I have always been an avid supporter of breastfeeding. I try not to come off as Breastfeeding-Nazi. Breastfeeding my girls was a challenge at first and I expect nothing less from this go round. I'm glad that I prepared myself for trouble.
Little man was born very fast; he gulped a large amount of amniotic fluid that made him gaggy and very sleepy. He nursed like an old pro for the first hour right after birth, skin to skin in his birthday suit. Then he started to get sleepy and for the next 12 hours, I tried to no avail to get him to latch and nurse. Finally, the shift changed and my new nurse stopped in to see us and looked at my nursing journal and exclaimed, "He hasn't nursed in 12 hours! We need to bring your pump in right now!" I knew that but the earlier nurse kept telling me I'd get my pump upon discharge. So, she brought the pump in and I was able to express 25ccs (5 tsp) of colostrum! The nurse helped me syringe feed 15ccs (3 tsp) to him. She checked his suck reflex and decided that the fluid in his lungs was probably the reason he wouldn't eat and took him to the nursery to be suctioned. She returned him to me about a half hour later and he was wide-awake and ready to latch on.
In the hospital, he had a great latch, things were going great until we reached 5 days post birth and my milk hadn't come in. By this time little man was a ravenous beast desperate for milk and my body was not coming through. In a moment of desperation, I begged Scoot to pick up a can of formula so that I could have a break (he had been latched on for 10 hours straight). Scoot handed me the can of Similac and I frantically mixed up a bottle and placed the nipple in little man's mouth... He looked at me as if I had grown a third eye in the middle of my forehead and pulled away from the bottle. Drat. I drew a little up into the syringe and squirted it into his mouth and he freaked out. Double drat. I latched him back on and peacefully he nursed, while I cringed in pain. I was suffering from a terrible case of thrush and had cracked nipples. I treated them with vinegar rinses, Nystatin cream, and lanolin. However, the only thing I could to was bite my tongue and bear the pain when it was time for him to nurse. His suck was fierce, because my milk had not come in and he was working hard to get it to let down. I visited a lactation consultant and she discovered that after 3 hours of constant feeding him he had only taken in 2-3 ounces of milk...
I knew I had to do something because at 8 days he should be flooded with milk. I bought a bottle of Fenugreek from the local health store and started taking them. 3 tablets, 3 times per day. I took the first dose and an hour later, I felt a tingly sensation in my breasts. By the second day, I could feel my milk let down and finally after a week, I was beginning to heal and he was finally happy.
I share this not to scare people. I will be the first to tell people that breastfeeding can be very hard in the beginning. I think of it kind of like morning sickness. It sucks and luckily gets better. I always say that if you can grin and bear it through the first 6 weeks you will be rewarded greatly! I am happy to say that we made it through and I am reaping the rewards of breastfeeding.
I love the fact that I don't have to fully wake at night to feed him, I just pull him close and latch him on. I love that I do not have to carry bottles, water and a can of formula! I love that I do not have to wash all those bottles! I love that he never has to wait to eat! I love the fact that he can nurse in the sling! I love that we can side lie nurse! I love the way he rubs my side when he nurses! I love the way he grins at me when he's nursing! I love how he tugs at my shirt when he wants to nurse! I love the sparkle in his eyes as he gets excited when I unhook my nursing top! I love that it's our special time! I love his big toothless grin when you ask him if he wants some boobie! I secretly love the fact that he will not take a bottle! I love breastfeeding!