Monday, April 27, 2015

A Breastfeeding Battle:

And I won!!

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One thing I always knew I wanted to do for my children was breastfeed. It is something I held close to my heart and is something I feel incredibly lucky about, because I have never had a single issue doing so, with either of our babies. Though having Crohn's Disease and being pregnant brings a lot of concern to both the baby's health along with my own health, it also brought concern about breastfeeding. There was a lot of research done between my OBGYN and Lactation Nurse to confirm breastfeeding was OK for our babies due to all of my meds.

I nursed Charli until almost 15 months and there was never a doubt in my mind that I would do the same for Crew once he was born. Unfortunately this go around, there was a bit of a hiccup due to my Health.  After finding out just a couple of months after Crew was born that I started to develop Cancer cells within my Colon and I would have to undergo surgery, the very first thing that popped into my mind was Crew and breastfeeding (call me crazy, but it's true). The first question to my Specialists and Surgeons was "Is it at all possible to wait a few months and do surgery when my baby is a bit older since I am nursing?" Thankfully they were OK with doing so.

I felt I had done everything right in preparing Crew and myself for what was ahead. We Introduced Food much earlier than anticipated in hopes that by the time surgery rolled around he wouldn't be nursing all day every day. I started pumping a supply and storing in the freezer. I had almost 30 bags plus a couple of fresh bottles in the fridge, and of course I always think best case scenario and thought this would be plenty for our little guy since I would be home in 4 days.

Boy was I wrong...

Crew went through every single drop I had saved for him within 3 1/2 days (I think he was a little stressed and confused and was looking for comfort). Needless to say, Steven had to buy formula for my mom to supplement. Now, I don't think there is anything wrong with formula, because at the end of the day formula was made to nourish our babies when breastmilk couldn't. But since I was a breastfeeding mother and never had to use formula for Charli, I was devastated. I felt like a complete failure as I laid in my hospital bed, that I hadn't prepared enough for our little guy.

Not only was I devastated and felt like a failure due to this situation, but my milk was starting to dry up in the hospital. From the very first day in the hospital I pumped (and let me add that it was Steven who pumped for me the very first evening when I couldn't, as I laid there under heavy Anesthesia. Have I told you how amazing of a guy he is? Because he is. Thank you again honey). We pumped and we dumped as much as we could but it still wasn't enough. The fact is, my body was trying to keep itself alive. I was running on just about nothing, was completely drugged up, and I was away from my baby. How could I quite possibly produce milk? Well, I couldn't. I was pumping maybe 2 drops per breast by the 5th day in the hospital, and as the tears rolled down my cheeks I thought it was over. I was not prepared for this and Steven tried everything to calm me down "Crew needs his mommy home and healthy more than he needs your breastmilk", "You may have only breastfed him 3 more months, he needs you for a lifetime". Which yes, I agreed, but it still didn't take away that feeling and the fact that I was not ready to possibly be finished nursing. 

To say I was determined more than ever from the very moment I walked through our front door would be an understatement. Steven walked me to our bedroom and as I slowly laid down my mom brought Crew in. All I wanted was for him to latch on and to have him on me and in my arms again. I can't tell you how special that moment was. I had nothing to give him but he still nursed and fell right to sleep. Oh my sweet boy!

I wasn't sure what was going to happen but I was prepared to do what I needed to to get my milk back. Well, our bodies are a crazy thing, and after just one full day of having Crew on me again, my milk came back on its own! I can't tell you how happy this made me. I am still unable to pick him up or carry him and can only hold him sitting down for a short time, but to know everything I have just been through and this is something I don't have to give up. It makes my heart truly happy! 


I'm sorry sweet boy for having to be away but Mommy is here now!

7 comments:

  1. Crying like a baby over here!! I know you know how precious this is to me. So so SO thankful things worked out for you two. <3

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  2. Oh mama - what a heartfelt post! I can totally relate to breastfeeding being important, I felt the same exact way! Couldn't be happier that things worked out and so happy you are on the road to recovery! Such a strong, beautiful mama! XO

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  3. Tears in my eyes. And our body's are amazing. So glad your milk came back!!

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  4. What a beautiful post from a beautiful mother!!

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  5. You are a lucky lucky girl! Ady is going through a strike of sorts this week and it breaks my heart. :(

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  6. Oh yay I'm so glad it came back!! I felt the same way about my babies!

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