Say hello to Collin

So this happened:

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Collin was born on Sept. 16 at 8:40 a.m. weighing 7 lbs 3 oz and 19 inches long.

And, yes, he really does have all of that hair … and then some. Haha! In fact, he already has sideburns:

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He is also the noisiest, flailiest and gassiest tiny human I’ve ever met.

And he’s ours.

I set out to write and post this entry so many times over the last (almost) four weeks, but it never seemed to happen until now.

I’ll likely dedicate an entry to Collin’s uneventful birth and the difficult 48 hours that followed.

Until then, let me give you the cliff notes version. Our tiny bundle spent 2 days in NICU because he was having trouble maintaining his blood sugar levels. Emotionally, those were extremely difficult days – especially the day he was born. I did, however, use his stay to concentrate (the best I could) on healing physically. I’m very fortunate that I had minimal pain and didn’t need medication beyond the day of surgery. 🙂

Our time at home has been a blur of diapers, feedings, laundry and missed sleep. I must say, if my mom hadn’t spent every night with me for two weeks I likely would have had a nervous breakdown … instead of just moments of hysterical crying. 😉

As I mentioned before, I really wanted to give breastfeeding the best possible shot I could. Our beginning didn’t work out exactly as I had planned, but I started pumping soon after he was born. I pumped every three hours for two days to make sure he got every drop of colostrum he could – in addition to the formula the NICU nurses fed him.

When he finally made his way back to our room, I immediately stripped my shirt and bra off and snuggled him skin to skin for hours.

The first time (and every time after that) we tried to breastfeed was a disaster. Neither of us knew what to do. Nurses tried to help. A lactation consultant tried to help. But he just wouldn’t latch. Or he would fall asleep.

I now know all of that is characteristic of a late pre-term baby. Those little guys just aren’t ready to be in the world yet – and their little jaws can only suck for so long, if you’re lucky enough to get a good latch.

The consultant sent us home with nipple shields and instructions to only use them for two weeks. With the exception of having to pile my lap and back with pillows … and stick rolled up towels under my breasts … nursing sessions went well with the shields.

Sometime during that first week at home I lost my patience with the pillows, so I bought a My Brest Friend. It was great for about two weeks. Now, though, it’s too big because I’ve lost weight.

In the midst of all this, I tossed the shields. And that’s when the latch pain set in. Not discomfort, but white hot pain. Every article I read indicated breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt. If it does, it’s likely because of bad positioning or shallow latch.

I watched tutorials. I read step-by-step directions. But for the life of me I couldn’t fix the latch issues. So I made an appointment with a lactation consultant. And she was wonderful! I liked her so much, in fact, we went to see her twice in one week.

Kidding.

We went twice because I was at the end of my rope.

She assured me I was doing great and that we could fix his latch issues. She also told me I likely have thrush from the nipple damage he did. :-/

At the end of the day, however, neither of us have the patience to fix the latch. We spend more time crying than anything. I reached the point where I was dreading each session. I was miserable.

Today I said enough was enough.

Even though I swore I swore I wouldn’t, I will pump every two hours to make sure he gets breast milk for as long I can feed him. Considering we’re only four weeks in and I’m already pumping at least 3.5 ounces every two hours, I can’t bring myself to let it dry up.

But I will not continue to fight my emotions, his squirmy arms and legs, and both of our poor techniques. I just won’t.

The moment I made the decision I felt like a huge weight lifted from my shoulders. And the rest of my day was SO much better.

I’m sure this is just the first of many difficult decisions ahead of me as this adorable, snuggly little guy’s mommy.

But, to bring out the sap, he’s worth it. 😀

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6 thoughts on “Say hello to Collin

  1. With you on the difficulties of bf. Welcome to the ‘exclusively expressing club’! I dropped to every 4 hours after 2 weeks, made life much easier. Which pump are yyou using?

  2. Stacey says:

    Sooooo adorable. I struggled with bf too. With my first, my nipples looked like the worst case scenario from my breastfeeding class slide show. Like someone took a cheese shredder to them. Tmi I know. Even with my third, I still had the toe curling pain and I was an “expert” by then! So don’t let them tell you it’s not supposed to hurt. Do what works for you and your family. No regrets. But if you decide to give nursing a go again (I HATE pumping), use that nipple shield as long as you like. Or exclusively pump. Or use formula. But enjoy that gorgeous baby, mama.

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