Friday, January 25, 2013

NICU Baby, Champion Feeder, & OMG, She Ate My Nipple!

It's Theme Thursday, y'all! This week's theme is: BREASTFEEDING
Head on over to Something Clever 2.0 to see what it's all about!

Anyone that knows me in real life knows that I've got some serious monsters on my chest. They started growing in 4th grade and just never stopped. Add three pregnancies to the mix and holy mammoth, I've got backaches like no other.
It seemed like an obvious choice that I'd breastfeed. It's natural, women have been doing it since forever, and it'd be a damn shame to let these triple D's go to waste. (I actually wear a DD, but I have some serious overflowing going on, so I assume if I spent more than $12 on a bra and got one that actually fit, it'd be somewhere in the DDD range. But, when you're a cheap-o and buy your bras at Wal-Mart, you've got a limited selection!)

Gracelyn Rayne:

25 hours of labor and one emergency c-section later, a 7lbs 4 oz. baby girl made me a first-time Mommy in April of '08.

Big IV in her tiny head. Numerous needles pokes on her precious hand.

Immediately following birth, she suffered a Pneumothorax and both of her lungs collapsed. After the c-section, the first time I even laid eyes on her was on a digital camera. Yeah, a digital freaking camera. My entire family got to see her before I did. (That's another story for another day, though - totally wanting to do a post on my birth stories!)

After 24 of the longest hours of my life, I was finally able to visit her in the NICU. I wasn't able to hold her until Day 3, but I was in my room pumping like crazy. That Liquid Gold came in FAST & I was happily labeling and sending it by the bottle-full. On Day 3 when I finally was able to hold her, after examining her whole body, counting every toe and finger, and a few minutes of skin-to-skin, I pulled my boob out and brought her face towards my nipple. Nothing. She wasn't trying to latch or anything. But, I was determined and did NOT give up. After about 10 minutes of trying, the nurse informed me that shift change was about to take place and we would have to leave the NICU. Feeling a little defeated and very full (boobs, not tummy!), I handed her back to the nurse and went back to our room.
The next few days went about the same - unsuccessfully trying to get her to latch and pumping like a mad woman.

When we finally got her home, I was still bound and determined to master breastfeeding. I tried and tried and tried. And tried some more. She absolutely refused. But, I kept on pumping and was able to provide her with a tummy full of Mommy milk for a full 4 months. That was when we got the news that Mommy's boobs would soon be shared. Yep, I was pregnant! Again.

Reilly Tucker:

In the beginning of June 2009, our family grew by one adorable baby boy. He weighed in at 7lbs 7 oz.

I love love love the newborn froggy legs!
Having experienced the pumping side of breastfeeding with my first born, I was absolutely determined to boobie feed my little man. There wasn't any ifs ands or buts about it! He was delivered via scheduled c-section and I made sure everyone in that damn hospital knew that he would be a BREASTFED baby and that they better keep every bottle and pacifier away from him!
He was born with zero complications and promptly brought to me just minutes after I was brought into the recovery room. Just mere minutes after he was placed in my arms, he was happily and hungrily latched onto me and feeding away. Success!
He was an awesome, champion feeder and I can proudly say from Day 1, there wasn't even one problem with him latching! I exclusively breastfed him for almost 6 months.

Paisley Ann:

In early September, a tiny baby girl made her big debut and completed our family. She was our smallest baby, weighing in at only 6 lbs 10oz.

This was her first trip to the San Antonio Zoo!

She was a perfect little feeder - at first. She would feel my bare skin and it'd take her about .5 seconds of rooting to get latched onto my nipple and boom - she'd nurse herself into a Mommy milk coma!

She fed perfectly for the first few weeks or so, when I started to notice some discomfort during some of her feedings. My nipples began cracking and bleeding and I wanted to scream every time she latched on.

I nursed through the pain until one day... She was about six weeks old. I was sitting in my Nana's kitchen, talking to her and my Mom when Paisley started fussing, signaling that it was time to feed her. That day was a particularly bad boob day for me - I was insanely sore and it seemed like the skin on my nipples was paper thin. I picked her up and carefully placed my nipple in her mouth and.... CHOMP! She pulled my nipple into her mouth with the strongest suction imaginable and I immediately cried out in pain. "MOM! Get her!! Someone! Get her off, please!" I was screaming, trying to get her off of my breast. But, she had formed such a strong suction that it was nearly impossible to get her off - she laid there unaffected by the chaos, sucking away. You could literally see the blood, my blood, pooling around her mouth. Finally, my Mom came to the rescue and carefully stuck her finger into Paisley's mouth, breaking the suction and pulling her away from me. As soon as my Mom whisked her away, blood streamed from my nipple down my shirt. She had literally sucked the skin right off of my nipple. It was raw, throbbing, and hard to even look at.

Even after getting a miracle-working ointment from my OB/GYN and receiving encouragement from my husband, I was still terrified to breastfeed her again. I continued to pump, but I slowly started producing less and less. We began supplementing a few times a day with formula when she was eight weeks old and when she was about twelve weeks old, I stopped breastfeeding all together. I still sometimes regret not trying to breastfeed her again, but I am confident in the choice I made.

Regardless of how long I breastfed or whether or not formula was given, my kids are healthy.
Healthy, happy, and mine!


Here's a shot of  Paisley Ann when she was a little over a month old. That's what you call a Mommy Milk Coma! Also, just wanted to show the baby to boob ratio! :)



  1. Okay, OUCH! You're such a good mamma to those babies! Don't you ever feel guilty for not breastfeeding for "x" amount of time. Like you said, Happy, Healthy and YOURS! I tried to breastfeed, but I wasn't a producer. I felt guilty for a while, but I gotta admit, it was nice to have my body back :) xo

    1. Thank you, Karen! I've definitely struggled with guilt in the past, but I'm very confident in my decisions now. Plus, at least I tried! It's not all rainbows and butterflies for everyone when it comes to breastfeeding! I've had three totally different experiences when it comes to breastfeeding. And, YES, totally awesome to have your body back!! :)

  2. Glad to know I'm not the only one whose baby looked even smaller next to the breast!

  3. My boobs were HUGE when I had my kids, it was crazy!! Love the name Paisely! T

    1. Thank you!! We wanted something unique, but not too out there and still pretty!

  4. You have been nominated for a Leibster Award!...

  5. Isn't it crazy how different our babies are? My first was a total pain in the ASS! I had SO much trouble with him - had to do a supplemental system and everything. But I was so freaking determined - Rambo style - we got there and got through it. Then with my girl, she was on it right from the start like a little movie star. Nailed it! And then at about five months she was all, "Uh, Mom? This ain't my thing anymore. Could you, like, get your boob outta my face?" That's what she said! Well, in not so many words. We do what we can, right? But I do miss my big nursing boobs. Now all I'm left with are a couple of bumps. Guess I'll have to find something else to earn a little spending money. Ha!

    1. Haha! It's definitely crazy how different each kid is! It's as if as soon as you think you've got the whole parenting thing down pat, you have another kid and the rules are changed!