I’ve always known that I wanted to breastfeed my children. The benefits are just too great to ignore and if you can do it, why not? So, as soon as he was born I asked the nurse to help us get latched and what not. Noah was a natural! He latched easily and seemed to get the hang of it pretty quickly – I was so happy! This was going to be easy! Then jaundice set in and we needed to supplement with formula to help him clear out the billirubin (in addition to the photo therapy lights). I wasn’t too happy with adding formula at first but you gotta do what you gotta do and it was what Noah needed to get better. Turns out that he’s as laid back and flexible as his mom! He moved from bottle to breast and back with no problems what so ever.
We were sent home and that’s when the panic set in! My milk had not yet come in and he was still as yellow as a banana. I didn’t want the jaundice to return so we continued to supplement for the next few weeks until it just became habit. It was easy. I was comforted by being able to see the volume in the bottles disappear into his tummy and was reassured he was getting enough to eat. Thus begins our transition to exclusive pumping and bottle feeding.
In my early weeks as a new mom anything that I could do to regain some control over my life I was all for so, pumping it was. I’d still nurse him at night but my day times were filled with a meeting with my pump every 2 hours yielding 4oz at best each session. As he grew that simply was not enough to keep up with him. I tried everything – fenugreek/milk thistle, gallons of water a day, nursing then pumping (holy time consuming), hot compresses, etc. You name it, I likely tried it but in the end I was simply not able to keep up with my growing boy:(
So, ultimately I made it 7.5 weeks. That’s 7.5 weeks of my milk and antibodies that he may have not had otherwise. It may not be 6 months or a year but it’s something and I have to be happy with that. In the end I really had a hard time giving up that last night time session but when I had to feed him and then finish with a bottle, the hour or more it took to get thru that process left little time for sleep before we had to do it all over again and with going back to work looming, I needed to find a night time pattern that worked for everyone. And for us, that now means formula around the clock.
I’m still sad I couldn’t go longer but I have to get over it and recognize that getting Noah what he needs to grow is more important.