Friday, February 29, 2008


With Celia, I was a complete wreck. She wouldn't latch on, or take a bottle. So for the first few weeks of her life, she was impossible to deal with. I cried more than I ever admitted to anyone. Partly because I felt like a failure, and partly because I was in so much pain from trying to get her to nurse. Finally, the pediatrician yelled at me (not meanly, but he did make me feel pretty crappy), and told me to get a lactation consultant to come in and help. So I called, she came, and while she did help get Celia latching properly, it still wasn't a pleasant experience for either of us. By the time I went back to work, I had weaned her to nursing only before and after day care, and throughout the evening. So I didn't have to pump while at work. I wanted to spend as much time at home with her as possible, instead of an extra hour at work to make up for the time I spent pumping. And by the time she was 4 and a half months old, she had completely weaned herself, and was exclusively bottle fed from then on. This time around, I had absolutely no expectations, and didn't have my heart set on nursing exclusively at all. Which was a good thing, because the minute I was in recovery, and they tested Seth's blood sugar, the nicu nurse insisted on getting him fed immediately (it was like 52, which is a tad low). Since I was pretty exhausted and out of it, and knew that nursing at that moment was NOT going to happen, I gave the OK to give him a bottle of formula. Same thing went for that night. Since I was alone in the room and had had a C-section, and was still hooked up to my lovely catheter, getting up to change him or feed him was just not happening. So off to the nursery he went, and I got me some sleep!

The next day, after the catheter was out, and I was feeling a bit better, I decided to try nursing. Of course, he didn't latch on. And it hurt. So I gave up after about 5 minutes. The nurse brought in a pump for me to try, which was great. I got mere drops the first dozen times, but it was something. She also helped me get him latched for about 15 minutes the second day, but he wasn't having it. He'd latch for a minute, then let go, which is how it's been pretty much ever since. I know he's early, so that is probably part of why he's not latching well yet. I'm still trying to nurse him a few times a day. Sometimes he'll actually get it for a few minutes, but he always gives up. And you know what?? I'm OK with this. I'm not crying over it. I'm not devastated that he won't nurse properly yet. I'm working on it with him, which is the best I can do for now. I do plan to call a lactation consultant next week and really try to get this going. But for now, I'm pumping. Every 4-6 hours (at night it's more like 6), I'm pumping. And getting about 3-4 ounces out at each session. I am almost keeping up with what he needs, but I usually do give him one or two 2 ounce bottles of formula through out the day. Takes the pressure off, which is helping to make this a much better experience. I know I could pump more often and get more out, but I am trying to do what I can to take care of myself too. A stressed, unhappy, crying mommy isn't good for anyone.

I do still plan to wean him to nursing before work and after work and overnight, by the time I go back to work in May. I do not own the pump I'm using (I rented it from the other location of the same pharmacy that I used for my IVF meds, ironically). I have no desire to spend any extra time in the office than I need to after I get back to work. It's going to be hard enough to get back to the swing of things without having to worry about when I can pump, or where I can pump, and how much extra time I need to put in to make up for the pumping. I had a horrible time going back to work after Celia came, and I fully expect to have that happen again (if it doesn't happen sooner).