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A Badass Breastfeeding Story by Rosie

Gracen at 3 days and 3 months.

I want to share my story with you. My son is now 3 months old. I read and read while I was pregnant and decided I wanted a natural labor to be home as long as possible and do be coached by my husband through the pain and hopefully out of a hospital bed. That all changed on July 28, 2013. I went to the hospital for a non-stress test because I was 10 days overdue. As they were monitoring baby, his heart rate dropped multiple times. They said either my placenta was becoming ineffective or the umbilical cord was getting pinched. They would not let me leave. I was having contractions about every 10 minutes, but I didn’t feel them at all. After multiple aggressive checks (stripping my membranes over and over) my labor was full blown. Nice strong contractions every 5 minutes and dilating at a steady pace. I was confined to the bed because they had to monitor him and found it hard to manage my pain that way. I could only get up to pee and it relieved the pressure so much I was asking to go to the bathroom after every contraction. Baby’s heart rate continued to drop and the nursed had me flipping changing positions to get it back up as well as wear an oxygen mask. I was advised to have a c-section and I broke down to tears. I refused the c-section and told them that if my baby could handle it I wanted to delivery vaginally. At about 5 cm I opted for an epidural because I could no longer handle the pain and the constant trips to the bathroom and I was confined to bed anyway. I progressed to 10cm fast after the epidural and it was time to push. I pushed for close to 2 hours and baby was tolerating it well. Finally I did it and he was born. He was placed on my chest and my husband cut his cord. The nurse started to stimulate him and clean his airways, but he never cried. I instantly knew there was something wrong. He was quickly whisked to the side of the room and people started swarming around him. Emergency calls went out and more doctors rushed in. They could not get him breathing. After nearly 15 minutes without oxygen they were able to remove the block in his airway and intubate him. There went my dream of keeping him close and breastfeeding him within an hour of birth. He was flown to another hospital within a few hours of birth and I only got to hold him for a minute before they took him away. He was put into therapeutic hypothermia for 3 days and put on morphine. I was discharged from the hospital 5 hours after giving birth to drive to be with him. Because of his trauma his first feedings were through a feeding tube. I pumped and pumped every 2 hours since the moment he was born so he could get only my milk and I couldn’t wait for him to be able to breastfeed. Well since he was in NICU, his input and outtake had to be monitored so his first suck and swallow experience was with a bottle. Since the moment I could I put him to breast and hoped he could eat from me. He would latch but was never efficient in emptying my breasts. I exclusively pumped and then bottle fed him until recently I decided I was going to get him to breastfeed. My little boy is the Badass, not me. Even with nearly 3 months of only having bottles my son will still latch on and he is getting stronger and stronger. He is getting less mommy’s milk from the bottle and more straight from the source every day. I feel like I have dealt with every issue… Latch problems, using a feeding tube to supplement while at the breast, low supply issues, clogged ducts and the uncertainty that he might never be able to efficiently feed from mommy. Breastfeeding is so important to me, I don’t know why, something inside of me keeps me going to keep my supply up so that he gets my milk and not formula. But I have to say he is the bad ass…. After all he’s been through to be able to be where he’s at today!