Before I found out I was pregnant, I had no real interest in any of the parenting culture or ideas, including breastfeeding. I read the Time Magazine cover with Jamie Grumet in sort of a combination of mocking and detachment. When I found out I was pregnant, I read the basics of parenting, but that Time article kept sticking in my head, so I Googled it, and was transported into a completely different parenting structure.
One of my first decisions was deciding to breastfeed. I did basic research on it to begin with, and as I got closer to my due date, panicked, and delved in even deeper.
I went into the hospital with contractions five minutes apart, and once I got the go-ahead, pushed for nearly three hours. My doctor advised me my babe’s stress level were rising, and I would have to have a C-Section. I cried and cried, thinking I had failed my chance to get any sort of the birthing story I wanted.
I don’t remember much of the C-Section, or being in the recovery room. I know when they finally brought me back to my room, they just shoved Aspen on my nipple and told me to nurse. Luckily, after three hours between my C-Section and latching, she was hungry! She latched like a champ, and even though it was painful, I was relieved.
About 10:00 p.m. that night, the nurses advised me I needed to get a chest X-Ray, as my oxygen levels were really low. Getting into the wheelchair was painful, and standing for the X-Ray was horrible. The nurses got a call an hour later that the lab that reviewed the X-Ray thought it was pneumonia. They started me on antibiotics.
The next morning, a lady appeared in my room about 8 am and advised me that I needed to go down for a C-T Scan as they re-reviewed my X-Ray and they believed I had a blood clot. In the elevator, lady casually mentions: “You won’t be able to nurse for 72 hours because of the dye from the C-T Scan.” I lost it in the elevator – I started crying and could not get myself together.
When we got to the area for the C-T Scan the transport lady advised the tech what was going on. The tech was on my side and told the transport lady to get my doctor over there and that she would do some research, as she believed it was 12-24 hours that the dye would be in my system.
My doctor came over to the hospital and talked with me. I told him with the misinformation I was receiving, I wanted something clear and defined, and that if it meant I would have to do the research myself I would.
I went back to my room while they did their research. I used my cellphone and did what I could for research while I was trying to spend time bonding with my daughter. I got slack from the nurses because she was not eating a whole ton that day. One even said to me, “A lot of C-Section babies aren’t very hungry the day or two after they eat, their stomachs are still pretty full. But if she won’t nurse, we will have to force her to take formula.”
I finally lied and said she nursed. She finally did nurse later, once everything had calmed down.
I got the research later that day for the C-T Scan, and okayed being able to formula feed/feed what I had pumped colostrum wise for the next 24 hours. I did the C-T Scan the following morning, and prayed my milk would still come in.
Later that night, I woke up with a wet shirt front and knew that it was my milk! I was so happy! I pumped a little bit, just to tell the boobs to keep making it.
That 24 hours with formula was tough, but once I figured we were safe, I latched on the lil lady, and she took to it like a champ.
After we got home (I was in the hospital for a week due to the C-Section and getting prepped to go home with a pulmonary embolism), we have had a pretty great time with breastfeeding. I was on Lovonox injections for a couple of weeks and Coumadin for three months. It was pretty stressful at times, the Coumadin made me feel terrible. I had pretty bad postpartum depression, and now at 7 months along, am finally getting a handle on it.
I think it is just imperative that women not just listen to their doctors, especially if they are getting a plethora of answers to the same question. I am glad I spent the time doing my own research and asked for the doctor and his staff to look deeper. I hopefully set a precedent for any other nursing mothers who get blood clots at our facility.