Jaelyn will be 2 weeks old on Tuesday of this week. Making the adjustment from one kid from two kids has been quite a trip! I had several concerns about how Jackson would react to having a sibling and how he would react to ME dividing my attention between him and another child. The first jealous reaction Jackson had was actually when we were still in the hospital. However, it wasn't towards me - it was towards my husband. Paul was holding Jaelyn and immediately Jackson perked up and ran to him, "Baby Down, Daddy - Baby Down!" Thankfully that was the last we saw of that. Now, he will ask one of us to put the baby down only if he wants something that requires our assistance. Over all, he is adjusting very well. The first time he saw me nursing Jaelyn, he acted concerned. He wasn't quite sure what he was looking at and I explained that Jaelyn gets her milk from mommy, just as Jackson gets his milk from the frig :P He was a little freaked out at the breast pump - but who isn't the first time they see how that works?!? RIGHT?
Nursing has been a difficult task for Jaelyn and I. Jackson and I were slow learners as well, but I don't recall the uncomfortableness lasting this long with him. I guess I wrongly assumed that this time would be easier since I had breastfed one baby already. Sure I knew the positions and how to correctly get her to latch on - but in the end, she's still a different baby and nursing is a learned skill for some. Jaelyn nursed perfectly right after being born. But the next morning was a different story. Because of her jaundice, I attempted to fed her even during her sleepy states just to encourage more poopy/wet diapers. A few things I have learned: 1) Babies in high risk bilirubin levels are even more sleepy than normal newborn babies. 2) Trying to breastfeed a very sleepy baby will tear your nipples apart!!
Needless to say, after 4 days of my good intentions to get more colostrum/milk in her system - my poor boobs were in sad shape. I was prepared for this ahead of time and started wearing nipple shells right away to prevent friction from my bra. That did heal alot! I tried nipple shields and they weren't for me. I was advised to see a lactationist the day after we were released from the hospital. She had concluded that my nipples were so badly damaged that I could no longer tell the difference between a proper and improper latch. From what she saw, Jaelyn was latching on correctly. But I was still in so much pain, didn't help that the swelling made it nearly impossible for her to stay on the breast. The consultant told me to pump and bottlefeed for a few days to allow time for my breasts to heal. So I did that from Friday afternoon to Monday night when I felt I was healed enough to try again. During that time however, I was miserable! I absolutely hated pumping every 3 hours. I was still very swollen so I had to pump each breast one at a time because I needed to do compressions to help express the milk. Come Monday - my body was used to completely emptying my breastmilk every 3 hours. This was a problem because when I started breastfeeding her again - I would be lucky if she was drinking 25%-50% of my supply. Within 30 mins after her feedings, I was painfully full again. This is slowly getting better - but often times I still have to pump out milk either at the end of the feeding (because she didn't take enough to comfortably soften my chest,) or in the beginning of the next feeding to soften it enough to get her latched on. My breasts haven't been completely emptied since those days of pumping and bottlefeeding. So I assumed that my body would get the point by now and stop producing SO MUCH. Maybe all these issues are completely normal and you all are reading this thinking, "Yeah April - THAT's breastfeeding!!" But I just don't remember it being like this with Jackson. I don't recall it taking so long to regulate the appropriate amount of milk to produce.
Am I just extremely impatient?
Do you remember having to express after each feeding (still at 2 weeks) to make yourself comfortable?
Did you ever find yourself pumping off a little before the feedings?
After any initial nipple damage was healed and your baby was latching on appropriately, was the first few mins of nursing still extremely painful? I find that even when I'm not engorged, the first few mins of her proper latch on are painful - like "take my breath away" painful. This does subside and go away after a few mins. My nipples are NOT getting damaged, so I know her latch is correct.
Is your let down painful? I have read that some women don't even know their milk is letting down. I feel my let down all the time, it feels like my boobs are exploding from the inside out! It's even more painful when I am already really FULL -
I am on a prescription for vasospams. Know what that is? Blood constriction of the nipples - the nipples turn white and even blue when the blood can not flow back. Those symptoms of the condition isn't the problem. What's bad is the intense crushing sensation in my nipples. It feels like they are being pinched - OUCH! This comes after each feeding and after I take a shower - any time I feel cold. It's horrible! I dealt with this condition for about 5 weeks with Jackson because I didn't know it wasn't normal. This time I asked for the prescription while still in the hospital. The medicine doesn't stop the constriction or color change, but it does take the pain away... thank goodness something does. When I would breastfeed Jackson at night, I would crawl back into bed with a heating pad on my chest to keep me warm and help the pain.
I am a sad case! I am envious of mother's who are able to easily breastfeed their babies. I am jealous of those babies who just catch on so easily. I wish I was a graceful breastfeeding mom who would confidently nurse my baby whereever I wanted. I still need a third (maybe 4th) arm while I nurse.
I hate that it sounds like I am whining and complaining about these problems. Breastfeeding isn't easy for me!
I would really be encouraged if I could hear your stories. Can you share with me your troubles and how you solved them?
I need to hear that I am not the only mother who has troubles breastfeeding.