When Jordan Talley gave birth the second time around there was one major change she wanted to make- she wanted to breastfeed.
Her first daughter had been premature and her stay in NICU meant that Jordan's breastfeeding plans were crushed. Still she has a healthy second pregnancy.
"I was induced on Monday, April 9, 2018, because my blood pressure was starting to run dangerously high," she told Love What Matters.
"We called her Lucy, and she came out much smaller than we had expected– only 6 pounds, 8 ounces and 20 inches long. She was in the 26th percentile for weight. Weeks before, she had read 7 pounds through my growth ultrasound."
At first, Lucy seem to have no problem breastfeeding. weighting 6 pounds one ounce, they brought Lucy home.
"Weight loss is normal in the first couple of days, so I didn't think much of it. I followed all the rules in the book when we got home from the hospital. I nursed on-demand, which, for Lucy, was pretty often. I ate oatmeal with flax seed. I drank blue Gatorade. I ate lactation cookies and brownies. I was prepared to nail this breastfeeding thing."
But something didn't seem right.
"She always fell asleep while she ate. I thought it was sweet and assumed she was milk drunk. But for some reason, she seemed to pull away from her latch and scream as if there wasn't anything coming out. I was starting to get nervous that my body wasn't making enough milk for her. I told myself that my body was literally made to feed this sweet baby, and knew deep down that it wasn't a supply issue."
After taking her to a doctor to get checked out, he didn't offer any solutions to Lucy's continued weight loss.
"I asked her doctor to check and see if she had a tongue or lip tie, because I had read that ties can interfere with breastfeeding — thus interfering with weight gain. He peeked in her mouth and said that she did not have any ties. The doctor told me that he wanted to see her again next week, and that if she hadn't gained enough by her one month checkup, then we’d have to ‘do something else.’ I knew exactly what that meant. I left the office and cried."
Pretty soon, Lucy began ot deteriorate. As in every parents worst nightmare, "she had lost her chubby cheeks. Her eyes were dull and sunken in." The scales continued to read below birth weight.
"I sat down, holding Lucy in her pink and white blanket. I quickly scrolled through my phone to find my firstborn daughter’s one-month weight… she had gone from 5 pounds, 1 ounce at birth, to 7 pounds, 8 ounces by her one-month appointment. On formula. I choked back the tears as I gazed down at my sweet Lucy, her skin just sagging off of her. Why was I failing?
"My baby was failing to thrive… and she wasn't thriving because I failed her."
After sharing her dilemma with fellow mums on Facebook, she was given the number of a local lactation consultant. Amanda, a professional doula, met her that day and she met her that day.
"She asked if I’d be open to supplementing Lucy with donor breast milk. I asked her if it was free, and she explained that it was and that she would really love to help us, because she saw a picture of Lucy and was concerned for her. It made me nervous that someone who sees lots of babies for a living was concerned for my baby."
Lucy had lip and tongue tie issues, after having them resolved, she finally started feeding and gaining weight. Now that Lucy is back at a healthy weight for her age, Jordan beleives that there needs to be more support and awareness for breastfeeding issues.
"As I reflect on our journey so far, I can see so many times where I could have given up. I 100% believe that there needs to be more awareness to these underlying issues that complicate breastfeeding...We need more support so mamas don’t feel like giving up is the only option they have.
"It’s not that I have anything against using formula… it’s that I have everything FOR breastfeeding, and no logical reason to not give it all I have. As a mama tribe, we need to unify for the cause of feeding our babies and educating each other.
"Why are we so afraid to seek help? Why do we get offended if someone offers help? The greatest lesson in this is that I was not failing my baby. It wasn't her fault, nor was it my fault that she was not able to eat properly. Had I not reached out, I imagine I would have given up entirely. I would have continued to feel as though I had failed myself and my daughter, leading me down a path of depression and mum guilt"
Now with her breastfeeding journey back on track, Jordan is glad that she didn't give up, instead "we are just in the beginning.”
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