Where do I begin? I spent the last nine months reading about the little guy's development that I didn't think too much about what it would be like when he arrived. I guess a piece of me held off on that idea as a barrier of blocking the pain if something terrible were to happen. I took the pregnancy one day at a time. Once appointment at a time and held off on thinking about life with this boy.
The first few weeks were rough. First off I could not believe what my body went through to carry and delivery this child. I am still amazed at what a woman's body is capable of doing. No one really talks about the after. Just the baby and how wonderful it is. Well I will do the same. I will spare the details of the after. But so thankful for my friend Kaile and her advice on what to have on hand at home. It made the healing process handy. The only thing I wished I could have had was a donut pillow. I sent Adam and my mom out to find one. No such luck. So if I ever do this again. I will have one in the house for that "just in case".
The next thing I didn't think would be such a trial was breastfeeding. I thought I might have problems, but never thought it would be like it was. I worked with a few lactation specialist and tried their suggestions. I feel like I put blood, sweat and tears into providing breast milk for Palmer.
My first experience was having about 4 hands on my chest and with a shield and syringe trying to feed my baby. The whole experience was overwhelming. We decided to rent a hospital grade breast pump as recommended to help bring in my milk. My husband went to Whole Foods looking for vitamins and tea that would help me as well. He came home with 4 different brands of the same tea and a extra box that was a special gift from Whole Foods. A woman who helped Adam find what he was looking for tagged the box of tea to be free.
The first few weeks were a whirlwind. I was not getting any sleep. I had to have my mom and Adam help me at every feeding. I was having to supplement in the very beginning. Palmer had a lazy suck and we had to syringe feed him and finger feed. He was not eating and losing weight quickly. We had to supplement his feedings.
For the few minuets I would have I spent time at the computer looking for answers that could help. I had no idea there was a whole world of woman who only pump. I figure if I could not feed my son at the breast I could try and give him the milk. I went to only pumping. I spent my time at the machine. Pumping every 2 hours and trying to keep up with having a meal waiting for Palmer every time he was ready to eat. For a while I felt as though I got aheadand felt good about what I was doing. My live was to eat, sleep and pump. I had to get in my tea and vitamins to keep the milk flowing. I even ate asparagus and oatmeal as suggested food items to increase milk production.
What I was missing was time with my son. I didn't change a diaper. I wasn't able to hold him for long periods of time. My mom and Adam took care of his every need. I just felt that my life was stuck to a machine. I did this for a month. Gradually watching the milk supply dwindle. I still tried to get Palmer to latch on and feed on me. But he just would not, even with the shield. He just munched on the tip of the shield. The day came when I realized I was drying up. I had pumped for an hour and half and barely got 90ml from both breast put together. When I had pumped and only produced 3oml from both breast I broke into tears. I knew I had done all I could. I was tired, worn out and just plain unhappy. Adam had been so determined that I keep it up that when I went to him in the end and told him that I was done. He listened and then told me he felt I was done as well.
I felt like a failure at this moment. I felt like something was wrong with me.
What I have learned from this experience. Every woman's body is different. Every child is different. I have learned from others about their experiences. The positive and negative about breast feeding. I still feel breast is best. If you are able to do it. Not everyone is able to do it. I gave Palmer a good 4 weeks of the best I could give him. Now I am giving him the best I can now. I am relieaved to come to terms with breast feeding.
I am so thankful for my mom for being here and with me during this experience. I turned to her for her counscel and advice. I feel like the many hours she sat with me while I tried to feed or pumped we were able to talk about everything I was feeling. I was able to glean information from her and her experiences. I learned so much from her.
The best part about this whole experience is I have witnessed my Patriarticle blessing come to pass. It is a beautiful thing to see your blessing come to life right before your eyes.
I would not change a thing, the first few weeks were the most amazing time and the weeks to follow just get better.