Adjusting the Dream of Breastfeeding — SDBFC
Information about Adjusting the Dream of Breastfeeding — SDBFC
January 2011, our baby came at rocket speed. We were in front of the hospital as she made her entrance into the world. It was freezing outside. She was tiny and shivering her ounces away.
We were on cloud nine. First time parents. I was high on endorphins and oxytocin and the thrill of a fast labor. I was walking around hours later. Things could not be going better. (I had no idea these things were not normal).
She seemed to latch well. The nurse told me I had the perfect breasts for breastfeeding. I had read all the books. I was feeling confident.
The next day, they said she was losing weight too quickly. I couldn’t understand it. I almost didn’t believe it. They almost didn’t send us home, but we were resolute. We thought we just needed to get out of the hospital, to get home and comfortable.
What I didn’t know is how hard it could be. From everything I had heard, it would be natural, and it would just work.
But it didn’t. Our sweet baby girl was not gaining weight. The pediatrician threatened to label her with ‘failure to thrive.’
In the post-baby haze, I didn’t capture the gravity and seriousness of it all. I was caught in the trap of first time motherhood that takes every input from every direction and confuses it with intuition. I was lost. There was no support.
I cried myself to sleep clutching our new baby, nearly every night.
We have five kids now. And every single one of them has a breastfeeding story of their own. We always tried and it never went exactly as I wanted. Yet, every baby, every child ended up thriving.
With our first, I used a supplemental nursing system with formula until she could also use table food, at which point I nursed her until she was 14 months old and we were ready for our next embryo transfer.
With our second, he got off to an amazing start. I thought “ah, THIS is a different story.” He gained weight well in the first several weeks, and he began sleeping more. I couldn’t have been more thrilled. Then, at his 8 week appointment, he hardly gained an ounce…in FOUR weeks. It was like a punch to the gut. All the self-doubt and trauma returned. We supplemented with formula until we moved nearer to a dear friend who provided her breastmilk for him. At 9 months my supply was gone, and he plumped up on my friend’s luscious, gracious milk.