This is a post about breastfeeding, but includes a bigger picture moral of the story. You've been warned.
Last week Myra helped me remember an important life lesson, to think outside the box. As you may have read already, we struggled a bit with nursing in the beginning. It was about a week ago that we really started to get it figured out. Thank goodness!! But wait... Two days after our biggest breakthrough day was absolutely awful. At her early afternoon feeding, girl just would not eat. We tried different holds, burping, bicycling her legs for gas-I was desperate. Finally, I decided she must not actually be hungry and I got her to sleep. We woke up an hour later and she had to be hungry, she just had to be. So, we tried (and failed) again. I was getting stressed, she was getting stressed, and I knew she needed to eat. I swallowed my pride and syringe fed her with some pumped milk then pumped so I wouldn't explode. It was very disheartening after all the progress we had made. I had so been looking forward to the days where we could free ourselves from the pump, syringe, any props and felt like we had taken two steps backwards.
Like usual at that point, she napped after her feeding and I resolved to take a deep breath and try nursing again next time. Just a few short hours later, next time rolled around and like a slap in the face we had the same problem again. I tried to stay calm, but I could feel myself getting stressed much more quickly knowing this couldn't end well...again. I could get very specific, but long story short we wound up with a very hungry, crying, screaming, frustrated baby and a very sad, stressed, frustrated, crying, defeated mommy. This all went on for 45+ minutes. I tried everything again. I finally had to just set her in my lap and cry (the ugly, sobbing, can't breathe, hopeless kind of cry). I know I said I was desperate before, but now I was desperate and felt like a crazy person who didn't know how to feed her own kid. Again, lots of people are willing to say "breastfeeding can be difficult, have patience and don't give up!" but no one really tells you what that means. I felt like I was in a panic, frantically looking around the room, my mind racing, thinking again, "what on Earth could be so different from yesterday? We were doing just fine! Great, actually!" And like a scene out of a romantic comedy, I locked eyes with my tube of lanolin. My nipples had really started to heal since we were making so much progress with nursing I didn't need to use it anymore. I took a deep breath and thought "here goes nothing, baby girl." I slapped some on and BOOM! LATCHED! NURSING!
You have got to be kidding me.
We have had no episodes like this since last Wednesday, so 7 days of darn near excellent nursing. And, we graduated from our lactation nurse appointments yesterday. Myra has reached and surpassed her birth weight and her bilirubin level went down quite a bit. Oh, and we've since weaned from the lanolin and are doing just fine without it. She's two weeks today-I'll call that a success story! So, take this as a reminder to be patient and think outside the box with breastfeeding and, I suppose, life. Lesson learned. Thanks, Myra.