Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Breastfeeding.... Counting My Blessings

From the time I started doing research about pregnancy, I knew from then on that I wanted to breastfeed. Although I don't think I had ever seen anyone breastfeed before, never talked about it to anyone, and I didnt have any feelings towards it one way or another until I got pregnant. But once I did my research I became determined that it was the natural... and much much cheaper, way to go. I had also been determined for an all natural birth, and that didnt happen due do a plethora of different reasons, and I ended up with the biggest intervention of them all, the c-section.

Let me tell you, I was soooo afraid that my milk wouldnt come in and that I would have to do all sorts of things and techniques to establish my flow. I was even ready with the locations and times of local La Leche League meetings. Towards the end of my pregnancy, I was hoping to leak colostrum like I heard so many other mom's on my pregnancy chat board talk about. If i really squeezed and massaged during my shower I managed to get a drop or two.

Then I had the dreaded c-section. I was afraid that since I never gave birth vaginally, that since Kayla never even made it to my birth canal, that it might hinder or limit the hormones that told my body..... "hey you had a baby, start making that milk".I had given the hospital specific instructions not to give her the bottle. I was also afraid that since I was so out of it after my section and it took almost an hour for me to come to (i wasnt knocked out, just exhausted and pumped full of drugs) that they might give her formula to hold her over. But they didnt, Kayla was fine, she latched on the first time I held her. And the time after that. And after that.

The 2nd or 3rd day I woke up in the hospital I remember looking down and saying "babe, do my boobs look bigger to you?" They felt heavy, not huge, just full, my milk had come in!!!

In the beginning I had to correct Kayla's latch a few times. Around the 2nd or 3rd week, I developed scabbing. Holy shit that hurt!!! But I was prepared. I had some Lanisoh cream and some all natural Nipple Butter. The butter worked wonders. It hurt like a bitch every time Kayla latched on for about 2 or 3 weeks but then it healed. And all was well.

At no time did I ever feel like I wanted to give up breastfeeding. It was wonderful to be needed in a way only I could fulfill. And Tony was very much aware and jealous of that. I remember telling him to suck it up because she was going to be a daddy's girl for the rest of her life so let me enjoy this :-D.

I started pumping at about 2 months, after the scabbing had healed. Boy did I have an abundance of milk. I was able to pump anywhere from an extra 4-8 ounces everyday because my supply had not yet settled. I was making my stockpile for when I went back to work (turned out I never needed it).

I went back to work when Kayla was almost 4 months. Pumping at work was..... well it sucked. My store was so busy that I could only pump during lunch. By the I got home my boobs were so engorged I literally would come home, take off my coat and/or shirt, and shove Kayla's face in my boob. This worked for the both of us because Kayla only ever drank enough from the bottle to hold her over, she was always hungry when I came home.  Pumping sucked at worked. I only ever had time to grab my lunch from outside, get back to the office, pump while I ate, then go clean the pieces, and back to work I went. No respite for the weary. 8 out of 10 times I was also working on the computer or taking a conference call while I was pumping.

But the whole time I was working I never gave Kayla a bottle, only Tony did. And even when I tried its like she could smell me and refused bottles from me. At least some part of my grand master plan went right.

Even as I was pumping while working my freezer supply did the opposite, while most working moms didnt pump enough, my stockpile got bigger. To the point that I was considering buying a small deep freezer. Then.... job gone. No more pumping. So what to do with this stockpile??? Well, through an awesome Facebook group, Human Milk 4 Babies, I was able to find someone to pick up about 300 ounces of milk to use for their own child. That was totally awesome. His baby had a problem latching because of he had tongue tie, and his wife was having trouble keeping up through pumping. And lo and behold, after he left, I found another 100 ounces or so in the back of my freezer. I am keeping it for now in case I need it for transition to whole milk but I have an idea Im going to end up giving that away too.

So here I sit, Kayls is 9.5 months old (how time flies), and Kayla has never had a drop of formula. And we continue to breastfeed exclusively. Kayla tried solids but she doesnt have the patience to eat and entire "meal" yet. She starts playing within a minute.

I consider myself so lucky to have had what I consider such an easy road. It was never even close to the point of bringing me to tears with frustration or pain. Maybe it was due to all the research i did beforehand and expecting the worse. Maybe its because Kayla latched on pretty well relatively easy. I also always had Tony's unwavering support of Kayla breastfeeding (he even criticizes women who he thinks gave up too easily, like his sisters, lol). But it was and still is easy for me. Even now as Kayla gets her teeth in, she rarely ever bites, and even if she does the pain is very very temporary.

Tony on the other hand is starting to miss my boobs, he wants them back by her 1st birthday. LOL. We shall see, I am going to let Kayla self wean.

Now.... I am deathly afraid of baby #2...... if Kayla was this easy , is there some sort of comic balance that requires the next one to be difficult, or maybe it was just easy in my eyes and the next one will be laid back, very much unlike Kayla..... we shall see

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