Thursday, March 6, 2014

Our Breastfeeding Journey

I am actually pretty nervous to even put this out there because this can be such a controversial topic. But I am going to because if this helps or encourages even one person, it is totally worth it. When Lexi was born breastfeeding didn't work out for us so I ended up exclusively pumping. I quit that around 6-8 weeks because it was just so exhausting and I couldn't handle it anymore. I was a cow though, so I had about 300 ounces in our freezer. We had to go as far as buying a deep freezer- just for breastmilk! It was honestly pretty insane. When I stopped we started supplementing 1/2 formula and 1/2 breastmilk and it stayed like that until she went onto whole milk at a year.
With Abram I was much  more determined to breastfeed. There were many reasons for this and I wish I would have been determined with Lexi. Abram took right to nursing like it was his job and for him? The rest was history. He was pretty jaundiced in the beginning so we had to supplement but I would always nurse him and then give him a formula bottle. I was pumping like crazy! This is when I built up my freezer stash. In those first 2-3 weeks I pumped and stored 150 ounces. Talk about a cow, ha! I am so glad my milk was awesome at that point because with working now, it has been getting used a good bit.
I finally stopped pumping so much around 2 months (I was pumping everyday morning and night between his feedings because I was scared to lose my supply.) It became too much for me to pump and it was so discouraging because I was pumping consistently and only getting 1/2 oz to 2 oz! That was terrible. This is when I began to doubt myself. I feel like I was constantly wondering 'Is he getting enough?' or 'Is he satisfied and gaining weight?'. To this day, this is still a huge area that I struggle in. Ashley has been my lifesaver with nursing. She is always there to support me and answer questions, reassure and uplift me! She has gone as far as to say that making it this far is great, so if it doesn't work out, that is okay. Thank you so much Ashley!! I would have been so lost without you. I have stuck with it though and at 4.5 months old Abram is still mostly breastfed.

Around 3 months old Abram dropped off the weight chart. I was so discouraged! I felt like a failure at life and was heartbroken. This is when we switched doctors because the doctor we were seeing was a joke (that is a whole other story!). The old doctor wanted me to start supplementing at this point. I switched doctors because I wanted a second opinion. The second doctor that we saw weighed him and he had fallen off the weight chart after his 2 month check up. Come to find out it was a chronic double ear infection that the old doctor missed!! I was so mad! Since then he is gaining pretty well and I definitely can't complain. It made me feel so much better that he gained SIX OUNCES in that one week after his ear infection cleared. The doctor agreed that he is just a small baby- he is meeting his milestones, happy, he has a little bit of chunk on him, and all together doing well.

Since I am working part time now, I just can't keep up with his demand. We have recently been doing half formula and half breast milk, just to stretch the breast milk further. Plus, he is officially a boobie baby and doesn't' like formula, ha! The doctor wanted to add in some formula as well, just to help boost him up a bit. He has a few sickness issues we are dealing with and it makes him burn extra calories so it should help him just to chunk up a bit. He was 11 lbs 4 oz a week ago, in case you were wondering.

Next post? How to boost your milk supply! Or at least what has worked for me. I am still trying to find the trick to pump more milk but I think the deal is my body isn't responding to my pump- which is a huge bummer.



I am sad that there has been a struggle this time- I want you to just be able to ENJOY it, but I am happy you are persevering and sticking with it! you are giving him a huge gift!! When you have problems, just remember the gift you are giving him :) Proud of you mama!

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