First Days Home
Posted By: Nancy Horn
After struggling with breastfeeding my first two children, I'm extremely optimistic about a more successful experience with my third and hope to make it to at least six months.
My third child, Skylar Reese, was born on Thursday, August 12. My red-headed, blue eyed boy was born via c-section and I only got to see him for a few minutes before I went into recovery. An hour or so after I was moved into a room, I finally got to bond with him. I put him on my breast as soon as possible and tried to get him to latch on. I wasn't surprised when it took him a while – I had been expecting that. I knew I had some colostrum and I wanted to started on our breastfeeding journey as soon as possible – knowing that we would have some bumps in the road.
For the last 3 ½ years I've been a children and maternity product reviewer – so I came armed with everything I thought I'd need to help – I had my favorite nursing tea, nursing pillow, nipple creams, Soothies gel pads.... and of course, I had immediately asked to see the hospital lactation consultant (though I didn't get to see her until the next morning).
For the next three days, I thought things were off to a good start. I worked with the lactation consultants and nurses but my nipples started getting really sore and Skylar fell asleep while nursing a lot. I thought he was getting colostrum. By Saturday afternoon, the pediatrician and another lactation consultant came in to talk to me separately. Skylar was losing too much weight - over 10% of his birthweight, just like my second child did when she was born and hey wanted me to supplement. I really didn't want to, but the weight loss was making me nervous. So I gave a little formula reluctantly, really hoping this wasn't going to be a regular thing. The LC was supportive and assured me that it didn't have to derail my breastfeeding efforts - my milk was going to come in and I could stop supplementing. They brought me a hospital grade breast pump, but I wasn't able to pump that much. I still nursed, but would add around 1 oz of formula every time. He started gaining weight back, but I was discouraged a little that my milk still hadn't come in by the time I left the hospital on Monday. But I was going to keep going.
When I got home, things got crazy. I have an almost-5-year-old and a 2½-year-old who missed me and I was in pain. But kids don't know that and I started trying to take care of them, like I usually do – but Skylar was now in the mix. The next day, I was trying to do too much and I tore my incision and I had to go back to my doctor. When they told me I needed to have a nurse come everyday for the next two days to change my dressing, I was shocked. My husband, who luckily was off from work for another two weeks, made me sit on the couch and not move. It actually turned out to be a positive because all I was supposed to do was to rest and take care of the baby. That meant I could concentrate on nursing Skylar and my son and daughter could still be around me. The Bris was the day after that, and then things calmed down and I went back to the couch. Luckily, I healed better than expected and the nurse stopped a week after that.
But that gets us to our next diary post – this baby is hungry, can I keep up with him?12:00pm on Monday October 18
Those first days are so hard and I know first hand how frustrating it is when your milk doesn't come in soon enough.