Sunday, October 25, 2015

My journey breastfeeding Madeline

This is a really touchy subject for me. I'm extremely sensitive to this, so I have never really said much on this subject, but after seeing someones extremely rude comment on facebook that offended me beyond belief I decided it was time to write my experience and hopefully educate other women. And maybe if you find yourself in the same situation I was in, maybe this will help you, like another blog post a fellow blogger wrote helped me!

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Lets go back to when I was 12 years old and once a month we had to go into Relief Society 3rd hour. And I watched this mom, I don't even remember who she was, but her baby was hungry. She put her cover on started feeding her baby. But I saw the bonding, the love. I don't know, but before this I never wanted to breastfeed. It was gross to me. But this was simply beautiful. And from that point, I was so excited to have my own child to bond with. To do something for my child that no one else could do.

Fast forward to when Madeline was born. My milk didn't come in until she was 3 days old, after I was discharged from the hospital. But I knew she was starving so we supplemented with formula til my milk came in. I was fine with that, frustrated that my milk hadn't come in,  but there wasn't much I could do about that. 


In the hospital though we were working on her latch. And she would NOT latch. She was so stubborn. And the lactation consultant was horrible. I was mad because I thought she was hurting my baby, and with hindsight, I think she was. My mom tried to help me and tried to help me with different positions, but Madeline was soo stubborn!

My milk finally came in, and I had to use a nipple shield because she wouldn't latch on otherwise. It was so frustrating because that thing made everything so messy. Milk would spill all over her, and me, and I hated it. I was so frustrated. I sat there and realized I'd never be able to feed her in front of anyone since it was too complicated to feed her without a cover on. Adding that one thing on to it, was a nightmare. Believe me I tried.


And then my kidney infection happened. My temperature reached over 104 degrees. I felt like I was dying. I couldn't move at all. It was taking all we could do to get my temp to 101. That night, I swear I was dying. We went to the doctor the next day where they had to give me a shot right next to my kidney because my infection was so bad. We went home and all I could do was lay there. I had to have ice on my eyes and forehead just to keep the temperature at a decent temp. My daughter was like 5 days old and I couldn't even take care of her! My depression started here. I wasn't allowed to breastfeed my daughter because of the antibiotics I was on. I just laid there on the bed crying while Zack took care of Madeline because I wasn't capable of taking care of her. I was too sick. 


I had to pump and dump to keep up my supply. So while Zack fed her formula I pumped. And I just cried and cried while I dumped it down the drain because that was suppose to be the food I was suppose to be feeding to my newborn and I couldn't!! I was beyond heartbroken. This was suppose to be my bonding time with my baby. And I couldn't. 

Finally I got off the antibiotics and I was able to feed Madeline again. And then shortly after that, in the middle of feedings she'd start projectile vomiting all over everything. I kept this up for another 3 days. Of me feeding her and her puking all over everything. I thought I might be overfeeding her, so I tried timing, pumping and feeding her from a bottle, but she was allergic to my breast milk. And that was the worst feeling in the entire world. The one thing I was suppose to do for my baby, the one thing I wanted to be able to do, and I COULDN'T DO IT! She was allergic to the food I had for her.... 


We tried her on the formula again and she started puking that up again. I remember reading on another girls blog where her baby did the same thing and her pediatrician recommended trying a sensitive formula. So I went out and bought a can and gave it to her. And she didn't puke it up!! My baby wouldn't be starving or puking all over us anymore! 

I was happy that I was able to find a way to feed my baby. But the depression and the heartbreak from this was hard. And then people would ask me "can I feed Madeline?! I'd love to bond with her!" And it was rubbing salt in the wound. All I could think was YOU WOULDN'T EVEN BE ABLE TO IF SHE WASN'T ALLERGIC TO ME! I'd go home and cry and cry. It was so hard not to snap, or cry in front of them. That was suppose to be my one on one time with my baby and they wanted to take it away from me. 

Then I started to become paranoid. I felt they were gonna take my baby away. They could after all since she had no reason to stay with me, besides me being her mother. But I couldn't feed my baby anything but formula so why not just take over all my responsibilities?? 


I remember I used to go to the mothers lounge in church to help with the noise to get Madeline asleep and I was so ashamed that I was bottle feeding her. I tried to put the blanket it on her and hide the bottle and pretend I was breastfeeding her. I didn't want to see the shame, or the hate, or the judgement from other moms because I couldn't breastfeed my daughter. It was stupid to do that, but seriously, I just wanted to be able to do this for her, and I couldn't. 

I've came to terms with not being able to breastfeed Madeline eventually. She was happy and thriving. And that's all a mother could ask. And she did bond with her mom. Despite everything we went through. Some other factors I didn't even realize we went through, until way later, was Madeline had really bad lip tie. That's why she had a hard time latching. I wish I would've known about that before so maybe we could've done something sooner. And also her torticollis made it hard for her to turn her head so that was hard for her, and that's why the lactation consultant hurt her. She couldn't turn her head that way. 


I'm hopeful that this next baby I'll be able to breastfeed. But it's not the end of the world if I can't. I hope that maybe I can educate some women to understanding what it's like from the other end. The envy of ease of feeding your baby. Being able to provide food for them. Let's stop the mom shaming and be understanding! 

If you have a story you'd like to share to help educate or stop mom shaming, let me know! I'll feature it on my blog!

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