Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Breastfeeding Journey

I'll begin by saying that I could not have had such different experiences with my two boys. You can read about my first one here. Breastfeeding has always been something I knew I wanted to be able to do because I do believe breast milk is great for babies and it's also so practical when you're on the go ha! Most importantly though, because I love the bonding I've created with my kids. I absolutely love sitting down in a quiet room and having that time with my baby, or in the car with a blanket on the window. ;)

Also, because as I mentioned in his birth story, I was able to be with Oliver from day one. Before pumping or formula feeding, unlike Elliot who was both formula fed and breast fed from the beginning. I do also believe that what matters is that your baby is happy, healthy and full. As mothers we have to do what is best for our babies, whether exclusively breastfed, formula fed or both!

I'll get to my journey. As I mentioned, I was able to get Oliver to latch even before I was transferred to my room at the hospital. I was in recovery when he was brought to me. Of course I wasn't getting much milk in the beginning but I continued to feed until my milk came in. As in most cases, Oliver lost a bit of weight due to this, but quickly gained it back once my milk was in, and continues to gain. He's my happy eater, chunky boy! I exclusively breastfed him for three full months, as much as it hurt in the beginning and boy does it hurt, and I am so happy about that. I also pumped in between feedings and was able to freeze a lot of milk. My favorite time to feed is actually in the middle of the night when everything is quiet.

At three and a half months old, a couple of weeks before returning to work, I introduced the bottle and formula. I knew that this was a good time to do so to prepare him for daycare. I started with Dr. Brown's bottles but have you looked at those things? They come with about ten parts to put together, okay more like two but still! I then switched him to the Medela ones I used with Elliot and like them much better. I am saving all of my frozen breast milk for home feedings and formula for daycare. It's not that I don't trust the daycare workers (or maybe I don't) but this is something I feel most comfortable with.

Oliver was so angry the first time I tried to give him formula in a bottle it was almost funny. It took a couple of tries for him to finally take it but he did great after that! I've been formula feeding every now and then, and now that I am at work, he's on formula. I still pump twice at work until my supply starts to decrease. I pump six to eight ounces per session. I get home and breastfeed and I also do this before work.

This has helped so much with being at work away from my babies. I feel that I am doing the best for Oliver ad it makes me feel so much better! In the end, as I said, we have to do whatever is best for our babies and it does not matter whether it's formula or breast milk. This is just what I want to do and what makes my baby happy and what makes me happy.

Now it's just a matter of seeing how long I can go along with this. The breast pump doesn't seem so bad anymore! I will store it for the next baby but shh don't tell my husband. :)

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Post-Partum Blues

I'll begin by saying that I didn't bond with my baby the way most mothers do. I didn't feel the instant bond that I felt with Elliot. Maybe it's because this birth was so different. Maybe the fact that Elliot was in the NICU for a week, helped me by giving me the time to adjust, to recover a bit, to think about being a new mom to this tiny thing I had no idea what to do with, or maybe with Elliot I just didn't know what to expect and that helped in a way. With Oliver it was not a blur, I was very much present in his birth. What I mean by this is that I was able to see Oliver right away, to hold him, to hear him cry, to watch him sleep, to change his diapers, to change his clothes, to keep him in my hospital room and you would think that this would actually help me bond but it seems like it did the contrary. I didn't have any time to adjust, to sleep, to recover. If you read this and think, you're crazy, you're probably right. I felt pretty crazy myself. Maybe I was exhausted and in a daze. This c-section was so difficult to recover from, but the hardest part was that I just was not used to this, it was all new to me. I felt like a first time mom all over again and I had no choice, but what mother does right?

We came home, baby in tow, and I thought that it would get better. It had to. I was in the comfort of my home, I had everything I needed, I had everything my baby needed. I was prepared this time, but it wasn't enough.

I felt blue. I felt the darkest shade of blue there is. I didn't know why. I hated feeling that way. I hated the feeling of feeling that way and not being able to change it, if that makes sense. If you know me, you know that I am a happy person. A positive person. This time, I couldn't be any of those. I asked myself why I felt this way. I tried so hard to put on a happy face. I would think, I am blessed to have this beautiful little family of mine, the support of all my family, two beautiful and healthy kids and the most supportive husband, why can't I change the way I feel?

Every morning Jack would ask me what was wrong. My answer was nothing. I would literally sit on the couch with a newborn in my arms staring at the ceiling every morning. A few days, probably a couple of weeks went by until one morning he asked me and I told him the truth. I didn't feel like myself at all. It was as if I was living in someone else's body. I felt sad, mad, then sad again and I had zero control over my feelings. I tried so hard to look at my baby and not feel this way. I thought maybe it had been my pregnancy since I had such a miserable one, but how can that be blamed? I got tired of feeling that way and I looked it up. There it was crystal clear. I read that it is pretty normal for the first few weeks and felt so much better to know that I wasn't alone in it. Other women felt that way too. I read that it's completely normal for some women to not bond with their babies right away, to feel blue. I have Jack to thank for helping me get through it, without his help and support I don't know what I would have done. We talked about my feelings everyday and he was able to tell when I was feeling sad and would tell me to go take a hot shower, go take a nap, go visit my mom, hang out with my sister, whatever he thought helped. I love him for that. I did things that took me to happy places. I also am crazy about Oliver, I love that baby as much as I love Elliot and I am enjoying him so much. I am cherishing every stage of his life and his delicious chunkiness. I couldn't be more in love with my baby. I know that I never did not love him, it was just me feeling blue.

Three months later I am typing this because I was embarrased to admit it before. I am writing it now and sharing it with you because if it helps and makes another mother feel better then it will be worth it. If you feel this way after birth, don't hide it. Let your partner know, a family member, someone. Do things that normally make you happy. You'll get over it, I promise! :)

Thank you for reading!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...