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