Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Chronicles of a Nursing Newbie

I'm proud to say it. I'm a new momma...and a nursing momma. I'm everything to my son right now, and I love that so much.

I'm also proud to say that I have stood by my convictions of wanting to breastfeed my baby, and been respected about it...with a little help from my amazing hubby! Our first few days of nursing were wonderful...both for the soul, the heart and even my physical recovery...

As you've all read, Conner was born via emergency C-section and taken immediately to the NICU to have his heart monitored and to be given empirical antibiotics. While I was in the operating room being put back together, Derek went with our little boy to the NICU. And let me tell you, the incredible man I am married to knew how much it meant to me to breastfeed our son...and so when the question came upon him (while I was in recovery) as to whether or not they could give him formula until I was there and so that I could recover, my husband told them no...and made sure to help me down to the NICU as soon as I could,  as often as I needed, and as often as Conner was hungry so that I could nurse my little boy. And to my pleasant surprise, the NICU nurses gladly obliged! Before I was even brought to my room out of recovery, I was taken to my son. Though we didn't have the chance to have the immediate moments I wanted to right when he was born, I immediately had the chance to nurse him right away...and that bonding few moments was just what I needed.

Throughout the night, Conner's nurses would call when he seemed hungry and I would be wheeled down to feed him and love on him...and the next day, I got so sick of sitting in that awful wheel chair that I got myself up on my feet and walked my tush down there to the comfy rocking chair they had waiting at Conner's little "station". I blame the ease of my recovery on my determination to nurse my little boy...and the fact that he wasn't in the room with me.

I will say that nursing wasn't quite so easy those first few days though. Conner had trouble latching, in which a genius nurse discovered it was caused by the fact that he's got a high arch in his palette. It was an easy fix with the use of a Medela latching aid, and Conner is now eating up a storm. We're getting ready to wean off of using the latching aid, now that he's a few weeks old, and luckily for me our hospital on base has a wonderful staff of lactation consultants who run weekly meetings to help moms with breastfeeding support. I'm grateful to the fact that our medical system here is so BF friendly and incredibly encouraging!

Breastfeeding is something I was a bit weary about in the beginning...but something I've grown to enjoy. I love just how much my son needs me, and I love being his everything. And while nursing has certainly had it's challenges thus far (holy engorgement!! I swear just looking at them made them hurt those awful few days...), knowing how good it is for my baby...and myself....makes the challenges all worth it!

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