Amanda is the mama to an almost 6-month-old, an 8-year-old, and a 10-year-old
After a repeat C-Section in March 2015, I was actually shocked at how quickly I recovered. I was up on my feet walking around by the time night time rolled around the same day. I didn’t need any pain killers at all during my 2 day stay which made me really happy since they always make me sick. After carrying around a baby for 9 months and having her weigh a whopping 11lbs at birth at 39 weeks, my body was just relieved to not be carrying around all that weight!
I had my heart set on breastfeeding since I struggled and eventually gave up with my first two, but I knew that I could do it because I read many books, met with a few LC’s, had some prior knowledge from my first two children, and plenty of support at home. When Ella was born with low sugar levels, I was shocked at how quickly the nurses got her to latch and nurse from both sides. I was completely numb from my surgery, but it felt great and I was so happy we were off to a good start since they say nursing in the first hour is a great head start! After that, Ella fell asleep for hours and I got nervous. Her latch then became to be poor and shallow and, as the anesthesia wore off, painful. By day 2, I was so sore from her feeding non-stop, I tried to pump in between feedings to help get ahead. The pump was surprisingly helpful because it gave my nipples a break from the crushing pain of her bad latch. Once home, I took her to see a new LC who noticed a bad lip tie and possible tongue tie. It was making it harder and harder to get her to latch properly and my nipples were paying the price. Fearful to lose my supply, I kept pumping until we got her lip and tongue tie laser clipped at 5 days postpartum. It was fabulous because she never even fussed and seemed totally healed within 48 hours.
After this, she still didn’t latch well due to the fact she wasn’t used to being able to open her mouth better yet. I made sure to pump 8 times per day around the clock. It was so exhausting to have to pump, then feed her as well as wash bottles, etc., but I kept going because her getting my milk meant a lot to me. She began over the next few weeks to refuse to even try and latch because she was so used to the ease of the bottle. It broke my heart. Eventually, after seeing many LC’s, we decided it was best for me and my sanity to continue my journey as an exclusive pumper. I did so much research to make sure I was doing it correctly. I became so tired and worried to leave the house, but it eventually became like second nature and it just worked. My milk supply then continued to climb and climb until I was making so much milk, I had to start donating! I was making 60 ounces a day and quickly filling a deep freezer. This made my happy, but as time went on, if Ella would latch, she would choke on the amount of milk I had and I still had to pump afterwards to fully drain the rest. Once I hit 12 weeks postpartum, I was able to space my pumps out and drop a few to be able to sleep more and get more time to spend with my kids, husband and baby which was great. I was and still am so proud to have stuck it out! Ella will be six months in the beginning of September and is doing great! She has gained 7lbs since birth and is growing like a weed! I can’t believe I found a way to make pumping work the way it has with 3 kids (and a dog!) but I love that I didn’t give up when faced with a challenge and am providing her with something that was so important to me!