Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Wesley's breastfeeding struggles

I was lucky enough to be able to breastfeed Tanner for 20 months.  He self weaned when I was in my 2nd trimester of pregnancy.  I figured since we had such an amazing breastfeeding journey (we fought through many issues but it always made us stronger) nursing my second baby was going to be a piece of cake.  Especially since we just stopped nursing 6 months ago.  Boy was I wrong. 

Wesley had some latching problems when he was first born.  Meaning, he just wouldn't latch, period.  Even if I attempted to use a nipple shield. So I was pumping around the clock at the hospital and attempting to get him to nurse as often as I could. He started losing weight (like normal), and the nurses were not happy with it. (For being a pro-breastfeeding facility they were pretty old school, unfortunately). The nurses were trying so hard to get me to supplement with formula, but my milk came in at 36 hours, and I knew I didn't need to do that. We attempted to use an SNS (supplemental nursing system), with pumped breast milk, in the hospital and at home, but it was incredibly frustrating and never really worked.  

At Wesley's first doctor visit he lost 14% of his birth weight.  The  pediatrician started freaking out and almost had us readmitted to the hospital.   Instead we had weight checks every couple of days.  I ended up having to try to nurse him, then pump, and then bottle feed him.  I was so worried about how I was going to be able to do this every 3 hours (when it took an hour and a half each time) and take care of my 2 year old at the same time.  This was the only time I felt like I had baby blues or the beginnings of depression.  I was crying all the time.  

We made an appointment with a lactation consultant and found out Wesley has a high arched palate, and that is the reason he wasn't latching.  She told us he would grow into it with time.  I was so relieved.  Because after doing a weighed feeding with the nipple shield, he was barely getting half an ounce of milk from me. 

(Reminder, we had this same problem with Tanner.  He wouldn't gain any weight until we weaned from the nipple shield).  I was determined to get Wesley to latch.  I didn't get my vbac. My incision had opened up again. I needed one thing to go my way. 

God heard my prayers. The day before Nick had to go back to work I decided to try to get Wesley to latch without the shield one more time. He did it!!! And he has never had any issues since! I don't even have any pain, he's got a perfect latch. It was like a light switch flipped, and he just figured it out! He was one day shy of two weeks old.  From that moment on I cut out the pumping.  I was so happy to have that extra time back.  I can actually spend time with Tanner during the day. 

Wesley is still a slow gainer though. But Tanner was, too, so I'm not worried.  Today Wesley weighed 7lbs 11oz. One ounce above his birth weight. He is nursing great now. And I'm happy with that.  I'm sure Wesley will be a little tank, just like Tanner is now.  


  1. He is adorable! Does he favor Tanner, or is it a completely different look the second time around?

    1. They are as different as can be! I keep thinking there are some similarities but when I go through Tanner's baby pictures, I don't see it anymore. I can tell they are siblings, but so far they are complete opposites of each other! :)