Monday, August 9, 2021

Breastfeeding Journey with Auggy


Where do I even begin with my breastfeeding journey? 

For starters, this journey was completely different with Luca. My breastfeeding journey with luca linked here

Yes we still had the same struggles as I did with luca. Auggy had a lip and mouth tie as well. But we did catch it early because I knew exactly what to look for this time. He was 1 month old I believe when we got it fixed. He was having trouble latching because of them and I was having to use a nipple shield again. But instead of waiting three months before getting help by a lactation consultant... I got help ASAP. I wanted to so badly for our breastfeeding journey to be positive, successful, and last longer than I breastfed Luca. (I only was able to exclusively breastfeed Luca for 9 months, exclusively pumped for another month, and then he was on formula for two months). My goal was 1 year. But unfortunately that did not happen. It took a long time for me to be ok mentally with that. Our breastfeeding journey ended completely at 5 months. 

Let me back up a little bit though first. Auggy was born when I was 38 weeks pregnant. My labor experience was so positive, everything moved very quickly. Like a 5 cm to 8.5 cm in a matter of 30 minutes. 😳 I only pushed for total 20 minutes (compared to 2 hours with Luca), and it was half medicated/unmediated. And that was just because the epidural wore off when it was time to push. But that’s a story for another day 🤪 

We were so beyond thrilled & excited to have our sweet baby here. And that I was going to be able to eat dinner at a normal time instead 1 am like last time. But unfortunately, within 30 minutes everything changed. 

Auggy started turning really purple everywhere. He was falling asleep while trying to latch on my breast, and would only turn pink if we would get him angry (ex. Taking his measurements, rubbing his chest etc.). So beyond thankful my best friend who is a nurse practitioner was in there as my birthing coach. She was able to look at stats and know those were not normal. She  instantly went to go get the Nicu team since my nurse didn’t think it was serious yet. Auggy was monitored and then immediately taken to the NICU. 

I instantly broke down. There went my baby. Is he going to make it? How is he having trouble breathing? He was pretty much full term. He wasn’t a premie or had any previous issues while in my belly. Then I thought when will I be able to see him? Could my heart handle seeing him that way? Will  be able to breastfeed him? 

Time when by. Unsure how long, but we finally got to see our little guy. He was on oxygen by a cpap, nose cannula, and ventilator during his stay. He was a very exhausted little guy from all the energy he was putting out while trying to breathe and he still was still having trouble latching. 

So I started exclusively pumping for a month. He would latch on with a nipple shield so I would do that when I could with him and at night when he finally came home. 

Once he got his lip and tongue tie clipped, and we got help from a lactation consultant... he was breastfeeding like a champ. Everything was what I imagined when breastfeeding my baby. And like I said it was going so good. 

Then around 3-4 month postpartum I noticed my anxiety was through the roof while breastfeeding him. And I noticed it was significantly worse when I was breastfeeding him. If you have dealt with anxiety before, you know the feeling where you are filled with straight rage or feel like you need rub your arm or legs really fast to calm down? Just that overwhelming feeling you are succumbed with?  That’s what I was feeling when I was breastfeeding Auggy. This journey turned from beautiful into dread  filling. 

I thought is this normal? Or is something wrong with me? Honestly was thinking how on earth am I going to make it to 1 year of breastfeeding. 

Around 3.5 months I decided to research to see if others have felt this way. Low and behold they have. And it’s called DMER. Dysphoric Milk Ejection Reflex. It’s where it can cause negative emotions anywhere form 30 seconds to 2 minutes at milk letdown. Read more about it here.

I kept pushing through for a few more weeks and then realized mentally I couldn’t handle it anymore. I couldn’t be the best mama I could be to Auggy and Luca. So I made the decision to start supplementing during the day and breastfeeding only at night if he woke up and early in the morning. It then turned into him just weaning himself. We continued using all the breastmilk that was stock piled in freezer from when he was in the Nicu and supplemented with formula when we needed to. At 6 months old, Auggy was completely on formula. It has taken me until now (he is 7 months old) to talk about it. It really did a number on me emotionally. 

It’s been a really hard decision for me but I know it was the best decision for my babies and myself. Because now my head is clear, I feel like myself again, and I feel like I can give Auggy and luca 100% of me instead of 30%. Which is what it felt like. Like I only had 30% if that of myself to give to my babies, to my husband, to my family, and to my friends for that matter. Auggy is thriving and healthy and that’s all that matters now. 

All in all, I hope this helps someone know you are not alone. Breastfeeding is dang hard. And there can be so many obstacles that come along. But know no matter what decision you make you are the best mommy ever to that little babe or babies. You know what’s best for your babes always. Big hugs all around!

Love you mamas, 



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