16 May 2008

the road that pretty much sucked~

Yeah, well, except it didn't.  I mean, if we're being technical.  Since I'm talking about a baby that wouldn't nurse and all.

For anyone that sees this and is confused I'm linking to this post from a different post where I talked about Everly not nursing.  I didn't really want to bore anyone with the details (unless they were interested for some reason) but I wanted to have a record of sorts of what happened for future reference.  So I'm just burying this one by backdating it.  I'm sure there's a much more blogger-savy way of doing it, but I don't know what it is.

Everly was born on Sunday morning.  She "seemed" to nurse and latch just fine that first day.  I noticed she didn't seem to nurse as much as the other kids had but you never know with different birth situations on how hungry, tired, worn out, etc. the baby is so I didn't really think about it a lot. That night she nursed a lot but I could tell she was not latched properly.  I was worn out and just let her nurse incorrectly.  I had a passing thought I might regret that later but then I promptly went back to sleep.

The next day my dad and my sister and her husband came to visit.  I remember that Everly was having a hard time being discreet and staying latched on but again I just chalked it up to being a newborn.  None of my other kids had ever had trouble with it so I just figured we'd get it worked out.

Once my milk started coming in I was really sore.  I lost a good chunk of skin and was bleeding some.  That had never happened to me before.  It was getting to the point where I could not nurse her it was so painful.  It wasn't the normal painful that would pass after 20 or 30 seconds.  It was like scorching, stinging pain.  I finally asked Glen to get a nipple shield in the hopes it would help her open her mouth and latch properly while simultaneously giving me a chance to heal up some.

It was better.  It helped.  It solved those problems.  But she was not getting satisfied.  I finally resorted to giving her a bottle believing she was a very new baby and the priority was making sure she was eating enough.  For the record I do believe that needed to be the priority but I wish at the time I had been aware enough of how things were going downhill and taken educated steps to turn them around.

Things were okay.  I was very frustrated and annoyed at having to use the shield and knew it wasn't doing anything for my milk supply.  I could sometimes get her to nurse without it but I had to sit there with a feeding syringe filled with milk and shoot some into the corner of her mouth pretty regularly to get her to keep going.  I was trying to encourage her to learn to nurse without the shield (what I would give to go back to her nursing with a shield now!) but I didn't realize that it was most likely signifying that she was having a problem latching properly and getting the milk out.  Which in turn caused her to be frustrated and still hungry, which prompted me to feel the need to supplement with a bottle, which only caused her to learn that a bottle was easy.  This, I believe was our ultimate downfall.  If I had only known.

I briefly wondered if she was tongue tied.  The only other baby I had a bit of trouble nursing at first was Noah and he was tongue tied.  His was an obvious, simple tongue tie.  He didn't really have problems nursing I just noticed I was staying sore much longer than normal.  We had his tongue clipped and everything was fine after that.  Everly's tongue didn't look like his so I didn't suspect a tongue tie.  Now that she is older and I watch her learning to make noises and discover her hands and even discover her tongue I am strongly suspecting that she may have more of a significant tongue tie.  Meaning that it's a wide tongue tie, her entire tongue seems to be attached further forward than normal.  It "looks" normal, I think that's why I didn't see it earlier, but it may be attached further forward even though it doesn't have an obvious frenulum. If that makes sense.  That would really explain pretty much every issue and it makes me so frustrated with myself that I didn't just pay more attention earlier.

I tried using a lact-aid which is one of those little things you put the milk in and attach the small tube to yourself so the baby gets lots of milk but also stimulates your supply.  In theory it should have worked but now since I think she is tongue tied it would explain why it did nothing for my supply.

And in hindsight I don't think it really was a supply problem.  I'd never had a supply problem before with a newborn so I thought it was weird, but since she was still obviously hungry I just assumed that was the problem.  If she is indeed tongue tied than it makes sense that it wasn't a supply problem but a problem with her ability to get it out.  And seeing as how I still have a lot of milk and she hasn't nursed in weeks I don't think I have a supply problem.

I also rented a hospital grade medela pump.  I'm not sure why it didn't work for me but I could barely get an ounce or two after 30-45 minutes of pumping.  I could get way more by hand expression.  Not a great long term solution as it made my hands terribly sore.  I kept the pump for a month but since it wasn't giving me hardly anything and was very expensive I returned it.

So eventually she was nursing less and less and began to highly prefer the bottle to the point where she would just cry and get angry if I tried to nurse.  I have tried tricking her while she was falling asleep, during her sleep, and when she would just wake up in be in a great mood.  None of it worked.  She still gets mad every time.

I'm still trying on occasion as and she gets older I'm just hoping that maybe one day she'll decide it's okay.



Jacqueline said...

I am soooo sorry for what you have been going through. I had a breast reduction when I was way too young and then wasn't able to nurse the babies I had after. I was told that I possibly could. I tried EVERYTHING!! But ended up bottle feeding. I 100% support breast feeding but my children are just fine.
I have three people I know of...one who had seven children, one who had three, another who just had one and they had one baby that just would not breastfeed.
I just wanted to let you know that your feelings are understandable I would feel exactly the same and felt like a failure when I could not nurse by babes but mine was clearly my doing. Yours is sooo not!!
I will pray that the Lord will give you wisdom, peace and deep, deep, comfort for your heart that is grieving. Bless you for being such a devoted mama. How the Lord must delight in your precious heart to love and nurture that little wee darl'in. I am sure He is so very pleased!
Grace to you.

Valerie said...

Bless your heart! I never knew nursing could be so hard... until I had babies of my own.
Praying you will find comfort in this situation...
We are so blessed to live in a land where there are healthy substitutions to mommy's milk that are affordable and easy to purchase.
God's path is perfect and He's got her in His hands!!
Hang in there Mommy!

"How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about arithmetic, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No; a woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness." ~GK Chesterton

2012 November

2012 November