Follow Friday Guest Post: Overcoming A Breastfeeding Obstacle
Today we are lucky to have an amazing story to continue the infant feeding series coming to us from Cindy from This Adventure, Our Life. Cindy has a gorgeous 7 month old daughter, Bailey who she has been breastfeeding now for 7 months.
Her story did not start of easy – she and Bailey had to overcome a huge obstacle when her beautiful vision became a bit more difficult. Here is Cindy’s amazing story in her own words:
My breastfeeding experience did not start out as a beautiful moment. I guess like many other people wanting to breastfeed I imagined giving birth and then having this beautiful moment where the baby did “the crawl “ and gracefully latched on. I mean, this is what the videos showed and what our natural birth instructor taught us about. I dreamed of this beautiful moment, and even if she did not latch on right away I had grand thoughts that I would give birth to her and have her in my arms shortly after and we would be skin to skin. My labor was not so, after 25 hours of back labor, 4 of those hours dilated at 7 pushing 8 and not progressing to 8 fully along with her heart rate going up too much and causing concern. I had my first surgery ever, a c-section. I never dreamed that it would be the next day when I first would experience holding my daughter. Of course, this was not in my plans, why would it be.
When my daughter Bailey was born her oxygen was low, as well as her blood sugar, they said from the stress of labor. She was shown to me quickly and then rushed off to the NICU with my husband. She spent the night in the NICU, while I recovered and she returned to acceptable levels. While in the NICU, later we found out that they gave her 3 bottles of formula, without asking either my husband or I. Now, they said they were necessary, okay, fine I was in no shape to fight this one at that time. The next day at around lunch time they brought my daughter to me for the first time. Up until now, I had only been wheeled into the NICU to see her. My husband and I were so very excited that she was out of the NICU. The lactation nurse followed immediately as I had talked with her briefly after delivery, telling her that I wanted to breastfeed. So finally, they put Bailey on my chest and she latched on quite well, but then pulled off when milk did not come right away. Then the uncontrollable newborn screaming and hyperventilating started. I did not know what to do at all. I remember the lactation nurse telling me this is one of the only things that you will not teach your daughter, and that she will not teach me, we will just have to learn from each other. After several unsuccessful attempts, I was frustrated and sad. I was determined to breastfeed, but it felt like everything was against me.
We then called back the lactation nurse, whom was nice, and helpful to let her know what was happening. She then told us that because Bailey had already received several bottles in the NICU that she was looking for “instant gratification” and milk to come right away. Great, I had a lazy baby on my hands. No, but really she did not want to work at this breastfeeding thing. The lactation nurse then brought me some formula, to which I said, No, I am not doing that. Little did I know she had brought it to dribble on my nipple to get Bailey latched on, and to keep her sucking until she got some from me. So my awesome husband was then instructed to stand over my shoulder at each feeding to dribble milk as Bailey latched on. Well this worked the first couple times and then Bailey learned that my husband had her friend the milk bottle and she started to turn her head away from me and to my husband opening her mouth in the process. She wanted nothing to do with me…and she was going to scream about it as well. We kept doing this, every time she searched for the bottle and every time we fought with her to latch on. In this process she was quickly losing weight, and my 8 pound 11 ounce newborn was under the 10% drop, and I was getting lectures to feed her more, give her a bottle, and to try harder. My husband stood by my side each and every time telling me that I could do it, and a time or two when I felt like giving in he reminded me that this is what I wanted for her and to keep trying.
Very slowly with each feeding she began to stay latched longer and we gave her less formula to get her latched and stay latched. This is never the picture of our first feedings that I ever imagined, but if I had learned something it is that everything changes and you have to figure out just how to work with the changes. I was determined to breastfeed. For me, breastfeeding was something I wanted to do, and something I dreamed of. I was not against formula by any means, just for me, this is what I choose to do, and if I could get breastfeeding to work, I was going to. I remember clearly the time that Bailey latched on, without my husband over my shoulder, without the bottle of formula, just her and I. I had tears rolling down my eyes; it was the day before we were scheduled to leave the hospital. This was that moment, the one that I had dreamed about, the one I thought about, how I pictured breastfeeding to be. When I looked down at her, and heard her gulping, I thought, and so this begins a journey that will change each and every day.
For the past 7 months, breastfeeding has become the beauty and joy that I had once pictured. It is my favorite time of the day with Bailey right now. I have been blessed to have little to no complications, not to say we have not had our challenges, but overall all the obstacles are outweighed by beauty. I do not know how long our breastfeeding journey will last, right now my thoughts are I will let Bailey decide that. I am lucky to have been able to get through the first days of struggling and to find a place that works for both her and I. I will never regret the decision I have made, it is one that I will never forget.
Thank you to Devan for the opportunity to share her space for the day!!
Thank you so much Cindy for sharing your amazing breastfeeding journey so far. I am a huge fan of her site so everyone go and check her out and say HELLO!
:: Was your LO given formula in the hospital by the staff without your permission?::