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.