Day Twenty-Three | Delany's Beginning | A NICU Breastfeeding Story
There is so much of my story that I feel is very important and I'll try and convey that in these words the best I can! I had an incredibly hard start with my son being born early and spending time in the NICU. He also was severely tongue tied which laid a huge burden into our laps and trying to get doctors to listen when we pushed to get it fixed while in the NICU was a nightmare.
Everything went out of the window when our little babe started trying to come at 29 weeks. We were lucky enough to be able to use preventative measures to keep him cooking till 35 weeks. But our breastfeeding journey started off rocky to say the least. He was rushed away from me a few minutes after birth due to trouble breathing.
I also had some heavy bleeding because of tired uterus from contracting for 6 weeks. We got the call that his sugars were too low and he needed me or he was going to need supplemented. My amazing nurse whisked me right over to the NICU.
I had a completely unmediated vaginal birth, which made it pretty easy for me to get up and get moving. Roman immediately latched on which was a God send. He nursed 2 times before things went downhill. He was very tired, and was born with an infection and then he became jaundiced on day 2.
We then needed to introduce bottles because he could not transfer milk due to prematurity and his tongue ties. When the bottles also didn't help we had to start an NG tube. I remember being so scared. Crying so hard because of everything that he was going through. I leaned on my husband so much during this time.
We did manage to get his tongue tie clipped on day 4, but my milk didn't come in until day 7! I was, at the time, pumping almost 5 oz of colostrum every 3 hours though. On day 7 my milk came in full force. Pumping between 9 and 15 oz every 3 hours. It was intense to say the least.
We tried nursing every time before bottles, then finished with the NG tube. We had to hold him upright for 30 minutes after each feed because of silent reflux, then I also had to pump for 20 minutes. Needless to say, I barely slept the 15 days we were in the NICU.
My husband then had to return to work on day 7 which happened to be the same day my mother and step father left. My husband would come for a few hours after work but it was so hard to do it all without him there. Every day was a challenge. Seeing my son hooked up to machines and IVs was terrible.
Not being able to walk any farther than to the chair to do skin to skin or nurse. Feeling intense guilt for not being able to protect him and carry him as long as I expected. Day 12 was the hardest. I cried the whole day. It was the first day they let me wear him in a wrap and walk the halls - it changed it all.
He started doing better also! Nursing better, taking full feeds, and doing it all without the tube. I also want to say, that being at Boulder Community Hospital was a God send. Their NICU has private suites that have mothers’ suites attached to the babies rooms. It made it possible for me to be able to stay with Roman all day and night every day we were there!
My recommendation for pumping is to be careful doing it right away unless you need to for medical reasons like what we encountered.. An oversupply is a blessing and a curse all at the same time. I am honored to have fed 6 babies plus my own, but with 104-degree temps and immense pain it was unhealthy for me to keep it. I pump 15 minutes both sides 5 times a day now and that's perfect for us and my friends baby.
Did your story begin in the NICU? What was difficult throughout your stay? Leave a note on your story or give this mama some encouragement in the comments below. If you would like to share your nourishment journey, contact me and we can start to plan the perfect session for you.
* All photos in this blog were taken by the family featured here.