One will do nicely

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When I had my first son I didn’t decide to breast feed I just naively assumed I would- my mum breastfed us and my sister had breastfed all of her children, it’s free and meant I wouldn’t have to get out of bed in the night, that was as far as my ‘research’ went. Turns out I ended up with quite strong feelings about it!

First son ended up being delivered by emergency section, was born ‘grunting’ and was whisked past me to SCBU. I didn’t even really see him, let alone touch him. In fact I didn’t see him for nearly 12hours.  Looking back I am fairly certain he must have been given formula; I didn’t see him for 12 hours and didn’t attempt to feed him till the next morning, don’t ask me why, I have no idea, it’s just how it happened, mostly not through my choice.

I think it was my sister who sorted out a pump for me and got the nurses to help me feed. Anyway, more by luck than judgement we established feeding, came home and I was exclusively breastfeeding.

I had two lots of mastitis over the next eight weeks, and to cut a long story short, by week 11, I ended up back in hospital having a breast abscess drained and my son stayed at home. I couldn’t feed him due to the antibiotics I was made to take and I couldn’t look after him on my own as I was far too ill. I pumped and dumped for the two weeks I took the medicine, every four hours, day and night.

Just before I was admitted I fed him his first bottle, it made me cry and I hated it. I felt like I was a massive failure – looking back I can see I gave myself a really hard time over something I had no control over. My son was bottle fed for two weeks, I had no idea that I could have got breast milk for him to feed him.  At the time I probably would have freaked at the idea, a shame because my sister would have almost definitely given me her milk.  She did tell me after she almost offered to feed him. I don’t think I would have said yes, but I would now!

So he had two weeks of formula and then I went back to feeding him, but only on one side as the other was a little broken still! We went on like this for the next 5 months, one sided feeding, and then I went back to work, part time and within two weeks my son had self-weaned and was bottle fed on formula until he went onto cow’s milk at one.

I wasn’t disappointed as I was pleased that we got as far as we did. I wish I had more knowledge and advice in those early days but maybe not having it was what helped me succeed. I didn’t even know that all the obstacles in my way could have stopped me breastfeeding, and luckily, they didn’t!

3 thoughts on “One will do nicely

  1. should have also said, when it came to son number two, i was able to feed him on both sides-the consultant told me it would either be to do with the way son one fed or a ‘kink in my tubes’ luckily it was the former,not the latter.

  2. I only fed from one side. Like you mentioned, most babies preferred only one side. My son, who was born with both a cleft lip and a cleft palate (submucosal), was one of those rare babies that could BF with a cleft palate. The cleft in his lip was on the left side of his mouth, and he seemed to prefer my right breast. Although I had more milk in the left (according to my OB), I fed him from the right only. The positioning seemed to help keep him from sucking in too much air through the cleft in his lip and he didn’t get gassy as much.

    Of course, the left one dried up and I was very lopsided. My right one is drying up now as I’m still breastfeeding but also pregnant, so at least they’re approaching symmetry, however saggy that symmetry may be 🙂

    I wish I didn’t let the left side dry up though. It makes it harder when the one boob gets bitten or chewed on during teething times, or when I get a yeast infection on the boob.

  3. i suppose everything our bodies have a pair of is particularly important…hands, limbs, feet, eyes, ears, lungs, kidneys, testicles (some of us), ovaries (some of us). Having 2 breasts must have saved a lot of babies’ lives before formula was available as back up!!

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