Breastfeeding…the thing I was worried about more than birth. Heck I never flinched at the thought of blowing out my vajayjay. That was a given…I couldn’t get around that. I posted before on my worries about this subject. I have heard so many people giving up because it got hard or was harder to begin with than they thought. So I went in thinking that it would be an uphill battle. I had heard a good tactic on a podcast….”I can do anything for 20 minutes”. So those first feedings, I could do it. It would be over soon enough. Anyway, this is my full journey of the first 2 weeks of breastfeeding.
Well I started to feed LT within the first hour of birth. This was more for bonding than eating. It is shown in studies that a baby at the breast and skin to skin with mom within the first few hours of birth is beneficial to bonding and breastfeeding. Now the underlying mantra of breastfeeding is “if it hurts, something is wrong”. Well, it hurt. I remember telling the nurse “I didn’t think it was supposed to hurt!”. I endured. I figured it was going to have to be uncomfortable at first since I have never had that sensation before. I was wrong again, he was biting me…but I didn’t find this out until later. So the first couple of feedings, Landon chewed on me. Later I found out, I have short or flat nipples(not inverted) so I need to really cram it into his mouth so he can get a lot of tissue. Once I got that tip, I just made bigger “nipple sandwiches”. So now when we are battling one another in positioning, I say “open wide for a big ol nipple sandwich”. It makes me giggle if anything. Then I had to be able to determine what was sore pain from the previous chewing and what was biting at that moment. Once we established that, I asked for some gels to relieve some of the irritation from the biting. These were magical and I wore them the entire rest of the time I was in the hospital. So note to any preggers, take a nursing bra to the hospital with you so A) your nipples don’t rub the inside of those awful gowns and B) you can use the gels if needed.
In the next couple of feedings, I had every nurse possible come to give me pointers. I highly recommend this. I asked every single one of them day and night, multiple times. They all had good hints and tips for me. Going into all this, I had the notion that there was still some formula Nazis in the hospital that were out to sabotage me. I had been listening to podcasts out of San Diego where I heard of this happening. I figured San Diego was more hippie than Raleigh, so I was in for it. It couldn’t have been more opposite. Each nurse was so helpful and dove right in to help me. Now I have to say, the nurse on the last day was not my favorite. Something about her bothered me but she was helpful none-the-less. Then I had a final visit from lactation. I had already fed Landon, so we just chatted. She came in and examined my boobs and I promptly shot milk into her face. Ha! So I left the hospital with my head held high. I made it 2 days and this wasn’t so bad.
When I got home, I immediately began making my nursing nests in the house. In the La Leche League meetings, someone suggested making a basic of nursing needs. We had a portable changing caddy that I quickly adopted. I keep water, nursing pads, a breastfeeding book, chap stick, lotion, hand sanitizer,nipple cream, pens, paper, and anything else I need at the moment(phone, snacks, etc). I have this with me downstairs all day and then transfer upstairs at bedtime. This was a great hint…especially when I am at home alone. I am getting pretty good a wielding a newborn and pillows all at the same time.
The Monday after, I went into healthcare at work for a consult. I just wanted to get another sign off that we were good to go. I love SAS. I can go up there and feed and pump anytime I want. I can weigh him before and after. It’s great!
Now our nighttime routine is something to note. Kevin always wants to help out..so when LT wakes up, he takes him to get a diaper change and I get set up in my chair in the nursery. Then Kevin falls asleep in a sleeping bag on the nursery floor while I nurse, burp and then swaddle. I rock him to sleep in the chair or carry him around until I hear his breathing get more rhythmic and then put him back down in his bassinet in our room. Then I go get Kevin to come to bed. He is feeding pretty much every 3 hours, or we are waking him. We have an appointment today to check his weight and then I plan on stopping waking him up. One thing I have found now is nighttime is boring. A few nights ago, I read a mindless book and that helped and earlier this morning I started listening to podcasts…so I may figure that out soon enough.
So as far as feeding, we are doing very well. Only minor things keep popping up…one being that damn little hand that wants to “help” get my nipple in his mouth. Yes that little mitt with claws comes grabbing for me and I am in constant battle with it. I need bigger or more hands. Also I get mild engorgement every once in awhile and have to pump. I have been pumping around 2-4 oz in a sitting and freezing it. I plan to visit lactation at work again soon to talk about a schedule of pumping to get used to it before going back to work. Plus I will need to introduce a bottle soon enough to be in the window when he may take it.
So that is my adventure so far. Surprising easier than I thought and I am blessed to note have any problems. Go nature!