|Hanging out with Dad at the hospital|
The other drama that we've been dealing with pretty much since Dylan was born is the breastfeeding. I've had mixed feelings about how much to write about the issue, since no one likes an over-share, but I really feel like part of the problem is people NOT talking about it. I've been so shocked by how many friends or family members, upon hearing that I've been struggling with breastfeeding, have revealed that they had issues, too, although I haven't really found anyone whose problems were the same as mine.
I don't think I can even begin to go through every detail and aspect of the breastfeeding saga, there have been so many issues that may or may not even be related to each other. The most persistent problem is that breastfeeding has been very painful for me. I have quite a bit of damage that isn't really healing, and we're not sure why. I've seen three different lactation consultants, my OBGYN, and a dermatologist, and none have been able to figure exactly what's going on. Dylan and I both definitely had thrush at some point, but we were treated for it pretty quickly. I am also taking a prescription medication for vasoconstrictions, which is a fairly rare condition where the compression from nursing causes all the blood to suddenly drain from my nipple, which hurts quite a bit (sorry if that's TMI).
The scariest part of the breastfeeding was that, when we first met with our third lactation consultant, we found out that Dylan had LOST weight, and was back down to the weight at which he left the hospital. I had been using a nipple shield, and Dylan had probably not been getting enough milk through it, which caused my supply to go down. Suddenly we had to start an intense regimen that involved me nursing Dylan, and then pumping (with a rented hospital-grade pump) for 10 minutes right afterwards while someone else gave him a supplemental bottle of formula or pumped milk. We had to do this at every feeding, which meant that someone else had to get up with me in the middle of the night. Without the shield, the pain was getting to be almost unbearable, and I ended up taking 3 days off from nursing (pumping exclusively) to try to heal, hoping that the pain would improve. It didn't help much, but I was too nervous to have Dylan only taking a bottle for much longer, so I had to slowly work back up to nursing at every feeding.
Luckily, my mom was able to be here with us, and Jeromy's mom even flew back out to help when my mom had to go back to Colorado for 4 days. I can't imagine how we could possibly have managed without them; Jeromy would have had to take more time off work for sure. My mom ended up spending a big chunk of the summer here in the Texas heat, instead enjoying the beautiful Colorado weather.
We've also been renting a super-accurate scale that we use to weigh Dylan to see exactly how much he is getting at each feeding. He seems to be taking in enough most of the time, and he has gained weight well over the last several weeks, but it's still been a constant worry, at least for me.
|Chillin' on the scale|
At this point, the pain is definitely better, but is far from gone, which is pretty frustrating. I'm using a crazy cocktail of prescription creams from the dermatologist, and we're also trying to see if Dylan's latch can be improved somehow. He's had a couple sessions of cranio-sacral therapy, which is definitely a little on the alternative, how-can-that-possibly-be-doing-anything side, but I'm willing to try anything at this point.
It doesn't help that when you try to do research or get help with breastfeeding issues, you run into a whole lot of what I would have to call breastfeeding propaganda. "If it hurts, you're doing something wrong," and "just nurse more frequently" are phrases that you'll keep hearing. There is definitely a contingent of "lactivists" out there that are pretty much rabid about breastfeeding, and don't seem to acknowledge that is is really, really hard for a lot of people, and that it just doesn't work out for everyone. We're making it work right now, and I really hope we'll be able to stick with it for a full year, but it's definitely been an on-going struggle.
In other news, in just a week and a half, we are all getting on a plane and heading to Vermont for my brother's wedding! I'm really excited, but of course this also means that I'm doing one of the things that I do best: obsessing.... about traveling with a 3-month old. We have to take 4 airplane rides. I'm going to have to breastfeed in public. We have to keep him happy and get him to sleep in a strange place without the swing, the bouncy seat, etc. You can imagine I'm freaking out a little bit.
SO.....experienced parents....tips for traveling with an infant???? Stuff to pack, not pack? Tricks for peace, quiet, and infant happiness?
|Practicing his "flying" skills in preparation for our big trip|