Breastfeeding & my sadness

Friday, August 5, 2011

Since I found out I was preggo, I decided I was going to breastfeed the bean for at least a year. I was so excited about giving my baby the best food that I could. Mind you, I was also very excited that breast milk is free (you know, besides the pump, nursing bras, etc.) and that it's always ready. No bottles and formula to lug around, and especially no bottles to wash!
I wouldn't even let formula near my little bean when she was born. I made sure that the nurses in the hospital nursery knew that she was to have breast milk only. Then we tried to nurse. Things were very rocky at the start. However, while I was in the hospital, I think I was too preoccupied with my own C-section pains and recovery to worry about breastfeeding. I knew that things would be tough at first, so I wasn't too worried when Clara would latch, suck for a couple of minutes, then pull off and fall asleep. I was sure that if she was hungry, she would eat. Wrong.
I know that some weight-loss was normal for babies, but Clara dropped from 6lbs 15oz to 6 lbs 4 oz in 3 days. They almost didn't let us go home. As we were leaving the hospital, they told us that Clara had a touch of jaundice.
Our first night home, Clara slept for 10 hours straight without waking up to eat. The next day, I couldn't get her to latch at all. I called the lactation consultant, and she had us come in right away. Mind you, I still couldn't drive or even lift her car seat. So, my birth mom was visiting at the time, and dropped us off at the hospital. I pushed Clara in her car seat in a wheel chair to the lactation wing, while a security guard pushed a cart with my diaper bag, the car seat base, and the boppy. I was in tears the entire appointment, and so stressed and worried about Clara's well-being. Half-way through, the consultant called down to the ER, and I was admitted for exhaustion. Needless to say, we were not off to a good start.
About a week later, I had to go back to the hospital for a CT, due to an infection in my uterus from the C-section. I had to have a contrast solution, and the doctor told me that I couldn't breastfeed for 24-48 hours! I, of course, didn't bring my breast pump, so I fed Clara as much as I could before taking the solution. A short while later, I cried while giving her the first bottle of formula. Then another, and another as the day went on. After that initial, horrible day, it became easier to pump, and have the BD feed her a bottle, since she had no problem switching back and forth. We went downhill after that.
At the end of May, I got back on birth control. I chose the Implanon birth control implant. It has been horrible. The gradual (but big) weight loss I was experiencing up until this point reversed, and my breast milk supply dropped DRAMATICALLY. I've taken supplements, drank special tea, and tried pumping every hour on the hour for a week. When that didn't work, I tried pumping for 20 minutes every time after Clara finished eating. When that didn't work, I pumped after, and in between feedings. NOTHING HAS BROUGHT MY SUPPLY UP. I'm getting my implant removed on Thursday, and I hope my milk returns. Right now, I only have enough to do 3 feedings a day. The rest is formula.
I'm so disappointed. It was tough to get the hang of, but once the bean and I found our niche, breastfeeding has been wonderful. I love that time with her. She looks up at me, and swings her arm around, grabbing at my face or my necklace. It's precious, and I don't want to give up this bonding experience.
If you know of anything that you've tried, or think will help us, PLEASE share it with me. I'll do anything at this point.

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Clara and I would LOVE to hear what you think. :)

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