First I want to state, I am committed to breastfeeding at least until I go back to work. That being said, my ultimate goal is 18 months. I am currently having a really hard time, especially with my left breast. At first I thought, breastfeeding isn't that bad, but it has gotten HARDER for me rather then easier. There are a couple for things that make me different from most. First, I have an over supply of breast milk. This is better than not having enough milk but it is still a problem. I am more prone to plugged ducts and mastitis. My letdown is extremely forceful; therefore is really painful and can affect Stella if it happens during a feeding (gulping/choking). My breasts become severely engorged and I have to get up in the middle of the night to pump for a few minutes (about 3 min.) so Stella can even latch. I will occasionally just hang out over the sink and leak to feel a little better or even hand express when I already pumped that night. I haven't started pumping regularly yet (only when I am so engorged she can't latch) because I am afraid that my body will say I need to make more milk. The average woman has 1.5-2 ounces of milk in each breast. I have 5 ounces (at least), I only pumped once on each side for about 15 minutes, in each breast. Did you know that over supply babies tend to be more fussy, gassy, need to be burped more, have weight issues (depending if they are getting more fore or hind milk), and can have stool issues. There are many things I can try to reduce my supply but I will tell you I have tried most and I am still sleeping on apples. I am sad that I can't comfort feed my child and that we have to use alternative means to comfort Stella when she just wants to suck. She can't even fully drain one breast in a feeding. In fact, she only really feeds for 10-15 minutes because she gets too full. The worst is when she over eats and pukes everywhere. Now that I have written out all of my frustrations, I would like help from you... Please pray that I regulate by next week because I plan to start pumping for work. Pray that my nipple pain goes away and that the Lord gives me the strength to continue to breastfeed. Thank you- Dana
Update: Stella was 8lbs 5oz at her 2 week appt. which is in the 50%. She is doing really good. Steven, Stella and I all got a cold this week and Stella was the first to get better. I am doing better but Steven is still really ill. Here are some pictures of Stella since birth:
Let me start by giving some background information.I had been going to a GYN since I was 17 but she was only a GYN. When I got married I started researching OB practices and switched in the beginning of 2010. Up until 34-35 weeks I was going to have a hospital birth at Winnie Palmer with my new OB practice.I had decided early on I wanted a natural birth. I did a lot of research about childbirth and was shocked!When I first found out I was pregnant three different doctors in my OB practice told me I needed a C-section due to a previous surgery. I then went to the doctor who preformed my previous surgery and asked him if I needed to have a C-section. He thought that was ridiculous and told me he would even attend my birth if needed. My OBs told me I needed a script from the doctor who performed my previous surgery saying a vaginal birth was ok. I then started researching other options because I found that to be stupid. I then spoke to the midwife at my OB practice and she suggested a birth center because I wouldn't get the experience I wanted at the hospital and there was a chance that if anything looked off the OBs would do a C-section anyway.
On the morning of the birth I woke up around 4:30am feeling off and like I needed to use the restroom. I tired to go back to bed but I knew this was it and I was really anxious and I kept having to go to the bathroom! My contractions started off really light and I wasn't really sure if thats what they were. I called my mom at 6:30am and she said it could be labor. I then called my sister because she was my doula (birthing assistant), she told me to try and go back to bed. I tried again but I couldn't sleep. Around 7:10am Steven's alarm went off (it was a Monday morning), I told him I thought I was in labor and he should come to my 10am appointment. This was already scheduled for a non stress test because I was overdue. I called ahead and told the birth center I thought I was in labor. We (Steven, Kim, and I) arrived at the birth center at 10 am and were taken into a birthing room. I was 3-4cm and she was postioned wrong so they gave me some exercises to try and move her. We walked around, I did some exercises for about 40 minutes and the midwife told me to go home and continue to do the exercises and call when my labor progressed. When I got home active labor started (between 11:30-12:00). My contractions were 3 minutes apart and 45 seconds to a minute long (they were this way almost the entire labor). This is when things picked up... I had really bad back labor!! I tried one of the positions to move her (lying on my side with my leg up) and my contractions were just too strong. I had a heating pad my mom had given me for cramps that became my best friend. It is the kind you need to heat up in the microwave- Kim's main job during my labor. My sister tried to get me to eat; I had half a banana and gatorade. Kim then suggested the tub. I sat on the toilet awhile before I got in the tub. I got in the tub for about 35 minutes. I labored on the floor of my room for a few minutes and then I got in the shower for over a half hour at which point I tried to talk Steven into taking me to the hospital for drugs and I told my sister I hated her.
At around 2:30pm I called the birth center and told them if they didn't take me I was going to the hospital. They told me to come in. The car ride was not fun but I survived! I was 6cm when we got there at 4pm and I immediately got in the tub. I then threw up and the midwife told me I was in transition. My contractions were between 3 minutes and a minute and a half apart and 45 seconds to a minute and a half long. I was checked again around 5:30pm and was 7-8cm. I asked the midwife how long she thought it was going to be and she told me if it was my 3rd kid it would be about 15 minutes but since it was my first I had a few more hours. They had me get into a position to try and move her, I had three contractions and my water broke, my sister ran out to get the midwife... I was ready to push! The midwife said I defied the odds. I pushed on the bed and on the toilet. They put the oxygen mask on me because she wasn't getting enough oxygen. I pushed for an hour, Kim holding one leg and Steven holding the other,
Stella Grace Capers was born at 7:10pm
7lbs 10oz and 20in long
Steven pulled Stella out after her head and shoulders were out and put her on my stomach. Her umbilical cord was really short so she hung out on my stomach until the placenta stopped pulsing. I delivered the placenta about 20 minutes later and Steven cut Stella's cord. I tried to nurse right away but she wasn't having it. I nursed about an hour later. After she nursed they came in to check me. I had a first degree tear that required 4 stitches and a labia tear (which sucks!!). Both sets of grandparents and both aunts got to come see Stella. We left the birth center at 12:30am after they made me pee twice.
I will say that after she came out the pain just stopped. I am not sure if it is because all I could think about was her or if the labor is over so the pain is over. I am so glad I chose to do the birth center. Steven got to be extremely involved and I felt at home. I got to hold her and nurse her right away. The midwives were awesome and although it was definitely painful the bonding was amazing! My body learned to cope with the pain and work through it. I didn't know I had that much strength.
I am 31 years old and on August 10, 2007 I married an amazing man, Steven. Not too long after that we purchased our first home on 08/08/08. We welcomed our daughter, Stella, on March 28, 2011. and our daughter , Eleanor, on May 11, 2017.