Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I've been spooned! and other breastfeeding things :)

Eliana and I (and my mom) went to the monthly La Leche League luncheon. Mothers that make it to one year of breastfeeding get an antique spoon picked out for them by Katie, our dear LLL leader. I received a beautiful spoon that Katie titled "Strength and Purity" for me. I can't believe that a whole year has gone by. It has flown. BF (breastfeeding) started out pretty tough. I couldn't get Eliana to latch on in the hospital. The lactation consultant helped some but she'd still only latch for a little bit and then pull off. I ended up going to a nipple shield. Then we got home and I couldn't get her to eat with or without the shield. I was so scared. It's the worst feeling in the world to not be able to feed your child and to know they are hungry (I imagine it's a tiny bit how it feels for poverty stricken families to watch their babies starve). It's SO so scary and I know many mothers that have felt those same feelings. I kept debating buying formula and honestly was just ready to give up on the whole BF thing. My mom and family were supporting me and encouraging me to keep trying. Finally at the end of day 3 she latched on (with the shield) and ate like a champ. I was nervous that it was a one time thing, but from then on out she ate fabulously. Not that it was always easy. Feeding a baby with acid reflux and colic can be challenging. She wanted to comfort feed all the time because the warm milk made her raw throat (from the reflux) feel better, so I was literally nursing every 30 minutes. Of course this made my boobs huge and swollen, but what could I do! Especially at night, nursing was the only time she didn't scream. But, we have persevered and here we are :) She's never had an ear infection and never been really sick other than a small cold. Her height and weight are perfect. She loves nursing and I still enjoy it, too. Sometimes she gets so excited she'll start breathing heavy and waving her hand all frantic until she's latched. As far as the shield goes, I never got her off of it. I definitely intended to, but then her colic kept going on until 4 months and I just couldn't see adding in one more thing to my days. I was surviving, literally just surviving. It is so taxing to only get 2-5 hours of sleep at night for 4 months. It took all I had to just take a shower and eat something, let alone try and wean her from the shield. I did try occasionally but she'd scream and purse her lips and was definitely not interested in 'just me'. I've tried since then as well and she's really not open to it. Oh well. To me, the most important thing is that she is BF. The means is not so important. I know of women that have had to pump for months and months and months. Really, who cares how you do it, the fact that you do it is absolutely amazing and applaud able! I hope with future children to not have to use the shield, but it's really not that big of deal at this point. Anyway, I could go on for hours about BF and if you ever have questions, please please ask. It is like second nature now and it was great to get my spoon today (thank you Katie!).
The next dilemma with nursing is what to do about TTC (trying to conceive) again. I required Provera, Metformin, and Clomid (conceived on 200mg) to conceive Elly as I have PolyCysticOvarianSyndrome aka PCOS. Dr. Hale, the foremost expert on medication and breastfeeding cites Clomid as an L3 drug, http://www.amazon.com/Medications-Mothers-Milk-Lactational-Pharmacology/dp/0981525725/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1256785193&sr=8-1, meaning the benefit of breastfeeding outweighs any dangers of the medication. However, many physicians simply will not prescribe Clomid to breastfeeding moms. I have made an appointment for after Christmas with a new physician, Dr. Quimby (tons of my friends love her). At that time we will talk about Clomid and TTC and see what to do next.I am not ready to wean Elly right now and bottom line she is not ready either. I do not want to force it on her. FYI; LLL recommends 2 years or longer if it is mutually desirable.
Ok, that's all for now. I hear Eliana waking from a quick nap.
Blessings all tonight. Oh and don't forget to watch Glee, I love it!

2 comments:

  1. Congrats! I too have made it to a year BF (Nov. 29th) and like you it hasn't been easy BUT so worth it. With my first I had to pump bc he couldn't eat for the first week and we had to measure out his milk the second week. After all that he wouldn't take to the breast (wasn't fast enugh for him! With my second baby I was secsesful at BF but it was the hardest thing I'd ever done!!! We made it about 5 months and then we were done. With my third it was a lot easier, she BF for 9 months and the self weened. My goal with Alivia is one yr!!!! I am so excited to have gotten the blessing of BF her, I love it too but my mom (that lives with me) is not to suportive and her and Josh (along with other family members) feel it is gross to feed after one year : ( I want to nurse till she is ready to stop so we will see!!!
    Again congrats, wish I got a spoon.

    xoxo
    Amber

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  2. Oh Amber, I'm so proud of you for sticking to it! I can imagine how tough it is to not have full family support on it. There is so much research out there to show the benefits of bf after 1 year. Your breastmilk will actually change to provide more fat and calories as Alivia grows. How amazing is that! It is pretty common in other countries to nurse to 3 years or longer, but for some reason in the US it is looked down upon. As we say at LLL, we have to change the culture. Much like Christianity :)

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