mama story: I am taking this breastfeeding journey day by day

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Thank you to Jordan Pahkala from Anchorage, AK for today's mama story! 

My little boy Landon James Pahkala was born a month early on 8/28/17 at 5 pounds 4 oz. 

I went into labor at 31 weeks and was on light activity until my water broke at 36 weeks and I had him in 3 hours. During delivery the doctor was not able to get my placenta out. After an hour of pushing on my stomach he had to reach up and pull it out causing severe bleeding.

I became anemic from all the blood loss; I lost over 1,000 cc's of blood and needed a transfusion.

I was barely getting any colostrum and we had to use donated breastmilk to feed my son. I was in the hospital for 4 days and my milk still had not come in. A few days after I was home my milk finally came in but in very limited quantities and my son would not breastfeed. We saw the lactation consultant in the hospital every day but he was so weak and tired he just would barely do any eating at the breast so we fed him donated milk in a bottle. He did the same at home. I would put him on the breast every time but he just would not nurse. I also tried a nipple shield to no avail. 

Each and every nursing session was about a hour process.

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When James would need to eat we would: try the breast first for about 15 minutes, then I would pump for 15 minutes and then feed him a bottle. I did this in the middle of the night for every feeding and my husband would feed him a bottle after I pumped in the night. This led to me getting almost no sleep. 

Because of the blood loss and I was not making enough milk we had to supplement with formula. I saw at least 6-8 many lactation consultants and tried everything to get my supply up: oatmeal, tons of water, brewers yeast, lactation cookies, Gatorade, mothers milk tea. You name it, I tried it!

Then at 3 weeks postpartum I woke up with a high fever. 

I went to the doctor and they found retained placenta. That day I went in for a D&C to get the rest of my placenta out, and I found out from the retained placenta that was a big reason that my milk supply was so low.

2 months of this went on where my son would not breastfeed and I exclusively pumped 8-10 times a day and at least 2-3 times in the middle of the night. I have never been so exhausted in my life; I was about to give up.

Then one day at 2 months postpartum I went to a lactation consultant. I put Landon to the breast and seemingly out of nowhere he started breastfeeding; I could not believe It! The lactation consultant also recommended moringa and goats rue to get my supply up, which immediately started taking.

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That was the first day that Landon decided to breastfeed and we are still going strong at 8 months! 

After about 3-4 months I did not have to supplement with formula anymore and thanks to moringa and liquid gold by legendary milk I can produce enough milk for him. I work full time so I pump during work hours (8-5) and breastfeed in the morning and evening. Its been a hard journey and still hard for me to leave him at times because I maybe have 5 extra bottles of breast milk on hand because I just barely produce enough. 

My goal is to go a year but after everything I have been through on this breastfeeding journey I am just taking it day by day.

I want every mother out there to know that breastfeeding is such a hard journey but I am very happy I have been able to make it work. Whether you choose to breastfeed or formula feed, fed is best. At 2 months I was about to give it up I was exhausted, anxious and depressed and I don’t know how I pushed through it, but I did. Every mom out there is amazing for what we do for our babies!