My Breastfeeding Journey - Part 2

1:31 PM Amanda Greathouse 0 Comments

"What do you mean he didn't gain any weight?!" Ughhh. That's not what you want to realize as a first time, breastfeeding mom. Greyson's source of food is me & he isn't getting enough - doesn't make you feel so good.

So I went to see my lactation consultant & she brought in a doctor who was a tongue tie "expert" - I use that term loosely as she is hardly such, but apparently the only one here who kinda knows what to look for. She confirmed that Greyson had a mild tongue tie and proceeded to explain the options. They could leave it be and he would likely continue to have the problems he'd had forever, including speech issues later on. Or she could clip it and it *could* improve things. There was more but way too much to explain. After talking to my husband, we decided to go for it. The possible benefits outweighed the risks in our opinion and were worth it to us.

I love post-nursing snuggles! 

Only I was at the appointment with my son as it started as just a check-in to see what might be wrong. I am NOT the person to be around when anything painful happens to my son. I wept like a baby for both sets of his shots, so imagine sitting back while the IBCLC swaddles him & holds him down and the doctor cuts his frenulum [skin connecting his tongue to the bottom of his mouth]. I was about to hyperventilate. No anesthesia, just 2 snips and he was done.

They handed him to me and said "nurse him, it will help it stop bleeding." I was watched like a hawk as they tried to determine if it'd helped. Well at this point, we'd been at the Pediatrics office for a few hours and Greyson hadn't had a nap. So he was exhausted, I was distressed after putting him through all of that and he was in no mood to nurse, regardless of how hungry he might have been. After a long nap, he had a good feed and things seemed to be improved.

He does the silliest things while nursing - if I have a necklace on, he HAS to play with it! 

We continued to nurse as we did before, every 2 hours or so, except at night since he was sleeping decent stretches at this point. Things did seem better - I could hear him swallowing more, he was having more diapers, and he was still meeting his milestones. He was gaining weight, but not very much, even with the tongue tie correction. He only gained about 1 pound from 3.5-4.5 months, which isn't great...

So the IBCLC - she's basically my BFF haha - suggested I get serious about giving him some bottles. I had been trying, but I would do them here & there, not really worrying about getting him a certain amount. But clearly we needed to do something. So I started pumping in addition to nursing. Not sure what you know about that, but its time consuming like no other. I save a little time by pumping while I nurse, but still.. 

I set a goal for myself of 4-6oz a day until that Thursday night when the IBCLC called me at almost 9 PM and said she was looking at his growth chart and it was such a slight incline that she wanted to make sure everything was okay. So that goal I mentioned quickly changed to 8-10 oz a day. And sure enough when I had him weighed that Tuesday, he had gained 9 oz from the week before! So regardless of the tongue tie clip, he is an inefficient nurser still. 

Chronic teething means EVERYTHING makes its way into his mouth & gets chomped on! Ouch! 

So now, 2 weeks into pumping and nursing, I am exhausted. It is more time consuming, obviously. Luckily, Greyson does great with going back and forth between nursing and bottles, though most of the time I'm sure he prefers the bottles. He gets super excited when he sees one! I have to keep it hidden until I am ready to give it to him. 

He can now hold his bottles on his own, though I don't usually let him, as he holds it high to guzzle it down

Sitting in his high chair - excited to start solids soon! 

As of now, I am very proud of myself for continuing through all that we've been through during our nursing relationship so far. The pain, tears, and time - but I can honestly say, its so worth it to me to be able to proudly say my son has only had breastmilk during his life. My goal is at least 1 year. We are planning to start solids when he is around 6 months, so stay tuned to see how things go with that introduction! 

Update: The latest on our journey can be found here