Sorry for the silence on the blog these couple of days. Have been putting in longer hours at work for the week and trying my best to be super mom at the same time so blogging takes a back seat, but i still love all of you so i’m back with another post today! 

Decided to take the opportunity to blog about my other breastfeeding story since the blog train is gonna end in just a few days. The breastfeeding story of my 2nd born – Jerome (birth story here). In case, you haven’t read my first breastfeeding story, do pop over so you’ll better know the context of this story.

With the somewhat success story of breast(milk) feeding my first born till the day I found myself pregnant again, and the fact that I have SO MUCH excess milk that I can swim in it, i was a little hesitant in having the story repeat itself the second time round. Which part of the story, you’ll ask.

1. not being able to latch (i read about people who persevered and eventually managed to do so i was i encouraged thinking i could do the same)
2. the scenario of filling up an entire freezer, my mil’s freezer and my mum’s kitchen freezer and having more milk but NO SPACE to store them. I mean some excess is good, but over supply is another issue altogether.
3. this point is related to the above – being in a rigorous schedule of 2 hrly pumping is crazy. I decided to do only 3hrly onwards for the 2nd kid.

But like I said earlier, there are just so many factors contributing to the success of breastfeeding….

newborn-jerome

Jerome all bundled up in a swaddle.

Well, my son was diagnosed with G6PD at birth and he suffered high jaundice levels. He didn’t get to discharge when I did and had to stay in a hospital for a week for phototherapy. it was a week of emotional roller coaster rides. Every day, I went to the hospital and attempted to breastfeed. I have some tiny success moments, but because the baby needs to be under phototherapy most of the time and only had an hr or so to spare each day, I didn’t have much chance of breastfeeding and fell into the familiar pumping schedule that I was so used to, just some months back before.

When the baby finally came home with us, i tried latching several times and didn’t succeed at all. Then there is Jerry (my firstborn) demanding for attention ALL THE TIME. He refused to let me go near the baby and constantly needed me to engage him.. which pulls me further away from baby. #siblingrivalry

suntan jaundice baby

Jerome suntanning to bring down jaundice levels

And then, at our first pediatrician visit, Jerome’s jaundice levels rocketed and we were told to supplement the baby with formula to bring down the jaundice. No breastmilk preferred. If you aren’t aware, there is something called the breast milk jaundice as well, so we had to buy a tin of formula milk home and we fed him with it for a month.

So breastfeeding (direct latch) fail.

While i had to feed the kid formula for a month, i wasn’t giving up on this breast milk game. i gamely pumped out the milk and kept as reserve. But since there isn’t any hungry baby needing the milk urgently, i was really relaxed about the pumping schedules and started at 4hrly intervals instead, producing still way more than enough as compared to what the baby needs on a daily basis. With that, i kinda fulfilled pt 2 & 3 that i mentioned earlier.

But, it also means one thing – no demand = no supply. It’s a simple rule. I spent all my time bonding with my elder son and the 4hrly schedules lapsed to 5hrly and then to 6hrly. At that point where i decided to lax, i still had loads of milk to last me through the months to come. BUT, 6 months later, i had milk woes – read about me being in panic mode over milk. I never thought i’ll land myself in that situation where i don’t have enough milk to feed the baby! I panicked and tried to bring up the supply by pumping more often, but thing is, life with just one kid and life with 2 kids (with one is a toddler) is a totally different ball game altogether. I was constantly tired and worn out and the bandwidth to handle everything at the same time. it was also a lot harder saying “no” to a pleading Jerry as compared to a set of cold, plastic milk pumps. so whatever effort i put it in for a day or 2, just went to naught.

I do secretly wonder whether the fact that my baby was already formula-fed the first month of his life kind of played a part in all these laziness on my part. its like, why bother right?

Except, i still bothered enough and today, at 15 months down this breastfeeding journey, i am still expressing milk, twice a day (even on the days where im on holiday) to produce a paltry 300ml a day worth of breast milk to feed the kid. It is only enough for one feed and a little more, but to me, every single drop of that is precious (and perhaps, liquid gold) and i am going to try to sustain this for as long as i can.

The whole point of me writing this other breastfeeding story of mine, is to bring a message out to mums out there.

Don’t fret about not being able to breastfeed your baby. Sure, its a bonus if you can but if you can’t, don’t beat yourself up. I said it and i am going to repeat it again – there are just so many factors involved when it comes to successful breastfeeding. Every mum have their own stories, everyone has a different journey and heck, even every breastfeeding journey for different kids is different so take it as it comes. Don’t compare with other mums what they can or cannot do, what they did or didn’t do. Set achievable milestones for yourself, and reward yourself along the way. Being mum is already hard enough.

Most importantly, RELAX (this is important for producing milk!) and just do what you can. Breast milk or not, babies still grow up healthy. and hey, my mum said i am a 100% formula-fed baby!

Am going to end this post and head to bed right now. The tips on expressing milk and how to milk it literally post is still brewing. Its half written and i thought it would be better to spew out this story so you people know both sides of my breastfeeding journey and you would be able to relate better to the tips that i will provide in the next breastfeeding related post. Till then, have a great week!

This post is part of a Blog Train hosted by Madeline at MadPsychMum. Head on over to read the other breastfeeding stories by Singapore Mom Bloggers!