Thursday, March 13, 2008

My humps, my humps my lovely lady lumps.

So I am joining the boobie carnival. Sarcastic Mom aka Lotus had a feeding carnival the other day and yes I may be late but only cause I JUST found out about it.
I read Zoe's story and then found out about the carnival. And being the follower I am I decided to do it as well.

Breastfeeding. It really seemed like such a simple easy thing. It really did. I knew when I had a baby that I would breastfeed. I just knew it. Just like I just knew I would have three kids (um, yeah MAYbe 2), that I would be a stay at home mom (ahem, I was for a YEAR! ), and of COURSE I would breastfeed. I mean why not?

Well I got pregnant. I became obsessed with everything realted to pregnancy. I watched Discovery Health, joined WebMD (where I met some pretty awesome girls), and read everything. I researched relentlessly online. I discovered Boppy pillows, how many breastpumps were in the world, and bought nursing bras. I was so excited. I would be THE best mom ever.

My mom warned me that some things could complicate breastfeeding. Don't get me wrong she wanted me to breastfeed. She was just trying to prepare me. She couldn't breastfeed my brothers 1. Becasue with her first kid she had toxemia (now called HELLP) and was too ill and he was too premature and back then they didn't really care about breastfeeding.
2. My other brother refused to do it.

But I remained positive. I knew I would do it and for the recommended year.
I had a pretty uneventful pregnancy. I went on bed rest once for a UTI for a week and other than getting huge and gross I was fine.
Until I hit 34 weeks. My boobie story will be a part birth part bfing story)

I awoke the morning of January 17th (MLK day) at about 4:30 a.m. I had the most wretched pain in my chest. On my right side near my shoulder. It was so horrible. I figured it was gas. We had gone to the movies that evening and I had pigged out.
I woke up and started walking around. I ignored the sign of impending labor since I was early.
I could NOT stop peeing. I peed all morning. Later I learned my body was preparing for birth.
I continued to walk around breathing through this "gas pain". It continued to get worse. I began to cry but did not realize it until I heard my husband in the doorway to the family room asking why I was sobbing. I reached up and saw that yes I had been crying.
THAT'S how much pain I was in.
I told him I had a terrible gas pain and was just walking through it. He looked at me and said, "We are going to the ER." I tried to argue with him but he was insistent. He said, "If it's nothing they send us home. No biggie."
So at 7:00 a.m. on MLK day 2005 we headed to the hospital.
I went to the ER where they took one look at me and wheeled me straight to Labor and Delivery. I started to get very nervous.
Well the admitting nurse told me to change into a gown and they would hook me up to see what was happening. I told her I was fine, I just had gas. She said, "Let's make sure."
I was SO embarrassed. Surely I was fine.
They hooked me up to the machines and the nurse said, "Sweetie did you know you were contracting every 3-4 minutes?"
I looked at her and said, "WHAT!" I asked her what a contraction felt like. she told me and I said, "Well the only thing I feel right now is the pain in my chest area." She said they would find the source of that.
She checked me and wala I was 2 centimeters dialated. I began to hyperventilate. She reassured me I was fine and that she was going to call my doctor to see what he wanted to do.
I told Bud it was too soon. That the baby would be a preemie. I started to cry.
Bud was already crying. His were tears of joy. Mine were of fear.
I knew something was wrong. I just knew it at that point.

Well my doctor told the nurse to admit and monitor me. To not stop my contractions and to not help them either. To just wait and see.
We called all of the family. My parents drove up there and we sat and waited.
While we waited I had several vials of blood drawn. I figured it was normal. I didn't know at that time I was being tested for everything under the sun.
Well at around 4 that afternoon nothing had happened. My contractions were still there, no more dialation, and the pain was STILL there, just as bad as ever.
My doctor came in and said, "Well it looks like you can go home. False alarm. You can start to get your stuff together. I am waiting for one last test but after that comes back, you can go. "
I was relieved. Maybe it was gas. I was fine. No biggie.
My mom and MIL were in the room and looked relieved as well.
Not even three minutes later my doctor returned with a team of people behind him. My heart sank.
He pulled up a chair and said,"Please don't panic." Ha I panicked. He went on, "You have an illness called HELLP, a complication of pre-ecclampsia. Right now your liver enzymes are rising, hence the pain in your chest, and your platelets are falling to a dangerous level. If I don't deliver this baby right now you could hemmorage to death." I started to cry. I was going to lose my baby. I was going to die. (Now the doc didn't say all of this just like this he actually said it really well. He does have a great bedside manner.)
He told me he was taking me for an emergency c-section. My mom called Bud on his cell, he was in the cafe getting food.
Bud ran upstairs just as I was being wheeled off. He told me later that was the most afraid he has ever been.
I got to the OR and was put to sleep. I woke up 40 minutes later to Bud standing over me. He said Bean was fine and in the nursery.
He was later moved to the NICU due to respiratory distress since his lungs weren't quite ready.
I was in the hospital for a week. I was so sick. I slept for 24 hours straight on a magnesium drip.
I saw Bean the next day. I had forgotten all about breastfeeding.
When Bean was 2 days old the nurse came in and asked me how I wanted to feed him. I said I wanted to breastfeed. She wheeled the pump in and said that since he was having issues feeding that he couldn't go on the breast yet. But soon.
So I pumped. I remember putting that pump to my breast and nothing happened. Just my boob kept being deformed with each suck but nothing came out. I cried. I was broken.
The nurse came in and told me that it may take a little longer than most for my milk to arrive. After all I was very sick and the meds I was on could delay the process. (I did have awesome nurses). This news helped. So every 3-4 hours I used the pump.
Finally on the 4th day something happened. The tiniest amount of yellow came out. I was ECSTATIC.
My colostrum had finally arrived. I began to pump more. Soon I was like a jersey milk cow (or so Bud called me).
I stayed in the hospital with Bean until he was discharged 5 days after me. I pumped all the time. I tried the actual breast a few times and he would furiously try to latch but it was still dificult for him. The night before he was discharged I breastfed. I was so excited. I had done it.
I continued to pump between feedings in order to up my supply.
I breastfed exclusively for almost 5 months.
Then I dried up. I did everything, took vitamins, drank water, pumped like crazy. Nothing.
My OB said that this happens. And there was nothing they could do.
I cried. I wanted to breastfeed but had nothing to offer.
Bean was already 18 pounds at this point so my momma milk did his body good.
I know that I should be proud. I am. I tried and did breastfeed for a lot longer than a lot of moms ever get too.
Today Bean is 43 pounds, almost 3 and a half feet tall and is only 3 years old. He is healthy and happy and I guess my momma milk did its job.


Hyphen Mama said...

Congratulations! Your momma milk DID do its job. 3 years and 43 pounds is awesome! Good for you that you kept up with the pumping until it happened for you.

I thought for sure breastfeeding was going to just come naturally, since it's "so natural". It didn't! Not one bit was easy for me.

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

As I was reading, I was ACK! SHOULDER PAIN! HEELP! ACK! Amazing what you learn from reading blogs too much--I knew from the symptoms you were describing where you were going.

Anyoo--well done on a great job! You stuck through even with all the challenges you faced and you did amazing.


Motherhood for Dummies said...

I had to stop breastfeeding too. My Lucy just didn't like breastmilk. We didn't know it at the time, but I had a low low supply anyways, but she was loosing weight and was getting sickly looking. So we stopped and switch to formula and she just plumped back up! To this day she still wont take the frozen milk we still have. The doc said that yea something babies just don't like it. She would only eat what she had to. Crazy huh!

Are You Serious! said...

I was never really able to either! I had to supplement and pump and it was so not worth it... I've never been much for homeopathic stuff but I have a friend who used a homepathic remedy call Fennel and it works great to increase supply. She hasn't had any problems like she usually does... IF I have any more kids I might have to try that.

Law Student Hot Mama said...

That's a helluva story, there.

I swear my kid likes the boob so much I may be breastfeeding him until he's 12. Ok, not so much, but he really is into it!

Poltzie said...

Ok, I probably should not have read this - eek!
Being almost 34 weeks and having a lot of pressure I am always worried that the baby will come too soon.
You are a strong woman!

Rebecca said...

You did well, Mom. Congratulations! :)

LaskiGal said...

Oh wow! That is dedication! You did great. Your little one sure sounds healthy. You are a "best mom ever!"

Zoe said...

i think it's great that you still wanted to try after everything you had been through! you should be proud!