I thought I would write down my story because when I was going through this, I constantly googled and searched for information and success stories on breastfeeding.
My son was born a "late preterm baby" at 35 weeks due to health complications. My waters broke at 33 weeks and i was able to hold onto him for another 2. He came out crying and weighed a healthy 6 lb 1 oz! Although he seemed to be doing well, it was our hospitals policy to take him the special care nursery for observations for a few days until i could go home. I was able to see my son about 4 hrs after my delivery. I tried to put him to the breast right away, i couldent believe how natural it was for a newborn to latch on and start to eat, i was so happy!
He seemed to be doing well, but the Dr's and Nurses said I had to bottle feed and start pumping my milk. Breastfeeding was too stressful and too much hard work for the little guy and it would burn too many calories. They wanted to top him off with formula until my milk came in. This is a sore subject, and i am not going to lament. what is done is done.
Sooooo, I started pumping like a mad woman, i was determined to not give my baby formula. I pumped and pumped, my milk came in early and he was only given my breastmilk. I did ALL his feedings, although it seemed they tried to sneak some in without calling me. Finally we were able to go home after 5 days. He was really jaundiced, had to go back and forth for the UV light. Other than that everything was great. He was eating like a champ from the bottle, gained 2 lbs in 1 1/12 weeks, so i decided to try and BF for a few minutes before every bottle feed. It broke my heart, he just sat there with his mouth open not sucking just looking confused. He had gotted so used to the bottle. I cried and cried while pumping my milk. I was exhausted from pumping every 3 hours. I could not leave the home. And when he slept, I pumped.
Finally on his actual due date, I made an app't with a lactation consultant to come to my home. I was determined to breastfeed. We started with nipple shields, and moved onto using a SNS system. I was told my short nipples and his deep palate would be very difficult to feed with and would need a shield. For the first week I would let him try for 10 mins, then the following 20, then 30....and so on until a month went by. Unfortunately, we just were not getting anywhere. I would finish trying and I would cry out of frustration and disappointment of myself for not being able to teach him. I felt like first i couldent keep him to term and now i cant even feed him. My husband finally said "maybe we should start thinking on giving up, seeing you so depressed and down on yourself after trying is too hard" and i was starting to feel the same. One more week i said of giving it my ALL.
So, I camped out in the bed, took my shirt off and said, this is it. No plans to go out, just sit in and try this. I put my shield on and he did the regular trying to suck for 10 mins then giving up and waiting for the bottle. I took the shield off, and just put him to the boob, something i hadn't tried in weeks.
He DID it! he latched on, and gulped and gulped and gulped. I yelled for my husband to come up and see, he was so happy and proud of me. Of course, LO also gulped a lot of air and barfed most of his meal back up, but he did it! I immediately called my LC to come the next day and help us BF the right way. She was so happy for us, gave us tips on how to ween myself off the pump.
Its been 6 days since that day. Some feeds go really well and we don't need the bottle to top him up at all. Those times i think yeah! this is it! and then others are a struggle and we need a top up. We still do 2 nighttime feeds from the bottle because it takes us an hour or more to do it from the breast. Until he gets more efficient we will do that.
I just want to share this with others, because there are a lot of us out there with doubts and we need to support each other. Its soooo comforting to know there are other women out there that share your frustrations, tears, doubts and then triumphs and happiness. Thanks for reading my story!
Congratulations! I'm so glad to hear you and your LO are doing so well. I am hoping to post my own story soon. I introduced formula at the behest of my pediatrician and now trying to get back to just the breast. Formula seems to make my DS gassy and a bit more fussy. Wishing I never listened to the doc.
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