Friday, May 2, 2014

Nursing and Breastfeeding

Did you ever think about how those are two different things? It might not matter to the majority of moms, but is has mattered so much to me. For the first 8 weeks of Felicity's life, I was a breastfeeding mom. I fed her with breast milk that I pumped (and milk other moms pumped for her). But I was not a nursing mom. For multiple reasons which I've talked about here before, Felicity and I were not able to have a nursing relationship. When people asked if she's breastfed, my gut response was "I feed her by bottle but it's breast milk". And then I stopped to realize that a simple "yes" would suffice since, yes, she is fed by the breast, even if it is in a bottle. Some may wonder why all of this matters. What's the difference? Well, it's surprising how many complete strangers want to know how your child is fed, why they are fed that way, and how much worth I judged myself to have by those answers. I have had to explain the special needs feeder more times than I care to count (I still do). While it annoys me and I'd love to feed my baby the 'normal' way, I do remind myself that it's an opportunity to share information with people, especially that nursing doesn't always work no matter how much it's wanted. For the first 8 weeks, we tried everything that was suggested to us, and even some other things!, and Felicity would not... could not... nurse. I had to become ok with never having that relationship with her. I actually wrote a whole blog post about it, and for some reason, I just didn't feel ready to post it so it has sat in my drafts.

Enter week 8 which was a week and a half after her second lip and tongue tie revision, and the day of her first craniosacral therapy appointment following the 2nd revision. And Felicity nursed. She nursed! She has been nursing since then, up to 5 times a day, and up to 90 minutes at a time! The bad news is she is only transferring 1/2 oz and, while my supply is pretty small, it's not that small. And since she can take 3 oz in the special needs feeder in anywhere from 10-25 minutes, she should be able to do the same at the breast. I'm also having pain when she nurses so there's something going on with her latch. So, we still have some work to do (in fact, I'm waiting on the lactation consultant right now!), but it is a huge, huge leap for my morale, my heart, our relationship, and a beautiful place in our journey after two months of struggling. I have even less time to get things done now because I'm still pumping and bottle feeding her the same, but have added in multiple nursing sessions, but I'm learning to be ok with that because I wanted this so badly for us. And because as you all so gently remind me and Steven reminds me the house will wait, but my baby will grow up quickly. So I am enjoying our sweet mornings in bed together (nursing buys me another hour! it's amazing!), nursing her to sleep when she's fighting a nap, and seeing her break her latch to look up and me and smile that one dimple smile. *melt* Thank you all for your support, encouragement, and prayers as we have battled all the issues that prevented us from having a nursing relationship the first two months. I am so, so excited to be able to finally nurse my baby!

One of my favorite pictures from Felicity's first week or two at home. Everyone needs mommy! 

4 comments:

  1. Congratulations! That is wonderful; a transition we never managed with my first (I exclusively pumped for ~ 8 months) so I completely get your meaning. Well done!

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  2. {Hugs} Congratulations, Stacy!!! What wonderful news. I'm so happy for you!!! It took Vince a while to get the hang of things, too. Kudos to you for sticking it out and continuing to try.

    Blessings to you guys. <3 <3 <3

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  3. PRAISE!!!!! I am so, so happy for you!

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