Sunday, November 4, 2012

Who says breastfeeding is easy?

October 29, 2012

Baby Lincoln is the most adorable baby boy!  I love every inch of him and I love staring at him ALL DAY every day!  I don’t get much done because I’ve waited my ENTIRE life to hold him and I don’t ever want to put him down!  It took me 3-4 weeks just to post pictures and write my birth story because all I want to do is stare at and snuggle my little man!

Coming home started off with a bang!  My milk came in the day I got home and WOW that was a challenge.  I had heard that breastfeeding could be challenging but it had gone so beautifully in the hospital.  However since I knew it could be hard I saw a lactation consultant each day I was there.  They told me that Lincoln and I were doing great and to keep it up.  Whew what a relief.  But then after I got home Lincoln could not latch on anymore because I was just so full of milk and hard as rocks there was nothing for him to latch too.  It was awful!  I pumped constantly and tried to empty them (but I didn’t want to make my body think I had multiple babies either so I had NO idea what to do!!)  The first night I texted Merri at midnight (the night before she was leaving on vacation) and she volunteered to come help me.  Lincoln had been crying for a long time and he was trying his best to latch on.  I was trying my best too and I just cried with him.  Nothing was working and I was a hormonal mess who just wanted to feed my baby!!

After Merri arrived it took a few minutes and many prayers and finally Lincoln latched on.  This gave me hope that it was going to be ok, but I was wrong.  The next few days seemed like an eternity and they were rough!  I was engorged and I couldn’t feed my baby which is all I wanted to do!  I would pump and he would take the bottles but he just couldn’t latch on and Merri had left town.  Thank goodness my mom was here and for Tiffany who kept encouraging me over the phone and through texts.  I would cry and pray all day just trying to feed my Lincoln.  We would sit in the nursery for what seemed like forever just trying to get him to latch on.  And if you’ve held Lincoln you can imagine how difficult this may be because he just wiggles and squirms and shakes his head back and forth.  At one point Lincoln had been crying for so long and so hard that J had to leave the room because it was so hard on him and we had been struggling for so long.  That was the hardest moment for me. 

During these few days I didn’t know what to do.  I prayed and prayed.  Very rarely Lincoln would latch on and I was always so grateful and relieved, but then the next feedings he wouldn’t.  It was a breastfeeding roller coaster.  Then one night J and I ran across the street to Target to get something and we happened to stumble upon breast shields (totally out of the blue).  I texted Merri (who was still on vacation) and she hadn’t heard of anything that you actually wear when you are breastfeeding, but she looked it up online for us and thought it sounded ok.   We didn’t know if it would work and we were hoping it was something you wore while breastfeeding (we weren’t completely sure what it’s purpose was, the packaging wasn’t 100% clear) but I was willing to try ANYTHING.  So, we bought it.  As soon as we got home I tried it and it was another answer to prayers, a MIRACLE!  I loved it and would’ve paid over $100 for this amazing gadget!  Lincoln latched right on AND it took a lot of the pain away.  I was in heaven and I cried with joy and relief! 

After using the nipple shield for a few days I started to wean Linc from it and it went well UNLESS we used his binky.  He LOVES to suck on anything and so of course he loves a binky (especially since he usually can’t find his hands yet).  And with all of our visitors we would try to hold him off on eating until guests left and the binky could often help tide him over.  But it also confused him and he wouldn’t be able to latch on again without the shield.  Thankfully now at 2-3 weeks we’ve got it and no longer need the shield and I will put it away until baby number 2 J.  Linc can now use a binky anytime (we still have to hold it in for him, and he prefers the soothie binkies) and he will latch on great!  However it can still be a little challenging getting him to latch on because he moves so darn much and will often shake his head back and forth searching for food and arch his back or use his hands to push away.  But as soon as he starts eating he is totally relaxed. 

I think what my body  is doing is a miracle.  I am in awe that I could create a life with my husband, carry our baby for 41 weeks, deliver our baby, and now feed our baby.  What an amazing thing!  I am so grateful for my body and for all it is capable of.  I’m grateful to be a mother and that I am able to experience all of challenges and joys that come with it!

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