Tuesday, March 11, 2008

(Breast)Feeding Carnival

Today in celebration of the wonder that is the human body, I am joining in Sarcastic Mom's (Breast)feeding Carnival!

The moment I found out that I was pregnant, I decided that I wanted to breastfeed my baby. I went through the pregnancy, not terribly worried about it(I was a 'low stress' preggo). I didn't take any classes, or read any books, just the quick bits in the "what to expect", and my childbirth class' about it.

Labor and delivery were realitively easy(you'll read about that on 3/24) so it should of been no surprise when Kenzie latched on like a champ not an hour after her entrance into the world. We spent 3 days in the hospital, and I quickly became a favorite patient of the Lactation Consultant. Apparently though I had not 'prepared' to breastfeed, I knew so much it just blew her away. I think it might have something to do with my 'dairy' backround.

We left the hospital, nursing like a pair of champs, and really didn't struggle at home with much other than a short lived latch problem. I loved nursing her, and she loved nursing and just took to it like a fish to water. When we had arrived home(and while in the hospital) I refused to offer her a paci of any kind to soothe her so as not to create a nipple confusion.

The days chugged along and she kept gaining weight, and growing like a weed until the fateful night that summer that I was at work. I was working 13 hour shifts that summer running Pea Combines, without the option to pump(Seriously I worked in fields with no electricity, heck I didn't even have a BATHROOM). So we started to supplement her while I continued nursing as much as possible. We tried every bottle known to man before finding a combination she liked, she had to have the playtex nursers with the LATEX(brown) nipple, no silicone for her.

Okay back to the fateful night. I was at work, when I got the call that she was being particularly fussy, and hard to soothe. We didn't think anything of it other then that maybe she was teething, since leaving was NOT an option I had to finish my shift before heading home. Well when I got home she was still fussy, and hard to soothe, I tried nursing her, rocking her, everything before collapsing into a fitful sleep. When I got up that afternoon, it was more of the same. I knew my baby and I KNEW this was not her usual disposition so I decided to take her into the ER. It was at that point she was diagnosed with a UTI. They reccomended increased fluids, and a check up with our doc. (you can read about the VUR journey here). Well I upped my feedings as much as I could(i was literally a zombie working 13 hour nights, sleeping until 1pm and then up again) and took up pumping what I could while still supplementing with formula.

I despised pumping, as we were NOT friends, it did not matter when, where or how long I pumped I could never get more than a couple of ounces. So I finally gave up on pumping and decided just to use the formula supplementation. So we kept supplementing through the summer and into the fall. That fall I decided that I wanted to keep breastfeeding as long as she wanted, so I cut out some of the bottles, and replaced them with breastfeeding sessions. We kept nursing, and nursing, through the fall, and into winter and the next spring.

In January she started having more bladder infections and again required an uptick in her liquid consumption. So I again added in more bottles much to my chagrin. We kept doing a mix of bottles and breast until shortly after her 1st birthday. April 4th I had to leave to go on a trip across the state and wouldn't be taking her with me. I sat down to nurse her a few hours before we left not knowing it would be the last time she would nurse. I came back from that trip and sat down to nurse her and she flat out turned away and refused. I think I sat there and cried tears of sadness, and of joy.


Sarcastic Mom (aka Lotus) said...

There is so much emotion tied up in the breastfeeding thing, isn't there?

Thanks for sharing your story!

Kate said...

i remember all the struggle and inconvenience of nursing... i said I would shed a tear when i got to stop at a year... but i did... as much as i love not doing it... i loved doing it too...

Rebecca said...

Thanks for sharing your story with us.