Breastfeeding Success Story: Danielle from La Leche League of Jacksonville, FL

“After every storm we know that if you look around, you will find a rainbow. Breastfeeding was my rainbow that appeared after the storm of my son’s birth. I had spent seven months educating myself about the birth process as well as breastfeeding so I could do what I felt was/is best for my son. My breastfeeding story wouldn’t be complete without his birth story, which I had wrote about a week after he was born.

June 14th came and went with no sign of going into labor. After all we had heard many times that the average first time mom doesn’t have their baby until 41 weeks and a day. We hit my birthday and there were still no signs of going into labor despite Dr. Lauren Cost adjusting me twice a week and doing acupressure. We had Dr. Kipnis strip my membranes in hopes that would get the ball rolling.

The following day I started to have contractions around 10:30 am. They continued throughout the day but by 9:30 pm that night they had subsided. I was disappointed. I was ready to get on with it, especially since I knew that with each passing day, we were looking at being medically induced. Over the weekend we had attempted numerous at home techniques to induce with no luck. I was getting increasingly frustrated with my body, but I knew that wasn’t going to help anything.

Monday June 26th while doing the antepartum testing Midwife Kayce Adams checked and I was 3 cm dilated but as we thought Baby Logan wasn’t engaged yet, and I still wasn’t having consistent contractions. So my membranes got stripped again. We were scheduled to go in to be induced Tuesday night but I thought I was in labor. Turns out yet again the contractions had subsided and there was no progress.

Wednesday morning I went back to the hospital to check on Logan and me. We were both still doing well, just no sign of labor. Miss Kayce Adams was there again, she checked me and I was 3-4cm dilated and baby Logan still had yet to engage. I was frustrated, however, Miss Adams informed me that if we came back the following morning to be induced there were only Midwives on call.

At 3 am on Thursday, June 29th I woke up to contractions. They were 5-10 minutes apart. I was excited that things were happening yet scared because I didn’t want it to stall out again. Mentally I couldn’t handle it if things stalled out again. The contractions were getting stronger and closer together. Lisa, our Doula, arrived about 5 am. I moved around between the ball, the shower, walking around the house. I kept applying clary sage and lavender oils to keep my mood calm.

We were scheduled to go into the hospital at 7am. So we went. When we got there I was relieved to see L&D Nurse Dom. I had met her during two of the antepartum testing visits and knew she would do everything she could so we could have a natural birth. Midwife LT Miller was on call that day and would be working with us. She asked how we felt about inducing and agreed to wait a few hours to see if I was making any progress before deciding anything. After all Logan and I were still holding strong.

I was hooked up to the Monica so I was able to move around freely. Andrew and Lisa helped me through each contraction, commenting on how well I was handling it. The floor was busy that day, which worked out in our favor because for the most part we were left alone.

But about 4 pm the contractions were getting difficult to get through and my body was giving out. We had decided to let them break my water. They also did an ultrasound. I was still only at 4-5 cm, and baby was still in the same station. My spirit was starting to break. I knew we were on a path of interventions that were not in our plan. We had spent months preparing and learning everything we could to have a natural birth and that was very quickly slipping away.

By 7pm the Midwife had come in. Logan was having d cells with every contraction and my body was giving out. My legs were shaking and I was starting to feel light headed. The decision to have a C-section was made. There was no other way, I wasn’t progressing and for the health of myself and baby, it had to be done. I’ll admit, I was ready. I knew my body couldn’t take anymore.

They moved very quickly to prep for the C-section. Within less than 10 min I was being whisked away to the operating room. I was scared. Once in there, everyone was a stranger to me. The room was small and I no longer had my support to get through contractions. The spinal tap hurt and made my body jerk. Once in position I started to feel my lower body go numb. And then I started having trouble breathing, and my body was shaking uncontrollably.

Andrew had finally come into the room but I couldn’t focus. There were multiple times where I thought I was going to lose consciousness. I remember them telling me I was going to feel a lot of pressure and then I heard him cry.

Logan James Magnuson was born on Thursday June 29th, 2017 at 7:40 pm, weighing 7 lbs 8 oz and 20.5 inches long. Andrew cut the cord, and watched over Logan since I was unable to. They placed him on my chest but I couldn’t do anything. I’m glad he had his daddy there to stand in my place. It wasn’t long before Andrew and Logan left the OR while they closed me up.

Once back in the room, I was still numb. I had a hard time moving, which made nursing for the first time almost impossible. I was amazed at the little bundle in my arms, and happy that he was finally here. However, the feeling of helplessness was overwhelming. There were too many people, too many wires. It wasn’t until much later, early Friday morning that I was able to just snuggle my little man, and love on him. It was an amazing feeling to love a little being that much. And to be completely enthralled with everything about him, was beyond imagination. Despite the struggle he was worth every bit of it.

That was the storm. Andrew said Logan was ready to latch the second he was pulled from my belly, and it was true. As soon as Logan and I were reunited, we started nursing. It was easy, other than it being difficult to move, it was like he was born to do it. Not only did he run with breastfeeding my body was on board too.

We were discharged from the hospital 36 hours after he was born and despite my c-section my milk had come in the night we got home. We didn’t have any issues after going home either, even though my doula warned us that his lip tie and tongue tie would cause issues. Neither proved to be an issue.

Breastfeeding was my rainbow. Logan is almost 7 weeks old now and our biggest issue when it comes to feeding is that he’s refusing to take a bottle. The bond we have thanks to breastfeeding is indescribable. The moments shared are precious. There’s nothing like waking up in the morning snuggling as he looks into my soul with his bright little eyes as he eats breakfast.”

Danielle from La Leche League of Jacksonville, FL


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