Our Breastfeeding Journey
In honor of breastfeeding week I decided to share our journey with you all!
I want to say before I begin that this is just my experience, my thoughts, and my feelings. I never want anyone to think that because I breastfed my baby that I am in any way better then you, or that you are any less of a mother because you formula fed. Everybody has different experiences and different reasons for not breastfeeding; either you did not produce enough milk, or your baby did not latch, or you were sick and had no choice, there are so many reasons as to why you fed your baby the way you did. Either way your baby was fed and was happy and healthy!
Alright so I will admit I was not on board with breastfeeding at first. I had heard and read stories of it being painful, it getting in the way of everyday things, etc. I had already told my fiance that I was not going to breastfeed no matter what and he told me that whatever I want is fine with him. That was the case until I brought home some brochures about breastfeeding and the benefits for the baby. After he read those he told me to breastfeed(basically I had no choice) and that it was great for the baby(I already knew that!). I was just too chicken to do it because I do not like being in pain. Hearing people talk about bleeding nipples and babies biting on them and tearing them, I was not on board with that AT ALL. As I got close to my due date I thought more and more about trying it, and finally convinced myself to give it a chance. That was if I was even able to produce anything for my daughter, because unfortunately we are not all able to do that.
Once Maggie arrived we sat in bed in the hospital and she started inching towards my breast and began to feed. Let me tell you it was not as bad as I had thought. I knew I was giving her all of the nutrients she needed and I never had to worry about having to spend money on formula.
Breastfeeding was not always easy for us. On day 2 of being at the hospital she refused to take one of my breast. I tried everything I could to get her to latch back on but she just liked the other one better. That was until the lactation consultant came to the rescue. She showed me different ways to hold her to get her to get a better latch to where she will stay and eat. Thank goodness for that woman because it was getting painful to have Maggie drinking from one boob the entire time(30min-2hrs).
It is also tough to know that you must be present every single feeding and no one else can do it for you. I have had times where I wished that she would have been formula fed, just to be able to go out somewhere for more than 1 hr, or to let her father feed her once in a while(which I pumped and let him feed her, but it is tough when you have a hungry baby and you want to pump instead of just giving it to her).
It was hard going out and making sure that if I had to feed, that I had somewhere I was able to go and feed her without having people stare or possibly disgusting people by feeding her in public(If I had to feed her in public I always made sure that I was covered and you could not see anything). I really did feel scared to go out and not have a private place to go. I had read about so many women getting shamed for feeding their children in public. It terrified me, and that is not a feeling that a new mom or any mom should ever have. Especially when it comes to feeding their children. We should be proud to be giving our children the best thing that there is for them to grow.
It is not easy, and honestly I do not think it will ever get better(I really do hope it does though) but let me tell you, it was the best thing I could have done for her. I love that I have a designated snuggle time where I know that she will stay put and just let me hold her and hug her(trust me this was the only time she let me snuggle her). 🙂 This does not last very long because she is a little speedster when it comes to eating but I still love every moment of it. It is a bond that I have with her like no other.
Now we are 15 months in and we are still breastfeeding. She feeds in the morning and at night. I used to let her feed throughout the day whenever she asked for it(she would just come and pull my shirt down, now she just says boobies and pulls my shirt down), but since she did not do it often I ended up loosing milk during those times, so she can no longer feed throughout the day. We have a trip planned in about a month and I was trying to pump enough for her to be able to have breast milk for when I am gone since she will not be joining us, but I came to the realization that I just wasn’t producing enough milk to be able to feed her and save. At this point it all got very real for me, our journey was ending, and I was not ready for it. Slowly my milk supply is getting lower and she is drinking more whole milk. The weaning process has been easy for us as she loves whole milk and basically stopped asking for “boobies” as she calls them. Tonight was the first night that I did not breastfeed her before she fell asleep, and she did not mind it at all. I am extremely emotional because I have absolutely loved breastfeeding her and hoped it would never end(of course I knew it had to one day). I never took it for granted and hope to one day be able to do it again. I could never thank my fiance enough for pretty much making me breastfeed, but THANK YOU!!! 🙂 I am also forever grateful for my body, for allowing me to feed my beautiful baby girl!