>Helping Mommas, One Pair at a Time…

>Another really long post..sorry…
I think I will cut it into two actually….

I always wanted to be a breastfeeding Momma. There wasn’t even a doubt in my mind… it was just what you do. I watched my sister breastfeed my nieces, and I admired it, and wanted that same bond with my children…wanted to provide that for my boy. It never occurred to me that it might be a difficult process. As it turned out…it was one of THE most difficult things I have ever gone through in my entire life.

I had severe issues with breastfeeding, right from the beginning. I had gestational diabetes, so Boo-man was born with low blood sugar, and was immediately given a bottle of formula, without my consent really. It was just like “we are giving him a bottle”…and after my c-section, I was tired and ill-informed, so I didn’t protest. They did not even ask me if I wanted to try to breastfeed, and in turn my son missed out on colostrum…a fact that still upsets me. I sometimes wonder if that first plastic nipple set me up for some degree of failure.

Once his sugars were ok, Boo Boo just would not latch on to me, no matter what we tried..and the struggle was intense. I felt like a failure as a mother, so soon! Sad. The nurses never even TOLD me there was a breast pump right there in my hospital room…it was on a stand behind a curtain, close to my bed, but I had no idea. Didn’t figure it out til I was packing to leave. I could have been pumping and giving him colostrum/milk had I been told. But no.
We tried a supplemental nurser…but Boo used the small tube like a straw to suck down formula, and would not latch…little stinker! Lactation consultants could not get him to latch. Nurses could not get him to latch. Every shift change a new nurse would come, grabbing at my breasts..trying different positions, trying to compress the nipple, trying to tempt Boo with drops of formula…everything. My milk did not come in until Day 5, and Boo still had not latched. I really don’t think he ever got colostrum. Triple Sad.
The one LC I really liked, D, finally secretly told us about nipple shields, (frowned upon by their boss) and that is what finally got him on the breast. They were so frowned upon, that we had to use them on the sly, hiding them in the folds of the sheets in my hospital bed.
The shields..they didn’t fix everything…um, no. We got home, and fell into a miserable abyss.

Every feeding was a tremendous fight. Boo would wail and flail, scream and cry. My husband had to stand beside me every feeding, holding the baby’s windmill arms back while I tried to hold the nipple shield on and pinch my nipple and maneuver him on to latch. Every feeding was an hour and a half ordeal, and he ate every 2 hours. Do the math, I never left the chair, I barely had time to pee. Every feeding I would be in tears, sobbing into Boo’s hair. My husband I had screaming arguments..I think I threw a bottle at his head at one point. Not my proudest moment.
I had cracked nipples.
I was in constant searing pain.
The baby wasn’t gaining.
I had no idea if my supply was ok.
I tried to pump but was in too much pain.
We had to supplement with formula, which I detested.
I went to one LC’s office. Boo did his thing there, but as soon as we got home, he wouldn’t do it again.
We called a retired LC from our neighborhood one night…she sensed the pure desperation in my husbands voice and agreed to come over…she put her cold hands on my breasts and tried to get Boo to latch. He wouldn’t. She left.
Our pedi discovered he was tongue tied, and snipped his frenulum right there in her office. We thought for sure that would solve the problem. It didn’t.
We hired a FOURTH LC to come to our house, and she helped me a lot, told me about a nursing stool, positioned me on my couch, got us the correct size nipple shields (sheesh). Finally, after about 8 WEEKS of hell, Boo started to get it. Sort of. It was still a struggle, but he was gaining and we were able to phase out formula. We have video, (don’t worry I wont share) of early breastfeeding sessions to show the LC for help. I look completely haggard…dark circles under my eyes, pasty skin, lank hair. My giant engorged breasts, bigger than my poor child’s head, looming over him…him screaming. Good times, good times.

Wouldn’t you know, right when things started looking up…I got thrush. Major thrush. I was in agony. I felt like knives were being shoved into my nipples every time he latched. I would scream with pain, and tears of frustration and despair would roll down my cheeks. It was a weekend, so I called the emergency OB on call. She said it was probably thrush (I already knew, thank you Dr. Google) and gave me a prescription for Diflucan.
It didn’t go away.
The pediatrician did not think it was thrush because Boo did not have it in his mouth. But I still hurt.
The partner pediatrician thought it might be thrush, and had me paint my nipples and Boo’s mouth with Niastatin. It didn’t go away.
I went to my regular OB, who poked one nipple with one finger, and told me to rub them with Neosporin. I never went back to that OB. I still hurt.
I went to a holistic birth center in a nearby city. They were strange and hippyish… the lady wore fringed moccasins and asked me inappropriate questions, but did take a culture of my breast and gave me another, stronger, prescription for more Diflucan.
They told me about Gentian Violet….I used it ONE time on my nipples and Boo’s mouth..he gagged like crazy and was purple for the next week. I ruined a perfectly good t-shirt and had purple nipples spots for close to a month. Apparently Miss Moccasin gave me the wrong formula for dilution. You can see by the pictures below how fun it was. Nasty stuff.
Oh, and, I still hurt.

I am not sure if you are getting the theme here…but basically, I was in agony, and no one could freakin’ help me. The medical community in my area is clearly NOT pro-breastfeeding …I knew more from my Google searches than 3 Dr.’s, 4 LC’s, countless nurses, and one Minnatonka wearing holistic chick. Unacceptable.

More tomorrow……



8 Responses to “>Helping Mommas, One Pair at a Time…”

  1. 1 baby~amore' August 22, 2008 at 5:19 am

    >Here from IComLeavWe… Boo is adorable – but OMGoodness that purple mouth. Poor you and BOO.I am so sorry that your breatsfeeding got off to such a difficult start.One of my twins wouldn’t latch and he didn’t start BF till 5 months old.He was lucky his twin (also tongue tied like Boo) did so I was able to keep up supply.I am in awe of your persistence – your rock ! I can’t wait to heat next installment.(adoption,pregnancy loss, IVF twins)My Little Drummer Boys

  2. 2 My name is Andy. August 22, 2008 at 10:30 am

    >WOW… I’m sorry you had such a rough time of things and that there was no one to give you proper support.But the pics of the purple face are awfully cute!Good luck!

  3. 3 MrsSpock August 22, 2008 at 12:10 pm

    >Wow this experience sounds like mine, except my guy would actually latch. I had horrible thrush that wouldn’t go away and was resistant to diflucan. Can’t wait to hear what happened next. For me, I weaned and am feeding formula. I so very much wanted BF to work…

  4. 4 Topcat August 22, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    >Oh. My freaking. God. Are you SERIOUS?? Sheesh .. was your hospital called ‘The Anti-Breastfeeding Hospital??’ Hiding nipple shields .. and pumps? That is insane.I take my hat off to you. I would have given up .. hell, I DID give up and I still feel bad. I wished I breastfed! (Well, I wish it was easier, anyway).You are AWESOME for going through all that, and keep perservering. (Bottle at hubbies head .. heh heh)xo

  5. 5 mom2rebels August 22, 2008 at 5:06 pm

    >sad to see things haven’t changed much around here. My experience with my first, nine years ago, was very similiar to yours. After two icky experiences with our local medical professionals, we turned to homebirthing the last three. Hang in there. Breastfeeding is worth all the trouble! However, if you have to do something else, you aren’t a failure and it isn’t the end of the world either. I was sure I’d nurse my first until he was two at least. At ten months, he was done. I remember feeling so defeated. Took us a good six months to get things going well and then four months later he’s done??? Of course, I got over my disappointment ’cause I’ve had four others to nurse since…lol.

  6. 6 The Muser (aka Beautiful Mama) August 23, 2008 at 12:19 am

    >ICLW…Oh, wow. How brave you were to keep working at it. Lack of sleep and new mommyhood can really, really make you crazy. Those first months were definitely full of my least proud moments with my husband. Hope it’s all going more smoothly now!

  7. 7 Jaymee August 23, 2008 at 12:40 am

    >I give you so much credit for trying for so long. I really do not think I could keep that up, and then with poor purple baby mouth. You are a fantastic momma.

  8. 8 shineliketheSon August 31, 2009 at 9:52 pm

    >WOW! I just did GV on my 4mo this morning and the purple color outside her mouth and on my nips are gone allready. She must have given you some really strong stuff, poor babe and you! I'm hoping this will clear up for us soon as I am on my 3rd load of laundry with the vinegar! UGH!

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