BREASTFEEDING: A NEW MAMA'S STORY

Monday, September 1, 2014

i'm dipping into a topic that i didn't think i would ever publicly write about.  so...here goes.

i always knew i would breastfeed.  actually i should say i always hoped that i would breastfeed.  "knew" is such a strong word and i'd never done this before so who was i to know that it would be for me or my baby.

it was hard.  good god it was hard for me.  those first few weeks.  a month.  it must have been.

the first few days in the hospital, easy breezy.  a lactation consultant came in to talk to me and i listened but in the back of my mind i kept thinking this is a waste of time.  addison is doing great and i know what i'm doing.  i don't need your help.  i was that person.

then we got home and everything changed.  i would dread to hear that cry of hers.  i would ask andrew to bounce her around a little bit more because maybe she just needed a little comforting.  i would try to convince him that she wasn't hungry.  and when i had held out long enough, i would sit in the rocking chair and cry as she fed.  i begged andrew to make it stop.  i would stop her halfway through because i couldn't take the pain anymore.

it's hard.  for anyone who tells you it's not hard and breastfeeding is easy, they're lying to you.

i finally had it one day and instead of calling a lactation consultant, i called one of my closest friends.  she had a hard hard time with breastfeeding but she stuck it out.  she was my inspiration to keep chugging along.  she's the reason i didn't stop.  after a long talk and lots of advice, i did a few of the things she suggested.  google also helped.  and a few days later, i wasn't dreading feeding my four week old.  in fact, i was looking forward to feeding her because it was finally an enjoyable experience.

a few months into breastfeeding addison, i was sitting in the rocker in her nursery that i always nursed her in and i noticed her feet were dangling off the side of my leg.  and i balled.  i cried not only for her growing so quickly, but for my selfishness.  i apologized for being a bad mom in the beginning when it came to nursing.  i weeped for making her suffer through my pain.  my heart went into it and the world got blurry and i couldn't stop the tears streaming down my cheeks.  i couldn't believe how selfish i was with feeding her.  who was i to make her stop eating halfway through because it hurt me?  i tore myself down and i destroyed myself with terrible thoughts on how i was a bad mom because, even though i got through it, i put addison through the selfishness of my pain.

moms.

it's hard.  but don't do what i did.  don't ever put yourself down.  you know what's right for you and your baby and MOST IMPORTANT, your body.

reach out though friends.  you can't do this alone.  and you shouldn't have to.  if i didn't have that support system, i wouldn't still be able to nurse addison on a daily basis at almost 7 months old.  so keep on keeping on.  and if you can't do it, don't.  it doesn't make you any less of a mom.  but if you can breastfeed, it's the most beautiful thing you will ever imagine.

8 comments:

  1. This was me as well! I was in excruciating pain for 7 weeks! I would bite down on something when my little man latched on, a few times I actually screamed because it hurt so badly, and of course I sat in tears a lot. I always dreaded the next feeding & sometimes would start crying when I knew it was that time. My husband said it about killed him to see me in such pain & think he was ready for me to throw in the towel. Like you, I googled, and found some great tips. My mom was my support system and kept encouraging me. Finally one day, it just didn’t hurt anymore. We made it to a year of nursing this month, & I plan on doing so a few more months. I’m so glad I stuck it out, but it definitely was not easy in the beginning! I tell people that a natural birth was way easier than breastfeeding!

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    1. I agree! I have screamed and ugly cried throughout the pain too in the early months but it was so worth sticking through the pain. Good for you for making it over a year now! I hope I can keep up with it for that long!

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  2. I remember those days well! If it wasn't for the support of my mom and a few friends who had breastfed, I would have quit in those first few weeks. I would curl my toes and cry as he nursed until someone showed me a better hold. My son is 18 months old now, still nurses at night, and I am so proud of myself that I didn't give up! I'm pregnant with #2 now and am trying to have my son keep nursing until the new baby is here because I don't want to go through the same pain again! That's what I'm hoping will happen anyway haha! You never know what to expect with a baby!

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    1. Congrats on baby number 2!!! I hope for your sake that you can just keep going until baby #2 comes along too. Stopping and having to restart would just be the worst! It's comforting to know I wasn't alone in the hurt with breastfeeding (even though I wouldn't wish that kind of pain upon anyone!). Good luck with everything!

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  3. When I was pregnant I told myself that I'd be happy if I made it 3 months and I'd be ok with stopping after that. Once my baby was born and we got through the first few rough weeks, breastfeeding became natural for the both of us. She's now 5 months and I treasure the time when I'm nursing her. It's like a special mommy and baby time that no one else has and I love it.

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

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    1. Yep, I gave myself really short goals too. In the beginning I would give myself month long goals and when it became easier I am still giving myself goals just in case I feel like wussing out. I'm shooting for nine months now but really hope I can make it to a year! And I agree, it is such nice bonding time with you and your baby that no one can take away :)

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  4. Wow, thanks for your honesty! I'm not a mom yet, and probably won't be for another few years or so, but I always enjoy reading what moms have to say. I think it's incredibly interesting and insightful. I'm always in awe and thankful about how raw everyone is. This way, I know I won't feel alone or crazy when it comes time for me to breastfeed when it doesn't work out how I thought it would. Thanks again for sharing (:

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    1. Thanks for the sweet feedback! I always appreciate reading other people's thoughts and feelings on intimate topics like this so I'm glad this helped you out :)

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