Re: Exhausted and very frustrated
Hi Mandy! I've been brought in because I had a similar experience when my daughter was born 7 years ago. She was born at 33 weeks, after 2 weeks of magnesium, severe bleeding, 3 blood transfusions, an amnio and the threat of a hysterectomy via emergency csection. I was not awake for the birth and didn't even lay eyes on my baby for 24 hours and didn't hold her in my arms for 48 hours. She was hospitalized for 28 tumultuous days, where she did not latch a single time. She was on entirely breastmilk by day 3. I completely understand your rough start. You have gotten some fabulous advice and I don't need to reiterate that. What I can give you is BTDT advice and some words that were given to me by my pediatrician who had a preemie and a lactation certification. Feel free to continue to try to latch, but don't expect results until she is "born". Before the due date, it's all just about catching up. And man I can cry now thinking about how right she was. My daughter didn't even latch until her due date. Then it took another week before she actually nursed at all. A month before I could toss the bottles and 3 more months before we got it all to perfect. She went on to nurse until she was 18 months old and is now a healthy 7 year old.
The message that you should be getting from me is all you need is time and patience. You are already worlds ahead of the place I was in at that point. Your baby is growing and latching. I found the milk expectations outrageous for my little bean. Don't get me wrong, my milk output was phenomenal - and I only used a PIS - but she wasn't eating more than 20ml in a feeding. And those were her hearty meals. I will say that from the second I got that pump on the second day there was nothing that was going to keep me from it. I excused myself twice during my baby shower to pump. Twice. In 3 hours. I set my alarm to wake at night even when she was still in the hospital and people thought I was crazy. I was so incredibly sick too. But it was the least I could do for my baby, who I felt like I failed by not being able to hold her in. Once home, all I did was try to nurse, bottle feed, pump, wash bottles, change diapers, try to nurse, bottle feed, etc. I did nothing else. My husband had started a new job the day I was hospitalized, so he couldn't take time. I ended up taking 5 months from work even though I was a consultant and didn't get a single penny of disability. Why? I'm crazy stubborn.
You can do this, mama. It isn't easy. But what worthwhile is? But it is so worth it. Because it's such a tiny part of their whole lives. All else can wait. Housework, showers, even the job. If you can get additional leave, get it. Trust me you will never regret it. I dealt with every issue under the sun, a wicked case of thrush, oversupply that cause my baby to be sick, reflux, apnea, anemia, mastitis, plugged ducts, bloody milk, raw nipples, you name it. All I needed was time and patience. And these llladies here to hold my hand while I did it.
If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun. - Katharine Hepburn