Thursday, August 29, 2013

Our first days home...

Let me just begin saying that nothing could have prepared me for life with a newborn!  Looking back I can smile and laugh, but at the time I thought I was going insane.  Our first night home was TOUGH.  Chris and I were both exhausted, sleep deprived and had a very upset baby on our hands.  He cried from the time we got home at about 5pm Friday until about 10am the next morning with the exception of a few minutes here and there.  I was trying my best to breast feed but my milk hadn't come in yet and I was super emotional.  It seemed that being on my breast was the only thing that would console him so that's what I did.  I nursed him for nearly the entire night.   We never went to bed that night.  By morning I was in bad shape.  Chris called Mom and she came to the rescue yet again.  She took Truman from me, sent me to the shower, and had Chris lay down for a bit.

From the very beginning I had a lot of trouble getting him to latch on.  All the breastfeeding experts say that if you have a good latch than breastfeeding won't hurt, I'm calling bullshit!  I was soooo sore by morning.  I had help in the hospital on breastfeeding but after learning I had "flat nipples" we tried the breast shield, sugar water, and all kinds of positioning, it just seemed like we would never get it right.  After being home, I had help from my midwife with breastfeeding, and a lactation consultant came to the house twice.  My sisters who ALL breastfed tried to help.  It seemed like he was on right but why was it so painful?  Everyone was so supportive.  Chris was amazing.  He stayed up with me, tried to help feed and hold him, tried to help me make sure Truman was latched on right, researched tips and suggestions for breastfeeding online.  After a lot of tears and talking, my sister who is a pediatrician went and got him some formula Saturday afternoon.  My milk still wasn't in and I was so afraid he was hungry.  We decided that we would feed it to him with a syringe, because I was so afraid of giving him a bottle.  I wanted to breastfeed and didn't want to confuse him with another nipple.  We had already been told by pretty much every medical person we knew to not give him a pacifier until he is at least a month old.  That's what I heard in our breastfeeding class, and I had read it so I didn't even consider giving him one.  Well that was out the window!  My Mom suggested giving him one when she came down that morning and what a life saver that has turned out to be!!!  If I have learned anything in the last several weeks is that it's your baby, and you have to do what is best for your baby.  My breastfeeding journey went on for several more weeks but not as long as I wanted it to.

I have since come to terms with it but that was the hardest part of having Truman for me.  When I was pregnant I never even considered giving him formula.  I knew that breast is best for baby and me, I wanted the health benefits for both of us, I wanted the extra bond, I wanted to save money, the list went on and on.  I thought I would breastfeed for a year and that was that.  I was so wrong. 

I went on to use the shield to feed for as long as I could but felt he wasn't getting enough.  By Monday he was down to 7 pounds and 10 ounces.  We continued to supplement with formula via a syringe and then I began pumping to try and boost my supply as well as give myself a break.  Despite all the help I had from everyone, I couldn't get a good latch.  What looked like a good latch was still extremely painful.  I became engorged, had cracked and bloody nipples and then got mastitis in my left side.  This was all before he was 2 weeks old. wonder I was a hot mess then!  Looking back, I feel so much better now.  Physically and emotionally.  No one prepares you for the problems you may encounter or the "crazy" thoughts you may have after you have a baby.  Here you are with this perfect, beautiful little baby that you wished for for so long, and all you can do is cry.  Then you feel guilty because you think it's going to be picture perfect with your brand new baby but it's not!  It wasn't until I was in this state that I learned, Hey, this is normal!  My Mom and sisters all felt this way, especially with their first baby!  I'm not alone or crazy!  It's like a secret club you aren't invited to until you have a baby.  I really struggled for about the first 3 weeks.  I continued to pump and then began to feed him with a bottle.  The day I decided I wasn't going to attempt to feed him directly from my breast anymore was a difficult one.  But I was to the point that I did not enjoy it, I was in pain and crying every time I fed him.  I still have mixed feeling about it, but all I can say is that what matters most is that you feed your baby with love.  That is more important than if its breast milk or formula.  I admire anyone that breastfeeds!  Hats off to you, I wish I could have done it but it just wasn't meant for us this time.  I hope that with my next baby it's a different experience.  Anyway, that's the good the bad and the ugly of our first few days home.  I promise the rest of my stories are much more positive!!  Ha ha :)  We are both doing great now and I love him more each and every day.  Support from family and friends is what helped us though!  Don't turn any support away.  Every visit, text, call, and meal someone brought by meant the world to us!!             

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