I know its been awhile since we have gotten personal around here and I thought that this was as good a time as any! This is the first post in a new series of posts all about breastfeeding. I am going to be sharing my experiences with you and would love to have you share your experiences too! If you are interested in being featured in our Adventures in Breastfeeding series please e-mail me at TailorMadeMomma@gmail.com! I hope you enjoy!
As many of you know we brought home the newest addition to our family the middle of June. Jaina Kiley was born on June 13 weighing in at a whopping 6lbs 12oz! She has been an amazing addition to our family and I couldn’t be happier. All of my children have been breastfed, at least for a little while, so there was no doubt in my mind when she was born that we would be nursing. I even had my friend over at Craftaholic Mommy make us some super cute Breastfeeding shirts.
Because I was having a c-section and would not be able to follow my little girl everywhere she went it was important to me that there were no miscommunications with the nurses and that she would know nothing but my breast. All of the nurses got a kick out of the shirt and it really gave me piece of mind.
Our breastfeeding relationship has been rocky to start to say the least. The very first time she latched on I could tell that something wasn’t quite right. I knew that she was little and she was learning and that it was going to hurt but it just felt weird, and after about 15 minutes of suckling there were small little blisters on the end of my nipple. We met with a the IBCLC (Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant) at the hospital and did our best to work through it while we were in the hospital. Getting her to open her mouth wide and get a nice deep latch. By the time we left things seemed a little better but were still off. The blisters stopped and my nipple started to heal but they were still coming out shaped like a tube of lipstick. She was born on a Thursday morning and my milk came in that Saturday night. I was lucky enough to never really have any engorgement issues, but to someone who has had supply issues in the past it was also a little disheartening because it made me feel like maybe there wasn’t enough there.
At her one week check up we decided to meet with the IBCLC at our Pediatricians office. We did a weigh, feed, weigh and baby took 1/2 oz from the “weak” breast and was only 1 oz away from being back at birth weight (momma’s milk was doing something right!) it still hurt but we were getting through it. The LC also confirmed what I had thought in that my little girl had both a posterior tongue tie and upper lip tie. I had suspected this from day one but was and still am determined to work through it.
The next few weeks at home went pretty well. It was a struggle to try to balance nursing a new baby 24/7 and still take care of the three other kids that were running around my house as well. Luckily I had a GREAT support system. Just when I thought we were getting into a good routine we hit the three week growth spurt. Jaina was always a little gassy and fussy, but this was a whole new level of fuss! She was either eating pooping or crying. She would fall asleep at my breast and then as soon as I tried to put her down she would wake up and want to eat again. I thought my nipples were going to fall off! Literally I thought that they were going to fall off my body. She would latch on suck for a few seconds then thrash her head back and forth, sometimes taking my nipple with her, other times screaming and biting down on it as she did. I was miserable, I questioned my supply and my strength to get through it. Luckily I had some great support from my husband and my online community of moms.
Then just as quickly as it started it was over! Two days after our growth spurt started it stopped. The very next day all she wanted to do was sleep! And I mean that literally. She would wake up just long enough to nurse for about 5 minutes then would pass out again for any where from an hour to 3 hours. It was just a great relief especially since my husband had gone back to work that very same day! Things were looking up.
Nursing on the left side still hurt, and I felt like instead of her latch getting better as she got bigger it was getting worse. We even went through a short period of time where I had to pump that side instead of nurse because it just hurt so bad! I finally made an appointment with Dr. Adam Hahn DDS to have her tongue tie and lip tie evaluated. While we have not yet had them lazered I am looking forward to heading back to his office as soon as I have all of the insurance figured out. In the mean time I have spent the last few weeks working on a deeper latch and really pushing for a good latch. Even though she still flattens my nipple she is still able to latch and suck and empty my breast with very little pain on my end.