Please note, these stories are for the most part unedited, and do not necessarily represent the FFF’s opinions. They are also not political statements – this is an arena for people to share their thoughts, and I hope we can all give them the space to do so.
I’m sure some folks will read this FFF Friday post and think, “Ha! Told you so! This blog discourages breastfeeding!”
But I don’t think that is what happened in this case. I think (and maybe I’m just delusional) that FFF Melissa, a mom of four, simply realized that she didn’t have to beat herself up simply for the sake of breastmilk. I think she realized she had given it the old college try not once but three times previously, and had found nothing but heartache. I think she realized that she deserved at least one postpartum experience that was not sullied by the stress of breastfeeding difficulties.
And I think that is awesome.
Happy Friday, fearless ones….
I am the mom of three boys and one girl. Each time I gave birth I attempted to nurse and each time it did not work out. I wanted to nurse so bad. I loved the idea of whipping out a boob, shoving it into the baby’s mouth and bam! they were fed. That however is not how it ended up.
My first born turned dusky the first time I put him to the nipple. This turned out to be a sign of an undiagnosed and severe heart defect. I pumped like a mad woman for him and managed to maintain a decent milk supply for his needs. He was never strong enough to nurse and was partially tube fed. I did this for 14 months until I got pregnant with my second son.
My second son developed breathing issues and had a severe tongue tie. While he was in the NICU he would reluctantly latch and shredded my nipples with his horrible latch. Why I kept insisting on getting him to latch I will never know. After he got clipped he became increasingly frustrated with nursing and eventually I had to stop because it was just too much of a struggle. I was just happy that he was eating orally unlike his older brother.
My youngest son I will never know what exactly went wrong. He stopped wanting to latch in the hospital so I was hooked up with a SNS and a nipple shield to try and get things going. Every time I nursed I felt like I needed about five hands to get everything right and in position. When we got home I could get him to latch and actually eat but he was soo slow when eating. I think the final decision to stop nursing came when I spent an hour with a lactation consultant and he was latched perfectly but out of the entire hour of nursing he only got about a half of an ounce in him. At that rate I would have had to have him hooked up to my breast 24/7 for him to get what he needed. I tried to pump with him but I started feeling like all I was doing was pumping or feeding the baby, something that would not be sustainable once my inlaws went back home.
My fourth and final baby has been the best of them all. I started reading the blog shortly before her birth. I was ready to try nursing again but after reading the blog I decided that obsessing over nursing and beating myself over it not working out was something that this time around I would not do. My little girl is a big baby, she was over 10 pounds at birth and it became very apparent very quickly that she wanted food and she wanted it now. She was not willing to wait for my milk to slowly come in after my c-section. Giving her formula was an easy choice to make and I think that we bonded a lot sooner because it was such an easy choice. Each feeding was not a battle. I was not stressed out trying to do everything I could to get my supply in. I was able to feed her as much as she needed (and she had a very healthy appetite very quickly) with out having to worry about me not having enough. She is my last baby and I am glad that I have been able to relax and enjoy her first days of life.
I am seriously going to cry about the lack of FFF Friday entries in my inbox. Please send me your story, or at least a box of Kleenex to dry my tears: firstname.lastname@example.org.