Friday, February 5, 2010

Breastfeeding

Ok, so we aren't very far into this thing yet, but I thought I'd give an update on the BFing.

Our first time trying right after delivery went ok, but it was very trying and the next couple times didn't really go any better.

DH had to make a trip back to the house and I asked to him to get the "My Brest Friend" pillow and boy did it make a difference. I could focus on getting the latch right and less on positioning his body. BFing requires more coordination than I thought it would. Without that pillow I probably wouldn't have made it 24 hours.

But things weren't great and I really wanted the lactation consultant to critique me because I was worried we might be causing some damage and didn't want things to get worse.

Turns out the LC was on vacation so she couldn't come until right before discharge Monday. First thing she did was take away my pillow. I had been abusing it and not getting his body right at all. He would keep coming off the left and the right he had no problem getting on, but it was a bit ouchy. We worked on positioning and things were better by the time she left but still a bit ouchy.

The next couple days went ok. I was free of the pillow which was very liberating and doing lots better holding him, but still he'd get a death latch on my right from time to time. And everything looks right about the latch, but it definitely didn't feel right, but after the stimulation period it would ease up and feel ok and I could manage it.

I was feeling pretty darn capable.

And he started cluster feeding about Tuesday evening. He'd feed for 3.5 hours and then sleep for almost that long... which scared us at first because we just didn't expect him to sleep for that long and wondered when we should wake him. Then Wednesday he was cluster feeding for at least 4 hours, nap, cluster for 4 again, nap and then back to normal until the next afternoon. And I was handling it pretty well. I figured he was going through a growth spurt already and about 4 on 4 off would be our thing for awhile.

Then last night, he did it for at least 6 hours! Oh my freakin gosh. Finally around whatever am time it was I pretty much passed out with him on my side. Probably work up a few minutes later and saw he was sleeping and put him down, and thank God, he slept.

So I am tried, but still feeling pretty good, but then, this morning, he got a death latch from hell on my right and I could feel wettness dripping down on me and it wasn't just milk, It was blood! All over me, all over my poor baby's face. It was awful and hurt so bad. I put him on my left and when he got done I went and cried for awhile.

And to add insult to injury, he spit up later. My vampire baby spit up blood.

I left a voicemail for the LC, which has not been returned, which kinda pisses me off. But the internets were helpful. We tried again at the next feeding. I totally changed up my positioning to a much less comfortable for me position but his latch was nearly painless (I figure the pain that I did have was probably from the damage sustained).

We've had a few more feedings since then, pretty painless, no death latches and haven't seen anymore blood. I just hope he doesn't need to cluster feed for 6 hours again tonight because the positioning will probably not be so fun. But otherwise I'm feeling better about it all. After the bleeding today I felt like such a failure, but I'm glad that I was able to work through it so far. I just hope I don't get an infection or anything like that, because that's the last thing I need right now.

The supply side of things has been going well. My milk came in before we left the hospital. He'd regained his birth weight and then some as of Wednesday. The cluster feeding is hard on me, but I think my supply has grown pretty well since we started doing it. His thighs are getting chubby already and the outfit we brought him home in is looking small for him already. I'm on the metformin still, which I had reservations about, but the research shows that very little of it ends up in the milk and he seems to be doing wonderfully with me on it.

Product wise, the My Brest Friend saved me for a time but ultimately didn't work out for us. However, a good swaddle wrap has been pretty indispensable for me these last couple feeding so that I could focus on his body and less on his hands in the way. I've been tending to my nipples with loads of lanolin and also some triple antibiotic cream. And it seems one of my best purchases so far were my wool breast pads. They were really expensive, but worth it so far to me. I tried some of the disposable ones and they were terrible and stuck to me and left red marks and didn't let my girls breathe at all. The wool pads the provide wonderful padding to protect my sensitive nipples and they keep me feeling dry and let me breath which should help prevent infection. I do get some fuzzies on my nipples and have to pick them off before feeding but I think they are pretty harmless if I miss one. I was afraid to make the purchase in case this whole BFing thing didn't work out, but I don't know how I'd have made it this far without them. Oh, and the prefolds helping as excellent spit up rags and to catch milk drips while feeding and I have plenty so I can change them out frequently. Nursing tanks are great and I can wear them under my clothes and just pull up my shirt to feed him while out (so far that has only been the Drs. office, but hopefully we will figure out how to do this modestly). Oh, and a good soft robe or two. Great for covering up at the hospital and home and also, I find myself cold a lot with my hormones still fluctuating.

Anyhow, this is my little man on me. I'm glad the BFing is still working because I really love our time together, even if some of it wasn't so idyllic.

6 comments:

Sophie A. said...

I'm glad you posted this because I really don't know what to expect. I'm going to look into those pads. I was also going to purchase one of those breast friend things, so I'm also glad you mentioned that it didn't work for too long. I think I'm going to take a class, I'm pretty clueless..

meggo said...

Thanks for posting your experiences. Good to know that in spite of a few bumps and some blood in the road, you and Michael are still chugging along. I'd like to wring your LC's neck though!

Thomas said...

First of all, congratulations on your beautiful boy!

I've been reading your blog for probably a year or so, and our stories are very similar. I will say that breastfeeding is definitely a learned art (if that makes sense LOL). It did not come naturally for me, but after we got it figured out (it took 6 or 8 weeks to really get our groove), it was wonderful. It's hard, but definitely worth it, and it sounds like you're doing great.

Congratulations again!

Paula

Michelle said...

Aww he is so cute! I hope things get easier soon with the breastfeeding. Good for you for trying and sticking with it! The blood issue sounds scary and I'd probably have panicked. Congrats again!

Kate said...

What a handsome little guy! Love the lips.
If you find any fantastic websites on BF that really helped you, I'd love it if you could put the links on your blog. I'm sure I'll be needing tips too.
Hope the crazy long cluster feeding doesn't last as long the next time.

amanda said...

Well, it sounds like you're doing great to me (despite the whole blood thing). I struggled in the beginning, I mean struggled.

I agree with Paula, it is a learned art on both sides, mom and baby. It takes time before things get easier, but they will. I didn't believe it, but it did happen.

Hang in there. You're doing just fine!