bilirubun levels and were basically forced to give her formula by the doctors on call at the hospital in order to lower it. I honestly felt like a failure but thankfully, everyone reassured me that 1.) it was the only thing to do since my milk hadn't come in yet and, 2.) she would never know the difference or remember it.
Figuring out how often to BF was the hardest part. I have never been assaulted by so many different opinions before and most of the opinions came from medical professionals who worked in the same place. It seemed as if every different nurse and doctor had a different set of rules to tell me about how much to feed my baby that ranged from sticking to a strict schedule to feeding her on demand. I went with the on-demand theory based on the reccomendation of a lovely nurse from Africa, Botswana I think. She told me to pay very close attention to my baby and as her mother, if I thought she was hungry, I should feed her. Simple and to the point. That sounded like a perfectly reasonable plan so I went with it.
I was lucky enough to have a baby that learned to latch almost immediately (she did it about 2 hours after I came out of the general anesthesia from my c-section - I promise, I will share that story soon). I had been really afraid of the prospect of a c-section in the first place after reading and watching and hearing so much about the bonding that occurs immediately after birth. When it became obvious that we would be having one, I felt defeated. So again, lucky for me, Munchkin latched immediately. For the first two months, I was feeding her every hour on the hour. She slept during the day and wanted to hang all night. By the time I made it to her month one appointment, I thought that was going to be the end of my breastfeeding experience. Luckily her pediatrician is team BF and advised against supplementing with formula so early. She was growing and gaining weight and despite my fears that she wasn't getting enough milk, she told me that all was well and to stick with it. I also got some great recommendations to increase my supply from a friend (she's more like a sister - Hey Megs), she told me to get ahold of Mother's Milk Tea and More Milk Plus, both worked for me. I will also say that making sure I was eating well and drinking lots of fluids gave me reason not to question how my supply was doing - if I did a check squeeze, there was always some available.
Fast forward to today, Munchkin is 25 weeks old and this is when I thought I was going to stop. I have been supplementing on the go and sometimes for her before bed bottle with Gerber Good Start Soy Ready to feed formula but I would like to move to only giving her formula when I am out and about. In fact, if I can, I would like to be able to express and maybe BF at night. I don't want to stop for a few reasons. First of all, its good for her and if I made it this far, I can make it to a year. Next on the list is the fact the BF is the gift that keeps on giving. I still haven't gotten my cycle back. Maaaaaan listen, not having it for over a year has spoiled me and if I can live this freedom out for 6 more months, why would I want to cut it short. Finally, the double edged sword - I can basically eat anything and not gain any weight. Yeah that's awesome for now but I have to train myself to eat like a regular person again if I wan't to be able to maintain a "normal" weight when I'm done. I could probably lose ten more pounds if I was more conscious about my choices.
Yesterday, I put a request out to my Instagram followers about how to get on a pumping schedule. I learned so much, including the fact that women are awesome and they are always willing to help another woman - just ask. Check out their suggestions here. Thanks again ladies.
So - wish me luck. Six more months to go. I've got this.