- 3 years ago
- Wedding: January 2010
iarebridezilla posted a very real, very heartfelt account of her struggles with breastfeeding here: http://boards.weddingbee.com/topic/how-i-failed-at-breastfeeding#axzz2o27SvJmO
I thnk it’s a great and important read for any woman who is thinking about breastfeeding. However, I realize that many women have anxiety and fear about breastfeeding because there are many accounts from women who struggle (probably similar to women’s anxiety about TTC, pregnancy, and just about everything else in life!). I thought I would share my story as a a way to maybe assure women that sometimes everything really does just fall into place.
I was not planning on breastfeeding. In fact, I pretty much actively despised the thought. I was formula fed as well as my siblings, cousins, and many friends, and we all turned out fine. No allergies or sickness. We were happy, healthy kids and adults. I also live a very active lifestyle and I couldn’t imagine being tied down to a schedule of feeding and pumping. I felt that it was isolating, and that it would inhibit DH from bonding with the baby, and it was kinda gross.
I was dragged to a breastfeeding class by a pregnant friend who wanted to breastfeed but didn’t want to go alone. The entire class turned me off even more. Taught by a hippie LC who spent the first 15 minutes outlining how formula fed infants were inferior in every way…etc. I was set on formula feeding. I absolute thought it was the best solution for my family.
The only thing I was committed to was trying to breastfeed in the hospital to get my LO the colostrum. After that, I would come home to a cabinet full of bottles and formula and go along my merry way. I’d be able to go out with friends without having engordged or leaking boobs. I could feed my LO in public without having to undress. My DH could help with night feedings. It would be perfect!
I had my DS on a Monday at 5 pm. By 6, we were in the recovery room and he was hungry. I thought “here we go. Lets start struggling with latching and pain while 5 women manipulate my boobs like playdough. This is going to be fun!” Except DS latched perfectly and started sucking like a champ. And it didn’t hurt at all. It kinda tickles but mostly felt like a little suction cup attached to my skin. After 10 minutes. He unlatched happy and content.
Next time he cried, same thing, and the next time. By the time we were released from the hospital 2 days later, he had only lost 2% of his body weight, which is practically nothing.
So we went home, and my milk came in. I became SO engorged that it felt like I had 2 rock hard cantalopes attached to my chest. Internet reserach told me that the best way to releive the pain was to nurse and pump. So I called in a prescription for my insurance-covered pump and started nursing my DS as much as he wanted. That first night, when he cried, I picked him up and nursed him in bed. And I was surprised at how much I liked it and how much easier it was than having to haul my ass downstairs to make a bottle 4 times/night.
At his first appointment 2 days later, he had gained 10 oz! I could not believe it. So I just kept nursing and pumping to relieve my engorgement, and things just kinda fell into place.
I ran out and bought a nursing cover, storage bags, nipple pads. I started freezing my oversupply, and bringing bottles of pumped milk when I went on outings with LO. Eventually, I got sick of packing bottles for outings and I just brought my cover and started nursing in public. I didn’t mind it nearly as much as I thought I would.
At his 2 month check-up, DS had doubled his weight and he keeps on growing everyday. He is happy, healthy, content, and just a joy.
There are some downfalls that have held up from my previous opinions. DH has had a difficult time bonding with DS (mostly because DS cries anytime my DH even looks at him). I really think breastfeeding is making this 100x worse, because my DS is so attached to me and sees me as his only food source so he panics when he things I’m going too far away. I also feel tied down to timing and scheduels and it really bothers me. I left DS with my FIL for a meeting yesterday for 1 hour and without milk because I didn’t want to defrost something from my stash, and DS got hungry after 45 minutes and there was nothing my FIL could do to soothe him until I got back. I felt like a bad mom.
I also have been asked to go on a work trip when my DS is 14 weeks, and I’m already panicked about pumping enough to leave him and pumping while I’m on the trip. How awkward to say to my boss “I’ll catch up with you in a few minutes, I have to empty my breasts before the meeting.” I also now have a weird aversion to introducing formula. I feel that DS is doing so well on breastmilk that I’d be shortchanging him to introduce formula just becuase it’s more convenient for me. It’s like a hormonal mind trip. I know there’s nothing wrong with formula, but it’s like I’m addicted to breastfeeding now. UGH!
Overall, I am happy that we kept it up. I have no idea how much longer I’ll continue. If you asked me on day 1, I wouldn’t have made it another day. If you asked me at 4 weeks, I was stopping at 8. Now at 11, I ‘say’ I’m going to wean before I go back to work fulltime at 16 weeks”, but I probably won’t.
So I just wanted to share my story and let you bees know that the best thing to be when you’re pregnant/a new mom is flexible. Almost nothing will go as planned, but if you go into everything with what you think/hope will happen, but know that there’s a good chance it won’t and you’re okay with that, you will be able to manage just about anything that comes your way.