11 June 2015

Breastfeeding Baby No. 2

Wait! Don't go! You've come to the right spot, we've just spiced things up a bit. :) You know you have an awesome blog designer when you email her saying "Hey, can we update my blog's design? I want it to be be black, white and pretty" and she is somehow able to come up with an inspiration board that seems to read your mind! (Since clearly I lack the creative prowess to put my ideas into words.)
black and white inspiration board
HUGE shout out to Elizabeth from Chantilly Branding & Designs for her outstanding work!
Mallory and Michael as individuals really couldn't be more different. Kyle and I have been able to see their stark personality differences from the moment Michael was born. Mallory: headstrong, opinionated and determined. Michael: calm, laid back and patient. These traits have been particularly apparent with regard to breastfeeding. If you remember, breastfeeding Mallory started off chalk full of drama! She couldn't figure out how to latch! This resulted in one pissed off and hungry baby and two stressed out rookie parents! We spent the first several weeks feeding Mallory expressed breast milk through either a syringe/tubbing or a bottle then finally graduating to the nipple shield. It wasn't until she was about three months old that she finally figured out how to breast feed without any "accessories." All along we, along with her pediatrician attributed the breastfeeding issues with her being born a bit premature. 
breastfeeding tips

breastfeeding tips

breastfeeding tips

Fast forward to becoming pregnant with baby number two... I knew I wanted to breast feed again and regularly thought to myself "it sure as shit can't get too much more challenging than it was with Mal, can it?" As my pregnancy progressed and I began experiencing gestational hypertension, it seemed having another premature baby was becoming quite probable. I started to mentally prepare myself for a repeat of the breastfeeding circus act we preformed with Mallory. 
Ummm, no. From the moment Michael popped out, at the exact same gestational age as his sister, he breastfeed like a well trained professional. (and hasn't come up for air since...)
breastfeeding tips

breastfeeding tips

breastfeeding tips
Michael latched instantly and correctly! I was so relieved and really in awe at how beautiful that very first feeding can be. Babies are incredible! Because he too was premature, he had regular blood sugar checks for the first 24 hours to ensure he was getting the appropriate amount of colostrum. His blood sugar levels proved that he most certainly was! In fact, he left that hospital a mere 3oz lighter than he was at birth--chump change compared to his sister's weight loss. My milk even came in a day earlier this time around. Things went just swimmingly and we were so so grateful to have such a good eater! 
Maybe one of you really struggled to breastfeed your first child and my hope is that our story gives you little hope that round two won't be as tough. 
On a semi unrelated note :: I had somehow convinced myself that nipple/breast discomfort was exclusively a first child thing. Nope. Wrong-O! The karma gods decided to punish my ignorance. A few days after we left the hospital, when my milk supply was really kickin' it into high gear, I developed mastitis. In BOTH breasts! Total suck-fest for a good 24 hours until the antibiotics started doing their thing. The "funny" part of the whole mastitis gig was that I would literally have sold my soul to get Mike to nurse using the nipple shield I so passionately loathed when I was nursing Mallory. I was desperate to offer my breasts a tiny bit of relief. No chance. He would only nurse on bare boob. It was like some kind of sick joke and I was not amused. [I highly recommend warm compress, lanolin cream and tons of water to combat that early breast feeding nipple pain. Mastitis though...call your OB! It's no joke and you'll most definitely know the difference!]

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