Transcript: My Hardest Breastfeeding Experience

 

Hello there listeners and welcome back to The Breastfeeding Talk Podcast. I'm your host, Jacqueline Kincer. And in today's episode, I'm going to be sharing sort of a part two of an earlier episode I did. But it's a really standalone episode. And the episode I'm referring to is the one where I shared with you the journey of breastfeeding my first child, my son.

 

And so this episode is actually going to be the journey of me breastfeeding my daughter that I'm going to share with you.

 

Now just a little preface before we dive into it. I've probably recorded this episode multiple times in my head by now. And in fact, I've recorded some of the details for a podcast episode multiple times and then just deleted it.

 

And it's funny because normally I'm not super afraid to speak out and share my truth and the things that I know with my audience. But this story really is a very personal one. And what I want to do is to share it authentically. And I'm going to mix in the ways that I share it, I'm going to share it from my perspective as a lactation consultant, but I'm mostly going to share it from my perspective as a mom.

 

And this is actually a really vulnerable story for me to tell. So I think a lot of you might resonate with this, a lot of you might have been through some similar situations. And it's a big part of why I do what I do in my practice in my business today. It's a big part of why I've launched this podcast amongst many other things, the online courses I've created, the online communities I've been a part of and taught for.

 

So I hope that you enjoy everything you get to hear in today's episode. So let's get into it.

 

So if you haven't listened to part one with the story I shared of breastfeeding my son, I'd encourage you to go back and listen to that episode. But you don't have to to listen to this one. But it might give you a little more context into things because I did have a hard time breastfeeding him.

 

But I don't think I had near as hard of a time breastfeeding him as I did with my daughter. And let me explain.

 

So by the time I got pregnant with my daughter, I was already in the midst of pursuing my clinical hours to become an IBCLC.

 

So I needed to gather at least 1000 clinical hours in order to sit for my board exam. In fact, I got a little bit more than that.

 

And so I was working in a chiropractic office, running that office and doing a breastfeeding clinic there with that doctor, as well as some other lactation consultants. And I had been doing that for I would say just a bit over a year. I don't know if I was quite that far into it when I got pregnant with my daughter. But the cool thing about that job was that I got to bring my son to work with me, he was a toddler. And it was really the ideal situation. So I didn't have to pay for child care for my son, although I did enroll him in his first preschool a couple months before my daughter was born. Because ultimately, that was sort of part of our larger plan.

 

So I had a beautiful, beautiful pregnancy with my daughter. And I do think it's a bit relevant in some ways. I immediately knew that I was going to opt for a home birth with her. And I selected a midwife that I felt like I could trust to be fully transparent. I actually thought maybe I would birth unassisted at home with just my husband and my son present.

 

And, I wasn't quite sure that I really wanted or needed a midwife at the birth. But nonetheless, I hired her and did my prenatal care through her, which was amazing. We would talk about my nutrition, we would talk about just the state of things in my life, dreams, I was having all sorts of things. And I felt like during this time, I became even more connected to my body than ever, I felt very connected to my baby in a lot of ways. 

 

I remember having a dream that she was a girl even though we didn't find out her sex until after she was born. And there were just a lot of very interesting things like that had happened along the way. It was a very powerful pregnancy and birth on a spiritual level for me. 

 

So when it came time to give birth to her leading up to that, I had passed the 40 week mark. And here in my state, the laws for regulations for licensed midwives state that they can only attend your birth at home up until 42 weeks of pregnancy. Now, we were very, very sure of the date of conception and the due date. So there was no chance for error there. 

 

And so basically, my midwife, I was coming up on the time where, I was getting to 42 weeks, and I decided that unless there were any medical complications, I would just continue to birth at home, and I would just do that on my own. 

 

And so, it was, I woke up the morning of the day that I would turn 42 weeks, about 530 in the morning, and I kind of thought I had peed myself. But alas, it was my water breaking. And so I woke up, I went to the bathroom, and I realized that that's what was going on. I put on a good old depends, and I was, you know, excited. I wasn't in labor, though. 

 

So I was just, you know, I felt I felt funny, though, I felt different. It was an odd feeling. I don't know how to describe it, it was a very, it felt like something was leaking. And it certainly physically was. But I felt like this sort of open, vulnerable feeling, if you will. And actually, so later that day, I think it was around 11am or something I had gone to the chiropractor that I worked for, I got a quick adjustment, I got some acupuncture, I just want to make sure that I was really really, you know, set up and ready to go for this birth. 

 

And I didn't start having contractions until I'm going to have maybe one or two throughout the day. And I'm sure several others that I didn't notice. But it was around 5:36pm When I started to really get some contractions. And I noticed myself pasting and sort of out of breath. And all of a sudden, it occurred to me, Hey, I think I'm in labor. 

 

So that was really cool. Second pregnancy, you know, you're like the first one, you're always sort of Googling, you know, am I in labor yet? The second one, I was not interested in doing that at all. And it just sort of snuck up on me, which was really, really cool. So I told my husband come home, I also told him to buy some snacks, I thought maybe I was going to have a long birth like I did with my first one. 

 

So I wanted to be just prepared with you know, granola bars, crackers, those sorts of things to keep my my fuel going my energy and my stamina up. So long story short, I was only in labor for about two and a half hours, I did have the midwife because the our contract didn't really expire until midnight that night. So she came her assistants came and my daughter was born just after 8pm. So read four hours before the cutoff mark where we wouldn't have been able to have a licensed midwife attend our home birth. 

 

And she was born at home and our shower, I caught her and held her and it was, quite honestly the most beautiful power, powerful experience that I've ever had. And that's, you know, really stating it mildly. If any of you have experienced a very transcendent home birth, then you know what I'm describing. So, you know, the, the most amazing thing was just, you know, the midwives helped me into my bed after birth off laying in my bed was just the most comfortable thing ever. She was skin to skin, she started to do a little bit of a breast crawl, it kind of had to bring her you know, over to the breast the cord was a little short, took a while for the placenta to birth probably as long as the actual labor was, in some ways. But finally that was able to be birthed. And she was she was already latching on far, far in advance of the placenta being born, which was very cool. 

 

So, you know, I was just super ecstatic. It looks like her latch was good. Although, at the end of pregnancy, you're, you've put on the most weight, you will and you may be a bit swollen. So in some ways, I feel like it's almost hard to tell also, when it's your own baby. It's hard to be an objective assessor. And I'll never forget this. So you know, after a few hours of spending with her and she finally unlatch we know we had to weigh her and do all the things and just check on her. Although most of the checks were already done while she was skin to skin with me. But we weighed her and she started to get a little fussy so I let her suck on my finger and I had an opportunity to feel in her mouth.

 

 And to me, it felt like her palate was low was normal, it was flat, which would be great. That means optimal oral developments, you know very little chance of her being tongue tied and so I just immediately sort of had a moment of celebration while I'm on this, you know birth postpartum high and said oh, she's not done died.

 

I call that one a little too soon. Spoiler alerts. But I had convinced myself right then and there a few hours after birth that she was not tied. So she ended up latching on again and stayed LaShawn for about the next six hours, really on and off, I think maybe she switched breasts, maybe she didn't even do that I don't really remember. But I remember it was about six in the morning when she finally unlatched. 

 

And I was able to get more realistic sleep. The cool part of that is, is that the next night, or the next morning, I think it was about 36 hours after I gave birth to her is when my milk came in, and it came in with a vengeance. This is why I tell my prenatal clients, my pregnant clients, the number one thing that you can do to establish your milk supply and have breastfeeding off to a good start is hold that baby don't let other people hold the baby. I mean, yes, maybe the father of the child or something briefly, but that baby is designed to be skin to skin with you latching constantly, because that is what brings your milk in. 

 

And every client I've ever recommended that to that's followed that their milk has come in definitely more in advance than the three day mark, especially if it's not their first child. So I wasn't surprised. But my breasts were extremely full and very, very heavy. Now I didn't have encouragement. And this is one of the things I like to talk about with people is that know if your baby is latching and draining the breast appropriately, you really shouldn't be in gorged, right and gorging. 

 

Encouragement is, you know, over fullness, tightness of the skin, it's painful, all of that, you will feel very full. But encouragement is really not a normal state. It can be expected, if you have had a lot of IV fluids, and medications during your labor or the postpartum, you will have a Deema and things like that that's expected. Again, it's not normal, but it would be an expected medical complication that we would normally see. And it does subside over the next few days. But back to the story of breastfeeding. So PE milk came in, I was ecstatic I, you know, just kept breastfeeding her things were going well, on about the third day postpartum though I started to have a little bit of soreness on my right nipple. 

 

And I had the chiropractor come in adjust her and then that went away. So I figured, well, you know, it was a fast birth, you know, something got a little wonky in her neck or jaw or whatever. And it's all better now. So then breastfeeding was pain free, which is a huge contrast to how it was with my son. And, you know, I, you know, I'm trying to piece together the timeline. It's it's been up for four years since this happened. So I'm sure I don't remember all the details as well as I would like to. But I was sort of in denial that she had a shallow latch in the beginning. And I say sort of because I think part of me and my new mom state really didn't notice it. Again, I didn't have breastfeeding pain. 

 

By the time she was a week old or it might have even been six days old. She had put on a pound. I remember the assistant midwife coming over just to do a home visit check with us. And she said what are you feeding your baby straight cream? And I laughed because obviously I had this super abundant milk supply and she was doing wonderfully. Now looking back on things I can tell you, especially from a clinical perspective.

 

She was swallowing some air and I didn't even notice it. So the funny thing is, is that a lot of people sort of ask, well, you know, you are lactation consultants. So didn't you? You know, notice these things right away? No, I didn't. I completely had the blinders on. Because I had this beautiful, magical into me legendary pregnancy and birth with her. Everything had gone to perfection. My Postpartum Support was all set up, people were bringing me meals, not staying for too long, helping me around the house. Like I had everything perfect. It was like type a mom, like I had everything perfect. 

 

And I thought no, of course my baby is also perfect. There is nothing wrong with her. About nine days old when he went to the doctor to do a checkup for her. My daughter had started spitting up the last several days. And I remember the doctor saying, you know, is it just some normal baby spit up? Or do you think it's something more? And the way she asked the question, she's very wise. I feel like she knew the answer to that, which was the answer I give everyone which is that there's no such thing as normal baby sped up. regurgitating our food is not a normal state of biological being not even if you are an infant. It is a sign of an issue. And so I just remember feeling very protective of my daughter and thinking nothing's wrong with her and it's just normal baby spit up. 

 

There's a part of me that knew in that moment that I was in denial. And there's another part of me that said, Well, you know, maybe this will just go away. Maybe this is just a fluke. In something temporary, I do remember thinking that I needed to cut things out of my diet, I actually think that I did, I had been dairy free for a very long time. And I thought, well, maybe I've had too much almonds, milk or whatever, let me cut that out. So I start drinking my coffee, black and trying some other things. And I think I just cut out a bunch of foods, and it wasn't really helping. And it was one of those things that I help all my clients with, right, and I should know exactly what to do. And that wasn't helping. 

 

I remember she started to get very fussy, and it was, especially during the witching hour. So she was still gaining weight, great, you know, my milk supply is awesome, all the things. But I would have to bounce her on the yoga ball for about three hours at night to get her to go to sleep. She wasn't hungry, she didn't want to latch, sometimes she would burp, but even then, you know, and she may be gassy, but she just could not get settled. And she was miserable. And I was just, you know, being patient with her and balancing and trying to sing to her and assure her I was there with her. 

 

But there was literally nothing that I could do to calm her down. Everything I knew that I would always teach the moms and families that I worked with, you know, really wasn't working. And I remember I just kept taking her to the chiropractor thinking well, she just needs to be adjusted. That's really all it is. And I just need to, you know, address something there. You know, even though I was adjusted chiropractic, Lee, all throughout my pregnancy, she should have been an optimal positioning had plenty of room to move, there must be something going on. And I want to say it was about three weeks old, where I was coming in for another one of these appointments. 

 

And the chiropractor said, Hey, let me show you something. And this was a good friend of mine, a friend that I had worked with for a very long time. And we had a really great bond with one another. And I have to commend her because she clearly knew in the first couple weeks postpartum, that I was not in a place to receive this information. And so three weeks I'm coming and going what is wrong? Why is this happening? She's so fussy all the time. You know, I don't know how to soothe her, I don't understand why it's happening. And she lifted up her lip. And she lifted up her cheeks. 

 

And she lifted up her tongue and showed me her upper lip tie her buckle ties, and her tongue tie. And it was just this immediate, just knowing Yep, my daughter's tied, and I missed it. I was wrong. And I was in denial. And this is why this is happening. And she was very supportive in said, you know, I've kind of known for a while but you know, I knew that you couldn't really hear this. And I knew it was time to get the ties released. The thought of putting my daughter though, through a procedure was one that I really struggled with.

 

 And if you've ever been a parent facing treating your baby's ties, then you know that feeling right and and I know that feeling is a provider very well. Now, the last thing that I ever want to recommend to my clients is to put their baby through a surgical procedure to cause their baby pain. To me, it just breaks my heart. And you're about to learn really why on a deeper level why that is. Because again, I feel like I have this very sacred pregnancy and sacred postpartum. And now I'm supposed to have my baby go through a surgical procedure that will ultimately help her but the thought of doing that to her and I know what's involved in the recovery, just seems like impossible. 

 

So I waited about a week on things and during this time, I did what I love to do, which is to research the heck out of anything, my brain will just go 24/7 I have a very analytical mind. Any topic that I want to know about, I will research in depth till the ends of the earth until I just can't find any more information on it. And so what I did is I went back to the drawing board and I said, forget everything you know about ties and start from scratch. Is this the way to go? Is there another way? 

 

And I what I did is I looked for evidence for treating ties, evidence against treating ties and in fact, I think I was even a little biased towards the evidence against treating ties. So I would look at doctors that were saying you know tongue ties a fad and, and those sorts of things even more than I was looking at the evidence to support the existence of ties or the treatment of ties. I read everything I could find that had ever been written on the subject from studies you know, decades ago and things in textbooks to the most current information. I probably reached out to at least 20 colleagues of mine, doctors all around the world who work with us got very, you know, several opinions to video consultations with colleagues sign in person lactation consultants. 

I really did all the things. I even saw another chiropractor for a second opinion I really spent all this time just sitting there and just going, I don't have a bias either way, but what is the evidence? What do I actually need to do here. And once I felt like I had, you know, taken about a week to go through maybe a little bit longer, we can have to go through everything that I had ever, you know, been able to find on the subject. I mean, even some of our professional forums, I literally went back and read every single post going back three years, you know, on some of these groups, just to see what were people's experiences, with their patients with their treatment, all of that. 

 

So I kind of went down the deep end, if you will. And I don't encourage parents to do that. But if you are this type of person, if you are similar to me, then you know what I'm talking about. So I did that I went off the deep end, it really consumed everything for me. But I felt like so much was at stake. And I really needed to understand this. So then once I had gone through all of the information that I could possibly find, I took a good hard look at my baby, my daughter. And I thought, okay, how does this apply to her? 

 

What can I do to correct what's going on? Well, truthfully, I ultimately came to the answer, which was nothing, there's nothing that I could personally do to make her feel better to make her a happy baby again, to have her Stop spitting up to have her stop screaming for three hours every night. And I remember looking at her face and holding her one night, when she finally passed out of sheer exhaustion of crying and screaming. And I was in tears and holding her skin to skin. And I remember looking at her face.

 

This is very emotional need for me to talk about. But I remember looking at her face and realizing that she was not happy. She was in great distress. Her body was not doing the things that it needed to be doing to keep her comfortable and happy. And that's when I decided to schedule the frenectomy appointment to get her ties treated. So I scheduled this with the doctor that we had, who was a dentist who was the most trustworthy person I have seen to do this procedure. And that meant that we had to wait two weeks to get her in. So I had just come to terms with the fact that yes, she needs this. 

 

And I still had to wait two weeks to get her in, which was a huge bummer, because those next two weeks were really hard. But I was sort of, you know, strengthened and held up by the fact that I knew she was going to get the help that she needed that this was the best decision for her. And I felt very confirmed, by the time it was, you know, the day to take her. So I take her I think I might have even had my older son with me because my husband was working. It was kind of a far drive about an hour drive from my home. And, you know, the they know me? Well, because I had referred several people there. They know, I know all the ins and outs of the procedure. I think they may have even offered for me to go back there and be with her and I declined. 

 

I just felt like that would just be way too hard for me. And for her. I had given it a great deal of thought whether or not that was something I wanted to do. And I ultimately decided no. And the reason I decided I didn't want to be with my daughter during the procedure was I didn't want her to associate the procedure with me. And I teach this to my clients as well. I wanted her to associate me as the person who came to the rescue and gave her the comfort she was looking for afterward. 

 

And I think that's really, really important. The last thing I would ever want is for my baby to be seeing that I'm in the room with her and she is being held down and in pain. And wondering Why isn't mom coming to help me? I think that would be very traumatic for me and for her, especially for her. So I I declined to be in the room. And I do think that's usually the best decision for most parents and their babies. So she came out she I was kind of upset with the hygenist to brought her out because they clearly tried to calm her down before bringing her out. 

 

So she was now like, you know, that kind of cry where you know, they've been crying for a while and her face was just all blotchy and red and I was upset that they didn't let me comfort her. That bothered me. So I immediately went to latch her it did feel much different. I could finally feel that sort of tugging sensation that we're normally so supposed to feel when our babies are breastfeeding well, and she was doing great. So she had one buckle tie on on one side and two on the others the upper lip and the tongue released now the dentist came out to tell me that she had flinched or moved or something during the procedure. And so he went over a little too far with his laser on one side. 

 

And so I don't know if I looked at it while we were there. I think we might have I think he might have showed me. I definitely obviously looked at it home when it was time to do her after care. But I was upset by that because it was a mistake that we couldn't Go back on, the only way to create more symmetry would have been to go over too far on the other side of her tongue, which would have been unnecessary and cost her a lot of pain. So it was like one side of her tongue was more effective than the other, was very asymmetrical. And that's just sort of the way it was things happen, right. 

 

And so I'm not in any way shape or form blaming this doctor who did the procedure, things happen. You know, there are different types of lasers out there some, some are much easier to shut off in an instance than others. It just depends on what type of tool that provider is using. So no one is to blame here. And it is what it is, and I accept it. And I'm not saying there's anything wrong with the person who did the procedure. 

 

We did the chiropractic, we did the oral exercises, we did tummy time, we did all the things that we were supposed to do. And I felt like her latch just was never perfect. It wasn't really like she excelled at tummy time, like the bodywork was helping She immediately you know, after getting the procedure done, I no longer had those nights of her crying for three plus hours in a row. And I remember sitting with her it was either that night or the next night after she had the procedure. I remember laying in bed or sitting with her and looking at her face, and she was happy. My happy baby was back. It's like she was there for the first week or so. 

 

And then she started just swallowing so much air because of her ties. And had so much tension going on in her mouth because of them that she became, you know, in pain, really feeding was was an issue and she was really struggling. And now I had my happy baby back. And she was smiling and her face looked relaxed, and she fell asleep easily. And we didn't have the witching hour, she wasn't spitting up all over the place. I mean, she was spitting up so badly, it would come out her nose sometimes. 

 

And finally, all of that stopped literally overnight, because we did all the things but I still felt like I was struggling to get a deep Latch with her. And clearly I know how to get a deep latch. So it bothered me. And I felt like something about me was failing. And this is one thing I wanted to bring up in this episode is that I feel like a lot of moms will internalize things and think that they're doing something wrong, that they're not capable that they are failing their babies, or that they are failing at breastfeeding. 

 

And I want to tell you, when you feel that it's actually not true. And by the way, whenever you feel any negative emotions around anything, that's a sign that you're believing something that's not true. So I just would like to point that out, it can be a sign that you're believing something that's not true. So I was feeling like a failure, when in reality, there was nothing I could have done differently. The procedure really didn't go as planned. So I wasn't, no matter what I did, I wouldn't have been able to optimize her latch. So we're continuing, doing, you know, all the things, all the exercises. And then around six weeks after she had the original procedure done.

 

I believe it was a Friday, and her latch started to get very shallow. I felt like her feedings were super short. And I just felt like she wasn't getting as much milk. And the first thing that I thought was that my milk supply and suddenly crashed. So I started pumping. Now this is an important part of the journey to share with you. Because I still to this day, don't know if I can tell you for sure that my milk supply crashed or not. When I pumped Of course, I didn't get very much I got an answer to now I had just tried to breastfeed her. So I wouldn't expect a lot. But even though I know that as a lactation consultant in my Mom Brain, I was going I don't have enough milk, because I remember I started off with a super super abundant milk supply. 

 

She gained a pound in her first week. She never even lost weight after birth. So what I want to tell you is that that's where my mom brain went was I don't have enough milk. This is why she's not latching. So Saturday, it was getting even worse. And I actually had the chiropractor come over to our house and she spent 30 full minutes adjusting her. We tried latching her, nothing changed. Now normally after an adjustment things would change. 

 

She would be feeding better. This time. There was zero change. And I remember the chiropractor looking at me and going this is not good. And I remember thinking oh no what is happening? We looked under her tongue. And sure enough, she had some very tight scar tissue reattachment. The lip in the buckle area looked fine. But you could see there was quite a bit of scar tissue on the one side where the procedure had gone over a little too far. So I texted the dentist. He was going to be out of town For the next week, and so he recommended a colleague that I could have gone to see who I didn't trust as much because he was the most experienced provider that I had seen the most best results with. 

 

But I knew we didn't have a week to wait. So it's the weekend, what do I do? I can't get ahold of anyone. Well, I had another dentist friend who we would go to, he would host these sort of tongue tie collaboration meetings, where a bunch of different providers, dentists, doctors, chiropractors, all sorts of people, lactation consultants, everybody would go. And we would have these monthly meetings about tongue ties, we would share cases, we would share, you know, new studies, research, anything like that. It was an awesome, awesome group. 

 

And I knew that he treated you know, older kids and adults, I knew he did airway dentistry, for fixing any airway complication issues as a result of those of those sorts of things. And I had thoughts that I had heard that he did children as well, although he wasn't really someone I referred to, because he didn't have a pediatric practice, he didn't really want to take on, you know, treating babies with ties. So I called his office Monday morning. And he called me back within about an hour, which was super sweet and amazing. 

 

And he said, well, the youngest I've ever done before was was a boy who was four years old. But I absolutely be willing to do this for you, you would just need to come at the end of the day at five o'clock after all the other patients leave. And I was like, Yep, I'll be there. Now, by this time, Monday morning, my daughter was unable to latch, she could no longer Latch with the breast, it was physically impossible for her. I tried to give her bottles, she couldn't really even generate enough suction to suck on a bottle. 

 

And I think that was the most distressing thing for me. I had to finger feed her syringe feed her spoon feed her all of the things and it was absolutely terrifying. Her wet diapers were becoming less, she was still having them. She was very lethargic. She was sleeping a lot. It was quite honestly, the most heartbreaking thing I think I've ever experienced. Because I felt like I'm very capable Mom, why is this happening? And then piling on top of all of that, this other whole level of mom guilt of I'm a lactation consultants, this can't be happening to my baby. How have I let this happen, which of course is the completely wrong thought process to have, but I'm telling you what it felt like in the moment. And so sorry, this is I told you guys, this is gonna be a vulnerable episode. So bear with me here.

 

I'm not going to edit this out. So I had hope that you know, because I was going to get the procedure done at 5pm We could hold out right I could, I could pump I could give her as much breast milk as I was able to get her to drink. And you know, we would be okay until five o'clock. And sure enough, I was obviously right. So my husband and I, we go we go up there someone was was there to take care of my son I forget who probably my mom. 

 

And it was about a half hour drive not too far. We get there. The dentist was so sweet. He bought a swaddle and everything. And his wife who's a hygenist there was was there and just the most beautiful couple, I still refer to them so often these days for just all sorts of you know, anything dentistry, Thai related, they're, they're just an amazing team. So if you're here, they're in Scottsdale, and if you want their information, I'm happy to pass it along. So you know, he was a little nervous, you know, first baby he's ever done, right?

 

I mean, he teaches people how to do this procedure and how to use this particular type of laser. He's very, very skilled. But then we're kind of like friends and colleagues. So you know, there's another added layer of pressure, I can only assume. I know, I always feel that way when I work with a colleague. But you know, we go in there and I decided that I just couldn't handle being with her and that my husband was going to have to sort of be the one. And so the, you know, swaddle her and everything. They've got her in the dental chair, they've got the laser setup, where she's crying.

 

I'm trying to give her you know, as much comfort as I can, and then I needed to leave the room so they could get started. And he did, you know, started on the procedure. He was able to laser through some of the scar tissue and then she was very obviously upset and things so they stopped for a moment. I had to come in there and calm her down. My husband, I think was a little bit traumatized. He had never seen this done before. So this was his first venture I had observed many of these procedures done by this point, and many more to this day. So I gotta calm down somewhat. 

 

And they, you know, finished it and completed the release. You know, I came and got her we go sit down in this room. And now I have to latch my baby and She's just crying and upset. And there's this saliva with a tinge of blood in it. And, you know, that's all normal and things. And so I'm just trying to get her to latch. Well, remember, it's been about two to three days, some she's really been able to latch at the breast very well or at all. So now I'm trying to bring her to the breast, and she can hardly get on. And she's got all the saliva in the way. So she's kind of slipping off. So I'm just staying calm, my husband's freaking out, like, do we need to, you know, go to the hospital or something is probably what he's thinking. Although there was nothing at all, there is nothing emerging going on. He just isn't used to kind of seeing what this is like. So I'm very patient and calm. 

 

And I'm just talking to her. Finally, finally, she latches. And she's just so disorganized. She doesn't know what to do with her tongue. Because it had been, you know, so tight with the scar tissue just tightening down and locking her tongue up, she could hardly even move it. Now she has full range of motion again, in her brains, like what is happening. And I will never forget, she finally started drinking, and she was getting so much milk so much so easily. She actually was was choking a bit. And so I had to take her off and sort of let her cough and then bring her back on. And my husband's very anxious during all of this and kind of, you know, is she okay? 

 

And I'm like, Yes, she's, she's totally fine. You know, and then the dentist and his wife are, they're like, Yes, this is normal, this is fine. And she was kind of like, learning to ride a bike she got on. She started pedaling, and she got going. And then she was breastfeeding really, really well. So I got her in a nice full feeding. And then that moment, I felt so confirmed. Like, yes, this isn't anything that I did wrong, necessarily. My milk supply is obviously totally fine. It's all going to be okay. So we put her in the car, she falls asleep, we drive home, and things get so much better with breastfeeding. 

 

Now we had to go through with all the aftercare again. So I think that was probably one of the hardest things was at this point, you know, I had been seeing clients, and I would bring her along with me to appointments. And you know, I would always ask permission, is it okay? And most moms would say, Yes, this is this is amazing, I would love to see how the lactation consultant, breastfeed her baby. And so I would use her as a little model. 

 

So I have to say, in some ways, it was actually really cool, because I would demonstrate the aftercare, the oral exercises, which is what my daughter needed to have done all day, and tummy time, and latching and positioning, and she was just happy as a clam to be able to breastfeed whenever she wanted. And it ended up working out really, really, really well. And we went on to successfully breastfeed until after she was three years old. And so I want to just, you know, sort of sum up this story with,

 

you know, I would say, that's just an overview, there were obviously a lot of, of days and things that I didn't necessarily talk about with just, you know, really difficult emotions and things and difficult days with her. And all this additional specialists, we took her to, over the course of, you know, really, you know, several months, and ultimately, we, we were able to get things going very, very well. And I was able to, you know, really, you know, successfully breastfeed her normal term, which was wonderful. And I'm so thrilled that I got to give her that gift. But it was incredibly difficult. 

 

And it was so challenging to do that in the face of starting up my own practice, seeing my own clients and helping them with their breastfeeding issues. Many, many days, I would feel like such a hypocrite, trying to tell someone that this procedure will help your baby when it hadn't fully helped mine, which in the long run, in the end, it did. But in the initial stages, there still wasn't a full resolution. And I felt like am I recommending the right thing. And I would just have this internal struggle in this soul searching about my work and everything I was doing. And I doubted myself so much, which I think anybody who starts a business probably has some level of self doubt that they struggle with. 

 

But it's like I was dealing with the exact situation that I was starting trying to start a business around. And it created so much more self doubt. And I feel like in the end, I'm really, really grateful for that experience, because it's given me so much humility. When I do work with the families that I work with. I have helped some of the most difficult breastfeeding situations I've seen some far more difficult than mine. And I know what it's like. I personally know what it's like to have something not go right the first time to struggle with making these decisions, to be in the thick of it day in day out to regret what you've done to feel like you're a failure. I know all of those emotions. And now I know that's not everyone's breastfeeding journey. Right and I want you to celebrate your breastfeeding journey, no matter Are what it looks like, if you've never had any problems, and breastfeeding is the most blissful joyful thing you've ever done, you should absolutely celebrate that and be so incredibly grateful for that. 

 

And on the flip side of that, if you've had, you know, a much harder situation than mine, I would like for you to also celebrate that, and what you went through, and the gifts that you gave your child of doing whatever you could, what making all the effort that you were able to make to make breastfeeding work. Because at the end of the day, it doesn't really matter, to me so much how the breastfeeding journey chunk comes out, like the outcome like yes, I want to celebrate that I breastfed my son till he was four and my daughter till she was three.

 

But I also want to celebrate all of the lessons that I learned the lessons I learned on a professional level, on a human level, on a on a mother level on a spiritual level. I mean, there were so many challenges that I had to overcome, and that my baby had to overcome. And I have to give her so much credit for her resiliency, for her strength for trusting me through this entire process for not hating me as a mom. 

 

Because I, I sort of personified a lot of different things on to her. And so, you know, thank you to my daughter, if she listens to this one day for your incredible, great patience and strength. During this time. What I want to remind parents of is that you don't do this alone, you and your baby are in this together. And I think that was the biggest lesson that I had to learn through that process was I felt like I was trying to control the situation and fix things. And you know, my daughter's trying to communicate with me through crying and body language, which are the only tools a baby truly has to communicate with us. But she had to overcome so much she had to be brave. When she went through those two procedures, she had to be strong when I had to go do the aftercare for a full 12 weeks, and her mouth. 

 

And she had to be resilient with all the appointments that we went to. And all the different people handling her to try to help her little body get back to where it needed to be. And so I have to say thank you to her and give her so much credit. And I don't think that we do that often enough, I feel like we center the breastfeeding journey around the mother. And I don't certainly don't want to remove the mother from the equation at all. But I think that we have to acknowledge that the mother and baby are not separate. 

 

They are a team keyword team when your baby was in the womb, your team during the birth, and you're also a team, postpartum, specially breastfeeding, you are a dyad is what we call it in our field. And I just want to acknowledge anyone out there who's you know, dealt with any form of challenge, maybe it was just a minor plug duct. And maybe it was, you know, a preemie in the hospital for eight weeks. Who knows what it was. But celebrate your journey and celebrate the lessons you've learned and newfound strength you have because you've overcome the struggle. I think that's really something that we need to acknowledge. 

 

And I also really want to thank you all for listening to my story. I don't tell it for selfish reasons. In fact, as I told you in the intro, I really didn't want to record this episode in a lot of ways. But I know a lot of you have asked for it. And I often share bits and pieces of my story with clients who are also struggling, and really dealing with a lot of the same feelings and thoughts that I was. And I share it with them so that they know they're not alone. 

 

So my goal and purpose in this episode is bringing it to those of you who have asked for it. But also for those of you who didn't, you may find this really refreshing just to know that it's still possible to successfully breastfeed despite the hardest challenges. It's totally possible that you will struggle hardcore when you're going through this. But you will come out the other side of it one day, even though sometimes it feels like it will never end. 

 

And you will have your own lessons and your own wins and your own triumphs that I encourage you to celebrate. So I really hope that you found this episode, you know, somewhat humbling, maybe something that you can connect to. And if this is a story that you you've heard, and you've listened to at all, and you're at the end of this episode now and it resonates with you in some way, or it's touched you in some way. 

 

Honestly, I'd love to hear from you. You know, send me a DM on Instagram, leave a review on iTunes, you know, send send me a message, you know, through Facebook, however you'd like to get in touch with me and I'd love to hear from you. And if there's anything I can do to support you on your own breastfeeding journey. Please, please let me know. And I don't say this to brag, but I have to say I have learned so much more even since those challenges with my daughter four years ago, and I've never stopped learning and I never will. 

 

And it's the reason why I teach for midwifery schools. It's the reason why I present at conferences. It's the reason why I continue To create new courses and offer those online for parents and professionals, because whatever I learn, I also want you to be able to have access to and to learn as well. And so, you know, if you are looking to learn anything at all about ties as a parent or professional, please, please feel free to connect with me. And I'd love to direct you to whatever resources may be most valuable and useful to you. So thank you so much for listening. I appreciate you all bearing with my sort of emotional story throughout this episode, and I will see you on the next one.