Tuesday 17 May 2011

Nurse V and the pump

Shortly after I gave birth, our doctor told us that Alice had jaundice. Nothing too serious but to lower her bilirubin level she needed to drink a lot of milk...milk that I was not yet producing.

This is when nurse V (who shall remain anonymous, ah!) came to my life. She arrived in our room and told me in a very military way that she wanted to see how I was stimulating (aka "fake breastfeeding" Alice) my breasts to eventually produce milk. I quickly realized that I would have a love-hate relationship with her.

Nurse V took care of us like no other nurse during our four days stay at the hospital. When Alice became too somnolent to eat (jaundice side effect), nurse V would feed her formula with a little cup or a plastic syringe. She also walked with Alice on her shoulder numerous time in an attempt to burp her* while visiting other mothers.

Nurse V also gave me many panic attacks. As soon as her shift started, I'm telling you, my pressure was increasing drastically!!! Every three hours, she would stare at me while I was "fake breastfeeding" Alice (30 freakin minutes of "fake breastfeeding"). After, we would give Alice formula.

One night, nurse V came with the big gun : the hospital breast pump! It honestly looked like a torture device used during World War II!!! I felt incredibly miserable, looking at my expending nipple, while no milk was finding its way to the little plastic bottle.

Luckily for me (and for most women), I started to produce milk (and lots of it) on the 4th day and so far breastfeeding is going super well. Thank you nurse V!

However, last night, I used for the first time my manual breast pump and things didn't go as planned. The sight of my expending nipple sent me back to the state of panic that I had at the hospital. I felt miserable again.

So don't make fun (like I did) of the breast pump instruction manual when it tells you to relax, take a few deep breaths and think of your baby!!! I tried again this morning and I now have a bottle full of milk in the fridge...since I'm going out tonight for the first time without Alice!!!

*Alice doesn't burp easily and according to nurse V a meal concluded without a burp is a big (BIG) no-no!!!

* * * * *

lina: Don't worry (!), if we go reusable we will buy applecheeks diapers. The reviews are very good and it is cool that they are made in Montreal.

one claire day: Let me know your conclusion...so difficult to decide!

kim u: I don't think that our daycare will go for reusable. It is strange but diaper service is not very popular in Montreal. I will try to find more info about it!

mjb: I wanted to do like you (cloth during the day and disposable at night) but it tuned out to be very $$$. I still have to think about it!

bec hem: This is one problem! I can't line-dry diapers since it is against our condo laws. Totally, some reusable diapers are super cute!

little gray pixel: It must be a challenge to have kids without a washer and a dryer. I totally understand that you didn't go for reusable!

daniela: I also wanted to go for applecheeks. So cool that you made home made linings. I will take a look at the tutorial. Thank you so much for the info.

renae @ theredwren: I totally understand..well, not that we have water shortage in Canada. If you decide to go for reusable, please, let me know!

celia: Newborn diapers are much more expensive than stage 1 diapers. Think of all the money that you saved ; Oh, and Lucia is sssooooo adorable!

a loopy life: Until this week, every time that we tried size 1, we had pee and poo accidents. Not nice!!!

julia: Thank you so much Julia for your comment. I want to write a post about the feeling of guilt that so many mothers have. I love everything that you said. Again, thank you! xox


Susanna N. said...

Definitely great advice to take a deep breath and think about your baby. It will get easier each time you do it! I actually took a breastfeeding/pumping class before having my daughter and I was so thankful that I did. I pumped while working full-time for a year and half and thinking of my daughter each time is what got my milk flowing! :)

jamie said...

hee. i *just* sterilized my parts... going to try to pump today!

one claire day said...

Oh the dreaded pump!! I have tried a couple of times but it is honestly like drawing blood from a stone!! I just don't understand it, because when I feed my baby, the milk is there. But with the pump I can barely manage a drop!!

hmm... maybe I need to try this deep breathing and relaxation (and look away from the tormented nipple!).... because it would be so good to leave her with my Mum and go out to dinner or a movie with my husband!

A Loopy Life said...

Baby H doesn't burp all the time. In fact, he rarely burps and it hasn't seemed to harm him. (He farts a lot, though, teehee)

Sid. said...

Oh, I HATE hearing stories like this. They make me so angry. I have several friends who had experiences like this with terrible nurses and lactation consultants. You're supposed to feel excited and empowered about breastfeeding your baby, not scared, incompetent or under surveillance. There are many many reasons I am such a fan of midwives but the biggest one is that they were very relaxed and made me feel like a good mom, right from the start, when new moms most need it. A relaxed mom and happy baby are the best way to ensure a good start to nursing.

Do not worry about the pumping, it does get easier with time. I always found it was very hard to get much milk while my daughter was under 1 and on-demand nursing while I was on maternity leave - she didn't leave me with much to pump!

Pauper said...

Ah, the pump! Was definitely a life-saver for us as in the beginning I seemed to be producing enough milk for triplets and we had so much trouble with A. latching (even having to try feeding her with a tube taped to my breast!). Yikes though, Nurse V sounds quite terrifying! We were fortunate to have an understanding midwife who was with us every step of our breastfeeding ordeal. Glad that you were able to get the hang of the pump and that Alice is feeding well! I've just come back online after ages away and saw some of your Flickr photos of Alice that are just beyond lovely! x

UK lass in US said...

My kids rarely burped and they seem to have survived their infancy just fine. Thank goodness I didn't know nurse V...