Offer breast, pump, bottle feed, wash parts, repeat. Every 3 hours. All day. Every day. This is what we’ve been doing for the past week or so.
It’s been a tough journey. But a journey that we will continue, and figure out! I’ll get Pierce back on-tap soon. I know he’s stubborn, but I’ve definitely got him beat in that department. I mean, where do ya think he got it from?
Stubborn Like His Mama – Our Breastfeeding Journey
Breast, pump, bottle feed, wash parts, repeat. Every 3 hours. All day. Every day. This is what we’ve been doing for the past week or so.
Let me backtrack a bit to explain how our breastfeeding journey started, and how we got to where we are today.
I had an oversupply, and forceful letdown. Basically my body made more milk that Pierce needed at first (which is typical to a lot of women once you give birth to a baby!) and when my milk came out, it came out strong. Like, squirt you from five feet away strong.
(#sorrynotsorry for this hilarious time lapse. When it comes down to quickly putting on nursing pads, or grabbing your camera for a video, the camera clearly wins. Aren’t our bodies amazing?)
So where were we… oh yeah. Anyways! Pierce gained weight like a champ when my milk was flowing as fast and freely as the Niagara Falls. Lucky guy never really had to work too hard to get it; my milk was basically free, fresh from the tap and with no work required. That was until things started leveling out; my body started regulating my supply, which is typical. All of a sudden, my Niagara Falls of a supply dwindled down to a steady trickle. Poor guy was totally thrown for a loop! But we had no clue he was struggling…
That’s the thing about breastfeeding, you just have to go with your mama gut and hope baby is getting enough nutrition. There are some things you can do to gauge this (amount of wet diapers a day, number of nursing sessions in a day, weighted feeds (if you have a scale!)), but basically you’re just flying by the seat of your pants. If you ever have any questions about breastfeeding, I cannot recommend Kellymom enough; it’s an amazing resource for all your questions!
So through lots of doctors appointments and visits with IBCLC’s (International Board Certified Lactation Consultants), we deducted that little Pierce has a weak suck, and isn’t able to transfer enough milk from my breast like he should. He also may have a slight tongue/lip tie affecting his latch (we’re going to an ENT (ear nose throat doctor) tomorrow for evaluation!). It’s resulted in a dramatic decrease in his weight gain, lethargy, decrease in dirty diapers, and general fussiness. Basically my son was withering away from lack of nutrition while I was over here thinking he was nursing more efficiently and just getting mad about my all you can eat milk buffet leveling out. *cue awful Mother feelings*
As parents, we don’t have time to have pity parties for ourselves and our kids. So after a good 30 minute cry, I picked myself up off the floor and made it my mission to do anything and everything I can to provide for my son. I’m going to work hard to get him exclusively back to my breast, but I am being realistic with my expectations of myself and him. If exclusively pumping is the best we can do, I’m lucky I have the milk to do so. If my supply dwindles, I’ll give him formula because really, in the end, fed is best. It’s good to have goals, they keep us moving forward. But it’s also good to be realistic with yourself and others.
That’s about where we’re at with our nursing journey. I’m being 100% realistic right now, and I’d be lying if I said pumping all day isn’t hard as shit! I’m struggling to balance caring for Kaelyn while maintaining the strenuous, non-stop routine of breast, pumping, bottle feeding, cleaning, repeat. I really hope to get some answers from the ENT appointment tomorrow, and hope the answers may help us on our breastfeeding journey. I’ll be sure to keep y’all updated here or on my facebook page!
My point of all this is we’re constantly learning, growing and adjusting on this roller coaster ride we call motherhood. And if you’re struggling with nursing, pumping or finding the perfect formula just remember you are not alone in this journey!
Don’t be afraid to reach out to your doctor, nutritionist, look for community support, online support groups, an IBCLC (look for one in your area here.). There are so many people in the community who will be happy to help you with whatever you may need!
In closing, the oh so wise Judy Hopps from Zootopia once said “Real life is messy. We all have limitations. We all make mistakes. Which means, hey, glass half full, we all have a lot in common. And the more we try to understand one another, the more exceptional each of us will be. But we have to try. So no matter what kind of person you are, I implore you: Try. Try to make the world a better place. Look inside yourself and recognize that change starts with you.”
This is my way of trying 🙂 Trying to remind y’all that you are not alone, and you are doing a fantastic job raising your kiddo(s). That it won’t always be easy, and that’s okay. That what works for one person, doesn’t work for another. And that’s okay, too! No matter what decisions we make regarding our children’s upbringing, at the end of the day, we’re all trying our best.
…And to always, always, try to remember to pack along extra nursing pads if you’re nursing. Cause you never know when your sneaky letdown will decide to show up. That is, unless you want to help normalize all aspects of breastfeeding!! Because if you’ve ever even had a baby, you know this is totally normal! It happens to all of us. Happy World Breastfeeding Week!!
P.S. Stay tuned for a Review and Giveaway for the Nuby Natural Touch bottle Pierce uses!!!