Breast-Feeding

Its been so long since I posted anything..Lots of things were going on..I had a lot on my mind..was going through an extremely volatile emotional phase..But now,peace seems to be restored in Aadyaland and here I am,finally writing about breastfeeding! Thanks for checking on me Asha

Hmm,So, Breast feeding..where do I start?? I had been told by well meaning friends that its not as natural or easy as it sounds.. and I wanted to do everything right..so,I went for a breastfeeding class at the local hospital.. The instructor there assured all of us that it requires a lot of patience and practice.. but there’s only so much you can do. Just look forward to it with a positive attitude.. and that’s what I did.. but things started going wrong right from the beginning!

When I first saw Aadya a couple of hours after her birth, she was starving..i was tired.. and we had this over-bearing acquaintance in the room,who took it upon herself to help me! I politely refused..she wouldn’t hear it, even when the nurse told me that we’ll try it after everyone leaves..What they were doing in my hospital room,so soon after my delivery..well that is a memory i just want to block out.. may be I will write about it some day!
Aadya got scared/upset and just wouldn’t latch on..she actually pushed my breasts away. and this lady all but grabbed my crying babe and tried to force her to latch on to the other side!! Baby was crying..I was crying.. And stupid me couldn’t tell her to get out of my room! Anyway, I asked the nurse to give me a bottle so I could feed her.
Day two- she was still not latching on,screaming bloody murder every time I tried to get her to latch on.I still wasn’t able to sit up,and couldn’t figure out a comfortable position of both of us.The more she cried,the madder DH got!!She cried,I cried.. DH was upset-it was a mad house. Then there was the lactation consultant..I hated her!! She walked in,asked me to unbutton the snaps of my gown and told me how I would have more than enough milk for my babe.how I was doing it all wrong,how I would never learn to breast feed!!!!!Her mannerism and way of talking was so hostile.She may have had all the qualifications but lacked the basic courtesy and consideration towards others!
We got home,my baby still wasn’t latching on.
I went to see another lactation consultant-this time one recommended by Aadya’s pediatrician and she was so much nicer.She told me that I had inverted nipples and suggested using nipple shells between feeds.I kept trying to get her to latch and everytime,she would just cry and I would end up expressing..I was expressing the milk and bottle- feeding her. I kept trying,crying every time I nursed her,coz she was crying.I was sure she was scared of my big breasts.All my life..I hated being big busted.. but never more than I did just then. I hated having these big melons,which were doing nothing to pacify my crying baby.We kept trying and trying and then one fine day,nearly a month later, just like that she latched on.I nursed her with tears streaming down my face.Slowly we got rid of the bottle and she was exclusively breastfed.
Then one night,she just wouldn’t sleep and kept crying.I called up the nurse, who asked me massage her tummy and use warm cloth as a hot water bottle.It worked that day,only to get worse the next.She was miserable whole day and must have slept about 3-4 hours during the entire 24 hours..We went to the doctor..who asked me to stop breastfeeding,stop eating anything that had protein in it- eggs,milk,wheat,soy..etc and just give her formula and see in 2 days. Two days later, her tummy was better.. but still not in good shape. It turns out my baby was “Breast milk Intolerant”-There I said it!! She told me stop nursing her till she turned 3 months old,coz by then her own digestive system would have matured enough. I was devastated,but kept pumping milk to keep up my supply.
By then,Aadya was so addicted to breast milk and cozy nursing sessions,she refused to take the bottle. She lost a lot of weight and even when she started gaining it , the weight gain was very slow. This was a very emotional phase for all of us. Aadya would get upset,when we gave her the bottle.I would cry when I pumped..and when I fed her.. DH was unhappy too..All along there was this sadness in our household. To make matters worse,MIL who was around kept asking me at every feeding time, when I was going to nurse the baby!!! Finally,when she turned 9 weeks old and her tummy was fine but still gaining minimal weight.. her Ped asked me to start nursing her once a day and if it didn’t upset her tummy gradually increase. I said a little prayer and tried nursing her that day.And she refused to latch on! God!!I was going crazy..so now she wouldn’t take the bottle and she wouldn’t latch on. I tried again next feed..same thing. I tried again first thing in the morning..and she gagged!I thought she was pretending so that I would give up..I shared this with my friend AW and she explained how she couldn’t be faking it.. she could actually be gagging because of the difference in texture of the two nipples ! God!!I felt so guilty after hearing that!! Things were back to square one and so I started reteaching her to latch on,like the first time.Only this time I knew what to do,instead of fumbling around..But she knew her mind too.She wasn’t a 2 week old ..she was a 2.5 month old and knew exactly what she wanted to do!We tried the same,trying to latch one first,giving up to express routine again..and again..till she got used to being breast fed again. Cut a long story short..finally she latched on..better than the first time and I am happily nursing her. But this time I give her the bottle too,just so god forbid, if things go wrong, she wont fuss about taking the bottle.
She is gaining weight again touch wood..though its not as much as I would like it to be.. but at least we are going forward.
Whoever said Breast feeding is an emotional experience..was so right! I was emotional when I couldn’t feed Aadya,I was emotional when I was nursing her,I was emotional when I was pumping.. even now,I always have a catch in my throat when I nurse my little babe..I thought it would go away in a couple of days.. but may be not..Its just the purest most selfless thing a woman can ever do..but in my case,my need to nurse Aadya was much greater than her need to be nursed..May be it doesn’t make sense..DH tried reasoning with me how I was doing it for her well being and I totally understood it.. and I would never do anything to compromise her health.. but I just felt so incomplete,like I was failing at mothering her..DH pointed out how she would stop crying the moment I picked her up or held her..I knew that meant that I was doing something right..but still there was no explaining this helplessness and sadness that was slowly engulfing me. I just hope that after this our breastfeeding progresses smoothly.
Sending up a little prayer and keeping my fingers crossed……

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10 Responses to Breast-Feeding

  1. karmickids says:

    Oh dear, poor you. It is so difficult to feed these kids, I often wonder how these labourer women go around with one kid permanently attached to their breasts suckling away…With the brat, he refused to latch on and I was like a cow, so had to express and feed that through MIL and mom. You can imagine the chaos. He still is a lazy fellow.

  2. Itchingtowrite says:

    poor u..its really tough to feed esp when u r tired, hav a bad back and then the baby fusses or does not let go. at the same time need to nurse is the strongest and emotionally satifiying feel. some times i too felt that more than the kids needing to nurse, it is us mothers who need to nurse them for emotional gratification

  3. Swati says:

    Ohh Trishna ..You really had a tough time.And I thought only I had troubles. Mine is a funny story. My baby breastfed so nicely 2 hours birth , as if he was born with all perfection.I was so thankful (and yeah had tears too !!) to God. But I guess that was very early to thank God. After the first feed , he refused to take the left breast.He only loved the right one..God knows why and same like you each and everyone around forced him to latch on the left side , be it nurse or MIL or lactation consultant.Unlike you , I used to get so irritated and shout back sometimes.But Aryan did not give up.They said , its because I have big nipples.. :P.I also hated my self for my big busts , when they could not serve their very purpose , what are they for.To add to my pain , my right breast developed a out growth, some dead skin.And Doctor that outgrowth (I dont remember the medical name) could infect Aryan and might just break and get into his tummy , so I should not feed him from right side or use nipple shields.They operated and removed the outgrowth. What do I do now ? I had tough time convincing everyone ,for pumping and feeding.I pumped by hands and fed him and used nipple shields after few days.I kept on trying left breast too.Aryan started accepting from left side slowly , may be bacause he was growing to find the nipple is not THAT big or may be because he found it better than nipple shield. So, as my right breast healed , Aryan was used to both sides and I was Thankful again.Each and every day was emotional and God knows how many times I cried. Sorry if thats too long , but you brought me so many memories.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Oh Trish! I must say you are one dedicated mom! I am so glad you stuck by this (I know how much you wanted to breastfeed). Just remember… all hard work and emotional memories are behind you now. Enjoy your precious bundle of joy. -AP (old AW)

  5. rbdans says:

    My god. Felt a lump in my throat while reading it. Take it easy, you are doing everything right and things will only get better going forward.Dlittle, a little over 3 weeks is refusing a bottle and I have been thinking on similar lines, what would I do if my supply goes down? Based on previous experience with D, I can expect it any time.

  6. Squiggles Mom says:

    I’m glad it worked out since it seems you were being very hard on yourself.

  7. Asha says:

    Hmm.. you are having such a tough time. But having gone through a number of ‘breastfeeding is hell’ posts by many mommies, I have started feeling that this is part of the package. So, I am already preparing for a little devil!

  8. Trishna says:

    Kiran-I know what you mean.. Have you also noticed.. how these people almost never have probs getting pregnant..!!!I can totally imagine the chaos at your place..hugs:)Itchy-tell me about back aches..to add to all the chaos is when the baby starts spitting up!! thats all u need to complete the picture!Swati- Ohh dear.. Hugs to you!! Thats why blogging is fun- you know you are not alone :)AP- Thanx for being there.. and listening to me everyday!rdbans-congrats once again.I hope Dlittle starts taking the bottle.Also try the fenugreek capsules..they helped me.Squiggles mom-thanx for stopping by!Asha-Hahaha Already preparing for the little devil..I hope and pray that you have it easier than all of us 🙂

  9. Miniyamma says:

    Oh my! The initial bit is my story too. My daughter wouldn’t latch on and I had to express and use formula initially. But after two weeks she latched on to one side, and then after a few days the other…and since then it has been one happy nursing story. She is two now and I continued breastfeeding all along and now wondering how to wean her! You’re doing a great job – keep at it, both you and your baby are going to enjoy it.

  10. Pingback: One more Breastfeeding Experience | Indian Moms Connect

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