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She's teasing me...

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
This morning was our first attempt with the nipple shield, and it went fairly well. DD latched on pretty quickly and was nursing/napping for about an hour and a half. During the day, she latched a few times and used me as a human pacifier, but pulled away with let-down occurred. Tonight, I tried to nurse her, hoping that we could co-sleep/nurse all night, and she screamed bloody murder every time the shield hit her mouth...or, she'd latch and suck a few times and then pull away screaming. She would only take the bottle.

I laid her in her crib and went downstairs to wash out the bottle to get ready to pump and was crying from frustration, and when DH asked what was wrong and I told him I was frustrated and disappointed because this morning was so encouraging, his response was "relax and you'll get it."

I know he means well, and is trying to help, but if one more person who has never 1)tried to nurse a preemie, 2)EPed, 3)used a nipple shield or 4)POSSESSED BREASTS - tells me that I should just "relax" and everything will be fine, I'm going to scream.

I know it's 2 steps forward and 1 step back. really, I know that. I just wish I could spend the next 3-5 days laying in bed with her learning how to nurse together, but I can't. DH works 80 hours/week, and we have family flying in the weekend, and someone has to clean the house, plus we're starting a home business for me, so I have to do a bunch of paperwork/research for that.

There isn't really a point to this, I guess. Just felt the need to vent.

I thought this whole baby thing would be so natural. As my sister said, "Newborns are a strange way for evolution to go about the whole propagate-the-species thing, because no matter what their temperament, they are an absolute push-you-to-your-limit stressor. The strange thing about the mama/baby relationship is that everyone tells you how it's going to be, we get all these messages constantly about how it's going to be, and then it's NEVER like that, not for anyone. So *every* mother, to one extent or another, feels like a failure."

Rationally, I know that things will be fine, whether I end up being able to nurse her or not. I know that my only real responsibility right now is to keep the baby alive. The hard part is never having dealt with any kind of depression, and despising myself for the state of my house and how I feel physically. Just blah.

post #2 of 10
So sorry you and DD are having a hard time. My DS wasn't a premie but he has a small mouth and was lethargic so he wouldn't nurse, I exclusively pumped for a week and gave it in bottles, then thought of the nipple shield. Just like you, he took it great the first try, then wouldn't nurse for long in subsequent attempts. The screaming and crying on letdown must be awful, I'm so sorry . Just keep trying, and giving milk other ways after offering that first. Maybe try something other than bottles - feeding syringes perhaps? You're doing great, I know you and your daughter will get it working soon.
post #3 of 10
Originally Posted by sehbub
...and we have family flying in the weekend, and someone has to clean the house,


Stop that! I assume they are coming in to "help"? Well, then they can just HELP! You do NOT have to clean house for them! You have a BIG job to do. Sorry I don't remember your story, but you have a preemie in the house? That is your JOB! #1, #2, #3 and #4! Your DH can take care of himself. Your other family can take care of the other kids. YOU need to take care of YOU and your new babe!

and to you
post #4 of 10
I just wanted to send a . My DD wasn't a premature, but she didn't BF at birth and I have been through EPing, nipple shields, and screaming at the breast. My DD is capable of BFing (did for 2.5 months off and on), but just chooses not to. I tried really hard for 4 months and also had to deal with thrush and mastitis. So I know how physically and emotionally draining it can be. I never could get DD to the breast again and she is now 6.5 months old. So I EP for her. All I can say is you are doing a good job and should keep trying. Just find a balance between trying to get her to the breast and the frustration. You don't want your DC to get negative associations with the breast. Be patient. I hope it works out for you.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Unfortunately, they're not coming to help. It's my 70something year old grandparents who are just coming to visit as they live in TN and haven't seen the babe yet.
post #6 of 10
I have been in your shoes. Im sorry you are having such frustrations. You are a good mommy by doing everything you can. I hope BFing works out for you. But, if it doesn't, it does not make you any less of a mother. Babies need love and food to grow. You are awesome for pumping! I have been EPing for 7.5 months now. It sucks! But atleast my baby is getting my milk. EPing is exhausting, isn't it?
post #7 of 10
Originally Posted by sehbub
Unfortunately, they're not coming to help. It's my 70something year old grandparents who are just coming to visit as they live in TN and haven't seen the babe yet.
Oh. Well put them to work anyway. My 70something PARENTS (I'm an oldfart) did a lot of babycare for me in the early days. And they aren't in the best physical shape. At least they can take some slack off you with the older kids? Do some laundry?
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Laundry's done...it's just the cleaning and scrubbing. DD and I will spend next week in bed learning to nurse.
post #9 of 10
hi sarah,

as someone who has nursed a preemie, EPed, used a nipple shield, and who possesses breasts, can i say that if you relax it will at least be easier? i know, easier said than done, but it might help.

my ds was born in february at 26 weeks and i EPed for a long time. when i first tried to bf him i didn't use a nipple shield and he acted like he couldn't draw the nipple back far enough to get any good suction going. once we tried the nipple shield, he was really able to get going good, but he would desat if he got ahead of himself.

we were still in the hospital at this time and i talked to an lc, who suggested we use a larger size nipple shield--for some reason we had been given an extra-small size to start with--and once we started using the regular size, everything fell into place. he was able to nurse without desatting or drowning in milk. the way the lc described it to me was that the x-small nipple shield, because it was so narrow, didn't have any room for the milk to pool up in so it forced it out hard into the back of ds's mouth. the larger one gave him an opportunity to suck it out on his own without it being forced down his throat.

what i'm saying is, you might play around with some different size nipple shields to see what works best for y'all. also, you might try taking your dd off the breast when you feel your milk let down and hand express just a little so she's not getting the full force of it all at once.

i had the advantage of a very supportive hospital staff who never encouraged me to give ds a bottle, so we got to go straight from tube feeding to bfing. i imagine that the transition from bottle to breast would be difficult and confusing for a little one, so don't get too stressed over making the transition all at once.

the closer ds got to his due date, the easier it all got for him. he even spontaneously decided to latch without the shield the day before his due date and he's been going au naturale ever since (that would be for about 2 weeks now). i think his mouth just needed to get bigger, and he needed to perfect his suck, swallow, breathe.

hang in there. you'll get it, but it's definately hard work.
post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 
I know it will get easier. Everything works out in the end, and if it hasn't worked out, it's not the end, right?

We're using the regular size shield, and she is able to move at her own pace, we just have to be careful to not let her get too hungry, because she's so used to instant gratification from her bottle that when she doesn't immediately get milk at the breast she flips out.


This too shall pass.
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