Breastfeeding Isn't Like the Movies
When my son was born I expected breastfeeding would go as the movies showed, easy and perfect. Nope. I wasn't prepared for my new second full time job at all.
My son had a 10 day NICU stay when he was born and the only way I felt I could provide or help my son during that time was by pumping. So I pumped and pumped and pumped and proudly handed the nurses my bottles of milk daily. I had alarms set to pump and the husband would run bottles up to NICU in the middle of the night. I didn't mind it one bit.
Fast forward to the glorious day we were sent home and that's where our breastfeeding journey began. The baby cried, I cried and my husband felt like he couldn't do enough for us. It hurt. Oh my goodness why didn't anyone tell me it would hurt? The day my son successfully nursed an entire session with no frustration was amazing, I think the birds sang outside for us that day. I was so happy we found our nursing groove but I still wasn't prepared for how often my son would be nursing. He stayed on my boob for days, I swear it. I cried because I needed a break and he cried when I attempted a break. I wanted to go to Target but I knew once I got us to the store I would have to nurse before getting out of the car, then nurse again in the store, then one more time in the car before heading home. Again, the movies had it all wrong.
Once the frequency subsided and I was able to go 2 hours without feeding him instead of 2 minutes we had another hurtle. My sweet boy was in agony and it took weeks and a GI physician appointment to get to the bottom of it. I had to cut diary out of my diet completely. If I had cheese or milk there would be traces of blood in his diapers. Thankfully, I was able to slowly reintroduce dairy back in my diet when my son turned 9 months old.
I struggled with supply issues and one breast decided to call it quits. I sip mothers milk (tea) daily, take supplements and use essential oils to boost my supply. Low supply, over supply, mastitis, clogged ducts- these are all things I leaned about very quickly.
When my son turned 10 months I packed up the pump. At this point I loathed that machine and the thought of using it made me want to throw a tantrum. At 10 months the pediatrician also suggested supplementing with formula due to my sons slow weight gain. Breastfed babies tend to be lean, so I attempted to not stress it and the plan was to add 1 bottle of formula a day to his diet. The thought of not having to get up for every night feeding and passing it off to my husband actually sounded nice.... For a moment. I bought every type of formula. He hated it. I added fruit. He hated it. I added oatmeal. He hated it. At 10 months switching things up wasn't an option. But I was actually relieved, I worked so very hard to get him to breastfeed. Formula just wasn't in the cards for us.
The day came that I began to love nursing. It comes much sooner than you think. One day you're crying about the pain and the next day you're smiling because you're happily nursing. All the hurtles we faced were more than worth it. It's soothing to my son, it actually clams me and the closeness I feel when nursing is indescribable. In a little over a month my son turns one. I don't think we will stop nursing right away, but when that day comes I'm going to be an emotional wreck. I love nursing my baby and he loves it too. So I suppose the movies did get right, it just takes time. It's challenging and it's a full time job, but it's beautiful and rewarding.
BY: MELISSA CHAMBERS, MELISSA CREATES