Monday, March 7, 2011
Learning to Cope
Now finding all this out makes everything between both nursing relationships much more clear. With the oldest I only nursed for 6 weeks when I saw our Dr for my check up and discussed my post-partum depression. He then put me on medication saying it wasn't safe for breastfeeding. I blindly followed him and we ended it right there. During my 2nd pregnancy I then figured out I could have continued the medication and nursing. I was angry but had myself to partly blame.
See, when I became pregnant the first time I honestly didn't want to breastfeed. I was 19 and at that time in my life the idea was gross. During my pregnancy I slowly changed my mind. I didn't do any research, I just wanted to give it a try. I'm glad I did even if it wasn't much time at all. One day is better then none.
So when I found out I was pregnant with our 2nd I decided to try for it. I wanted to do things differently this time. I am proud to say I did. Instead of giving in to a repeat c-section I fought for my VBAC and had a successful one. Which helped me bond quicker and able to establish our nursing relationship.
Unfortunately we ran into problems. He was born at 7.14 and by 3 months old just barely weighed 9lbs. No matter what I did my supply didn't increase so I had to let go of my dreams to exclusively breastfeed and supplement him to help gain weight. It was a hard thing to get over but an easy choice to make. I wasn't going to continue to let my son starve in a way and honestly he was. A lot of his signs and issues pointed to it and they started showing with Bishop.
Now when you have your heart set on something so much like I did, failure is the worst thing. I mean I can admit defeat in areas but this was something I wanted to accomplish. This was something I wanted to prove. I proved my body wasn't broken by birthing 2 boys VBAC but for some reason my body can't get with itself to be able to nurse.
After talking to a friend who's helped me with my past struggles in nursing she brought up Insufficient Glandular Tissue. I then sat reading the rest of the night on the subject and a lot of the next day. It sadly fit me perfectly. Then it just made sense and I was pretty sure I had my source as to why I can't seem to nurse sufficiently. I have tried everything under the sun just thinking I had a low supply but everything I did to up it, didn't help. His nursing lengths, his frustration at the breast, horrible sleeping. We tried passing it off as other things but everything slowly added up.
So, at his 6 month appointment after doing my research and everything adding up I brought up the IGT to our Family Dr. We honestly talked about it for almost an hour, we compared Dane to Bishop's growths. While Bishop has done better the similarities in everything else are there. During my reading on IGT you can produce more milk per subsequent baby, I seem to do so but I don't seem to still produce enough to be 100% exclusive. I hope that when we decide to have our next baby (a few years down the road) that I can successfully only nurse but in my mind, I am prepared for the just in case. She agreed that after our discussion and everything laid out that it is pretty much IGT. Short of having an actual diagnosis which I am going to go with the Dr's word. Everything just matches up.
We are now supplementing with both formula and donor milk. I am waiting on my SNS so I can nurse and supplement at the same time instead of nursing and then using a bottle. I am okay with this, it has taken the struggles with my feelings after Dane to now to finally realize that I have done my best. I have gone above what most would do to make sure he still gets breastmilk. I am trying my hardest. Without my support system of my wonderful husband and great friends I probably would have given up long ago. But now that we have a pretty much for sure idea of what it is, I can be prepared next time. I will have the SNS to start with and hopefully my supply will be there.
If not, that is okay. If not, I won't cry. I have done enough crying, I have mourned the loss of what I wanted and am now working towards being okay. I will be fine. I have had my moments of anger with my body but I cannot change how it is. I can only learn to live with it. I have beaten myself up enough that I cannot do that again, in time I know I will fully heal from this. My babies were given good milk and I have gone longer each time. So there is hope.
Some will probably think I am crazy for feeling a loss but honestly, I had hopes of nursing a year, exclusively. My chances of that are not there. I cans till do it but exclusively I won't be able to. With the help of donor milk he will get more BM then formula. It's more mental for me. So here I am, learning to cope. My children are beautiful and healthy. I made it to my 6 month goal of nursing, 9 months is next. But it's all just one day at a time.