So Layton is now 12 days old and I’m not lying when I say the past 12 days has been the hardest but best days of my life! The main reason for it being so hard isn’t just the lack of sleep (and I mean ZERO sleep) – it’s also been the breast-feeding!
All the way through my pregnancy I said I was going to give breast-feeding a go and if it worked out – fab! If it didn’t I wasn’t going to feel guilty about having to use formula milk! I was originally concerned that I may not be able to breast feed anyway as I have breast implants and have had surgery on them twice – but there’s been no problems there as I seem to be producing so much milk I could feed an army!
So where do I start…
My breast-feeding journey started on day 1 in the hospital straight after I gave birth! I wanted skin-to-skin straight away so I wanted Layton placed on me so we could bond – it’s meant to help with milk production too! As my labour was traumatic and Layton was removed by forceps, he wasn’t very hungry on the first night and I didn’t have a clue what to do to express my milk/colostrum so the midwife in hospital expressed the colostrum from my breasts for me and fed it to Layton via a syringe. The second day he was hungry so I started learning how to get Layton to latch on to my nipples and I fed him regularly – I was still really weak and run down so I can’t exactly remember how often I fed him but this is when the problems started as his latch wasn’t great due to a tongue-tie! This caused A LOT of pain! My nipples began to crack and and kind of split after a few days so every time Layton was feeding I was in agony all the way through the feed! I wanted to persevere and continue as I wanted Layton to have the best start in life with the right milk…the milk I produce for him because it’s something I’m giving to him that no one else can as it was created for him! The pain got worse and worse and no amount of nipple cream or rubbing breast milk around my nipple was making any difference so I spoke to my midwife about it and I was referred to get his tongue tie cut and I was advised to start expressing with my Medela breast pump straight away! I was hoping this would solve all of my problems!
My nipples did get a little better but because Layton was drinking expressed milk from a bottle, his latch got a little bit lazy which resulted in my nipples becoming sore again – it was a vicious circle for me! I sought help and advice from my friend Mariam and a new friend Helen who I was introduced to by a work colleague and I literally can’t thank them enough! It’s strange getting your boobs out in front of people but my confidence in breast feeding in front of people has grown! I just don’t care what people think now!
Layton’s tongue tie was cut and his latch has been brilliant since! Breast feeding doesn’t hurt me anymore and I absolutely love the connection I have with my baby when he feeds off me BUT and there is a MASSIVE BUT…he feeds all of the time! It’s not the “norm” of every 2-3 hours at all – it’s literally every 45 minutes to an hour! I have had ZERO sleep practically and haven’t for around 3 weeks now and it’s started to take its toll on me!
Unfortunately we ended up in Tree Tops last night due to Layton having a temperature and projectile vomiting after every feed and as soon as my husband Liam left us I broke down in floods of tears because of worry but also exhaustion! I’ve been too’ing and fro’ing about combi-feeding for about a week now and each time I go against it and try to stick out breast-feeding but last night I literally hit my limit. I have been feeding my baby every 45 minutes to an hour for a while now – I can’t seem to catch a break in between feeds so we’re decided that for Liam to to be able to help we’re going to add a little bit of formula milk in between breast feeds. I’m still predominantly going to breast feed but also add a few bottles of formula milk into the mix – especially on night time feeds!
Breast feeding is NOT easy and the pressure is really hard! I’ve felt so much pressure to stay on the breast feeding and it’s made me miserable…I’m a massive believer in FED IS BEST. Yes, breast milk is best but it’s a struggle and I can totally understand why people choose formula. I’ve put so much pressure on myself to keep going but it’s resulted in tears every day…
Today is the first day we’ve tried a couple of bottles of formula whilst also breast feeding and so far so good – he’s still feeding all the time but at least I’ve been able to grab a couple of hours whilst the mother in law helped look after him today when we got out of hospital.
As long as my baby is happy and healthy I’m happy – but to make my boy happy, I need to be happy and exclusively breast feeding isn’t for me. Hats off to those who stick it out for longer – you’re much more strong willed than me!