Rachel Kessler’s Birth Story
Rachel is a new mom to a little boy named Rónán and she owns and operates a small batch hand spun, plant dyed yarn business on Etsy called 44Clovers.
Water Breaks Early and Suddenly
5 days before her water broke, she taught one of her dye classes at the Fiber Frolic. Then, the day before her baby arrived, she was working outside dyeing up yarns in the hopes she’d get it all done before he arrived, having no idea what would happen that weekend.
Rachel was surprised and in shock when she woke up the next morning with a start, and her water broke. Her son was early by 3 weeks and 3 days. She delivered him in a wonderful birth center called The Birthplace in the nearest town with a doula, midwife, nurse and her husband. Her contractions were slow to start and she still couldn’t feel them after 24 hours, so it was recommended that she use Pitocin to get things moving. Her labor was 13 hours and she delivered vaginally. Rachel and her son were perfectly healthy and did well throughout the whole labor and delivery.
A Long Breastfeeding Struggle
However, after giving birth, much to her deep disappointment, Rachel found she had a very low milk supply. She wanted badly to provide her own milk for her baby and did everything she could think of to build her supply. Reading books and blogs, taking herbs in every form, abstaining from everything she thought she should, trying so hard never hurt so bad.
The day after her son was born, his blood sugar dropped and he got a touch of jaundice. He wasn’t getting enough milk from her as my body wasn’t making enough. 9 years prior to this, Rachel was diagnosed with a benign pituitary tumor making her gland produce too much prolactin. She went on cabergoline to lower her prolactin levels and she suspects it did something to permanently alter the operations of her pituitary gland.
After 5 months of only making an ounce a day with pumping as often as possible, putting her son to her breast on both sides each time before she offered him his bottle, she finally gave up. She says it was very exhausting but she felt driven to keep offering her milk and doing everything she could to produce milk out of fear. When she finally recognized where that fear came from, she was able to start the process of letting go of pumping and nursing.