So what have I been doing the past few days since we returned home? Besides cuddling and cooing and not sleeping? Well, I've been trying to breastfeed.
And, oh, I've been having the hardest time!
I remember rough patches with Evie. Waiting for my milk to come in, trying to get her to wake up for feedings, the whole milk/soy thing... But the relationship we had during our nursing sessions made it all worthwhile. I loved the whole thing, and breastfed her for 20 months. It's an accomplishment I'm still very proud of.
Ethan is a different story, though. Just hours after he was born, he was in the NICU with jaundice. It was important to get him eating right away, to rid his body of bilirubin. So I agreed to supplement his feedings with formula. And he drank a LOT of formula! The nurses were all impressed with his appetite, and everyone was happy when he started getting better.
But all the bottles have caused me problems. I can't get him to latch on. I worked with a lactation consultant at the hospital, and she gave me lots of tips. I was so enthusiastic at first, but after so many days of Ethan refusing to nurse, after days of trying everything I could think of, of calls to several lactation consultants, of pumping around the clock to protect my milk supply, of more tears than you can imagine, after nipple shields and dripping syringes of breastmilk, and countless pleads to Ethan to JUST LATCH ON, I am done.
It makes me so sad. This is never something I even considered. Bottle feeding just wasn't in my plans at all. However, here I am.
Talking with Ethan's pediatrician last night made me feel so much better. Really, there's not much more I can do to encourage him to nurse. And it's not a choice I made for him - he made it for me.
The new plan is to pump a few times during the day and feed him that milk from a bottle. His other feedings will be formula. And I'll cuddle him often, wear him in a sling, sing to him, and kiss his little head so he still feels nurtured. It's a compromise I never wanted to make, although I'm becoming more accepting as time goes by.
But it sure feels like failure.
5 hours ago