I’ve always wanted to breastfeed whatever children I have. I know it’s the best for them and after bottle feeding a lot of babies from foster care it just always seemed like such a special thing that I looked forward to doing with my babies.
It never seriously crossed my mind that I would have issues, because well in all truthfulness I just typically don’t have issues with my body doing what it needs to do. Pregnancy was relatively easy nothing major, labor and birth were smooth and never had a moment of maybe needing an intervention. I don’t have allergies, never been seriously ill or had any serious injuries. I’m able to be active and run without issues. Breastfeeding Emmalyn has really humbled me and reminded me what a miracle our bodies are because of God’s grace.
My supply came in about three days after Emmy was born and I got her back up to birth weight within two weeks. But somewhere along the line she started consistently falling asleep before she was done eating which caused my supply to deplete. I didn’t realize it and our feedings would last a good 45 minutes and then she’d be hungry again within an hour. At her two month check up she was at the 2% still happy as a clam but small. Her doctor had us do a three month appt to check in on her weight gain. She had dropped off the growth chart completely at only 9lbs 9.8oz. I was so stressed out felt so bad for Emmy that she was hungry all the time, I wasn’t providing for our daughter. My boobs weren’t doing their one job in life.
I went to a lactation consult to get help. Emmalyn got a little less than 1oz of milk after 40 minutes of eating. The specialist I was seeing told me to continue feeding and to up my supply I need to start pumping at least 6 times a day after feeding she gave me lots of food and herbal supplement ideas and a SNS feeding system. For those of you who don’t know it’s a two ounce tube that clips onto a shirt and then has a teeny tube that you put next to your nipple. That way your baby is able to get food and you can have nipple stimulation telling your body to make more. It also helped Emmy to start staying awake for a full feed and to help her to know what feeling full rather than being content with barely any food.
She is 5 months today and I had another consultation. I transferred 2.57 oz and she now weighs 13 lbs 2.3oz! Most women’s bodies start making more milk a lot faster than mine is but for some reason my body responds extremely slow.
I praise God for His strength and determination through this. I never realized how important breastfeeding was to me until faced with the almost inability to be able to. I praise God for putting moms in my life that have been extremely encouraging and helpful in a time when I’ve needed them. It has been rough and a lot of tears have been shed but I feel like God has really helped me accept where we are at. I still hope to go back to full time breast milk but the fact that I’ve been able to go 5 months is a miracle and I’ve accepted if I’ll need to use the SNS until I’m done breastfeeding.
So if you happen to see me and I’m stuffing my face full of cookies, they are lactation cookies. And they are delicious.