Nursing Another Newborn
When I was a first time Mom with G I had taken all the classes, read all the books, and done all the research. Pretty much all that did was make me anxious about breastfeeding a newborn.
G was born in early November of 2010, which would be the beginning of a long, cold, and snowy winter.
What did that mean for G and I? That meant two days after we were discharged from the hospital and visited our pediatrician she was diagnosed with jaundice. A scary time for a new mom who really wasn’t familiar with this condition. We were sent off to the hospital so that she could spend a good 24 hours under billi lights. Basically she was getting a bunch of artificial sun until she had blood work come back with correct counts letting us know that the jaundice was going away. It was a roller coaster. The nurses had me pumping every two hours to force my milk to come in quicker. G was too lethargic to nurse, a side effect of the jaundice, and I wasn’t about to give up on breastfeeding so soon after her birth. I was so stressed out about making milk, I could hardly sleep, let alone so anything else. I felt like I had failed when I hadn’t even really tried yet and blamed myself for the jaundice.
Once we were discharged, again, my milk still hasn’t come in so I was forced to supplement a ounce of formula at every feeding. Another symptom of the jaundice is weight loss because the baby is just too tired to eat.
So, because G didn’t really nurse for a good 24 hours she was a lazy feeder. Getting her to nurse was a struggle and took about an hour each feeding.
We finally got our groove. I don’t remember when because I was so completely exhausted. I think it was dark for months on end that winter. I had no concept of day or night or what say it was and I hardly ever left the house.
It was sometime around Christmas that year that I got my first blocked duct. That was super painful. Symptoms were flu-like and I ended up staying home with G while T.J. made the rounds to family on Christmas Eve and Christmas.
So, G and I made it a year on our breastfeeding journey. She self weaned right around her birthday and I was relieved to say the least. The whole experience had been difficult and wasn’t at all how they talked it up at the hospital classes.
Here I am again. This time has already been 100% different and we are only approaching our two week mark. I can most certainly say that I am much more confident this time around. That really does change a lot in my opinion. Knowing what works and what doesn’t and how my body works is also a big help. And, Val is a champion eater. She is efficient and motivated. She was born in June too so she doesn’t have to deal with all that dark, Winter drama.
I’ve already began pumping too and she doesn’t mind taking a bottle once in a while. Pumping the first time around was pretty much torture. Me against the machine. More growing pains I guess during that first time around.
I can tell you this, if you are considering breastfeeding, take it one day at a time. Each day you can nurse you child is a huge achievement. When you make it a week pat yourself on the back, another week…awesome! Setting long term goals might give you anxiety like it did to me. Everyone tells you ‘a year is the goal, hell, go two years’, but you do what you can. It’s all about the little day to day victories. 🙂