Thursday, December 26, 2013

//A D V E N T U R E S I N B R E A S T F E E D I N G - S A R A ' S S T O R Y//

Oh boy!  This story makes me realize that breastfeeding education is still extremely important.  And i'm talking about for the doctors!  This Mama knew, in her gut, what was best for her son.  I applaud you, Sara, for your strength and determination.  It doesn't seem like your experience was easy and I hope, now, it's gotten easier for you and your little guy! <3  

I was never able to breastfeed my three oldest children, I didn't have the support, knowledge or help I needed. I was starting to think maybe I wasn't made for breastfeeding, but when my fourth child was born I said I'd give it a try this time to. I was really scared it wouldn't work this time either, the anxiety I had when it didn't work with the others was terrible, it still saddens me that I couldn't even thou I tried my best. If only I had known more!

This time I stayed 2 days at the hospital just for the breastfeeding and everything went well, we nursed and nursed and I cried many times cause I was so happy, but that was all about to change...

When Dante was 6 days we had to be admitted to the nicu cause he got jaundice, he had to lay under the lamp all the time and I could only hold him for a maximum of 30 minutes every third hour. It was heartbreaking not to be able to hold or nurse him, he cried for me and my breast so much i though i was going to die if they didnt let me pick him up soon. My sweet little boy whom had been latched to my breast almost every second of his life,  sleeping or awake. After a couple of hours at the hospital something changed, he didn't latch on, didn't even have the strength to eat from a bottle, my sweet little boy wouldn't wake up at all. The staff gave him a feeding tube and right there and then my whole world was torn apart, before this I could pump out three times more than he ate but as I feed him threw the tube and pumped as often as I could my milk supply just kept getting lower until there was almost nothing left. 

After 24 hours under the lamp he didn't need it anymore, we were to go home with the feeding tube but he started waking up more and more and had built up the strength to eat from a bottle. So we got rid of the tube and I tried nursing as much as I could, then gave him his bottle with formula and the tiny drops of breastmilk I could get out with the pump. After that we went to the hospital 2 times a week for tests and his results kept getting worse  but never to the point that he needed the lamp again, we struggled with the breastfeeding at the same time. He kept getting stronger, more awake and after a few days we slowly could cut back with the formula just a little bit every week. 

He didn't gain weight fast one nurse told me my milk was no good but his pediatric nurse was satisfied. We all saw he was awake, wetting the amount of diapers as he should and swallowed well when breastfeeding. So we thought he was just a small little boy who had a rough start in his life. At this time we went to the hospital 2 times a week and the pediatric nurse once a week. Felt like we spent more time with doctors and nurses than at home, every time I questioned if his test result that slowly got worse could have a connection to his small weight gain and they all said no so we kept on fighting with the breastfeeding, kept on pumping, nursing, pumping, nursing and followed a schedule with the bottles. 

One day even thou his weight and test results wasn't completely fine yet, the nicu let us go.  They didn't need more tests they said. I asked why when clearly the test weren't fine even thou they haven't reached the "sun" value yet.  They just answered that he was doing so well and it all would be fine. I was worried but I knew we had appointments with his pediatric nurse weekly still so I thought that everything would be fine.

But then he started peeing blood, we went to the ER and took more test, they showed the jaundice results kept getting worse and his liver values was to high so once again we started taking tests every week. I asked the doctors if it all had a connection but the answer was still no and they did nothing, just kept on testing him every other day. By this time I was a mess, my heart was in pieces and I was so worried about my little boy. We kept on struggling with the breastfeeding and even had to increase the formula, but I wouldn't give up! 

I called the hospital several times and got no answers to why this was happening and I still was told one thing had nothing with the other to do but I kept calling until a doctor agreed to met us, as soon as we got there he said he was starving and admitted us to the hospital once again, the nurses there wouldn't let me breastfeed him at all and I even had to yell at them to give me a pump. I nursed when they weren't there and pumped at my own strict schedule just so he could get as much of my milk as possible. I begged them to watch us nurse just to tell me if i did something wrong or he wasn't latching on properly but they wouldn't so I kept on struggling on my own and went to the Internet for help. I got loads of support from other nursing mothers and that kept me going. After a few days we could go home still with lots and lots of formula, we were told he didn't have the strength to nurse because of his jaundice values and they kept on getting higher because he didn't get enough food. Because of that his Liver had to work to hard and those values went up to.

After a few weeks the results were good and he was gaining weight fine so I decided to start cutting back on the formula again, and this time it worked. Our pediatric nurse thought I should be happy with the little nursing we had but I knew we could do it, he's so strong my little boy! We nursed and nursed for every minuite of the day, we had a few set backs but we kept on struggling, some days I just cried and thought about giving up but then I looked down at my little boy and saw how much he loved nursing , that and the support I got from a Facebook group of mothers educated in nursing gave me the strength to carry on. 

Dante is now four months and we're doing so well, he gets a little formula everyday but in about four weeks if it keeps on going this well we can take all the formula away. I'm so glad we didn't give up, this time I don't have to grief that it didn't work and I've decided to educate myself to be a "nursing help mother" like the once who help me.

I've talked to several doctors and nurses now at both our and other hospitals and found out that the nicu mistreated us, the only reason we got in this mess was because they didn't let me nurse him when he needed, 30 minutes every third hour isn't nearly enough! He could've nursed all the time with a "sun mattress" (sorry for not knowing the proper word) around him and never would've been so weak that he wouldn't wake up, my milk supply wouldn't have decreased then and we could have had skin to skin contact the whole time as we did at home. I also know now that he was eating just enough to survive but not the little extra that he needed and the doctors should have recognized that when we were there so often even thou he was awake and so on. They should have diagnosed this so much earlier, I gave them the answer all along when I asked if all the symptoms could have something to do with each other. It saddens me we were mistreated and I blame myself a lot for not noticing he wasn't getting enough but he fooled me by being awake, wetting diapers and probably swallowing while nursing even thou there was nothing to swallow sometimes. Now I just feel blessed we didn't give up when they were trying to make me stop nursing at all and i plan on nursing Dante untill he decides to stop himself. 

The doctor who diagnosed him in the end also told us this should never had happened and he was ashamed his coworkers mistreated us, didn't diagnose him and tried to force us to stop breastfeeding. I've decided to make a complaint and hopefully the nicu changes their treating way for jaundice so that no one else have to go thru this. 

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1 comment:

  1. WOW!! What a story. I am SO sorry you went through that difficulty in the NICU and with the doctors and nurses. That's so frustrating when they restrict when you should be feeding your child and aren't knowledgeable and supportive about breastfeeding! I am SO impressed that you stuck through and fought for this beautiful nursing relationship. You should be so proud mama!!



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