Saturday, April 14, 2007

Experiences Worth Sharing

Read this post by Jennboree and was inspired to write about my nursing experience with my 2 boys.
I can only speak for myself but from what I experienced, baby boys are voracious milk monsters. And although as Jennboree had mentioned, even if one develops a routine as my boys did, they drink a whole lot of milk. They do not mind being stuck or latched on the whole day- no kidding.
With my first born, Josh, I had no freaking idea what I was getting myself into the day he was born. When the nurses brought him to my hospital room for the first time, they informed me that he was already hungry. I was all groggy as I had just been wheeled back to my room after my c-section operation when they handed me the supposed 'bundle of joy.'And I was like? "And? What am I supposed to do again?" So yeah, feed the baby. I really thought it was going to be a breeze! My Mom never nursed me so her 10 cent worth of advice was unavailable at that time.
OK so I did try - with great difficulty! And as the nurses told me, it would take a little while before the supply would come rushing in. So I nursed and felt quite comfortable in fact. After a day, I think that was when I started to fill up. And oh man, as Josh sucked, it began to hurt more and more!!! Goodness - that's all I could say.
So anyway, it hurt real bad. Things worsened when we got home and I had to do the whole feeding thing alone at night with a sore wound on my tummy. And what was all that sweat all about! The first few weeks after I gave birth, I felt like the temp was always up! People at home would be in their comfy PJ's, all wrapped up and I would be in shorts and a tank top sweating my heart out as the little one fed and snuggled close to me.
And man, why were my breasts as hard as rock! I was enlightened a few days after when my Aunt informed me all about the engorgement process. Ack! The what!?! So only then did I realize that I had to develop some sort of feeding schedule for the little one.
I cried. Oh yes I did. Breastfeeding for me was more painful than my wound. Over and on top of my post partum blues. I tried pumping (with a breast pump and manually) but would only be able to pump out 4oz. And when I would be able to pump out such amount, the little one would refuse the silicon nipple!
I could NOT get the hang of it. I read too many articles about the benefits of breast milk and heard a LOT of stories from experienced mommies about why I should breastfeed but I just could not get it.
At night, I still could not get the perfect position to feed the baby while still laying down so in the middle of the night, I would sit up and feed. And feeding at some unholy time of the night just seemed like forever!
I tried mixed feeding but Josh refused the formula. It just had to be mommy's breast. But when he turned 3 months, I tried to shift to another brand and boy did he like it. I would feed him breast milk at night and would give him the bottle during the day. It worked well until one day, he refused my breast.
I breastfed Josh until he was 4 months.
A good 3 1/2 years had passed when I found out I was pregnant again. I was too excited to even remember what I went through the first time I had a baby.
The 2nd time I gave birth, my OB allowed me to rest a good 8 hours before she advised the nurses to hand the alleged 'bundle of joy' to me. And I remember so clearly when the nurse opened my hospital room and peeked. There it was, the little thing bundled in a blue blanket. Oh dear, here goes I told myself. The nurse said "Mommy Baby Karl is hungry." (His name is Dayshaun Karl and when he was born, everyone was calling him Karl. Dash picked up a few days after).
So yeah, Baby Karl hungry. Baby Karl eat. It took Dash a while to latch on. And sucked he did.
This time, I was very excited about the whole baby thing. Even breastfeeding. But a day or 2 after Dash was born, I was experiencing the pain all over again. This time, I called my OB and asked what was the matter and she told me Dash was not latching on properly. Anyway, she gave me detailed info on how he should latch on. After a few tries, Dash finally got the hang of it and that was the moment I told myself that this was the best thing in the whole wide world.
I read books and looked for articles on proper diet for 'Feeding Mommies' and always had good and happy thoughts while feeding.
I must say this was the highlight of my 2nd pregnancy. I just loved feeding him. In fact, I never developed a fixed schedule for him, I would feed by demand. I hooked myself on Desperate Housewives and would hold the little one close to me while he ate. I discovered how comfy it is to feed in the middle of the night without having to sit up. Like baby squirms, lift your shirt and VOILA! And the snuggling, wow it felt so wonderful!
I wasn't ashamed to feed in public. I would always have a big enough baby blankie in tow so when Dash would feed, I would just cover it all up and suck-suck-suck he went.
I 'ventured' into pumping when I had to go back to work. I did not use and breast pump but instead pumped manually, in fact it became pretty addicting. Too addicting that our freezer was packed with breast milk!
I figured because I was out 8 hours each day with an hour's lunch break only to feed the little guy, the milk production was no longer stimulated as it was the first time I started feeding thus the 'drying up.'
Even if I just fed for 6 months with the little one (sad, i know), I must say that those were the best days I ever experienced with my second boy.
Mommies out there, what is YOUR story?


pinks & blues girls said...

My mom breastfed me until I was 3!! She knew I would be her last child, so she wanted it to last as long as possible. Plus, she insists that I absolutely refused to stop breastfeeding until then. I don't remember getting breastfed - but I'm surprised I don't, give my age!! :)

- Jane, Pinks & Blues Girls

Jennboree said...

Thank you for sharing, Louann! I think any amount of time a woman can BF is wonderful. The second time around has been a breeze (for the most part) with Ava. After she got over clicking her tongue while nursing which felt like she had a clothespin in her mouth. :)

Shoshana said...

I breast feed, but I don't have much milk. With DS4, I wasn't even able to BF right away coz I almost died, so it was a week after he was born when I could BF him. I am really grateful for that lactation specialist from the hospital who cheered for me never to give up because the milk will come.

The milk is still coming, and he's now 13 monhts...though my days are numbered.

Stam House said...

thanks for leaving a comment and feel free to come anytime