Tuesday, December 16, 2014

My Adventures in Breastfeeding

To be honest I never thought breastfeeding would be this challenging. I thought sore nipples would be my only problem. No one warns you just how tired you will feel feeding ever second of everyday. Or the fact your ravenous infant will not want a pacifier so you can go pee. And with feedings so frequent there is no feeding a baby before you leave and waiting until you get back to feed again. That is why I have come to understand how the fight for acceptance for breast feeding in public is so important. I was never one who felt uncomfortable about those who breastfed in public but I did assume there was an option.
My Freya can take up to an hour or more if she falls asleep misreading to nurse herself full. Then it's only an hour before she is starving again. That doesn't give you much time to do anything and with older children, how are you suppose to let those kids do anything if you have to sit in a bathroom stall in the mall to feed for an hour. Imagine a toddler having to sit in a bathroom stall waiting for mommy to finish nursing the baby without touching anything. Yeah, couldn't ask that of my eight year old let alone a three year old.
Also no one tells you about how more often a breastfed baby goes then a formula fed baby does. Although I had decided to eventually do cloth diapers long before I knew how many diapers a breastfed baby would go through, I now see why so many breastfeeding mommies use cloth. It gets expensive!
The burping is our biggest issue. Freya is not a good burper. Morrigan I could just sit up and she would burp. Freya is a struggle and if she doesn't burp she won't latch. No latch mean screaming baby that won't keep her hand out if the way so I can try to feed her.
Freya nurses the way Freya wants to be nursed. If at that moment she wants the left one she won't take the right one. Or she might not want to be held while nursing so she fussed until I find the position she wants.
Breastfeeding is especially hard for paranoid people like me. Always having to worry about milk supply. Is she getting enough? is she full? It makes me feel worried constantly.
Cracked nipples must be nursed through. Engorgment must be nursed through. Clogged milk ducts must be nursed through. Infections must be nursed through. Sickness must be nursed through. There is no, not today, no not this breast, no taking cold medicine to get through it. No chugging caffeine to stay awake. Your nutritional needs can't be ignored as just like in pregnancy, you are responsible for the nutrition of your child.
Those are the sacrifices of a mom who breastfed. Wish all those that think breastfed moms are asking too much to feed in public could spend just 24 hours breastfeeding a hungry infant.  I know they would feel differently by the end of the day. I certainly did, I formula fed Morrigan and there is a huge difference in how the adjustment was getting back to life after the hospital. Its so much harder breastfeeding and doing anything else. I don't sleep, there is no time between feedings. There is not a time I don't have a child stuck to my boobs! If there is a moment it's spent changing one of the 14 diapers we go through in a day. I'm lucky if I can use the bathroom or eat something myself. Breastfeeding an infant is never ending and it all rests on my shoulders. Chris certainly can't help. This is a mommy only job luckily... I've got this!

We Have A New Little One

Freya Mae was born at 8:06 pm on Dec 8th weighting in at 7 lbs 9oz (1oz shy as her sister and just as tall) at 20 1/2 inches long. Big sister Morrigan, Daddy, and Nana joined Mommy in welcoming her into the world.
Man, was I proud. Morrigan, at just 8 years old was an awesome labor coach. She helped the midwife get a ball (or a peanut in my case) during my labor. She waiting patiently the whole time and then watched her sister be born. Morrigan got to hold Freya right after mommy did. It was a proud moment, watching my daughter hold her baby sister and look at her so lovingly. The midwife that delivered Freya came back the next day and told me how amazed she was that my eight year old watched. That her niece is the same age screams at the very sight of blood. She said she was greatly impressed with Morrigan.
Labor was exactly like Morrigan quick but painful. With Morrigan my epidural didn't take. I have scoliosis so it has to go in much higher than usual making it take longer to have any affect. With Morrigan it didn't kick in until I was already in my room and had guests. This time I decided not to even put myself through it, I was going without the epidural. Again I had back labor.  Both times I felt the sensation like my spine was coming down the birth canal. This is because both times my water didn't break. Both my girls made it down the birth canal in a full intact sack. With Morrigan I was laying on my side and my top leg lifts up and there was a noise like a rubber band snapping. Then my leg came back down hard. I knew my water broke. What I hadn't realized, though the intense pressure and need to push was there was Morrigan head was crowning. The nurse came to change the padding and then came the mad dash to get the midwife, get gloves on and start delivering Morrigan.
This time I hit the ring of fire and told the nurse it was burning and she's telling me to breath through it. I start freaking out telling her, the baby is coming now. I had no control, my body we pushing her out whether I bare down or not. I turned on my back and there was no slowing it down. She was right there and my water hadn't broken yet. This time, because I was on my back the pressure of my leg want going to pop the sack. But there was no time. I was in pain and my body was naturally pushing her out without me trying. I felt as if I hit my ultimate threshold. I wasn't able to look like I did with Morrigan. The pain was far more than with Morrigan as Freya was still in the sack when she was born. As soon as I felt the midwife burst the sack there was instant relief and getting past Freya's head was as easy as I remembered. I was able to get a glimpse of Freya just after the midwife broke the sack but my body was still busy pushing Freya out. Once I was holding my daughter (in both cases) the pain of labor is completely forgotten. I looked at Freya, looked her over and saw Morrigan at her first moments of life. Its incredible how not only was delivery nearly the same, both my girls look exactly the same as newborns. I even had this weird feeling when Morrigan sat next to me and I pur my arm around her while I held Freya with the other. For a moment it felt like I was between two different moments in time.
Freya is certainly her own person and she may not grow to look like her sister. Only time will tell. But right now, I can't help but to be amazed at how beautifully similar both my daughter look.
I am just so incredibly happy to have Freya finally here after going nearly 42 weeks pregnant. I was waiting patiently (okay, maybe not that patiently) for the day I would get to see my little girl's face not on an ultrasound screen. I couldn't wait to have her in my arms and now I don't ever want to let go. She is already a week old and I already can't imagine life without her.