Piper came into this world on St. Patty's day. I had already been in the hospital for over 24 hrs when she arrived, screaming at the top of her lungs. She was two weeks early and still managed to weigh 7 lbs 7 oz.
Being a first time mom, I didn't realize how important it was to have Piper nurse before she went to the nursery. When they laid her on my chest, I went into panic mode. She was so tiny and appeared to be so fragile. I was afraid of her and that I might hurt her. So, when they asked if I wanted to try to nurse her or go ahead and let them clean her up, I went with cleaning her up.
It was almost nine hours before I held my daughter again. Every time I asked what was taking so long, the nurses would tell me her temperature was too low to bring her back to me. I should have insisted that I get to nurse her or at least went to the nursery because when I finally had the chance to try to nurse her for the first time she was not interested. All she wanted to do was sleep.
Piper developed jaundice, which is common, but her levels were higher than typical. Looking back I really do think it is because she didn't nurse right away. Due to the jaundice, we had to stay an extra day. Finally, after being at the hopital for 4 days, I was given the choice to either put Piper under the bilirubin lights at the hospital or have a biliblanket brought to my house. I wanted to go home!
Our first night home, Piper cried for 4 hours straight. She never stopped. She wouldn't latch on. I was getting frustrated and scared because I knew that if she didn't eat her bilirubin levels would go up higher. I felt so helpless as she screamed. I couldn't calm her down enough to get her to realize that what she was wanting was literally right in front of her face. It was 4 am when the thought finally occurred to me to pump and feed her with a syringe. So I pumped and Matt gave it to her. She stop crying as soon as the "liquid gold" hit her lips. And I was then able to entice her to eat what I had to offer.
Because there had been so many bumps in the road as far as breastfeeding goes, it took 5 days before my milk finally came in. Piper paid the price, too. Her bilirubin levels went up, then down, then back up. It was an emotional roller coaster. I had soreness and engorgement. But finally, after that first week, everything fell into place.
Piper was an awesome and efficient nurser. 5 minutes on each side and she was done. When I decided to try to breastfeed, I made goals for myself- 6 weeks, 4 months, 6 months and finally a year. I am proud to say that I was able to nurse Piper until she was 13 months old. For any expecting moms, I definitely think you should give it a shot ;)