Thursday, July 27, 2017

Breastfeeding

The next thing I want to talk about is breastfeeding.  You probably don't care.  You can stop reading now.

When I had Madison and Jackson I was determined to breastfeed them.  With them being born 4 weeks early I tried over and over to get them to latch but I was told (by nurses and LCs) they were too little.  I pumped as much as I could and bottle fed them that but the majority of their food was formula.  I was suffering with postpartum depression and not taking care of myself.  I had zero support on the breastfeeding front so when my milk stopped coming out I just gave up.  I didn't know I had options

When I miraculously got pregnant with Harrison NOTHING was going to stop me.  The first 4 weeks were an absolute uphill battle.  I had no idea how hard it would be.  I almost gave up a few times.  One of my saving graces was a nipple shield that a LC gave me in the hospital.  Harrison was having the same problem latching as the twins did but he wasn't early.  The shield was a god send and I was able to feed my baby!  But my most important saving grace was my friend Shauna who refused to let me give up even when I was in the throes of anxiety and depression and not eating or drinking and losing my supply and watching Harrison LOSE weight.  It was scary for a bit and at 2 weeks old his pediatrician insisted I give him formula.  I cried and cried in the room with my mother and doctor and because of Shauna's support I told the doctor no, that I would make it work, I just needed help.  Instead of giving up and giving him formula we came up with a plan.  My mother (I was living with her at the time) would make sure I was fed and hydrated and I would breastfeed Harrison then pump until I was empty in order to signal my body to make more milk.  I froze what I pumped.  We did that for a week.  My depression and anxiety cleared up immediately thank god but Harrison didn't gain as much weight as the doctor wanted.  So we tweaked the plan by now bottle feeding him what I pumped after each breastfeeding.  By 4 weeks he had gained enough weight and my supply was great.  I'm sure there were some small issues after that but very quickly it became such an easy thing.  I just can't describe how thankful I am for Shauna's support.

At 5 months old he was still waking in the middle of the night but I was able to get him back to sleep without feeding him.  I resisted so hard to let him cry it out but at 6 months I did it and it only took one bad night which wasn't even that bad.  He's been an amazing napper and sleeper since then.  I did seek the help of a professional sleep consultant in order to get that to happen and I know there is no way I could have gotten him to that point without her.

At 10 months old now he is breastfeeding 4 times a day and has some food here and there for practice.  He will eat anything I give him but I mostly give him avocado, whole milk plain greek yogurt, blueberries, and chicken.  He is easily pulling up to standing, got his first tooth last week, does lots of babbling and absolutely lights up when ever he sees Madison or Jackson.  He just adores them and the feeling is mutual.

10 months old.  I seriously couldn't love him more.