My ELCS experience(4 Posts)
DS2 was born 10 days ago by ELCS due to being in a breech position. He weighed 9lbs 4ozs and was 52cm long. He's doing great now but he had a bumpy start.
DS1 had been a vaginal birth so this was my first cesarean experience. I expected it to go smoothly as the pregnancy had been straight forward.
However as soon as DS2 was pulled from my body I got to see him for a maximum of 2 seconds before he and DH were rushed off to the neonatal intensive care unit. He had breathing difficulties. It was 3 hours before I was reunited with them in thd NICU. DS2 was hooked up to all sorts of monitors and had already been given formula even though DH said we didn't want it and had asked for donor breastmilk. That request was denied because DS was full term. The breathing difficulties resulted in him having low blood sugar as his little body struggled to cope with his difficult transition into the world. I desperately tried to express colostrum in an attempt to avoid more formula. Breastfeeding was really difficult because he was on a ventiator and had many wires / electrodes attached to his little body. But we tried. I was still groggy and in my hospital bed on morphine after the cesarean so I let him suckle with a bad latch which resulted in bad nipple trauma. Although I managed to hand express colostrum (10mls first try) it wasn't enough and eventually DS was given about 100mls of formula over the next 2 days to top up my breastfeedings. We spent 2.5 days in the NICU (including 14 hours on a ventilator) before spending one more night in the regular maternity ward. It was fantastic to get home and see our DS1 again. My mum did an amazing job taking care of him. We were blessed.
DS2 had a checkup on day 5 and we were told he had made an extraordinary turnaround. He had regained most of his birthweight already.
If this had been my first baby I never would have had the confidence to believe my breasts were making enough milk for him. I imagine we'd have continued supplementing. I'm delighted to say that after his first 3 days in hospital he's been exclusively breastfed. He's doing great. It's been really hard on my nipples though. They've been badly cracked and bleeding and it's been agony. I had to hand express for about 36 hours from my right side giving it time to heal. It's not 100% better yet but latching on is possible again and I will do everything I can to keep my nipples in good shape now. It's a pity DS2 had to have some formula but I believe in his case it was medically indicated. The important thing is I have my two beautiful boys safely at home with me.
I'm so sorry you, your DH and your baby had to go through this. You are being incredibly brave persevering with breastfeeding. My DS2 (also an ELCS but straightforward) shredded my nipples our first night with a bad latch and a friend suggested a wet wound gauze called jelonet which really helped protect my nipples from my bra between feeds. Did need to rinse them before a feed though.. Hope you have a swift recovery and congratulations on your newborn. Xx
I'm sorry you had that experience OP. My 1st birth, although VB, was very traumatic which resulted in my milk my coming in until day 6, DD being admitted to hospital and fed formula through a gastro-nasal tube. I too struggled with not exclusively bf her and what I perceived as failure (not saying you feel this way), however I too persevered and about 2 weeks in she was exclusively bf - I wish more women knew that medically indicated formula, or a small amount in the beginning when you are struggling, does not mean you can't go on to ebf.
I had my second by ELCS and was fortunate to have a much easier ride than you so for anyone else reading this it is possible to have a straightforward bf experience after ELCS. My milk came in on day 3, she fed like a dream from the moment we were in recovery and exclusively for 5 months.
So glad all is well for your family Thank you for sharing your story.
I'm pg with DS2 at the moment and unsure whether to to attempt another natural birth (my birth experience with DS1 was quite traumatic) or opt for an ELCS.
I've been a bit hung up on the
indecision. But your story has reminded me that whatever I decide and whatever happens, the most important thing is having my baby healthy and well in my arms <wells up> So thanks
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