Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Breastfeeding ... In The Beginning (Part 1 of my Breastfeeding Adventure)

Okay,,, first of all here is my little disclaimer ... this is not at all an informative blog explaining the whats, whys and hows. This  is me sharing my experience so far.

The Start
The first time we tried nursing was in the delivery room.  Ivan was alert and so I wanted to give it a shot; however, He just wasn´t ready to eat, he very much preferred looking around at his new world.

When we were moved to a recovery room, the nurse took Ivan to the nursery to clean him up. A little while later when they brought him back, we tried again and still nothing, he just wanted to sleep with mama. Throughout his first day, when he would wake up for a few minutes we tried, with no luck, he was not interested.

The morning of day 2, a nurse came in to tell me that Ivan´s blood sugar was low and if it got any lower the pediatrician would order a formula feed.  Wow, like I really needed any more pressure. His blood sugar did get lower and I was told to give him a little formula. I was sad, but a little relieved.  I knew he was hungry, whenever he latched on to nurse, he would give it a try, but get mad, fuss and scream pretty quickly.  He wanted milk and he wanted it immediately.

The nurse told me that when he was hungry I should first offer him the breast, and then the bottle. So that is what I did.  I would put him to my breast, let him fuss and cry, try again, let him fuss and after a few minutes of hearing my baby cry for milk, I would just give him the bottle. Breast feeding was proving harder than I expected.

After a few feedings, I was out of the little formula bottle they gave me.  I got up and walked to the nursery to let the nurse know I would need more.  I saw a new face, this nurse must have just started her shift, she asked me if I was planning on breastfeeding, I said yes, she responded with ¨ Do you need a little help?¨ ¨YES, please !!!¨ It was so nice of her to offer some help.

After reading books about breastfeeding and attending a 3 hour class all about breastfeeding, I was having a hard time getting this show on the road.  My mom didn´t have any trouble when she started breastfeeding and neither did my sister.  I did have an almost perfect pregnancy, so I guess something had to go wrong, I knew everything couldn´t be perfect.

I told the nurse Ivan would probably be ready to eat again in about 2 hours.  She agreed to stop by my room to give me a hand. When the nurse stopped by, Ivan was knocked out, so she told me to call her when he woke up.  1 hour later Ivan woke up, and HE WAS HUNGRY !!! While my husband went to get the nurse,  I put him to my breast to see if he would take it, and he was just mad, he would suck for a few seconds and then pull his head away and scream.  I tried this for a few minutes than just gave in and gave him the bottle.

When the nurse arrived, she had no idea that I had spent the time it took her to get there, trying to nurse. Underneath my calm exterior I was completely frazzled.  I remember her saying ¨You gave him the bottle, now he is not gonna take the breast¨ It probably wasn´t all that bad, but I couldn´t hold it in any longer. I broke down and the water works turned on... she realized then that she could have chosen a more comforting approach.

The nurse put her arm around me and gave me a little reassurance. She held Ivan while I dried my face and got a hold of myself.  I took a deep breath and we gave it a shot, it was so nice to have someone there to give me ¨On the job training¨. We did the same thing I had been doing for the past two days.  I would put Ivan to my breast, he would suck for a few seconds,fuss, scream and pull his head back.
He did this a couple times, meanwhile the nurse reassured me, and helped me try again.

What made the difference? After Ivan pulled his head away for probably the 5th time, she said ¨Do it again, this time when he tries to pull his head away, hold it in place.  Ivan has to give in, before you do.¨ and just like that, IT WORKED!!! I couldn´t believe it, I was actually nursing my child.  It only took me 2 days...

Even before I was pregnant I knew that breastfeeding was the way I would go, however, without support, things might have gone differently. I am forever grateful to the nurse that gave me the extra help and encouragement that I needed to get over my first breastfeeding speed bump.

Starting to nurse may not come easy, but don´t give up !!!

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