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Breastfeeding Problems: Try and Try Again (Part 2 of 3)

(Go back to Part 1)

5 years later, my husband and I were overjoyed, although still very surprised at the news that we would be having another child. When my second daughter was born, I still had a deep desire to breastfeed. I wasn’t as hell bent on it happening this time, but I still really, really wanted to. When she was born, I had her latch on for a little while and then had my husband feed her a bottle. I again had one of those horrid sounding blue pumps. I used it for only 2 weeks before I threw in the towel. Again there were tears, but not nearly as many.

This go around there seemed to be a bit more judgment against not breastfeeding from the general public though. When she was very small, even complete strangers would fill me in on the values of breastfeeding if my little one had a bottle in her mouth.

3rd Time’s a Charm…

Breastfeeding-Problems-Try-and-Try-AgainWith my son, I wasn’t surprised to be pregnant like I had been with both of my daughters.

I did happen upon a little bit of information about breastfeeding that I had previously been unaware of. If you are able to conceive after treatment of cervical cancer, it’s likely you will not be able to lactate. I stumbled on that information while searching out baby names. There were no statistics or numbers tied to the information, and I’m not even sure where I read it. My soul breathed: it wasn’t my fault. I hadn’t done it wrong. I cried.

When my son was born, I again had him latch on. Milk or no milk, it’s still a very valuable bonding experience. While he was latched on I asked the nurse for a bottle. She protested, but got me one anyway. Maybe it was the quick insistence for a bottle or maybe I was next on the lactation consultants list, but she was in my postpartum care room very quickly after I got there. She was carrying a yellow pump, a newer (and much more pleasant sounding) model than the old blue one.

She walked in, introduced herself, and quickly went into her speech on how wonderful, natural, and easy it is to breastfeed. I couldn’t get a word in. My husband was in the bathroom when she arrived. She paused when he walked out just long enough for him to inform her that this was our 3rd child, and I didn’t have milk with the first two. I explained to her about the cancer. Her reply was, “Oh, I didn’t know that.” I’m not sure if she was unaware of my cancer or if she was unaware of the issues that surround the cancer in general. At that point she quickly got herself out of the room. She had left her pump behind though.

The Unexpected Surprise

I continued to have my son latch on before his feedings and something happened. Sometime the second day, as I pulled him away I noticed there was a drop of creamy liquid on my breast. I handed him to John to bottle feed and I grabbed the pump. Nothing. I thought maybe it was my imagination or wishful thinking, but I did start pumping while my son was bottle feeding. A couple of more feedings went by. A few droplets appeared in the pump. Not even enough to make it down to the bottle. Was this happening? I called for a lactation consultant to come back to my room. She (a different consultant) confirmed I was producing colostrum. I started crying and my husband began hugging me. I’m not sure the consultant quite understood. I think my husband and I might have freaked her out a bit.

On day 4, I produced this:



I could do it! I could breastfeed. After starving my oldest child trying to breastfeed, I was very worried about not giving my son enough food. So, for a few days in the beginning I just gave him bottles and pumped. I was producing about 20-25% of what he needed at that point. I realized that the best way to produce more milk was to have him feed from me as opposed to pumping. So I began having him breastfeed then pumping. This wasn’t so productive. He would eat from me until I was out of milk, so the pumping wasn’t doing much.

It wasn’t long before we developed our own sort of schedule. He would breastfeed generally for about 45 minutes. About 45 minutes after he was finished breast feeding he would get a bottle. I would pump a few hours after he went to bed at night. If he woke up at night he got a bottle. I tried probably every trick out there to increase my supply without much luck. I’m not sure exactly how much milk I was able to give him, but he breast feed for just over a year. Feedings took a long time with our little routine and as he entered toddlerhood, he grew more fond of the quickness of his bottle.

I feel extremely blessed to have been able to share this experience with my son. I am currently pregnant again and do have hopes of being able to share with this new little blessing what I was able to with my son. If it doesn’t happen, I don’t think I will be heartbroken. I will at least know the reason behind it now.

To Be Continued…

CrystalCrystal is the momma to four spectacular little blessings and the wife to the most amazing, compassionate man ever. She has 11 years experience as an educator either in public schools or through homeschooling. She enjoys using her creative side to educate her kiddos, working with kids in her community, and doing crafts. You can follow her on her blog On The Go Homeschoolfacebooktwitter,pinterest, and instagram.

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