Saturday, July 7, 2012

Beating The Odds and Breastfeeding Aubrey

Posted by Andria at 1:44 PM

I always knew I wanted to breastfeed my children so when I was completely unsuccessful with my first born, it broke my heart. I made a vow to myself that no matter what, I wouldn't let it happen again. When I had Aubrey Grace I was quickly reminded of all the things that made breastfeeding hard the first time but, I was determined not to give up. As it turns out, it was totally worth the fight!

Aubrey was born at home but, due to me having a very major hemorrhage, we ended up in the hospital before I could get her truly latched and nursing. While they were dealing with my situation, Aubrey's blood sugar was at a very low level and needed she to be fed so yes, she was given formula. I was made aware of it afterward and knew that our breastfeeding relationship might already be off to a bad

 It wasn't until Aubrey was about seven hours old that I finally had the opportunity to nurse her. It was such a sweet moment for us both as she latched on after only a few tries. I could feel right away however, that she had an improper latch and noticed that she was tucking in her top lip. I knew the fact that her mouth was so tiny could also be affecting her latch so I was a little worried. Sure enough by the next day I was quite sore and by day two, I was cracked, peeling and in a huge amount of pain.

 We did get a lactation consultant involved who advised me to just pump and latch her on only with a nipple shield for a couple days so that I could heal. There I was having to reintroduce the bottle. It's not that I never wanted Aubrey to take a bottle on occasion. After all, I did want her Daddy & sissy to be able to experience feeding her but, I was worried that introducing it so early on would cause nipple confusion. It wasn't long before she was wanting to eat more than I could pump so, in came the formula again. I was SO bummed out but, saw hope in the fact that it was only a few bottles a day and at least the majority of what she was eating was breast milk. I was also still grateful to be nursing her even if I did need a little help. I was determined that eventually, Aubrey would only get breast milk no matter what it took! At that point I had to create a new goal of getting my supply up so as to not need to supplement with any formula.

It soon became evident that Aubrey was not liking the nipple shield so I did away with it and decided to put her directly to the breast again. IT HURT! Thank God my amazingly supportive husband Jeff was my greatest comfort and cheerleader. He really helped me keep my eye on the prize when I thought I was going to fail again. There were many times in the beginning where I'd have tears in my eyes the first few minutes of nursing her but even still, as weird as it may sound, It was such a special time between Aubrey and I. Through the pain I still managed to appreciate it.

I feel into a system where I would put her to the breast for most of the day and pump the rest of the day to give the "girls" a break (with of course those few bottles of formula thrown in the mix). I did this for over a month but after some time I starting to need the pump less and less. Eventually my supply increased and we were only giving Aubrey 2 (one oz) bottles a day, then one and finally we reached the point where Aubrey is exclusively breastfed. I could NOT be prouder!

Breastfeeding has been everything I thought it would be. I love and cherish those moments where Aubrey's nursing while looking so deeply into my eyes. I stroke her soft hair and just relish in all the love we're sharing. It's like a silent communication between the two of us. It truly is a beautiful thing and I'm so glad I didn't give up. 



Anonymous said...

I went through this same thing with my first born, which subsequently discouraged me to even try with my second child. I've been blessed with a third and am going to give it all I can to make it work. Thanks for sharing your story! I now know that I'm not alone and that it takes willpower, support, and time.

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