Friday, January 16, 2009

Nursing woes

I never know if it makes people uncomfortable using the word breastfeeding or if nursing is the better term, either way this is what this post is about, so if it makes you uncomfortable you may want to skip this post. I have been lucky that I have had no problems with nursing, besides of course, the nipple soreness and cracked skin, etc. I assumed that this would be a piece of cake, I had been successful 4 other times including twins. When Jackson was born he latched on immediately and seemed to be eager. I would say he latched on the best of any of the kiddos. In leaving the hospital things continued to go well, with the exception that he had tongue-tie. I figured the uncomfortable latching on, was normal. As it turns out it is a problem. By Monday I was engorged with milk and had a big blood blister on the tip of my nipple. I had been pumping which is awesome when you are engorged, I highly recommend renting a pump for the first month. We gave him the bottle, which he takes, just not very expertly. Now he doesn't latch on and goes on and pulls off and cries and kicks his little leg like he is in pain. I cry, he cries and the cycle continues. Yesterday we got his frenum clipped, he latched on right away and I cried, do you sense a post-partum pattern? I was thrilled. Jeremy kindly stated that it doesn't mean everything will be perfect, and he was right. He hasn't nursed since. Although now he will sort of latch on, he will not suck.

I am not one to believe that nursing is the only way to go when feeding your baby, it is what I want for my newborns though. As I was trying to nurse him and he was pulling away crying, I realized how bad I want this to work. I know he is not rejecting me but it feels like I am broken. I can't describe it, like I am having an out of body experience. It has worked so effortlessly before and now I have no control. I also know that Jackson is my last baby and I want to be able to bond with him that way.

I finally got on the net today and looked up a few related things. I was encouraged to come across a story that a lady had dried up and wanted to nurse again. After 5 months she was able to produce milk and her baby latched on. It was a long road and she persevered and it eventually worked. My endurance is not that great but knowing it happens is encouraging. I talked to the Lactation consultant at our hospital and she also gave me some good advice and encouragement. She explained that since his tongue was basically chained to the bottom of his mouth, he needs to learn to use that muscle in a new way. Then she gave me homework!

I am truly grateful for the time that we live, for the information that surrounds us. I know there are lots of things that would make me wish for a safer time, but I know this was the time I was meant to live. I am grateful for the people I come into contact with that have had their own experiences that put mine into perspective. If Jackson never gets the hang of nursing he will not suffer, at least he eats and he is still getting breastmilk. I know those two things are a blessing and I am extremely grateful. Not nursing will not have him end up in a hospital, he will continue to be in my care. I do love this little guy, I know I have said it a ton of times, but he is gorgeous. I am not just saying that because he is mine, well maybe I am!

Thinking back we have had concerns with each of our "healthy" children. Miranda was born with Hip Clicks. She was in a brace for the first month, then we got to ween her down by the third month. Logan was fairly normal. We had to deal with the circumcision, which was new for me, I came from a family of all girls, boys are weird. His belly button bled a lot and his eye had tons of discharge. Again, these are normal but we spent a lot of time with the advice nurse. (when he was older his rectum would push out, luckily that is just a muscle weakness and has since corrected itself). With Haylie and Hannah it was mostly the beginning. They weren't getting enough food and I had no idea, I thought they might be colicky. Nope, I was starving them and didn't know the signs. Lauren was born at such a large birth weight that I needed to make sure she was fed every two hours. It was a concern that she couldn't regulate her blood sugar. And now with Jackson it is breastfeeding. None of these have any life long repercussions, but all caused tears and fears for a short time.

When all is said and done this will pass and I am sure I will wonder why I was so worried.


Mama J said...

Zoe also had a latching problem and wouldn't nurse when I was engorged. I think it was harder for her or something....BUT I discovered the nipple shield and IT WORKED WONDERS. It allowed me heal and also allowed her to feed well. I highly recommend it. I had a Medela (?) and can be easily found at Babies R Us. And by the way CONGRATULATIONS! Do you still want one of those car covers like April's? Let me know, I'd be more than happy to make one!

april said...

Nursing problems are so stressful! Hang in there mama. Check out if you haven't already, it's a great resource. Congratulations April! He's adorable.

Jenn said...

This is what I think. I know you will get through this. You are so strong when it comes to your family. Even if it doesn't work the way you want there are other ways to develop that strong bond with Jackson. I didn't breastfeed either my kids out of fear. It's something I regret but it's not the end of the world both of my kids are wonderful. You are lucky to have that experiance with 5 of yours. When Jackson is ready to start nursing you WILL wonder why you were so worried as you said in your blog, besides if he doesn't nurse again just think of all the fun ways you can bond with him that you didn't get too with the others.

The State of Our Family said...

You poor thing. I totally know what you mean to feel like you are somehow failing when things don't go the way you expect and have experienced before. You're doing GREAT! Don't forget that! We are all in amazement when we look at you.

Sara and Company said...

That first little while is so so hard and my heart reaches out to you. We do know that it will get better, but while in it it seems to last forever. Nursing can be such a trick as well. I'd take natural labor over 2 months of hard nursing any day, but yet, I so love it and am glad I was able to make it through, but I completely understand how hard it can be. My thoughts are with you.

Camelia Bradshaw said...

I am sorry you are having a hard time with breastfeeding. Hang in there.

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