Wednesday, June 29, 2016

My breastfeeding journey with baby #2

We made it! One whole year of exclusively breastfeeding!! I feel pretty excited about this because my goal was to also nurse Zoey for at least a year and I had to stop at 10 months because I was pregnant and my milk supply dwindled away.

I feel like my experience with each child nursing was totally different. With Makenzie she latched on right away and we did not have any problems right away with nursing, unlike with Zoey. I noticed after being home for a few weeks the only issue we had was she would swallow a lot of air while nursing and this caused her tummy to hurt and lots of gas. I thought she may have had a lip tie or a tongue tie but the Doctor checked and that was not it. I noticed that she just had a funny latch she would use her tongue to suction instead of her bottom lip. It never hurt or anything and she was gaining weight just fine (actually more than fine she was plump!) So I just continued on nursing.

Those first few months were a dream! She went from sleeping 7 hours in the hospital to more than 8 at home. She would sleep all night. I always said I would wake my baby up to eat if they slept that long but I was healing from surgery, exhausted, chasing a toddler around, and she ate just fine all day so I let her sleep.

After she grew out of being a newborn she started becoming very colic. I would say from about 3 months until 6 months she was extremely unhappy. I tried the same things as I had with Zoey I stopped eating dairy and eggs and that did not help her. She would be up at night crying for HOURS I mean almost all night... my husband and I took turns walking around the house with her trying to comfort her. We really tried it all. Natural remedies, bouncing, burping, walking, dancing, feeding.. nothing really worked. We were tired and miserable for a few months. I even developed some PPD that I will probably do another post about. She just seemed to cry all the time, it was hard to watch.

I mentioned it to her doctor several times and she referred us to a GI specialist in another city. We took Kenzie and got her all checked out and basically since she was gaining a lot of weight and getting milk just fine they told us to just ride it out. That eventually she would grow out of it, because you know all babies really do grow out of colic. They really only get concerned if the baby is not gaining weight or thriving. So we just rode it out. Months of crying and I really felt like I was doing everything I could to help and my husband also tried whatever he could to help. There were many nights he walked around with her and let me sleep because I was just so exhausted.

She eventually did grow out of the colic and we never really learned what caused it but I just kept nursing the entire time and her stomach just sorted itself out I suppose. Thank God because we needed sleep! She started to sleep all night again. Her latch just kind of adjusted itself and her gas went away. We only ran into waking up during the night when she was teething. Other than that we continued to nurse with no issues.

I am so happy to say it has been a whole year! I am proud of myself for sticking with it when it became hard during those colic months. The doctors did recommend switching to a special formula and I refused. I knew she would grow out of it and my milk was the best for her.

I am not sure when we will stop, to be honest I don't know if I am ready to and she definitely is not. I will just let her decide and see what she needs from me. I love the connection we have because of this bond and I have learned so much about my babies through this experience.  This breastfeeding journey continues on for us for now and who knows maybe I'll have another baby to nurse soon and the journey will continue! ; )

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