BFing - so hard in the beginning! - now with lipase

Second babies? Forgotten everything about breast and formula, napping and wrapping and you are are going a bit MAD because you haven't slept in three days? Or it's your first baby and you are here researching the joys of weaning?

BFing - so hard in the beginning! - now with lipase

Postby Violet_Cue » 08 Mar 2015, 02:06

I just posted this on Facebook to my BFing mom's group - I thought I would share it here too - please note I have no issue with whatever choice anyone makes for themselves :) this is just how I feel for me :)

I forgot how hard this is! Baby is 3 days old, milk is slow coming in, we have done some supplementing with formula under the gentle nudge of the LC in the hospital. So I'm here pumping, nursing, cleaning pump and bottle parts, making sure we latch, and did I mention he is a thumb sucker (so we've given the num.) - Classic set-up for some major nipple confusion.

Of course my guy looks at it as a routine - we've been supplementing first, because otherwise he is too mad to latch (which is better than last night when he was too sleepy.) So now as soon as the bottle is drained he looks to nurse! smile emoticon Latches well for a few minutes (5-7) and then will either take the other side or not. Then won't come back on to sleep if he stirs, but instead looks for the num (pacifier). So basically he wants nipple 1, 2, then 3. Too funny.

Back up to pumping 5mls at a time (after he has nursed) so hoping by morning any "top up" will be all mine. smile emoticon Meanwhile after I pump my 4 year old wants to know if there is some left for him to have in a cup - since he has been waiting for his chance at momma milk again for ages. (We weaned at 27 months, so he remembers nursing.)

I get why people don't push past this point. It is hard. Very hard. And I am lucky enough that hubby is by my side giving the bottle or taking the baby while I pump, and helping wrangle the 4 year old through it all. Doing it alone would be twice as bad and more people would be crying. Why not give it up?

Dr. D(the pediatrician we saw) actually asked me that - she said she sees many who don't make it past 24 hours - they tried, but "it didn't work" - she asked why I kept going (because on said 4 year old I did this dance for about 3 weeks until he would latch.) - Last time it was because I am tenacious. It's personality. Breast milk is better, I was nursing no matter what. This time? My reasons are the same of course, but there is another one I know now from experience...

Today it is harder than making up a bottle and giving it to him. Today there is 3x as much to clean. Sleep when the baby sleeps? Ha! There is only and hour of a 3 hour window where you might not be washing things, pumping, cleaning up in general, or eating yourself. Today it is depressing watching each small drop pour into the pump, hoping to get 1-2 ml more than the last time (when you once pumped 10oz while away from your 13 month old) wondering if it really is starting to come in. But 6 weeks from now (or maybe 10, there is that evil growth spurt) I know that when my baby is hungry I will be able to stop and feed at the drop of the hat. I will be able to pump (if and) because I want to. I won't have to deal with bottles unless I choose to. And, like last time I can keep going as long as both baby and I want to.

And for a potential 2+ years of nursing, I will do everything in my power to make it through these first few weeks.
Last edited by Violet_Cue on 14 Mar 2015, 11:17, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: BFing - so hard in the beginning!

Postby Brigitte » 08 Mar 2015, 05:20

Oh wow. Hang in there! (Or not, if you change your mind, that's okay too.) Once that milk comes in, things will hopefully get smoother for you. You sound incredibly strong and brave in the meantime!
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Re: BFing - so hard in the beginning!

Postby Nix » 08 Mar 2015, 07:39

Wow you sound so positive! You can do this Violet-Cue! Hope the washing and sterilising becomes less and less over the next few weeks!
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Re: BFing - so hard in the beginning!

Postby FestiveTidings » 08 Mar 2015, 07:48

You can do this VC! You sound like you are totally in the right frame of mind to push through it all. It is so hard at the begining, even without the whole supplement/pumping thing!

You are awesome!
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Re: BFing - so hard in the beginning!

Postby CaelaCoo » 08 Mar 2015, 09:35

Good luck to you. Sounds like you are doing well.

I will openly admit I gave up. Baby c just refused to stay latched and was getting so unsettled it was heartbreaking to see. I actually felt relief after giving him a bottle because he looked so content
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Re: BFing - so hard in the beginning!

Postby EnigmaFish » 09 Mar 2015, 23:35

Good for you! It is so hard in the beginning, and that's one of my main concerns with the breastfeeding campaigns - it is hard, and no one seems to want to mention that beforehand. Your reasons for sticking with it seem sound. Trust yourself and your baby and you will get through this. (Also: hooray for a supportive DH who wants to help you get through this.)
Does it count as nipple confusion if he takes both bottle and Breast? Sounds like he just wants all the food - Kleintje was that way, too.
What's best for baby is also whatever's best for mother, so if the breastfeeding struggles are too much for you, then switching to bottles or combining bottles is the way to go. CaeloCoo, I completely understand your feeling of relief.
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Re: BFing - so hard in the beginning!

Postby Violet_Cue » 10 Mar 2015, 08:51

CC - I think it is so important to do what works for you and yours. :) I am a huge advocate of supporting moms to achieve what they want. I have a friend who will be weaning for medical reasons and am planning to donate to here. I have lots of friends that FF or mix feed, or whatever, and their LOs are happy and healthy. :)

Right now I am exclusively pumping... not fun, but I'm okay with it. We need him to take the bottle, as there are times daddy will have him while I do face painting, massage appointments, etc. With J he started on bottles and we got him on the breast at 3 weeks... I'll keep offering, switch up amounts in bottle (like only a few mls and see if he'll finish on the breast) and if need be try a SNS (which seems funny when I have lots of milk!!) If he only wants to use the breast as a paci for 5 secs at least that will help with my production (since I am creating oversupply on purpose to be able to donate.)

Of course I am doing it all wrong for the PHNs - as I should try to make him latch for 5-10 minutes (creating an angry baby) and then top up or give bottle. Whatever, baby is getting food and nobody is going crazy. Works for me.

DH is great - he looked at me yesterday and said he doesn't know how I did it all on my own with one. He was working and heavily medicated at the time, so I was pretty much on duty 100% of the time. Now he is home, on a much better set of meds and I have to fight him for my turn with the baby. ;) - it's really wonderful.
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Re: BFing - so hard in the beginning!

Postby busmother » 10 Mar 2015, 09:46

Oh V-C, this so takes me back! The endless round of feeding, washing up, pumping, only to get an hour and a half if you're lucky to read things up in the breastfeeding book, speak to visitors, get prodded and poked by the medical staff and, if you're lucky, a bit of time to have a wash, maybe have something to eat, or perhaps get some sleep. We had 20 days of it before the blissful day the health visitor said they had put on enough weight that we could stop the top-up feeds. Hard work, but as you say, it really is worth it in the long run.
No magic advice to give you, I don't think I did anything different really. I would give them 20 minutes at the breast before giving the top-up. We started feeding with syringes, then cups to avoid nipple confusion but it was just heart-breaking to watch my hard-earned milk dribbling down their chins, so we moved to bottle feeding on their sides (so they had to suck a bit to get at the milk) by about day 3. So just lots of pompom waving from the sidelines to cheer you on and hope that you and baby work through this difficult stage soon.
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Re: BFing - so hard in the beginning!

Postby RedRum » 10 Mar 2015, 16:16

No advice but just wanted to say you're doing so well VC, and your post is very inspiring. I'm really nervous about BF. With R I lasted a couple of weeks, the pain and the stress was too much for me, and I didn't have any support or really know there was any available. I think subconsciously I didn't really want to do it. I was 21 and struggling with adjusting to solo parenting and dealing with PND and I just didn't have the fight in me.

I don't regret FF (well, it makes me sad, but I know it was right for me at the time if that makes sense, and a lot of things about the start of my parenting journey make me sad, but R was happy and healthy and that's what matters) but I really hope this time is different, and I am scared I won't succeed. I'm pretty stubborn too though, plus I have DH on my side this time and I know about all the support that's out there, so feeling optimistic, but I totally agree with EF about breastfeeding campaigns falling down on the honesty side of things! I wasn't at all prepared last time around for how hard it was going to be. Maybe if I had been I would have taken it in my stride.
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Re: BFing - so hard in the beginning!

Postby Violet_Cue » 11 Mar 2015, 04:05

Well RR - I am happy to offer any cheer leading and advice/ commiseration etc that you need! :)

We haven't been pushing the boob, but at books for bed with J there was some delay in giving L the second part of his bottle (divided in two in case he is cluster feeding and refusing half - keeps it from going to waste (actually we've been offering it to J!) - he ended up latching and drinking on both sides 2x over the evening (and finishing the bottle.)!!!

And then in bed he had some side lying top breast as well - for which I thought I was very clever to manage with a 6 day old ;)

Plus I have 16 oz frozen now for my friend - which makes me feel awesome about the pumping too... since we are helping another baby. :) She starts treatment in May, has to dry up in April, and is currently giving one bottle of EBM and freezing one bottle.

Make all the milk, feed all the babies ;)
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Re: BFing - so hard in the beginning!

Postby mamapup » 11 Mar 2015, 06:47

Well done you. Sounds like you might have turned an exhausting corner! Whatever works is the right thing for you. I also get really cross that they don't tell women how hard bf is but that the who and unicef campaign. It's very deliberate.
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Re: BFing - so hard in the beginning!

Postby ChristmasGift » 11 Mar 2015, 19:04

Yes well done V_C. I'd forgotten how horrendous the first few weeks of BF were for me. Such pain. I remember gritting my teeth and fighting back tears every time she needed to feed. I think the idea of making up bottles and sterilising was what pushed me through me the pain barrier. I obviously prefer pain to hard work!
And how wonderful that you're able to help another mum and baby. That really is awesome.
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Re: BFing - so hard in the beginning!

Postby Violet_Cue » 12 Mar 2015, 23:25

NAK!! OHT! yay!

proper update tomorrow.
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Re: BFing - so hard in the beginning! - now with lipase

Postby Violet_Cue » 14 Mar 2015, 11:29

And the saga continues - gave J some of L's leftover bottle and he made a face and declared he didn't like baby L's milk - sure enough - soap! I had excess lipase last time, so I knew what was up.

Have started scalding everything once expressed. Tasted a bit right away and it was a little funny, so not sure how long I have once it's expressed to scald and would rather not take any chances. Also looking at my cleaning system... since I wonder if there is a touch of soapy smell because of the soap I am using? I have hard water which can make it harder to rinse residue (the "bad" milk had separated and had flakes in it, not like when fat separates... so it isn't just a wash routine...) Any suggestions are welcome...

L is latching okay, but gets lazy and so isn't taking as much at the breast as he needs - evidenced by being hungry again 10-20 minutes later. So still topping him up.

Had him weighed - 7lb4oz at birth, 6lb 9.5 at 5 days old, and 6lb15oz at 9 days old. So gaining is good. Of course the PHN wanted to know if we were still offering everything in the "wrong" order... apparently you can't please them no matter what.

Lamenting another step in the feeding process and that it is still another notch less portable/ convenient... but it's not too bad at home so I may just have to plan for an extra stop here and there. I've already been pumping in the car, lol.
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Re: BFing - so hard in the beginning! - now with lipase

Postby Lily » 15 Mar 2015, 13:57

Wow, nice detective work VC! In awe of your efforts.

Do you need to use any soap at all to clean the pump? I used to just rinse in water then sterilise all the bits in a microwave steam steriliser, no need to add any detergent. We were also in a hard water area so I'm totally with you on the residue issue.
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