Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Breastfeeding-Bourbon Edition Volume II

Quiet early mornings in Amelie's room.

I wrote about my first experience with breastfeeding back in 2011 here. Three and a half years later and a tad more wiser I have a slightly different story this time.

I went into this the second time around with a mission to pump more, produce more and possibly nurse longer. I work from home exclusively now and not having to tote a breast pump/parts/bags/cooler uptown and pump in a shady creepy room takes a HUGE amount of stress away from the whole pumping situation.

Amelie's delivery was a tad dramatic...nothing crazy but not anywhere as near as my one, two, catch delivery of Ford. They had her try to nurse immediately and I warned them I needed a nipple shield. You need one of these if  you are not Jennifer Aniston in Friends..

She latched with the shield immediately and away we went. I STILL forgot how painful it was once they started nursing. Gut punching pain. But I knew it would shrink up that humongoous stomach of mine so I happily obliged.

I have a few issues with CMC Main and I really wanted to write a post dedicated to this but I'll add a few bullet points.

  • I have nursed before. I stated so on my paperwork and told every nurse/doctor that I came in contact with. There is no need to grill me to death about the details or quiz me like I was lying.
  • My Pediatrician allows pacifiers so for your lactation consultant to walk into MY room and snatch the pacifier I brought OUT of my daughter's mouth was absolutely UNACCEPTABLE. My Dad's jaw dropped to the floor. Completely out of line.
  • I understand you are trying to get your breast-friendly certification. That does not give you the right to harass new mothers about nursing. There was no formula offered this time, you didn't even offer a pump to get things going. The attitudes of the lactation ladies in the hospital are nothing short of drill sergeant Hitler-esque raging bitches and they almost made me NOT want to nurse as I couldn't stand them being in the room with me.
  • You no longer offer to take the baby so we can get some rest but you ALSO don't recommend we have the baby in bed with us, so get a fucking better bassinet to put them in. I didn't even have a C-section and to sit up and try to put my newborn with my T-rex arms in that plastic too high God awful bin is impossible. Get us a fucking co-sleeper if you are going to be so militant.
  • The bottom line is I AM YOUR CUSTOMER. I AM PAYING YOU FOR YOUR SERVICES. Much like a hotel I should be able to ask for a pacifier and a nap and get these things.* I feel sorry for the girls that cannot nurse or choose not to. Do you lock them in the dungeon? Do they get horrible disapproving stares? I heard you still make them try. Who are you to force these things on us?
All that being said I'm not sure if it was because she was my second baby or because she was in the room with me the whole 48 hours I was there but my milk did come in faster.

The first week home we had our appointment with Jan Ellen Brown, by far the most amazing Boob Goddess on this planet. She is affiliated with Charlotte Pediatrics and breastfeeding on her couch is more therapeutic than any massage I have ever had. She weighs the baby before and after, gives you pointers, listens to your hormonal spazzing and makes it all okay. I love her.

My supply was definitely higher than with Ford. Amelie was a good nurser (nurses on both sides) and we were right at that every 3 hours schedule. I had to deal with some cracked nipples. (Full nipple shield of blood. YOW) and the normal pain in the beginning (knives coming out of nipples) but otherwise I will say everything was easier this time. I think a lot of it is due to knowing what to expect. Knowing is half the battle right?

But fast forward to now and 2 bouts of Mastitis and SIX clogged ducts later I am struggling. I don't want to be melodramatic about this but I think it is unavoidable. Amelie is my last baby. This is my last time in my life I will breastfeed. The last time I will feel that let down, last time I can soothe a baby all with what God gave me. Corny, yes but it is the absolute truth. My Mom once told me I am a stickler for firsts and lasts, and she is right. Maybe it is the traditionalist in me, the hater of change, the emotional Pisces...I'm not sure. All I can say is Amelie is already so big to me and I am already missing that sweet newborn stage.

**Update. I went to my OBGYN to look at the most recent "crack" and he pretty much looked at me and said to stop. Maybe this is a blessing in disguise because I know I wouldn't stop on my own anytime soon. I think the girls have just had it.

I got in my car and burst into tears and called two friends who I knew would tell me what I needed to hear. They were both 100% correct. The two points they each made:
1. I need to get out of my own head sometimes. I am so focused on not having this 1:1 time with Amelie anymore and never nursing again that I am missing out on new things we can do together.
2. (and this one really hit the mark) Amelie is my happy place. Right now in my life she is the one thing that doesn't hurt my feelings, doesn't cause me pain, doesn't add extra stress, doesn't get in time-out, doesn't talk back, doesn't insinuate that I need to lose weight. She is just a beautiful smiling baby girl. And that is okay. for now.

To any breastfeeding mommies out there, here's to you! And don't try to diet too much right now. Enjoy it. Drink lots of water, have some wine. Take naps. Because it is over before you know it.

Emotional K


  1. Long time lurker who always enjoys when your blog pops up - I am nursing our four-month-old after exclusively pumping for our now 2.5-year-old. This go round, I told our nurse that if a hospital lactation consultant so much as walked in our room, I would punch her in the face. My nurse obliged and I swear it actually helped not having one because at the hospital we delivered at (in Georgia) they are all syrupy sweet drill sergeants. That is all. Kudos to you for listening to your body!!

  2. I had very similar experiences with the lactation consultants with my 2, and I think you phrased my sentiments very well. If I ever find myself in a place in life where I am financially independent and bored, I will make those horrible Nazi brainwashers my target for reform. They are the only bad memory I have of my time with my kids as newborns. Also, they almost made me stab my husband to death. Thankfully, I did not.

  3. Don't even get me started on my hospital and the drama about breastfeeding!! My milk came in so fast the second time that I asked for a pump because I was in so much pain and so engorged and they basically refused. Then they lectured me on pumping and nursing etc, and I was like THIS IS MY SECOND BABY LAY OFF ME BITCHES and demanded the pump. Which a nurse brought me 8 hours later!! So then I refused to use it and wouldn't let them remove it from my room either to stick it to them.
    Moving on though... I totally understand your feelings about giving up nursing this time around. It's so bittersweet. Matthew needs so much more than I can produce right now but I'm trying to plug through it. I feed him two formula bottles a day but I'm uping it to three this week. I'm just having a hard time giving up the morning and bedtime feeding.

  4. This post is perfection in every way and makes women realize it is okay to just be you sometimes. I feel like there is so much pressure in being a mom and especially with breastfeeding.

  5. I know exactly what you mean about the lactation consultants in the hospital, they were pushy!! I nursed my first baby for 16 months and this time around knew what to expect, so I thought! This time around I can't pump at all without overproducing and getting clogged ducts and mastitis! Nursing is tough for sure! I don't think you should feel bad at all, you just have to do what is best for you and your baby!!


  6. OMG I thought I was the only weirdo who noticed Jennifer Anniston always has headlights on Friends! You could make a serious drinking game about it. In all those episodes did no one tell her?!?

  7. I've never really thought I've had anything in common with Jennifer Aniston but you just found one! Thanks. It's not something I'd probably go around bragging about, but it's something.
    Your thoughts on hospital LC's is spot on! Thank goodness CPC hired Jan Ellen. That didn't happen till I had my second, and by the third they'd hired a few more LC's - I just talked to another one I love there on Tuesday.
    I'm glad you had your friends to call. There is no way to eliminate the emotions and hormones attached to bfing which can make it so hard to see clearly.
    Enjoy those Amelie snuggles!

  8. WHOA. I can SO relate.
    The lactation nurse at our hospital was HORRIBLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She made me feel like scum. Similar thing happened with the pacifier.

    I tried nursing (first time mom here), and I did so for 10 days until we took him to the pediatrician because we knew something just WASN'T right. He was crying 24-7. And he also wasn't gaining weight. (This is after I had visited the pediatrician's lactation consultant....I had "severe nipple trauma" according to her - blood blisters and cracked / bleeding nipples. The nipple shields did NOTHING for me. Joyous. ALSO, Conner BIT, not sucked. That was fun. Thus the nipple trauma.)

    Well, lo and behold, he has a milk protein allergy. And there I was eating yogurt and drinking skim milk thinking I'm eating healthy for us. Nope. Little did I know, I was hurting my little man. So, the pediatrician told me I could stop eating all dairy (HELL NO) or I could put him on this expensive dairy / soy formula (Nutramigen). I left the office in TEARS and cried for a few hours. I planned to breastfeed 3 months until time to go back to work. I knew breast milk was the best, most healthy thing for him and me. But then...I realized I could drink wine. And eat cheese and yogurt. And do whatever I wanted by not breastfeeding. And the world was right again. Our son is happy, and I am happy, so we're all good. The pediatrician also made the transition SO much easier. He said that Conner will be healthy whether he's breast fed or formula fed, and he will work with us to make sure of that.

    So - I'm all good now. And our son is happy and healthy...and so am I!

  9. I was tag teamed by my hospital lactation consultants. One actually worked for the hospital and the other was interviewing or observing, I don't even remember. I had my son on a Sunday and got NO help. Then Monday morning at 7 am these two bounce in after I had been up all night with a screaming hungry alien. Rather than assist me in learning to breastfeed or give me a nipple shield or anything of some help, they one up-ed each other with stories and facts about breast feeding and I seriously can't remember a f-ing word they said. A nurse like secret hand-shaked me a nipple shield later in the day and that's the only thing that helped. It was like first rule of fight club don't talk about it wink-wink, here's a nipple shield.

  10. So I just discovered you had a blog today! I've been reading and crying and laughing and I get to this post (and read the post you linked about your first experience)...I just want to say thank you! I'm so glad someone is open and upfront about it all. I get almost angry talking about breastfeeding because of the way it is perceived, as well as formula, when every mother and baby and tit and situation is totally different! So ultra TMI, but whatever, BOTH of my nips are inverted. Obviously I knew this going into it and came to the hospital prepared with the nipple shield. Did it help with the latch? Yes. but my poor baby was getting nothing and was starving and I had no idea what I was doing. Lactation consultant at the hospital? Oh she's only here on wednesdays. WHAT THE FUCK? So I am clueless. My baby is jaundiced and getting worse. Day 3 or 4 she hasn't had a wet diaper all day and her gums are tacky and she is screaming and it takes my husband locking me in our bedroom to rest (aka me talking to a friend and she said GIVE THAT BABY SOME FORMULA, IT IS NOT THE END OF THE WORLD). My husband had been saying this for two days...So anyway, thank god for the samples, and I give her those two ounces which she sucks down like it is literally giving her life. I sobbed because I was starving her because WHY? Because every other mother, nurse, doctor said I should be breastfeeding. Well guess what? These boobs just can't do it. Not everyone can, and it should be O-K-A-Y. I couldn't nurse at all, the nipple shield was not allowing Sloan to really get any volume, even after nursing for an hour. Pumping was horrible. Bloody nipples, YEAST INFECTIONS, clogged ducts, and the pump wouldn't even work unless I manually squeezed my boobs and pushed the milk out. Pumping was so not a good experience. And you are right, you are doing it ALL THE TIME. Which is never enough to truly keep up with supply. Somehow I managed to pump for two months (I supplemented with formula at night from that very first time on which was a life saver). I'm debating whether to try at all if we have another. It still makes me cringe with guilt and feelings of failure when I read about the connection between mother and baby from breastfeeding. I feel like I gave up on it, didn't try hard enough, and missed out on this experience. Obviously this is something I struggle with and it makes me angry that I even allow myself to feel this way.
    Also, if a nurse takes a pacifier out of my baby's mouth, she will rue the day. My dad was diagnosed with leukemia 6 years ago this month. He went through a lot of nurses. One in particular was a really awful total fucking bitch and she almost got fired because it was just completely unacceptable and we didn't let it lie. You are 100% correct in that we are paying for a service and should be treated like a client above all else.
    I've never left a comment so long in my life. I couldn't find an email so the world now knows about my nips. Oh well. Leukemia and Alz are not the same, but I do know what it is like to watch your parents lose a part of themselves. My dad is doing okay today and I thank science and luck and God and whatever else is out there each day but there are still hard days and scary days and lots of anxiety mixed in. email me anytime summersantana@hotmail.com...sometimes i think it is easier to vent to someone who is outside your everyday life. Ok. I will stop now. Kisses to sweet Amelie.