For something so natural, breastfeeding is one of the most innately unnatural things I have ever done. I had heard countless times how hard it would be for the first 6 weeks and then how happy I'd be if I could just stick it out, I hope that is true. Everyone said it's going to feel like she's got razors in her mouth, your nipples will bleed, etc etc... Sore nipples were my problem for like .2 seconds, after all a week of something sucking on your boobs every 2-3 hours, they either buck up and toughen up or they mind as well just fall off. Latching has never been our problem, from our first moments of trying this new thing together, everyone has always been impressed with her latch.
As I sit here I am just waiting for 20 minutes to pass by between pumpings for my first time "power pumping". What's power pumping you may be wondering, it's pumping for 20 minutes, waiting 20 minutes, then pumping for 20 more. Sounds easy enough, but pumping your boobs for 20 minutes makes your nipples look and feel gross.
My biggest problem so far feeding my child "naturally" aside from trying to breastfeed her at Ruby Tuesday, has been my afternoon milk supply. By the looks of Dillon when she's at the feeding trough anytime between 11am and around 6pm, it would seem as if the taps were completely dry. She sucks for about 5 minutes then starts pulling off, eagerly latching back on, then pulling back off in frustration. After a few minutes she starts crying when she pulls off, I give them a quick squeeze and nothing, barely a drop. We switch sides but the same thing happens. During the night, when my prolactin is high apparently, boobs are full, she latches on for about 20 minutes, happily gulping and sighing with satisfaction. Why can't all of our feedings be this easy?
I've been to breastfeeding support groups, wrote to breastfeeding support chat groups and always get the same answer, everything is fine. They say I have to just trust my body, that I am making plenty of milk, just relax and let mother nature work. I don't think that mother nature is an active observer for us during the day because I feel like I am in a war between, my body and my baby. I don't want to starve her, and I know I'm not as she is gaining weight and peeing normally. But the sound and look of her during these frustrating times is heartbreaking.
Even more heartbreaking (for me) is that we gave in and supplemented her with formula for 2 feedings yesterday and one today. I will have her nurse and then when the taps are totally dry we'll give her a couple oz of formula. I hate giving her that crap, but I feel like we have no other choice.
After calling a lactation consultant we inadvertently met while Dillon was under the bili lights, we'll try the power pumping for a few days and see if that will make me produce more milk so we can get her off the formula. This stuff must be like cement because she hasn't pooped all day, so unlike her.
I really hope that things can improve for us as far as breastfeeding goes. I think it is the biggest source of stress for me since she's been born. I just want to be able to feed her and not think about it so I can enjoy this short, precious time with her.
Has it really (almost) been a year?
10 months ago