Friday, November 14, 2008

feeding kids is hard

so, things are going relatively well, as i mentioned in the last post-especially considering we're juggling three kids now. & when i'm out with madyn people will admire her (everyone LOVES a newborn! you're like a celebrity when you hold one, i'm telling you!) & they frequently ask, "oh, is this your first?" and when you tell them it's your third it somehow almost sounds like you're saying, "no, it's my sixth." they always seem surprised. i don't know why, i'll take it to mean, "really? wow, because you look much too young to have three children!" i'm sure that's what they mean...

anyway, we have experienced one small glitch though in these past two weeks. madyn is quite the hungry girl, is has seemed. from her first minutes out in the world she was opening her mouth & angeling it toward people's chests, ready to nurse. she wanted to nurse constantly. now, i don't want to scare any of you young, childless women who hope to procreate someday but........nursing is really hard. & ever since i had kieran i feel even more compelled to at least mention it as no one told me this. i went to the breastfeeding class at the hospital & confidently told people, "oh yeah, i'm going to nurse." why wouldn't i? and it sounded so natural--i didn't even understand why there were books devoted to nursing & it's instruction. well, then the baby arrives & it's not like what they taught in the class--"when the baby opens his mouth, you just POP him right on!" nope, it was nothing like that. the pop never happened. kieran & i would try to hook up for 1/2 an hour at times. he never seemed to open his mouth wide enough & they failed to mention that if they don't open wide enough & your latch isn't right, it can KILL! sensitive parts of your body can suffer! things get raw, things ache, they can even bleed! it was so hard. we would get assistance from a lactation consultant whenever possible but after a week of nursing (& let me tell you, when you're nursing round the clock, a week of feeding a baby can equal 50+ feedings) we introduced some formula. with kieran, i returned to work at 6 weeks & it was nearly impossible to pump enough milk so he was doing mostly formula & then nursing when i was home with him but only for 2-3 months. with andie i armed myself with all those nursing books i had scoffed at, reading up throughout the pregnancy, i purchased the best nursing pillow on the market, i was determined to make nursing work & felt at least prepared for the challenge. well, it wasn't that challenging. nursing andie was much less painful & relatively easy.

this time, i hadn't really given nursing a thought one way or the other & knew i wanted to nurse but wasn't going to obsess about it. unfortunately, we've hit a slight snag. as i mentioned, madyn is a hungry girl & was constantly wanted to nurse, even though it took several days for my milk to come in. by the time it did, i was already sore. & then it just didn't get better. so at five days old i took her to the breasfeeding clinic at the hospital & we weighed her before a feeding & then the lactation consultant helped me to get her latched on correctly & i nursed her. we weighed her. no weight gain. very odd. nursed her on the other side. no weight gain. fractions of an ounce, not even an ounce. very odd, especially because i know i produce several ounces on each i still had to give her formula before we returned home, she was just screaming because she was hungry. the next visit a few days later the same thing happened. finally, after the third occassion of this the lactation consultant realized madyn was chewing & chomping. she was clamping the milk off & not getting anything. apparently, she's a biter & while biting the bottle nipple will give her milk, biting on me doesn't. i worried that by giving her a bottle we had "trained" her to do this, or at least reinforced it, but she assured me that that had nothing to do with it. she was born doing this & we have an evaluation set up for monday with a speech pathologist who specializes in infant feeding issues. she might also need to see an occupational therapist if she has weak muscles that need to be strengthened.

so, in the meantime i'm pumping milk for bottles (seriously the most not fun thing ever, nothing like the closeness, bonding experience of nursing) & we're doing formula. pumping makes things challenging in that you have to constantly be close to home & it's time consuming & it feels like you're twice as busy with feedings--the pumpings + the bottle feedings. it's like a full time job! but it's worth it for a happy, healthy baby :)



Blogger Tina said...

Hey Joanna.. sorry to hear about the nursing issues.. I know that you wanna be close to home for feedings (or pumpings), but just have your pump with ice packs on ya and a car adapter! If I was at a playdate and Evan was sleeping, or I felt like he didn't eat enough and I needed to pump, I would go out to my car and pump, I've even pumped while driving! LOL Good luck!

7:37 AM  
Blogger From the Land of Oz said...

bless your heart joanna. i pump too and know what you mean, twice the work!!! and twice the dishwasher parts..keep your head up!

12:37 PM  

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