Thursday, September 10, 2015

Breastfeeding Resources

This is my ultimate list of breastfeeding resources. If you're struggling on your nursing journey, read on! If you missed out on a great breastfeeding journey due to lack of information, don't feel guilty! You did your best!

Breast is Best:
La Leche League USA: This site has forums, resources, a store and so much more! Pregnancy, breastfeeding, parenting, etc. This has been our go to site with breastfeeding questions.

Alcohol and Breastfeeding: No need to pump and dump!!!

Books about breastfeeding

Breastfeeding after a C-Section

Donating/Receiving breastmilk

Find a friend on the Breast Friends Facebook page and read all the files! There are more resources than I can copy and paste in the short time I have to blog. Find the Breast Friends Off Topic page and join that group, then ask someone there to join the Breast Friends group. Both pages are excellent resources!

To Blog or Not to Blog...

That is the question. I considered quitting after Faith was born. Why continue looking for a rainbow when we found ours? Her first few days home have been difficult though, and after an hour trip to pick up 100 oz. of donated breast milk, my mom encouraged me to keep writing. Maybe another mom is struggling in the same way, and maybe she can take comfort in knowing she's not alone. So if you want to keep following, please add your email to follow my blog. I don't think I'll post on Facebook anymore, as my friends see enough of my updates about our miracle. If enough friends want to follow on Facebook, I'll keep posting it there. Now, onto the adjustments...

We came home from the hospital Wednesday night. Faith woke up frequently, but Shaun and I felt pretty good the next morning. Thursday was uneventful, until that night when I realized she hadn't had any wet diapers. She was still struggling to latch, so I met with my lactation consultant on Friday morning. We tried a nipple shield and different holds, but our struggles stemmed from Faith's lip tie. She strongly encouraged me to have her doctor clip it. When I met with her doctor that afternoon and tried to explain our struggles, he completely brushed off the lip tie and tried to push formula. I refused, and he relented on the condition that we take her to a children's hospital if she didn't have enough wet diapers in 24 hours.

Poor Shaun fought with me Friday night. I desperately didn't want to supplement, because I supplemented with Hope and wanted this time to be better. Eventually he gave her a little bit of formula Friday night so I could get some sleep. I have never felt like such a failure. My colostrum wasn't enough. My body couldn't make enough to keep my baby healthy. As the weekend progressed, I remembered having similar troubles with Hope. That's one more reason we supplemented for a while with her.

On Saturday one of my friends hooked me up with a Certified Lactation Counselor. Jo Stein (click her name to go to her site) was the best thing that happened to us this weekend. She coached me through latches, encouraged me to prop myself up with pillows and get comfy for nursing sessions, and talked with me about my doctor and her personal experiences with him, taking away much of my "mommy guilt". She also hooked me up with a donor mom who gave us 100 oz. of breast milk! We met the donor Saturday night and brought home a cooler full of liquid gold. If you're struggling with supply or latch issues, find your local Eats on Feets group on Facebook. Every state has one, and the moms on there are 100% dedicated to giving away their overstock of breast milk. Like any online meeting, take someone with you to be safe. I can understand why some might be hesitant to accept milk from a stranger, but this is something Shaun and I researched heavily while I was pregnant and agreed would be the best solution for us. We actually planned on me selling or donating through a website, because I had such a surplus with Hope.

On Wednesday morning I FINALLY woke up to the full feeling of my milk coming in. It took just over a week, but now I know Faith is getting enough milk. She's finally having enough wet and poopy diapers. There have been moments when I'm overtired and stressed and want to give up, but she holds my finger while eating and looks so happy. Even when we were struggling, she would look up at me and smile when she finished. She's worth every struggle and every tear. If you're finding breastfeeding is 'natural' but not 'easy', don't give up! find a friend, a doula, or a lactation consultant to help. Now I'm going to sit back and enjoy the nursing cuddles while the laundry waits another day.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

The Story Behind Her Name

Update on blood sugar: Because low blood sugar is Faith's only symptom, the doctor isn't as worried about it now. She has to have it checked every hour, and they're hoping to get it to 50 before sending us home. Right now it's at 45. We're nursing on demand and doing skin to skin to try to pull it up.

I knew when I wrote earlier I was forgetting something, but for the life of me I couldn't figure out what. While I was resting this evening I remembered I was supposed to explain her name, and I didn't. Sorry about that. Here goes: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was always one of my favorite books growing up. I watched all three movie versions, and I read the book in fifth grade and loved it. Lucy was always my favorite character. Really, who didn't love Queen Lucy the Valiant? I considered naming Hope Lucy, but it means "light' or "spark" and that didn't feel significant to me at the time. Now I'm so glad I didn't, because Lucy's name means "Spark of Faith". How perfect is that for our Rainbow?! Shaun and I chose our children's names while we were planning our wedding. Originally we agreed to look at the baby before naming it. Shaun loved Lucy, but wanted it to be short for Lucille, after his great-grandmother. A few months ago, Shaun came home and pleaded his case for choosing a name in advance. He said since Lucy Faith means Spark of Faith, we should go with that because this pregnancy has restored our whole family's faith in God. How could I argue with that?! It didn't hurt that both girl names were names I chose. Early on I struggled a bit with Lucille, but I walked around the house all day saying it, and I thought about Lucille Ball, whom I've always referred to by her whole name. Eventually it grew on me. She's not going to be called Lucille, anyway. Hope calls her Faith, Shaun mostly calls her Lucy, and I switch back and forth. When she's older she can choose how she wants to be known. Any questions? Feel free to ask!

Meet Our Rainbow!

Lucille Faith was born at 4:27 this afternoon. 21 in. long and weighed a whopping 7 lbs 9 oz. And by the time I delivered her, the demerol wore off and I still had three minutes before I could have more! She's having a little difficulty maintaining a latch, so I'm talking with two lactation consultants tomorrow. Her blood sugar is lower than what they'd like, and the hospital pediatrician is encouraging us to supplement. I'm nursing as often as I can to avoid that, but please pray we can keep her healthy. Her birth was insanely fast. My mom ran to get Taco Bell for Shaun and completely missed it! Dr. Brown was a little slow arriving and almost missed it. One of my friends from high school worked at the hospital when Hope was born, and surprisingly she now works at the hospital where Faith was born. She came in while I was in labor and we talked briefly, and she planned on returning to help catch Faith, but she missed it too!

Faith is a heavy sleeper just like her dad, so it's going to take a while to figure out how to wake her up for feedings. With her low blood sugars I'm very worried about missing one. Sleep tonight is hit or miss. Of course Shaun is already passed out on the couch.

I was worried she wouldn't fit in all the small clothes we have, but it looks like those worries were unfounded. She feels so tiny! She's resting on my chest right now. I love listening to her breathe. Hope had the chance to hold her tonight and was dancing on air. She is absolutely in love! We all are! God has answered so many prayers this pregnancy. I'm forever grateful for my amazing friends and family who've been supportive along the way. I'm going to try to get some sleep before her next feeding. Thanks again!