The summer of 2006 forever changed our lives as we discovered I was pregnant with our first child! Of the myriad of questions, opinions, and advice that swirled around, many centered around feeding. It was never a question for me--of course I would nurse! The health benefits, the bonding, the money-savings--a no brainer!
The pregnancy progressed with no complications (for which I am extremely grateful). It was very much like how "the books" describe. All except for one thing...my breasts. In the beginning, they weren't overly tender. In fact, not really at all. As time went one, they weren't getting any bigger--like NOT.AT.ALL. In fact, I wore my same bra the entire time. Initially, I didn't think anything of it. But, as time went on and we neared the end, I kept having that gut feeling like something wasn't right.
At the ripe 'ole age of 26, the majority of my friends hadn't experienced pregnancy yet and talking about your breasts isn't exactly something that just "comes up" in conversation. So, I didn't have a lot of people to talk to about it. I asked my mom, but her experience was nothing like what I was describing. She was "normal". I mentioned it to my doctor, but she didn't seem concerned. Her response (to many of my questions) was "everyone's body is different". A very true statement indeed, but one that irked me just a bit.
I tried to squelch that gut feeling and continued with my breastfeeding plans--creams, pads, & pump purchased and all registered for our breast feeding class about a month before my due date! As I sat in the class, I couldn't help but notice what all the moms' breasts in the video looked like--NOT mine. That gut feeling was there. After all the other parents left, I approached the nurse/lactation consultant who taught the class. I explained my concerns. She asked about leaking. I almost laughed at loud--"um...no!" She was the first to share my concern and admitted those weren't good signs. But, did also assure me that "everyone's body is different" and we wouldn't know for sure until after the baby was born.
So, Big Brother's birthday came--an induction at almost 41 weeks. My beautiful baby boy was finally here!
We had some issues with latching and positioning--all the seemingly normal difficulties in getting the hang of nursing. But again, something didn't seem right...he didn't seem to be latching well, wouldn't nurse for longer than 10 minutes, and quite frankly seemed to be getting nothing. I saw 4 lactation consultants in the hospital--some even tried to hand express colostrum. We saw nothing. The solution--nurse more & lots of contact. So, we did.
Stay tuned for Part 2 tomorrow!...