Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Breastfeeding Adventures Part 3

    The final installment of my breastfeeding stories comes from a dear friend Sarah. She is an amazing mother, and does everything to make her daughter Zoey's life awesome. She wrote her story to show that even if you aren't able to make it to you goals that the fact you tried is all that matters. And you children will be happy for anytime they were able to bond with you on such an intense level.

      When I found out I was expecting, the choice to breastfeed was not hard to make. It didn’t require much thought. She was my first child and she would be given the very best of everything that I could provide for her, and it started with breast milk.
     At 29 weeks I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and had to follow a strict diet, monitor my blood sugar, and attend NST’s every week. This being my first pregnancy and not knowing much about gestational diabetes, I was frightened and overwhelmed by all of the information and orders being hurled at me. I wanted to do the very best for my child, I wanted her to be healthy and happy and when I found out I had gestational diabetes, I felt like I had failed right out of the gate. She wasn’t even in the world yet, and I had failed her.
      Despite my growing disappointment with myself, I altered my diet and exercised daily. My blood glucose levels were being controlled and I would not require medication. Still, when my healthy, nearly 10lb baby girl was born into the world, her blood sugar levels were frighteningly low because her tiny body had been producing extra insulin to compensate for my body’s inability to create enough. She was very slow moving, very quiet with no cries, and they wouldn’t even let my husband or I hold her. The nurse kept telling me things like “she is going to have to go to NICU” and “you won’t be taking her with you to the recovery room”. I was beside myself with anger and sadness. I wanted to hold my child. I wanted my husband to hold her, too. Finally (five hours later) the doctor from the NICU came to evaluate her and told me that the best thing to do is to feed her and try to get her glucose levels to rise. He told me that she was alert and looked very strong and that there was no reason to take her from me.
    When the nurse brought her to me, I put her to my breast and she latched on like a champ. I was so shocked at how well she did her first time. She looked at me like “This? I’ve got this, no problem!”. After I fed her they monitored her glucose levels for 24 hours, while I continued to breastfeed her as frequently as possible. She was getting stronger and her body was adjusting and after 3 days in the hospital, we were pros at breastfeeding and I took my darling girl home.

    I continued to breastfeed her with great success until she was 6 months old. She began to cut teeth and bit me a few times, and I attempted pumping and bottle feeding her with not so much success. I planned to breastfeed her for an entire year at least, and when my milk began drying up, I felt like a failure again. Once again, my body was failing her and there was nothing I could do about it. Was it because I took her from the breast and began pumping? Was it due to the stress of my husband being gone for seven months? Was I not eating/drinking the right things? I tried everything from Mothers Milk Tea to breast massaging to pumping immediately after breastfeeding to help create a bigger milk supply. Nothing I tried seemed to help. She was growing so much, and had more than doubled her birth weight by 6 months and was no longer satisfied with the amount of milk my breasts could offer her, especially since it had started dwindling. I was calling and visiting the doctor’s office and lactation consultants so frequently that they knew my name, my story and why I was there every time.

    I was eventually advised to introduce formula, even though I was completely against it and did not want it for my child. She was not getting what she needed from me, and it was the only option left to ensure that she continued to be healthy and strong. I started her on formula with much reluctance, and to my surprise, she had no issues with it. She was finally getting a full meal in her belly, sleeping through the nights, and wasn’t fussy and crying to be at my breast all the time anymore.
It was hard to give up that bond of breastfeeding. It is a feeling unlike any closeness I have ever felt. I am glad I was able to do it for the short time that my body would allow me to, though. I know that I gave her the best start I possibly could, and that I had tried everything in my power before giving in to formula feeding and I was glad that we had made it 6 whole months because some mothers don’t even make it that long. It is a hard pill to swallow when your body doesn’t do what it is designed to do, especially when it comes to your child’s health and well-being. There are some things in life you can’t make happen, no matter how hard you try. I had to make myself understand that it was not my fault and that ANY amount of time spent breastfeeding was better than not doing it at all.

     It blows my mind when I hear women say that breastfeeding “creeps them out” or isn’t something they are even willing to try. I understand to each their own, but I cannot wrap my mind around those who aren’t willing to sacrifice being uncomfortable so that their child is given the very best they can offer. I envy those who have made it a full year and beyond. I will try again with my next child, and I will give it all I have to make it work just like I did with Zoey.

   If you enjoyed reading these stories, come back and visit again. My blog is filled with fun parenting adventures, and there are many more on the horizon. Also you can enjoy my familys adventures as we travel through Europe, and occasionally a fun craft or two that I indulge myself in. It has been great seeing new faces checking out my blog lately and hope that I can continue to bring you interesting stories, and pictures!!

Here is the link for Part 1 if you and Part 2 if you missed them! 


  1. Gestational diabetes is a fairly common complication of pregnancy, affecting approximately every fourth lady. So taking food that has high fibre is recommended by the physicians.

    Diets for diabetics

    1. I too had diabetes, it is hard to deal with and sucks when your having cravings but its survivable!