Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Suck On What?

The Mommy Kelly wrote a post yesterday that sparked my memory.

I tried to breastfeed both my children. It didn't work. I know most woman have difficulty nursing in the beginning. My problems were a little more complex then that.

Belle was born on Monday, January 26th at 10:25 am. Her first outing was Tuesday evening. A friend of mine was hosting a Party Lite candle party and I wanted to go. My sister-in-law, Amy and I bundled up Belle and got in the car. Belle began crying so much that soon I had to pull over and let Amy drive so I could sit in the back seat with Belle.

I was able to calm Belle down by putting the crook of my pinky in her mouth. In the process I noticed that her mouth seemed a little dry and there were no tears on her cheeks. I had been nursing Belle for twenty to forty minutes every three hours, so although she seemed dehydrated, I didn't think it was possible.

The next morning was Belle's first pediatricians appointment. After I met the doctor I told her the story from the night before and we talked about the breast feeding schedule. The doctor did a quick examination of Belle and then opened a cupboard and pulled out a 2 ounce bottle of formula. Without a word the doctor proceeded to feed my child. Belle finished the bottle in record time even though I had just nursed her a hour ago.

We went on to find out that my body was not producing any milk. We used formula to keep Belle alive and nursed to try to get my milk to come in. I rented a hospital grade breast pump to try to simulate milk production. A thirty minute session of pumping yielded less then 1/2 an ounce of "milk". After 2 weeks we gave up and gave in to full time formula feeding.

Seventeen months later Ariel was born. I was determined to breast feed her, but aware that I could run into the same problems. The breast feeding seemed to be going well. At three days old Ariel didn't appear to be dehydrated but still I followed a 40 minute breast feeding session with a bottle of formula, just to see if she was still hungry. She greedily ate the entire bottle.

I once again tried everything I could to get my milk to come in; pumping, beer, hot compresses and even prescription medication. Nothing worked.

My children's exposure to breast feeding is very limited.

Recently my friend Jill breast fed her daughter while she was babysitting my girls. Jill covered herself up during the feeding, but my girls were still enthralled. They asked a lot of uncomfortable questions. Poor Jill, did her best to answer them.

Last week Belle was playing mommy with her baby doll. She asked me to babysit her doll while she went to work. As she handed her doll to me she said, "And Mommy, if she gets hungry, just let her suck on your belly."

I was trying so hard not to laugh that I missed the prefect opportunity to explain breast feeding to my daughter. I need to remedy this, otherwise the birds and the bees talk in 5 years is going to be very uncomfortable.


MommyTime said...

"just let her suck on your belly" bwahahaha!

Son was extremely concerned when Daughter was born, and kept telling her, "No no! No bite Mama" It took a week or so of explaining before he finally got it. Then, one day, when she was crying, he tried to soothe her. "It's okay, Baby. It's okay. Chew Mama. Get milk." Ah, well...

Honeybell said...

LOL!! That is so cute!!

I have to say, as a neonatal nurse--it makes me so mad when people are hateful about bottle feeding. Some people, like you, simply cannot. Others just don't want to. AND THAT'S OK. There are lots of well developed, mentally stable, perfectly lovely people who were bottle fed.

(sorry for using your comments as my soapbox, my OB unit has been having issues lately)

Amy said...

mommytime - LOL! Your son and my daughter could have some interesting conversations about how
babies eat.

carrie said...

Jackelope also called them my stomach. And he was only breastfed for about a week or two.


Anonymous said...

OMG! The dehydration part of it was pretty scary, but your girls' take on nursing, now that's hysterical!

I tried so hard to nurse Princess, but it just wouldn't happen. She was so tiny and I was way too stressed in addition to producing next to nothing !(like a half ounce at a time! Ahhhhh!) I continued pumping for thirty days, to no avail.

Thanks for sharing this story ... and for the linky love.

Nap Warden said...

Hmmmm...Mom, you got some explaining to do!

OHmommy said...

Suck on my belly.


YOUR story is so similar to my story. Actually pretty identical. Thanks for sharing!

TheVasquez3 said...


truly...and yea ya might wanna clear things up, at least before the birds and the bees

Don Mills Diva said...

HA - that's so cute!
I remember when I was breastfeeding Graham and my 7-year-old niece and her 3(!) friends lined up, peppered me with questions and elbowed each other for a better view!

Jane the Sane said...

I had a very similar experience. I would pump and pump and pump and get so little. Then I would be so tired that I would spill it. Oh, the tears!

pb&j in a bowl said...

Maddie did the same thing, with her doll. It was so funny. I walked into the room, she had her doll under her shirt. I asked what was going on, her reply-"Just giving her some boobie juice."

Victoria said...

Aww - "suck on your belly"! LOL!

Kellan said...

Cute story! I never breast fed any of my kids. It is hard when you want too and it doesn't work out.

I've missed you - had to come by and say hello and see if your were okay. I'll see you soon - take care - Kellan

LunaNik said...

Ya know, I read an article not long ago that expressed concern over the fact that almost all baby dolls are sold with a bottle. Many children these days just aren't exposed to breast feeding.

I think it's wonderful that your daughter is chosing to "breastfeed" her baby doll. Although, I can't wait to read your post about how you explain it all to her. Hahaha! I'm laughing just thinking about how you'll do that!

Lisa said...

"suck on her belly"--I am happy I was not sipping my coffee when he read that otherwise I'd have spit it out all over my laptop ;)
I was a formula baby and I turned out fine--I think.

Kelly said...

I am sorry you didn't have the breastfeeding experience you wanted. But, I am laughing my tuckus off at your adorable little one.

jennifer said...

Ahh! Through the eyes of little ones!

Anonymous said...

thanks for typing this! I didn't BF my son - well I tried but he lost weight, didn't regain it, was feeding erratically, crying all the time, I was exhausted and suffering from PND. The crunch time came for me at 7 days old when he got weighed and had lost 15% of his birth weight, had never slept for more than an hour and I was bleeding into his mouth when I tried to latch him on.

I HATE the moralising BF people who tell me I am a bad mother and I shoudl ahve tried harder, my baby was hungry, I was in pain and I can't see how it was good for him to drink BLOOD! (not just small flecks we're talking a gush like when you cut yourself)

I'm trying to make the point with him now (he's 3) that babies can have bottles or be BF.

A gift from God said...

It's funny how children perceive things...

Well, I had a hard time breast feeding too.. cracked nipples and blood too! It was tough.

I think being a mother is one of the toughest job!! Agree?

Oh... I like your blog... interesting..