Friday, September 25, 2015

30 in 30: 3: Breastfeeding

So part of my 30 in 30, I knew I wanted it to be breastfeeding. And since it is an option to choose, not something that is automatic, I thought it would be something to use and blog about. 

So you must know something first, both my mom and sister had a hard time producing milk. They both struggled with it and eventually had to stop because they just couldn't give enough. And it's not worth your child starving! So I went in with the mindset that if it didn't work, if I was just like my mom and sister, it would be no big deal. They make formula so good now and him eating is more important than me burning calories and having that experience. 

And before all of you breastfeeding moms who are way into it give me backlash, telling me all about the benefits of it, I KNOW IT ALL. I understand it and breastfeeding was/is important to me. So please, no critics bashing me on my experience or decision. 

Ok, here goes my story, my 30 in 30, number 3, Breastfeeding.

My sister in laws informed that I could get a free pump from the government through my insurance. So I went online and picked one out that looked right for me. I got the Medela Pump In Style, Advanced Breast Pump.

So Brody has arrived and I am back in the room with Bobby when a nurse comes in. She simply ask me if I had decided to use formula or breastfeed. I told her I had wanted to try breastfeeding. Next thing I know, my gown is undone and this sweet little women is massaging my breast. She told me that she was going to try to get them going since Brody wasn't able to get on me himself that evening. She was trying to get the colostrum (the good stuff) going. She massaged what seemed like forever. Having just a little luck, she decided to let me go up to my own room and another nurse would be in to help me. So I get up to my room and my night time nurse comes in. She had asked me if I knew how to pump. I told her I hadn't, that I hadn't even looked at it. And she was more than willing to help me. So she showed me how the pump works and away I went. 

Ok.....so can I just say how weird it is to look down and see your nipples going back and forth, feeling this pulling sensation and trying to imagine milk coming out from it! It's weird. The first pump I did, not some much luck. But I kept trying every 3 hours since Brody wasn't with me. One of Brody's NICU nurses came in to see me, and told me that when he got off the IV, if he was hungry, would I like them to give him formula. I told them yes, don't starve him while I am trying to produce milk. When I was finally able to go see Brody, which was 10am the following morning, he had already had a few bottles. Trying to get him to latch was impossible! He refused it. I had the sweetest, best lactation nurse who was so kind and patient in the room with us while Brody was fighting and screaming. Then playing possum. It took a good 5 minutes to get him to even suck on me. But this boy of mine likes the instant gratification of a bottle. When he is hungry, he wants it then and now. Not, oh hey let's suck for a few mins and barely nothing. So for 2 days, even though we tried, he got fed from a bottle. And I just pumped. And everything I pumped, his nurses would give him before the formula. Which was great! When he did finally get in our room, it was easier to pick him up and try but he still wanted nothing to do with it. 

By the time I left the hospital, I was producing about 1/4 of an ounce from each boob, each time. And I couldn't have been more excited. I just needed to get him to latch. And I knew once we got home, I would have time to sit there and try to train him on it. And boy did I try. But he just wasn't interested. So I talked to the lactation nurse at his pediatrician office about it and she suggested to try to get to him before he realized he was hungry. And she suggested taking Fenugreek pills to help with my milk supply. 
He latched only a few times after that and I was wearing myself out, stressing myself and him out and neither one of us sleeping because of it. So I told Bobby I would just pump and he can get it in a bottle instead. That I felt like I had tried and it just wasn't something I wanted to keep fighting my baby on. So we got some formula to help supplement since he wouldn't get enough on my milk alone. About 2 weeks later, I was pumping about 1/2 an ounce each boob, each time. And about this time is when it really started to hurt me. Every time I would turn that pump on, I would cringe. Ugh! And I can't even describe the pain to you. Like having a sore that you keep pressing and pulling on and it keeps getting irritated. It took another week for the pain to stop and me get use to it. 

About week 5, I noticed my milk that was coming out was slowing down some. That I wasn't getting as much as I was. But I didn't let it bother me or upset me. To just keep pumping and giving him what I could.

So here we are, 7 and 1/2 weeks later. And I am officially done pumping. I have almost dried up despite my effort of taking 6 Fenugreek pills a day and drinking water like it's going out of style. I tried this morning and I only got 1/8 of an ounce from each boob. And I know it's because he never latched. I know if he had, it would have been better. But he didn't and it is what it is. 

Here are some questions I get asked about it:

How did you get a free pump and do you like it? 
Please go to https://pages.email.edgepark.com/bp/eligibility/form/?rc=EPBPMAIN to see if you qualify. After I ordered it and they confirmed it with my doctor, I received it in 2 days! It was a great pump for being free. I don't have anything to compare it to but I read that Medela is the best rating pump so I knew I couldn't go wrong. 

Does it bother you he didn't latch?
No, it doesn't bother me. He wasn't a fan and it was nothing against me. I still have plenty of time bonding with him and I don't need him sucking on my breast to do that. Plus, Bobby gets to feed him and I love that. And I get to sleep more at night because of it. 

Do you think if he had only the boob from the beginning would it been easier?
Yes! If he would have been in our room that first night, and I was the only option for him from the beginning, it would be a different story. But my baby was in NICU and hungry and I wasn't making anything at that time. And I refused to let him starve. So it is what it is. Yes breastfeeding is free and formula is expensive but oh well.

Does it really burn calories?
YES! I am 1 pound away from my beginning weight and I have to say that 80% of it is from breastfeeding. I don't eat a lot anyways so burning those calories on top of it only helped me drop the weight faster. 

Are you upset you are done?
I wouldn't say upset but I am a little sad. I'm proud of myself for trying and sticking it out even when he wanted nothing to do with it. With my family history, the fact that I went this long is really amazing. Plus, he got the good stuff, he got the benefits from it and he's a happy, healthy baby. 


Now, hand me my sushi, my jalapenos, my wine and my tequila shot because this mom is free to have it all.