Thursday, July 14, 2011

I was 24 and knew NOTHING! My Breast feeding adventure Part 1

I got married very young and was pregnant with my first baby at 24. I had a lot of question since none of my friends had babies. My sisters had babies but both are quiet a bit older than I and had very different views. I went to every class my doctor offered up. One of the classes was breast feeding. There were possibly fifty pregnant women in the class all practicing holding plastic babies to our breasts. Everything was a blur at the end of class.

I called my Mom and asked her what she did about breast feeding. Her answer was poor people breast feed when she was having babies, no one talked about it and when she gave birth to my oldest brother he was taken away to the nursery to allow her time to recover.When her milk came in it sprayed everywhere and agreed to have her chest bound to stop milk production. She told me I was the only one whom she breast feed and it was only for six weeks because she was in the hospital for three week after she had me. Her doctor told her I was over weight and to put me on low fat cows milk.

So here I am 24 freaking out. Everyone told me something different, nothing was clear and I was going to have a baby. Instead of preparing myself for the baby I prepared my self for the idea of my baby. I bought the crib, made the bedding, had multiple baby showers, washed all the cloths put them away and shopped for big pants for after I gave birth. Not once did I think about feeding this child.

When Marysa finally came I had back labor for two weeks, was eleven days overdue, was in active labor 10 hours before I agreed to an epidural, slept 11 hours to be woke up and told it was time to push. I pushed for three hours and thirty six minutes. When my daughter was born I was tired and sore. The nurse put my daughter on my chest and I asked her to take her away. It was awful. I had no idea about how I missed that bonding moment.

They quickly moved me into a recovery room where I was asked if I took the breast feeding class, handed my baby and was expected to know what to do. There was a dry erase board on the wall where I was expected to record what side I nursed on and for how long. Marysa, my baby didn't know what to do either. She kept clamping on to the end of my nipple and leaving sores. She screamed the entire first night. Every time she would finally fall asleep a nurse would come in flick on the fluorescent lights and tell me to nurse. I have to be honest with you I almost gave up and gave her a bottle. I did give up and gave her a pacifier.

In the morning a woman came in to my room to examine me and Marysa. A lactation nurse. She was  a God send. She told me my breast were to large and my baby's head was to small for her to latch on correctly. That if I laid on my side with my baby on her side and if cupped my breast with my hand to make it smaller moving my daughters nose to my nipple almost teasing her she would open her mouth wide. She did. She latched on correctly. I was able to nurse.

My pediatrician advised I should nurse for the first year. Marysa liked nursing we went almost until her third birthday. I had bribed her with Disneyland to stop after numerous times failing. Over all I think she was ready. Marysa is now 10. She has hardly ever been sick and is at the top of her class. I think there is something to be said about increased immunities and brain development.

This is me at 25 and Marysa at 5 months.
I went back to work when Marysa was nine weeks old. While I was at work I pumped in a bathroom standing in front of the mirror while women came in an out making all sorts of uncomfortable small talk. There were no breast feeding laws to protect me back then. I pumped during my 15 minute break and lunch. I produced enough for her at daycare. The best advice I was given by the consultant was My baby will not go hungry. I never suplamented formula for Marysa and she was a fat happy little girl.

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