Hey, Y'all thank you for reading the weekend blog!
During my pregnancy, there were a lot of things I was unsure about, but when it came down to feeding my son I was positive I wanted to breastfeed him. I bought all of the gear and read all of the books, but nothing could have prepped me for what happened during our stay in the hospital after my son was born. This topic dabbles a bit into my birth story and I promise I will have a blog dedicated to telling the story of how my son came into the world up soon, but in short- I had a c-section due to labor complications. After Isaiah was born, the nurses wanted me to try and breastfeed him as soon as I could. Truth be told, I had just gotten out of a major operation and felt so drowsy from all of the medication I could hardly keep my eyes open. Everything hurt despite the painkillers they had me on, but I pushed through and fed my baby. Isaiah was born at 5lbs 11oz. He was so small he needed preemie diapers and didn't have an ounce of fat on him. Word spread quickly throughout the hospital that a tiny baby was born and they watched me like a hawk to make sure he was eating properly. Though he was small, this kid had a strong latch that could bring a grown woman to tears.
Feeding him hurt but I wanted to see this through,
after all, breastfeeding was exactly what I wanted.
We did skin to skin and fed on demand, yet even after what felt like an eternity had passed, I would take him off my breast to only hear him crying for more. Everyone told me to just keep nursing, yet I knew deep down that I wasn't giving him what he needed. It broke my heart to see Isaiah upset and still hungry after sucking on me for what seemed like a lifetime. I asked for a pump and tried pumping on top of feeding until my skin became cracked and bled. My chest was in so much pain, I had to take a break from pumping and feeding and introduced formula to him for the first time. I saw my little baby light up when the bottle was able to do what I couldn't. And for the first time, he slept for a long time and I remember breaking down and crying. I felt like I had failed him, and it was at that moment I knew I didn't have any breast milk to give. We went home soon after and I still tried, but it was just prolonging what I knew was true. Breastfeeding just didn't work out for me. I'm healthy and had a healthy pregnancy, I stay active, I drink plenty of water and eat a variety of vitamin enriched foods. I talked with a lactation consultant and took supplements, ate lactation cookies, made boobie smoothies and tried pumping... and still couldn't produce any more than a half an ounce collectively. I think low key my son's pediatrician was concerned too, after bringing Isaiah home we were called back three times for weight checks to find out he wasn't gaining as much as they needed him too. Needless to say, I was devastated. I talked with my OB during one of my checkups who informed me that some c-section mamas don't have the opportunity to breastfeed due to the hormone that triggers breast milk to produce sometimes doesn't get activated. There is something special about a baby passing through the birth canal and since my son didn't, that gave me a 50/50 chance on if I would be able to breastfeed or not.
At one of my son's appointments, I remember looking at my husband and telling him I couldn't do it. Goodness, I felt like I failed him as well! I'm grateful for a man who respected how I felt and encouraged me despite the fact that things just didn't go as planned. I had to come to terms with the saying "fed is best". Which means the specifics of how your baby is fed isn't important, just the fact that he's being fed. No, it's not breast milk but my son is no longer a preemie sized baby but gaining weight by the day! My little five-pound potato is now as tall as ever and is a big 12lbs at three months old and I don't think he could have progressed so quickly if it wasn't for formula. My motherhood journey so far has been full of unexpected twists and turns but is so much more fulfilling then I could have ever imagined.