30. It was time for his morning cluster feed.

I called the lactation consultant at 9 and she told me to pop by at 10. We tried to leave at 9:40 but we got 1 mile down the road and he was having a hunger meltdown. Big crocodile tears flowing, screaming like he was getting something cut off. I pulled over and fed him. We then made it 6 more miles before his second "Im still hungry" meltdown. After making it to the appointment, the consultant gave me some great advise. My position was wrong, I was using the wrong pillow and I was holding him wrong. She also suggested that we give him one of my shirts to sleep on so that he thinks hes sleeping with me. The consultant also said that it will get easier by week 6 and to just rest, deep breaths, patients and persistence. She told me my pain should never get above a 2. 

We weighed him and he had gained 8 ounces in 4 days! All that weight from breast milk alone! I felt so relieved... I was doing SOMETHING right. My little man is now 8lbs 13 ounces! I keep telling myself that I can't give up. Especially on a bad day. It will get easier.