Breastfeeding tales

DISCLAIMER: this is a venting post my self therapeutic exercise. I will be honest and open about my experience hope it helps someone else.

So this story began when our baby girl was born.She came three weeks before her due date. At 37weeks she weighed 2.6kgs.I remember thinking how small she was and wondering how I was going to carry her without breaking something.
One of the things I was looking forward to was breastfeeding.To create that bond between my newborn as I did the most natural thing in the world feeding my offspring.I was lucky my milk set in immediately after birth during my hospital stay ,my milk production was so much that I had to change my hospital gowns often as I would leak rivers of that liquid gold.
I was shown how to help my baby latch on by the nurses.Let me tell you that was hell.every change of shift came with it a new nurse with different ideas on how I should breastfeed.they pulled and pinched and hovered .Taji never caught on.From the moment she was first placed on my breast she fought and cried incessantly .Like she didn’t want it. Whenever she would successfully latch she would suck for a few minutes and then get off and cry herself Into an exhausted sleep.Nothing I tried worked.The hospital  lactation consultant even came to show me how to ‘do it right ‘ and even then nothing worked.I was told with practice things would get easier and after a few days we were sent home.
It .was.hell. We didn’t sleep for two weeks.Night times were the worst we would take turns trying to calm her down before placing her on the breast and still nothing worked.She would suck for a few minutes and pull herself off and go to sleep in frustration.I was worried that my baby would starve to death.Our visit to paedetrician confirmed my fears our baby had lost weight ,yes it was Normal after birth.But within two weeks instead of adding weight as expected she had lost some grams .She looked thin dehydrated and  sad.Our doctor said he was concerned and that I should try my best to keep bresstfeeding.I cried that day after leaving hospital I felt like a failure.If I couldn’t provide sustenance to my child what good was I as a mother? On the way home my husband and i talked and we decided to do what ever it took to get her healthy.So we bought a tin of Cow and Gate formula and decided that after she breastfed I would supplement with formula.She loved the bottle and downed that first bottle really quickly.My poor baby had been starving.
All the stress during the first few days resulted in my milk reducing.I wanted to express milk store it and bottle feed her.Formula wasn’t supposed to be the only thing she took.Unfortunately that never happened.I was told because my baby was born earlier than her die date she found it too hard to latch on properly and pull enough milk .And that with time as she grew bigger and stronger she would eventually breastfeed properly.And so each day I would place her on the breast hoping that the day would come .She turned two months yesterday.That day hasn’t arrived.She won’t breast feed.Expressing milk through using s breastpump hadn’t yielded much .I never get past the 60ml mark.I have tried everything ,seen a lactation consultant who sold me lactation cookies and Mother’s tea I have tried porridge,soups. It hasn’t worked.So there isn’t enough for me to store away and feed her on demand.So I have continued to give her formula.At the last doctors visit she had added weight and is healthy and happy.
It has been an emotional rollercoaster .I love being a mother I feel so blessed.However Everywhere I turn I have been told I need to breastfeed for atleast 6months that it will boost her immunity and all those nice things.
As I write this I realize that everyday i will have to battle with my mind and make peace with the fact that I can’t breastfeed or express enough milk.It is okay.She is healthy she is growing she will be fine.I am still a good mother.I am a first time mother doing the best I can so help me God.

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The end.

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22 responses

  1. Njeri

    She is so grown! So pretty. I hear you, we often have so much advice coming from all corners. Whichever way, formula, or food earlier or EBF, they turn out great. Go with what works. Until this point, I have improvised at every stage. Keep going!!

    Like

    January 6, 2016 at 4:14 am

    • Thank you Njeri!so true I am slowly learning to trust my God given instincts and to do what I feel is best for her

      Like

      January 6, 2016 at 4:47 am

  2. Kanyi

    Just look at me and Lemmy…it will be fine…10 more months and she qill be 1 year!!!!you will make it!theres no formula for how this is done…happy that you are sharing this…

    Like

    January 6, 2016 at 4:22 am

    • Yes Kanyi I remember it wasn’t easy for you and look how far you have come .thanks hun for your support!

      Like

      January 6, 2016 at 4:48 am

  3. Kui Bett

    Thanks for sharing from your heart! I will remember this when my time comes, that no matter what ‘I am a good mother’..

    Like

    January 6, 2016 at 6:30 am

    • Thanks,I am glad!I feel happy when what I write helps others.God bless you 😊

      Like

      January 6, 2016 at 6:37 am

      • Consolata Nzomo

        Wish there was a text book that gives all answers and they work; today my daughter is going to university. She is 19 years old. I must have done something right and so will you! I was there too. You have a beautiful baby enjoy the moment as they grow up so fast!

        Like

        January 6, 2016 at 8:07 am

  4. Kaeci

    Go! Go! Go! I’m so glad you’ve learnt early that there is no golden formula. Babies are different, so are mothers. Wait till a watchman gives you a msomo about your baby not wearing a sweater. In January! 😠 Follow your gut and know that all the humans walking around, moving and shaking the planet are products of breast milk, formula, uji, rice water and all else. God bless you some more.

    Like

    January 6, 2016 at 7:42 am

  5. Every baby is different, no one should make you feel that you have failed. You have carried Taji, you have birthed her and she’s your’s… all yours (& George).

    My Mum kept telling me that in their generation there was no WHO and mandatory breastfeeding for 6 months to 1 year. Instead at 2months I was on KCC milk, so were many of us in our generation. She suspects my Sister was on KCC earlier. Also there were no leave days to even try and pump to feed so we all just grew up and aren’t we a fantastic lot?

    God knows the plans He has for Taji and for you… don’t sweat it!

    Like

    January 6, 2016 at 8:27 am

    • Ain’t that the truth!thank you for that reminder I blog so that I purge the negativity and move onwards!

      Like

      January 6, 2016 at 10:22 am

  6. Thanks for the share! Glad you and baby are healthy and happy! That’s what is important. Yap no baby is the same… Mine was overdue but breastfeeding was super painful (cracked nipples and the like). I also substituted with formula to ease her hunger. My mum told me she fed me meat to sleep through the night at 2 months! My mum was a good mother. You are a good mother! You carried Taji through a diffucult pregnacny and you both made it!!!! You are now healthy and happy!

    Like

    January 6, 2016 at 11:06 am

  7. Sandie

    Let me tell you, am so glad you are opening up.

    There isn’t much we are told about the challenges but a lot about the joy and what we should do.

    Am sure this will inspire mothers who are struggling.

    As much as it pained you, you made the right decision for your baby, the makings of an epic mum who will grow with her baby.

    God bless you and your family 🙂

    Sandie

    Like

    January 6, 2016 at 11:34 am

  8. Joy Wachira

    Karimi,

    You are doing a good job. Exclusive breastfeeding is not what defines a mother.

    Keep doing what you’re doing. She will be fine and her immunity will be as good as the rest.

    🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    January 6, 2016 at 12:44 pm

  9. Your story is exactly like mine! I had the same issues when breastfeeding Zara – though she caught on after three weeks. I started formula at 4 months, despite stares and being put down for not doing EBF for 6 months. Rere, you are a great mum, because you are doing EVERYTHING to ensure Taji is healthy and developing well. So do you – you’re doing great! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    January 6, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    • Wow really?I didn’t know you had the same struggles and look at Zara now.good job mummy !and thank you for your encouragement😊

      Like

      March 9, 2016 at 12:04 pm

  10. Brenda Odhiambo

    Wow thanks for sharing cute baby

    Like

    January 6, 2016 at 2:15 pm

  11. naserian

    Go with what works as long as baby is healthy there’s nothing to worry. Don’t demonize yourself or feel bad, I don’t think there’s a perfect way to raise a baby. Take each day as it comes mama…keep it up!!

    Like

    January 6, 2016 at 3:05 pm

  12. Hang in there dear, when I gave birth I had the same lactation problems, one of my boobs cracked to a point where I’d bleed, yet I was still to breastfeed to avoid engorged breasts. I cried in my first month and thought I was a bad mum. But I also prayed that it would pass. As a first time mum I know it can be difficult because you want the best for your child. Don’t despair giving the best to your child.formula or Breast milk whichever way suits you do it dear. Afterglow, it’s God who takes care of our children. We are 14weeks today. Motherhood is not all rosy, but I don’t mind the thorns either. It’s a beautiful journey. God bless you and the little one plus hubby ofcourse.

    Liked by 1 person

    January 6, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    • Thank you Wanna for your encouragement.I made peace with not breastfeeding maybe it will work out for my next baby God willing

      Like

      March 9, 2016 at 12:03 pm

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