The Nursing Dilemma

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I decided to give breastfeeding a second chance without any false expectations. You'd think I learned something from my first experience in Breastfeeding... Here is what happened this time.
I didn't get to feed Z Girl til I went up to the my room. The nurse was really encouraging and supportive, so we worked on getting her to latch asap. Little sister girl has a great latch. The problem is that mamãe didn't have any liquid coming out to feed her. We tried the pump and nothing came out. A few hours later we got a little colostrum going.
I was so happy with her latch and her stools were good (meaning she was getting the nutrition she needed) so we never even needed to supplement. 
The first day we got home I kept breastfeeding as normal. We started supplementing the breastfeeding with formula because my milk had not came in after a few days. The baby was still latching but she was crying a lot  because she was hungry.
I was proactive this time. A few days before going to the hospital I started taking FenuGreek (natural supplement that helps milk production). A friend of mine let me borrow her electric pump and I was ready for my milk to come in. A week after the birth I had milk but I wasn't making a whole lot of it. What could have went wrong? I felt less stressed than the first time. I found support and talked to La Leche as well as the lactation consultant from the health department. My husband was supportive and so was my mom who nursed all 5 of us. All I was missing was milk.
At some point before week 2 I decided to cut down on the formula and go with breastmilk alone. My baby lost a lot of weight (which scared the doctor) so we had to keep supplementing with formula. The lactation consultant helped me to know how much milk Z Girl needed in order to gain the correct amount of weight for her age. To rush the milk production I got in another medication. The med costs a little over $80 locally and $38 online. I'm on day 2 and waiting to see if I make more milk that way. If you are wondering, I'm a believer in water so I drink lots of it. People speculate that c-sections cause people not to have milk. Two friends who had who had c-sections breastfed their babies successfully. I have all my basis covered, all we need is more milk.
I know I am not alone. I have a few friends who tried and couldn't make more than 2 oz so they went with formula. I know others who just said the thing hurts and they went with formula. I learned to respect everyone's choices. 
Sometimes I wonder how come breastfeeding works for some chicks but not for me. I heard stories of chicks who took the same meds as I did, prayed, believe it and received plenty milk. 
I heard stories of women who were overflowing with milk when they were in labor. Hearing those stories while I was first waiting for my milk to come made me feel less than, which sucked. It wasn't their fault, it was my own insecurity. 
I have different reasons to pursue nursing. My first one is for the connection between my children and I. I also want to nurse because you're supposed to burn a whole lot of calories while doing it. Selfish ain't it? 
It was hard to admit that this part of life is important to God once I spent time obsessing (there, I said it) over aspect of mothering. I obsessed about having a vaginal birth (didn't get one). I obsessed about breastfeeding and with my second child I didn't get the VBAC I dreamed of and on week 4 the rivers of milk are not here yet.
My husband was the one who reminded me last year that my nursing situation was not a surprise to God. He said I should get Him involved in it. 
I can't compare myself with the chicks who quote scripture and get so much milk they have to be faithful donors of a milk bank. We are all unique and special to God. 
What if God's best for me is feeding my baby Similac? Why should I let others intimidate me?
I also shouldn't be ashamed of my story because it has happened to other women around the world before.
I hope I can offer hope to someone who thinks you are less than a woman because your kid needs to be on formula. I am still trying to get this breastfeeding thing going but I gave myself a limit. Breast is best but better than that is God's unique plan for my kids. He's got it all under control: from what kind of milk they get to where they are going to College. Let's believe God more than we believe stats and old wives stories.
Nursing is not one of those things that are listed in the Bible as one of the requirements to inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. I'm glad about that. On the long run breastfeeding matters but being a peace with God's plan for me as mother outweighs that. Regardless if I get to nurse full-time or not, I commit to look at my daughter and remember what's really important.

Unknown said...

I had the selfishness going for me too. I wanted to lose the weight. Even when I had to back up and start formula later on I felt frustration (why I didn't feel successful being able to keep it up for 5 - 6 months amazes me now). God knew I needed the break and to get perspective. Letting go of what other people were able to do helped a lot. Dwelling on things I couldn't change was more unhealthy than ending breastfeeding before I would have liked. Mind, body, and spirit have to work together. (that's what I believe anyway) I tend to feel and even look better when I focus on all of these things.

Thanks for doing this blog. You have inspired me greatly.

The Conservationist said...

Autumn's first pediatrician was an idiot. He told me to try to stretch feedings out to 4 hrs apart or more in the very beginning, so by 4 weeks I'd lost my milk. I tried everything to get it back, then gave up. I learned soon after that it wasn't a surprise to God either! He used me to love another mom who later went through the same thing. He's so good.

kym said...

Holding your sweet baby while feeding her, looking into her eyes, stroking her, playing with her hands, feet and body...connecting, that is what breastfeeding brings about. Doing those things can also be done while you give your sweet one a bottle. :) It is the connection that is the important part! And you have that!
Love her, you are doing a great job!

Sareece said...

I love your willingness to trust G-d with such a high pressure thing in a mommy's life! While breastfeeding is beautiful and rewarding, it's not the essence of mothering.
With my son, I stressed out for 10 months about my milk production because I am a working mom and had a hard time fitting in time to pump. I can't believe I made it as long as I did.
The reason I bring that up is because I got a lot of comfort from remembering the blessings God provides us OUTSIDE of breast-feeding:
- For centuries and today in many parts of the world, if you can't breastfeed, baby doesn't eat and baby doesn't live.
- while nobody wants a C-section, without skilled doctors and clean operating rooms, many moms and babies die in childbirth.
Don't miss the forest for the trees - the gift of life cannot be overshadowed by the ideals of natural parenting.

Bruxinha said...

Olá, vim retribuir a visitinha!hehehehe
Ah e ñ posso deixar de falar que sua filhinha é linda, sem falar da roupinha!hehehehe
Só ñ li o post por q é em inglês!kkk