Saturday, March 7, 2009

Little Sucker


Ok so someone PLEASE give me a worse nursing story so I don't give up altogether. Or motivation, something, please!!

It all started in the hospital when he wouldn't latch and wasn't getting anything. So then my milk didn't come in very well. They told me to supplement with formula.

So here's how it goes. Bottle around my neck with tubes coming out from the bottom which I TAPE to my nipples and he sucks on me and the tube at the same time. This way he gets my milk and the formula at the same time. He eats a lot. More than I make, apparently.

This is a pain because I can't just pick him up and feed him. I have to get the formula ready, clean the bottle, fill it up with new stuff, TAPE myself up, blah blah blah.

Last week. KILLED. Blood blisters all over my nipples. Yes, you read that right. He has a mean suck. Picture me sitting there crying while he is nursing. This week the pain is MUCH less as he's latching on better BUT still eats 4 ounces from the attached cow udders every time he eats. They say he's supposed to wean himself as more milk comes in??? It's been a pain. Literally. And he doesn't seem to be weaning. He's eating more formula all the time. Alas, I have a pump I should probably put to more use to get more milk. Sitting there pumping is very attractive....bestial at best. Gotta love it.

He's still cute though. Love this kid. Blood blisters and all.

I'm a zombie mess of a person. I would LOVE to blog more often but any spare moment is usually a choice. Do I shower? Do I eat? Do I sleep? And that, folks, is life right now.


StephenOlsonFamily said...

Cathy- Believe it or not, I was there. I struggled soooooo much with MacKenzie. We gave her drops of formula from a dropper just to eat more. The more formula you give him, the more he will reject the breast. It's far easier to drink from a bottle than the momma. I know, you are like, "but it kills, and he doesn't want the breast!" If you can only nurse him more make sure he is getting wet diapers, then you ARE giving him enough. MacKenzie didn't poop until after 1 week, and then only once a week until she was four months old. Kyle, every 5 days until he was 6 weeks. But he was 17 and a half pounds at four months (MacKenzie was that at 11months) so I KNEW I had the milk. I felt like a failure with MacKenzie with the whole nursing thing. It was her, not me. It all changed (still a challenge) for me until I went to a lactation specialist. She wasn't latching on correctly. My mom was even there the first two weeks, and she's a NURSE! The lactation specialist just had me do a couple of different things. I cried after the visit. I could make it happen! Make sure you or him don't have thrush. Also, when he's not latching on correctly you will become more and more sore, cracked, and it will continue to be PAINFUL! It is so emotionally draining, I know. So, hang in there. You can call someone from la leche league and they answer questions for free. Remember it's SUPPLY AND DEMAND. But you are the one in such pain, not me. So Good luck and reach out for those awesome resources. Is your mom still there? Email me if you need anything. Keep me posted! Love ya!

Sislers said...

Go see a lactation specialist!!!! I went for 3 weeks trying to get him to latch and I was just pumping and doing was a pain and I was bawling all the time. The lactation specialist was so helpful and although my baby never did latch, I had to use a shield, it was nice knowing he was at least getting some of my milk. I never ever produced enough milk for him...I'd nurse for 1/2 hour or more and then he'd turn around and eat a 4 oz bottle. I didn't give up because I wanted him to get the nutrients as physically/emotionally painful as it was, but some just don't produce the milk. I dried up completely at 6 months. I feel for you though and I hope it works out for you

JenJ said...

The pain goes away after a few days or so if you keep at it....kind of like you get tougher. But I am so sorry!! Keep at the nursing. The more he nurses, the more milk you make.
Love you Cath!!!

Janelle said...

I am so sorry. I have to say try working with a specialist cuz I know they have a lot to offer. It does get better. It always hurts as your breasts are getting used to it, but hopefully they will get tougher soon. But also if it gets the to the point where you just can't enjoy it than don't beat yourself up about not breast feeding. It is eventually supposed to be enjoyable so try and see if you can get to that point. Good luck mommy.

Rachel said...

OK, I am so sorry Mija! I am lucky with my new Ellie as she is a great nurser, but I had mad blood blisters with my 2nd, Isabel. Just keep at it. Breathe through for now and it should get better. I totally agree with the above posts to call a lactation specialist or La Leche League. I know the hospital has a specialist that you can see for like $40 (or so the nurse mentioned). Good luck!! Also, if it doesn't work, don't feel bad. You are trying your best and baby knows that. And he is precious.

And ps, did you know that we delivered in the same hospital just a few days apart? Just a small world!

andrea.roche said...

ha ha ha. I'm not laughing at you. Just with you.

Hang in there...IT DOES get a little easier.

andrea.roche said...

another note...if the breastfeeding doesn't work...don't beat yourself to try to make it. Better he have a happy/healthy mom than a tired/overwhelmed one. I have many friends who gave up on nursing and things were SO much better for them and baby afterwards....just a thought.

Linz said...

LOTS and LOTS of Lansinoh Cathy! That stuff is yet another nectar from the gods! It does get better I SWEAR but I am with the chica on the first post...the more he has more formula the more he wont want to breastfeed....which is OKAY if that is what you want to do. There is A LOT of pressure in England to breastfeed and I felt like if I stopped I was a horrible mother! NOT TRUE! Formula these days is amazing! I remember the toe-curling second I had to latch Owen on and then the tears that followed! It does go away!! I would definitely see a lactation specialist, those ladies are SUPERB!

Carrie said...

Congratulations Cathy since I haven't said that yet! Hang in there on nursing. I too had a crazy difficult time; don't hesitate to go to the lactation specialists (or lactation nazis as my friend likes to say!). I did at my mothers insistence and turned out I needed some medicine because the pain wasn't normal. Hugs!

Stephanie said...

My sister had an awful time nursing my niece, and found out months later that she was tongue-tied.

Tim and Jennifer said...

Hi! Thanks for saying hi on my blog. Oh nursing, where do I start? Kyle did not latch on from the beginning. Have you tried a nipple shield? I was given a nipple shield in the hospital to use. You can also buy them at Babies R Us. Anyway, apparently those are just to be worn the first week or two... but I used mine for almost 5 months. I tried getting Kyle to latch on without it but it just wouldn't happen for the longest time. So it wasn't painful for me to nurse, just a huge hassle!! Many times nursing was a two man project. I had to get the nipple shield on and then my husband would use a syringe filled with sugar water. He would place the syringe right above the nipple and squirt that into Kyle's mouth to get him to start sucking. This process lasted more than a couple weeks... Sometimes it took awhile for him to latch on, so my husband kept on squirting away. Can you see how this could get frustrating? Nursing in public? ha! There wasn't enough room for me to nurse in public.
I also relied on my pump a ton. Because Kyle wasn't the best at nursing, he was still hungry. I often gave him a pumped bottle AFTER I tried nursing him. He was jaundice when born so he was given a bottle the three days after being born. He always drank better from a bottle, but for some reason I was determined to nurse. I pumped after most feedings and sometimes other times to try to get my supply up.
Another problem was my supply. It got to the point where I couldn't nurse or pump enough milk so I also supplemented with formula. Some girls are blessed with geysers, but my supply was never much and my son was a chunky baby who needed his food. I was fine with giving him bottles, we were able to go more places and my husband could help feed too.
I cried about nursing for probably three months. I'm not sure why I didn't quit trying. Sometimes I wonder if it was worth all the hassle. I never created that "bond" mothers talk about because it was so frustrating for me. The first time Kyle latched on without the shield I almost passed out. Literally. It felt so weird and was a little painful. We both got better at it, but he refused to nurse anymore right before he turned 9 months.
If you decide to stop nursing, don't feel bad. People don't understand how big of a trial it is for some unless they have lived it. Hope this helps! If you have any more questions, let me know. Those first two months are sort of a blur. I just remember sitting on the couch, trying to nurse while my husband left for school and then being in the same spot crying, trying to nurse, when he came home from school. :)