Monday, February 10, 2014

// 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 - K A Y L E I G H ' S S T O R Y //

This week's adventures in breastfeeding story is by Kayleigh.  I am so grateful for her decision to share.  It's so important that we hear each other's breastfeeding stories, that we hear the difficult and the easy.  It's so important to know that we are not alone and that we are not the only ones who have experienced difficulty.  Thank you Kayleigh for sharing!  I am happy you are healthy now and I admire your strength!  <3 

If every first time mother in the world is at all like me, once you find out you are pregnant (of course, after you dispose of the 4, or 5, or 6 pregnancy tests you took, just to be "sure") you immediately decide how your perfect pregnancy and delivery will play out. Then reality hits and your head is swarming with crazy words: natural birth, epidural, water birth, midwife, formula, bottle, breast, etc. For me, personally, there was never a question. I was going to do whatever it took to deliver my son without a c-section, and I was going to do whatever it took to be a breastfeeding mother. I was open to the dreaded "backup plan" during delivery idea, just in case of an emergency, but luckily, I didn't have to use one! I was also very fortunate that once my son arrived, he took to nursing like a champ!
In the beginning, my dream pregnancy, delivery, and breastfeeding plan was all falling into place perfectly. Layton was nursing like a pro, he slept for 4-5 hours consecutively, at night, and my milk was flowing like Old Faithful. However, my perfect little bubble was quickly busted.
After only 6 short, but sweet, weeks I had to return to my first contracted teaching position. I would wake to feed Layton any time he wanted during the night, and woke for the day at 4:30 AM to get myself ready for my work day in order to give Layton as many opportunities to nurse as he wanted. During the work day, I was only getting 2-3 opportunities to pump. More than once, I was only able to pump once and it came with several interruptions. I noticed my milk supply decreasing rapidly, and my son happened to be an extremely "big" eater. I had no choice but to begin supplementing formula so Layton had enough to eat during the day while I was working. I felt extremely guilty.
I tried everything from lactation cookies, to even taking brewers yeast pills to increase my milk production. I pumped as often as I could and even during the night! After nearly a month, I was finally producing enough that the formula was no longer needed! I was ready to go for the long haul.
Then my world rapidly spun out of control. I woke up one day not feeling well, and had few symptoms. I decided to wait it out, if it got worse, then I would see a doctor. Days passed and my fever was higher, and I was to the point my husband would have to bring Layton to me in bed, so I could nurse, then he would take him away again and I would sleep.
I finally went to the doctor. After 24 hours of medicine, things only got worse. My husband rushed me to the ER in the middle of the night, only to find out, my original diagnosis of a UTI, turned out to be something much worse, and even life threatening. After lying in pain (quite worse than child birth) and countless tests, I was diagnosed with a fairly severe case of meningitis.
Yeah, I know, who gets that in 2013-2014?!!
I wasn't allowed to see my son or to nurse him. I sent home for my pump to keep with me in the hospital room, but was in so much pain, and so sick, I was unable to pump myself. My perfect husband knew how much it meant to me, so as I sat there in a "coma like" state, he, my perfect husband, pumped for me. All my milk had to be dumped, which for me was such a sad thing.
After spending several days in the hospital, I was sent home and continued my treatment there. I was able to see my son, and after 12 long days he could start living home with us again, with help from my perfect family, for I was still to weak to care for him alone.
During all this time, we kept pumping and dumping, but in the end, it was no use. My body had been fighting so hard to save my life, that it quit making milk. I was devastated. I felt like a failure, and as though I had let my son down. I spent days crying and hating myself every time I had to feed Layton that disgusting formula.
It's been 2 weeks since I have recovered and joined the normal world again, and I still get sad about being forced to quit nursing my sweet boy, but the outcome of my illness could have been something much worse.
I am blessed to still be able to laugh with my perfect Layton, and to watch him grow, whether I can breastfeed him or not. I was able to give him five good months of breastfeeding, and I will give him the rest of my life, and after, of unconditional love.

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1 comment:

  1. Kayleigh....yes, you were a trooper, and so was Joel, and baby boy Layton. The Lord saw you through all of the pain and heartache, and brought you through to the other side of it all in great health. Prayer works always.
    the grandmother



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