Well LLLadies, we made it here an let me tell you, it is sweet.
E was born one year ago today at 10:44 AM, forever changing our lives and completing our family. DH said to her, "I have waited a long time for you" and it was so precious my heart ached with love.
This last year has been quite the journey. We faces many challenges along the way. E had type four tongue-tie, which the ped insisted was not tongue-tie, and I suffered through three months of cracked, blistered nipples. Having successfully breastfed two children, I was too full of pride to consult an IBCLC because she gained weight beautifully the first three weeks.
Then at nine weeks I took her in and she had only gained 2.4 oz a week for six weeks. The ped told me my milk wasn't sufficient and to supplement with formula. I went home an cried on DH's shoulder, then called an LC and rented a pump and pumped my little heart out for the next 1-2 months. See, E had started refusing the breast and crying incessantly at three weeks. She was diagnosed with silent reflux. I now know I also had OALD.
We were also under the of a GI specialist because after passing meconium, E never pooped again without help, which is worrisome in a newborn. Once we had weight issues, the GI doctor didn't care about an underlying cause. He told me it was due to an allergy to my milk and that I didn't produce enough milk for her and could never, 12 years after having my first. Some women, he said just couldn't. He told me to pump and bottlefeed for 2 weeks and supplement if I couldn't pump enough. He said we needed to "quantify" how much she was eating. That is now a dirty word to me. I told him to stuff it and never went back.
Meanwhile, until the tongue-tie was clipped, it took her 40 minutes to drink a 2 oz bottle. Once her tongue was clipped, the clicking stopped and the nipples healed.
Simultaneous to this we had a swallow study done because of the reflux. $900 later and we were told E almost aspirates on breast milk and it is too thin to be safe. They shoved a xantham gum thickener at us and said to pump, thicken, and bottlefeed and come back in two months. Just like that.
I was so angry I cried all the way home. We were working and almost had weaned completely off of bottles during the day and I was angry and felt the test was flawed because they always start with thin barium and then go to thick. I had also read about positioning to help with reflux, which we were doing and had read that thickening is only a cosmetic approach and doesn't change the reflux.
It was so hard to have a baby that just cried all the time and refused to nurse. We started bedsharing because she wouldn't wake to nurse at night. It was so scary. She was just this limp little baby by night. Once she was in my bed she flourished. I wore her all day and nursed her lying down and through naps and over time she healed.
While it was a rough start, I never lost sight of my determination to provide breast milk. And it was really a gift in so many ways. I appreciate where we are so much more because we had to fight for it. I came here for encouragement and though I had always at message boards, I stopped lurking and spoke up.
I daydreamed that all the sweet nursing stories I read could be mine and wondered if my baby would ever comfort nurse or be happy.
But now she does and she is. And it's a beautiful thing. Here's to however long our journey lasts.