I never thought I would breastfeed, mainly because it used to gross me out. Pregnancy in generally creeped me out before I became pregnant myself. When my little sister Tj (who would read my blog if she knew about it, unlike Ruby, oh by the way… Ruby recently put up a status about how she read my blog… I kid you not, she said, “Hey Brittney I read your blog… well I scanned it for my name.” So don’t let her fool you.. she is still too cool) anyway.. back to Tj, when she was pregnant with my niece Maddy, I could not touch her stomach or anything. It was just too weird.
To me, it is nearly impossible for me to wrap my mind around how a human being is formed. While it is the most natural, special thing on this earth, it is seemingly unnatural. I mean, think of what a baby human starts out as, essentially a tadpole. It then morphs into a life form, a life form that spends nine months growing and attaching itself to your insides feeding off of you, basically trying to kill you and suck out your nutrients all for its own survival. It takes over your body, your behavior, your every day going-ons. It controls you. Then, after nine months of fighting, you either have to be sliced up to get it out or it tears up your lady parts to make its escape… straight out of an alien film if you ask me. Regardless of how terrible it seemed to me… I do believe it is beautiful and couldn’t be more elated that the process, however horrific I thought it to be before, gave me Turner.
Anyway, so breastfeeding was one more reservation I had about the entire ordeal. Admittedly, I was against breastfeeding for selfish reasons. I sacrificed my body for Turner. I know I had no choice.. but what he left behind after his journey into this world could NOT be less atheistically pleasing (at least in my opinion, Andrew disagrees, but does he really have much more of a choice?). I wanted to save my boobs. I thought if I didn’t breast feed, the would retain their early 20s shape and fullness… wishful thinking at best.
Hours after Turner was born and it was time to feed him… there was no question. Although even while being cut open to get him outta me, I had NO plans to breastfeed him, the second I heard that first little cry, it was just like there was no other choice in this world, I was breastfeeding. I did not care what it was going to take, if I had to cut off my boobs to make it happen, I was going to do it because I knew that is what Turner needed.
Well, my stubborn little prince wanted no part in nursing. The first few days in the hospital I even had to spoon feed him what I extracted from my breast. For whatever reason, he hates nursing. He just won’t do it. So since day one I have pumped and bottle fed him. It works out just fine and it makes me happy knowing he is still getting the nutrients that he needs from me.
My momma and little sister did find a nipple shield, which has been great. Turner will nurse from it if he is not too hungry, which is great because he gives him the close, skin to skin contact, which everyone says is important as well.
Turner is a bit of a pig, and he still eats every two hours. Even through the night most nights. So Andrew and I decided to start supplementing with formula for a bottle or two a day. Mainly because even while taking 12 100mg Fenegreek pills a day, I hardly produce enough milk to keep up with demand. I was able to build a small reserve, but now that I am back at work, that will only last another week. The formula only helped to keep him fuller on average 15 minutes longer than pure breast milk. I want to be able to continue giving him breast milk.
I have found myself being extremely depressed because I can not produce what he needs. I am actually sad about it to the point of tears. I know he needs it. I want to be able to give it to him, yet no matter what I try, my body is just slowly producing less and less each time, at a time when the amount he drinks every hour should be going up. He drinks 3-4 ounces every two hours and I know soon that will need to be increased, but if I am lucky, I can only pump 5 ounces every 3 hours. It is frustrating. I used to be able to use the nipple shield more often and that would increase my milk production, but since the last time I tried that, I am actually producing less from the breast I nursed from.
I do not know what to do. I mean, I would not have been the mom to nurse until he was four… but I would like to make it to at least six months. When we use formula, we mix it with my milk, but in about a week I am afraid we are going to have to switch to just water and formula and that makes me so upset. For Turner’s two month check up on Friday, we are gonna talk to the doctor about it, but I just wish there was more I could do.
It is funny that something I was so against and even grossed out by is something that makes me cry because I can not keep doing it. But when you know it is what your baby needs, there is just no question about doing it.