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Breastfeeding Success!! ~ Kristine's Story
by Kristine Beasley
My wonderful husband and I were married 10 years ago. We knew we both wanted children and I have been diagnosed with PCOD. After a tragic miscarriage, we miraculously conceived and I gave birth to a beautiful daughter. There was no question about breastfeeding her. However, I didn't do any research and we were going through a very stressful time in our lives. Needless to say, after six weeks, I quit nursing and felt like a failure.
Six years later, we decided we wanted to add another child to our family. However, we were diagnosed with Secondary Infertility. Once again, we miraculously conceived and I gave birth to another beautiful girl. Chloe was born four weeks early and after the delivery, she was whisked away to the nursery for a full check up. She only weighed in at a bit over 5 lbs. and by the time she made it to me, several hours had passed. Her sucking reflex wasn't developed, she was so small, and sleepy from all the drugs given to me over the previous 5 days I was in the hospital.
We wanted this baby so badly that we were determined to make a conscious effort at breastfeeding. We both knew that it would be the best for her, since she was so small and early. The first few attempts were enough to leave me in tears. She wouldn't latch on, she couldn't stay awake, and she was so small it intimidated me.
After we got her home, she was diagnosed with jaundice. Her weight dropped to 4 lbs.. 10oz. The home health nurse who set up the light therapy, suggested we supplement her. She informed us that it would help the bilirubin level that was at 21 to drop, and we could get her therapy over quicker. Both my husband and I never entertained the thought. For 48 hours, we did everything we could to keep her awake to nurse. We thumped her foot, used a washcloth, undressed her--you name it, we did it. I honestly nursed her every hour. Within 48 hours, her bilirubin level had dropped to a 5!! The nurse couldn't believe we didn't have to supplement her any to get that drastic of a drop.
Over the next few weeks, we dealt with cracked nipples, soreness and tiredness from nursing her every hour to hour and a half. My wonderful husband never let me get up at night by myself. Even if he just sat there and held my hand, he was going to see this through. We had seen how breast milk had helped her over the jaundice and didn't want to stop now.
Finally, after nine weeks, Chloe began nursing like a pro. Now, at three months, she can empty a breast in five minutes flat. She now weighs in at 10 lbs. Everyone says she just now looks like a newborn. No one can believe that I am still exclusively breastfeeding her and she is thriving so well. I gave up my job as a teacher to stay home with her. One reason was that she is doing so well on breast milk, that we didn't want to switch her to formula.
Both our daughters are blessings, and both, so far, have been completely different. Both my husband and I are firm supporters of breastfeeding. He absolutely loves it when I get to nurse Chloe in public and no one would even know if it wasn't for our 6 year old who is yelling: "Wow, isn't it great you are nursing Chloe right here!"