Monday, October 13, 2008

Express Yourself!


So, I'll admit to being a bit harsh on women who "gave up" on nursing their children. Both of my children nursed for over a year and were great nursers from the very beginning. I'm beginning to think that some of their nursing talent may have come from the fact that neither one was born until 41 weeks. Then again, my children are geniuses, so you'll have to decide for yourself.


Along comes this baby who is so incredibly beautiful AND did I mention he has a dimple? Yes people, when we die scientists are going to ask for a sample of our genes to determine how my husband and I--both dimple-less--have created three consecutive offspring with beautiful dimples. I digress, but dimples are dang cute.


Like I was writing, Eli is cute, but the boy was tongue tied. His tongue is tiny anyway and his frenulum (that piece of skin that ties your tongue to the bottom of your mouth) attached all the way to the very front of his tongue. Luckily, the doctor clipped it. Snip, snap and we thought he'd be on to nursing glory.


It hasn't been nearly so simple. For whatever reason, it could be that he was born early, it could be that his jaw has a bit of an under bite, it could be something else I haven't figured out, but this boy has really struggled to nurse. I'm not talking about having him latch on and then fall asleep after a minute or two. I'm talking about how it can take me thirty minutes of coaxing, begging and encouraging to get him to latch on. And, that's only for one side. In other words, I can spend an hour to get him to nurse for 15 minutes. We both end up a little cranky about the whole thing.


What I'm saying is that once again I'm being given the opportunity to learn to be a little bit less judgmental. I have thought about quitting and just going to formula. Not just for myself, but for Eli's own level of comfort and relief. However, I do love the snugly closeness of nursing and when he latches on, it's such a sense of relief and accomplishment for both of us (even if some of the positions I have to contort myself to will probably put me in a chiropractor's office). Not to mention all of the wonderful health benefits associated with nursing.


So, I'm not going to quit, but it's certainly an uphill battle. We'll have one absolutely terrible nursing session where I'm ready to pull my hair out and the next time it only takes a few minutes and he's latched on and ready to eat. Be patient with us--we're both learning new skills here.

24 comments:

Lara said...

I feel your pain. It was really difficult to get Chloe to learn to nurse. I remember being up all night and not being able to get her to latch on at all. she was frustrated. I was frustrated. I called my mom in the morning just bawling.

Eventually, she got it, and she was my best nurser ever and impossible to wean...nursed for 22 months (crazy). Good luck! I'm sure Eli will be a champion nurser in no time.

Melissa said...

I think each kid is different. Jacob and Grayce were great from day one, but Isaac acted like he had never nursed before in his whole life every single time we nursed! It would take him at least half hour to latch on per side. He got better at around 2 weeks, but still struggled the whole time I nursed and never really enjoyed it like my other kids did. He loved the bottle though! You could always pump. I bet it would surprise you how much you like having him on a bottle and then he would still get the benefits of nursing! Doesn't hurt to try! Here is a link to my cousins blog. She has an interesting post about the breastfeeding/formula thing. It made me feel better about switching Grayce to formula and helped me realize that I don't really care what other moms think about my decision! Here's the link. It made me laugh! Good luck!
http://tyandk8.blogspot.com/2008_07_01_archive.html

Crystal Eldredge said...

Hey my little baby that was just born in July was also born tongue tied. My Dr. refused to clip his tongue. I was determined to nurse him. It took me 6 weeks of hard work to finally get him to latch on and nurse. What I learned was to just take the baby away from the breast when he is not latching on take a break from trying. Then try it all over again. If your boobs are to full and hard the baby will have an even harder time to nurse. So you need to pump just a little before even trying. I went and got a nipple shield. It never helped me any but, I heard they can help. Good luck, when I read the baby was tongue tied I felt so bad for you. It is so frustrating my baby still will not take a bottle or Binky he could not figure it out. Hang in there. It is such hard work with a hungry crying baby.

MSGottfredson said...

My sweet Sadie was tongue tied and it was awful. I finally used a shield to help with the nursing and it worked beautifully. I only used it for awhile until she eventually got it. You should try it. Also, Sadie didn't clipped, I wish someone would have told me about it then. I only heard about it after she was like six months, and then I couldn't bring myself to do it.
Good Luck!

Lacey said...

It's so frustrating when they are trying to figure things out! Patience is definitely hard to come by.
I can honestly say I would have never nursed Elodie if I would have known how long it would take for us both to "get it!"...I was innoncent enough to think tomorrow would be better-and then before you knew it,it had been 6 months!

Good luck. I'm with Melissa, why not try pumpping to see if he will take a bottle better? Pumpings a pain too but if it gives you a little sanity and a little more sleep at night.

Oh, and I read the link Melissa sent you. Too funny and SO TRUE!

The Schneider Family said...

I'm sorry it's been a challenge. I also feel your pain. I wanted to nurse SO DANG BAD that I gave it two whole months. Mine were early and had major eating problems form day 1 (sucking reflux was not developed). The nurses and doctors wouldn't let me try to nurse very often and when they did I could only try for 5 minutes!!! When they finally got to come home it would take me a very long time to get them to latch on, and most of the time they would not!! I even rented a scale and would weigh them before and after I attempted to feed them. I cryed A LOT!! They never got it and I couldn't handle the stress, but I did try dang hard!! So I don't beat myself up over it, and there is always next time.
The fact that you have nursed before will probably help you in the long run. Don't give up, but if you feel you just can't, don't beat yourself up. Hang in there!

The Haynie's said...
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The Haynie's said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Haynie's said...

Condradulations on your new addition. Your family is beautiful and you look great. Hang in there with the nursing, it is never fun! You are doing good.

JenW said...

seriously, it is a struggle, it's a beautiful thing but it's definitely NOT easy! i used a nipple shield with avery because she all of a sudden around 6 weeks or so acted like she could latch...whatever, i just got one and it was amazing, and it worked, and i loved it and i never weaned her (sorry to the la leche league, i know they don't approve:)) but it didn't bother me to use one and it really did help her latch on and stay on. so there's my two cents. and good for you to be so dedicated, i also like the pumping a little before idea, because it can be such a problem for you and eli if you are too full! good luck and say prayers for patience yeah?

JenW said...

seriously, it is a struggle, it's a beautiful thing but it's definitely NOT easy! i used a nipple shield with avery because she all of a sudden around 6 weeks or so acted like she could latch...whatever, i just got one and it was amazing, and it worked, and i loved it and i never weaned her (sorry to the la leche league, i know they don't approve:)) but it didn't bother me to use one and it really did help her latch on and stay on. so there's my two cents. and good for you to be so dedicated, i also like the pumping a little before idea, because it can be such a problem for you and eli if you are too full! good luck and say prayers for patience yeah?

JenW said...

that's "couldn't" latch in that last post. sorry.

rachel said...

YOU CAN DO IT!! My first two were tongue tied and we didn't find out with the first one until he was three months old! We did get them both clipped, it's rough and the first one ended up only lasting five months, but the second was an awesome nurser to past twelve months. It was especially hard right after their tongues were clipped because they were sore. Good Luck and if doesn't work out you can say you gave it your best shot!!

Kim said...

Derrick and I struggled for two months before I finally gave up and put him on formula. I have such fair skin and he chewed me raw, it took a year before my sores were completely healed. I guess what I'm saying is that you've got to do what is best for your situation. If it ends up working out, great, but if not don't feel guilty. Fortunately, my last three have been good nursers, and I've nursed each one longer than the last. Good luck!

Minharos said...

I'm so sorry that you guys are struggling! Nursing is hard enough to adjust to without added complications. I've never had major problems, but I didn't know what I was doing with Macey, and didn't hear about Lansinoh for way too long. Those were miserable weeks!

I admire your resolve to keep trying, but whatever you end up doing is totally up to you. Good luck.

Heather said...

Oh man! Where have I been. Congratulations on your new little CUTIE!! How exciting. Except for sorry for your nursing woes. I've heard that can be really tough. Way to hang in there and I hope it gets better soon.

He is really cute!

Brittany and Scott said...

i have absolutely no nursing experinece, but hang in there. the audrey i know is very persistent.

Jessica Martiele said...

Oh, man...Since we're all sharing here, Tyler was put on formula asap in the hospital because of jaundice, and I don't know whether it was my c-section or his laziness, but I pumped for a month until Jay told me to bag it...and Mikayla was GOOD TO GO, but after my FOURTH bout of mastitis, I had to pack it in, then, too. At least we've been blessed by formula...if for some reason one or both of you give up on the nursing bit, I can personally testify that a) he'll be just fine and wonderfully healthy with formula, and b) snuggle time is every bit as great with a bottle as with a breast...especially if you nuzzle his bare body against your bare top. (You were doing it anyway!) Only "give up" when you're absolutely ready so you don't regret it, but when you're ready, be DONE! ANYWAY, good luck, and let us know how it goes!

Bethany said...

Your newborn is the cutest one in the world! Good work!

I too struggled with nursing with baby #1. I almost gave up too! So sad seeing how frustrated he was and I worried that I was starving him.

Good work sticking to it. If you do use formula, don't be hard on yourself. Nursing isn't for every baby (just most of them).

Jeff & Chell said...

congrats on the new little guy he is so cute! I am really glad that you put your book list on your blog because I am starting a book club here in little Eagar and need some good books to read which ones were your favs?

Sabina said...

Hang in there Audrey. I'm assuming you've had a lactation specialist watch you guys? Sometimes they can help. How is everyone adjusting? I remember Breck used to just nurse for like 5 minutes. And she was fine, despite our worries. Each kid is so unique. It sounds like he's gaining weight though right?

wackywilsons said...

Good for you for looking at the brighter side of things. I have friends that have had similar incidents with their children when nursing was so easy with their first few kids.

It's totally your call if you have to throw a bottle in there every once in a while and it doesn't make you any less of a person! Eli has been born into a phenomenal family and his formula/breast milk is just the icing on the cake.

Julie said...

Congratulations on the adorable baby boy! I loved seeing your photos, and I am so excited for you and your family.

My first one was really hard to nurse... He was a little early, too, and just couldn't figure out how to latch on. Both of us cried for two weeks, and then he suddenly seemed to get it. The struggle was so worth it. But again, I am agreeing with the moms here that giving him a bottle is no big deal, especially if you pump.

Good luck! I can't wait to hear more about how you adjust to having three!

Steph Bowen said...

So you were judging me harshly because of my choice not to nurse? Glad I didn't know that earlier ;) I'm all for formula should you choose to... Eliot sleeps through the night, is growing at a healthy rate, and is still hitting all the milestones she should be. She also has yet to get sick. I don't think it has hindered her development.