One of my more recent posts was about my baby girl’s journey–well, the whole family’s journey–with her Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR). I wrote out of absolute gratitude for all of the folks who invested in our care during those challenging first weeks and for how Jesus continues to sustain us as we grow in the hard times. It certainly wasn’t my first time to talk about breastfeeding, and it won’t be the last. See some other posts on breastfeeding here and here.
SO many mommies reached out to me after each of those posts. It blew my mind and blessed my heart. I love hearing from other mommies because it solidifies for all of us that we are not alone. I am humbled by the responses I get from you all. It’s absolutely amazing. I was told that I should include more breastfeeding posts on my blog, and while that’s not the topic of my focus, it sure does take up a great deal of my time every day considering I have an infant. It’s on my mind a lot.
Remember how Baby K had to be spoon fed, syringe fed, and even bottle fed during those first weeks? Exhausting. Absolutely exhausting. But oh, so worth it. I would literally fall asleep sitting up at night in the wee hours pumping after she nursed so I could immediately feed her more with hope that she’d gain weight. And she did! We were able to stop that process (praises to Jesus! haha!) and she just eats when she wants to do so…which of course sometimes still feels like around the clock. She weighed in at 9 lbs 12 ounces when she went for her 2 month check last week, and I (internally) jumped for joy and experienced overwhelming gratitude!
It’s interesting to note that it felt like when she was born Baby K had more than just IUGR to fight in gaining weight. No, she also had an upper lip tie and a tongue tie. That made breastfeeding even more laborious since I had to learn new ways to feed her. Between one of my LCs and my pediatrician we all decided to wait on having the ties revised since sometimes babies will go into shock and stop nursing at all. We wanted to make sure that she gained and maintained first.
So…sad face because she had both of those ties but a heart of gratitude that I knew what to look for and was therefore able to identify them both the day she born even with her teeny tiny mouth. I’m so grateful that my LC friend Jennifer took the time to Skype with me and confirm various signs that I’d noticed on my own.
I learned so much during those appointments with my LCs. Considering that’s my absolute dream job, I rejoice through these trials since life experiences are often the best teachers. I am constantly learning more and more–I’m so thankful! Did you know that you can actually compress the breast in order to help your baby gather more of the areola for a better latch and suck/swallow pattern? I had no idea until recently. I also didn’t know there was skill in listening to how a baby swallowed to know whether or not it is “organized”. Or how about that side-lying position? That can also be a great position for the tongue-tied baby since the breast is naturally compressed as you lie down! I’ve nursed four babies in the last nine years and continue to learn.
We all have gifts and passions that, when we take hold and grow, can be used to serve others and help them grow, too. I’m longing for the days when I will be able to go back to school so that I can finish up what’s necessary to become an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant. Until then you will find me enjoying and savoring the moments with Baby K and helping any mommy who asks. One day I want to be on the front lines at the hospital taking those exhausted and frazzled mommies under my wing. For now, I’m grateful for those who do that for me and mine. Absolutely grateful.