Tuesday, November 18, 2014

My Thoughts On Nursing...

I always wanted the nursing experience.  When the triplets were born I was super disappointed that I couldn't nurse them, or even pump to give them my milk.  Little did I know how extremely difficult nursing is.  At least for me.  Wow.

My milk didn't come in right away, so Trey was starving in the hospital.  I remember on day two he was crying and crying.  I nursed him and he was happy, then 15 minutes later he was crying again.  I wanted to shower so bad, but he would only be happy if he was nursing.  He lost almost a pound and wasn't peeing or pooping enough.  My pediatrician told me to supplement a little with a bottle of pumped milk or formula.  Finally my milk came in and we were good to go, or so I thought.  Every time I tried to nurse him my nips would KILL.  I mean KILL.  Not like "ouch that hurts", more like tears streaming down my face that hurts.  Maybe I have super sensitive nips.  He would latch on and off and every time he got back on it seriously felt like Trey had needles in his mouth stabbing me.  I tried using a nipple shield, which helped some, but I felt like Trey wasn't emptying me.  He would nurse for 45 minutes and still be hungry afterwards.  I would go pump right after I nursed him and get 4 ounces, then feed him a bottle.  So now nursing turned into this HUGE process of nursing him, pumping, feeding him a bottle.  Took FOREVER!  And obviously I have triplets at home, so that process was never going to work for me.  If Trey was my only baby I could have spent more time figuring it all out, but when you have 15 month old triplets (at the time) there's just no way.

If I tried nursing Trey downstairs around the triplets they were ALL over me and it didn't work, so I had to be upstairs in my room to nurse - which was only possible if my mom was downstairs with the triplets.  I also tried pumping downstairs around the triplets which was a horrible idea.  They kept trying to pull the pump pieces off the machine and pulling the outlet out of the wall - which turns off the pump and you have to start all over.  Super fun. After a couple weeks pumping KILLED too.  My nipples were so sore from nursing and pumping.  I would get strawberry milk (bloody milk) all the time.  
I met with a lactation consultant.  When she looked at my boobs she was so surprised I was still sticking with it.  My nipples were red and raw and she could tell it hurt like hell every time I had to feed him.   She asked me if my nipples turned white after pumping…which they did.  I thought that was normal, but I guess it's not.  My fingers always turn white when it gets cold outside too.  I guess I have this thing called Raynauds Phenomenon.  Weird right?  She told me to start taking Vitamin B-6, which has actually really helped.  The lactation consultant got Trey to latch on pretty good, but he still wouldn't completely empty me, so I still had to give him a bottle afterwards.  When you don't completely empty, it leads to clogged ducts or mastitis.  I swear every other day I'd get a clogged duct.  My boob would get super hard and nothing would really come out when I pumped.  I tired heating pads and taking hot showers but it didn't really help.  I have also started taking Lecithin and stopped wearing sports bras all day and that has helped with the clogged ducts.

  After everything I've decided to exclusively pump for Trey now.  I was just going to throw in the towel and turn to formula, but I make a ton of milk (and I know breast milk is best) so I decided to pump.  The vitamin B-6 has helped a lot with the whole Raynauds Phenomenon   My nips still turn white after I pump, but they aren't as sore.  It's hard to find time to pump, so I mostly pump while the triplets are napping.  I also wake up at 6:30am before the triplets get up and pump then too.  It's easier to feed Trey a bottle.  Cruz and Kash will still come and try and hit the bottle out of his mouth, but it still works.  Now that he is just on a bottle I can leave him home with Curtis or my mom and they can feed him while I'm out with the triplets or whatever.  Trey's almost 4 months old now and I already have a freezer full of frozen breast milk.  I'm hoping to last at least 6 months.  We'll see.  Pumping is a huge commitment, but definitely worth it.  I still feel like Trey and I have a great bond even though he isn't "nursing".  
Trey decided to sleep 12 hours the other day (9pm-9am).  I woke up at 6am and felt like my boobs were going to explode!  My left makes way more than my right.

To read My Thoughts On Pregnancy…click here.

To read My Thoughts on Delivery…click here


AZ Larsens said...

Wow. I cannot believe you have stuck with it through all of that! That is amazing. You are one committed Mommy. :)

Paige said...

You are amazing. I hope that whenever we decide to add a second one to our family that I can either try to exclusively breastfeed or exclusively pump that time around :-)

The Dabo's said...

I can't believe how painful it was! You poor thing. You must have "light" nips...... But seriously you do what you can do. And you try not to feel bad about it. That's life!

Courtney said...

I've been waiting for this post since the time you mentioned it would be coming soon. I had the feeling that we had similar situations & it's true. Luckily, I didn't have all the pain like you did, but I just couldn't make nursing work with my 18 mo. running around like crazy. I wondered how anyone could it. ( I hadn't nursed him, so this was all new with baby #2.). Like you, it took WAY too long to nurse, then I ended up still pumping and bottle feeding after.... So frustrating! Even now, 3 mos. later, it takes a lot of time each day to pump & feed baby, which means big bro ends up w/ playtime in his crib... What else can I do. So funny, but if I try to pump in the living room so he can run & play, not only does he try to pull the pump tubes out, but he will literally swat at the pump ... He hates that it takes me away from him, Mr. Center of Attention. And he always tries to rip the bottle out of baby's mouth too. It's funny how all babies can be so alike. One last thing before I win the "world's longest comment award" & my hand falls off from typing on the iPad ... I love your blog & often comment to my husband whenever we are having chaotic moments with our 2 littles, about how you do it all & manage 4 babies. Seriously, you are super mom & you really help us put our frustrating baby moments into perspective. Thanks for sharing your story with your loyal readers.

Take care,
Courtney in MI

Brown Family! said...

How funny! My kids totally swat at the pump too!! :) Nursing is no joke. It's always nice to hear someone who has had a similar situation and can relate to what you're going through.