A Post About Breastfeeding [Guest Blogger] | The Momma Diaries

Monday, August 29, 2011

A Post About Breastfeeding [Guest Blogger]

Today, I'm featuring Ashley, over at The Stauffer Shenanigans. She has two beautiful little girls. I hope you check her out :) ....................................................................................................................................................................................................

The post title about says it all. This is a post about breastfeeding. And with today being the last day of World Breastfeeding Awareness week, I thought I would share my experiences with nursing my daughters.

I always knew I wanted to breastfeed. I never viewed it as 'awkward' or 'weird' like some other women I talked to (non-mothers, of course.) I thought of it as 'beautiful', 'natural', the only way I wanted my children to be fed during their most important months.

When I was pregnant with Brooklyn, I was at a get together with a handful of moms with older children. I had mentioned wanting to breastfeed and thought outloud at how my main goal was to nurse at least 6 months. You would've thought I had 2 heads with the way they looked at me. "6 months?!? Believe me, honey, once 6 weeks hits you'll be begging to quit if you haven't already." The other moms nodded in unison, even going as far as sharing horror stories from being in the hospital making her quit. Cracked nipples? Leaking embarassment? Painful latch ons? What was I getting myself into?

Fortunately though their stories had no long term affect on me {Short term wise? Terrified. Pretty sure I spent an hour just rubbing a scruffy towel across my nipples in preperation for my baby's monster latch.} I went on to buy a Hooter Hider and the Medela Pump in Style. I was prepared to become a human milk makin' machine...or ya know, a human cow.

And once September 6th came around & my baby girl was born, I knew I was emotionally ready. I wanted to bond with her in a way no one else could. But things didn't go quite as planned with Brook. She had to arrive my emergency c-section & we spent our first 2 hours as mother & daughter apart. I was scared she wouldn't know me, let alone want to be fed by me. What if she was already given formula in the nursery? Would she deny me? The answer is no. No, she wouldn't. She latched on beautifully, "like a champ". But since she came 2 weeks early with an induced labor, my milk wasn't coming in. And the colostrum wasn't filling her tummy. After hearing her hungry cries, I apprehensively agreed to let a nurse give her formula. Half an ounce (and many guilty Momma tears) later Brookie was sleeping. It's not that I thought formula was poisonous to her. It's that I thought she'd never latch back onto me again. And that I was a failure at this whole breastfeeding thing. That those women were right & I'd have to quit even before I really stared. Again, I was wrong (the only times I ever like being wrong ;)

I'm not going to lie & say breastfeeding is easy. You'd think it would be. A.) It comes pre-prepared. B.) You can't mess up the temperature. C.) No dishes. D.) Feeding on the go 24/7. No packing required. But it really isn't. It's exhausting. It's hard. It does have it's awkward times, like having to cut a maxi pad in half with scissors because you forgot your breast pads and you don't want to leak through your shirt at work. Or you get asked by a waitress at a restaurant if you'd be more comfortable feeding your baby in the bathroom---true story. To which I replied "Would you like to eat your dinner sitting on a toilet?" It's not like I'd whip my boob out in the middle of Logan's & pop it in her mouth while chowing down on a yeast roll. I had my hooter hider. I was covered completely. And even if I did whip out my nipple, what's the big deal? Everyone has a pair! *aaaaand scene*

Anyways, when I returned to work at 8 weeks, we were still going strong. I was spending any free moment I had pumping away and even became proud of myself at how much I pump in one sitting. And then I made it to 6 months--my goal. We went on a little further to 7 months when we started to wean. Why? I couldn't pump anymore at work. It had became too crazy busy in that office (1 nurse, hundreds of patients, the ratio was juuust a tad off) and I had zero time to even go to the bathroom or eat, let alone pump. I was in agony on the drives home. So I started the process of weaning.

I know that all sounded like a guilty mom making excuses. And it is. I should've demanded time to pump. But I did what I thought was best at the time & I can proudly say my first born got over 7 months of breast milk.

Now onto my little doodlebug, Emily. Again, I knew I'd want to breastfeed. After my repeat c-section with Em, we only spent about an hour apart & she got to nurse instantly. My milk came in quicker this time & everything was fabulouso. Until about 6 weeks. Until I saw a white patch on the inside of her cheek. Until I winced in pain with every latch. We had thrush. I had to supplement a handfull of feedings because it hurt so.damn.bad to nurse. I felt so guilty. I continued to pump, which hurt slightly less, so my milk wouldn't go to waste. But with every pump session, my milk was tinged pink. Yeah, it was that bad. I wanted to throw in the towel, you guys. It was horrible. But we both got some medicine & I got alot of pep talks from some e-friends. And within 2 weeks, we were back to happy feedings.

When I came back to work at 12 weeks, I was able to pump more thankfully. My goal again this time around was 6 months. We made it, and thensome. I didn't really set an end date, just decided to see what happened. At around 8.5 months my supply was dwindling. Emily started getting more interested in bottles and table food & less interested in me. Even though I had less guilt this time, I was still feeling pretty bummed. She may be our last baby, this may be my last time to have such a special bond.

My nursing days are done (for now, possibly. who knows?!) and I look back on them with fond memories. I feel like I not only succeeded with them by providing the very best I could, but I succeeded with myself. I met my goals. I highly urge new & expecting Moms to nurse if it's feasible. You may be cross eyed from exhauston at 3 in the morning, but when you see those sweet eyes looking up at you from your chest, you'll never regret it. Seeing them fall into a milk induced coma will melt your heart and give you satisfaction from within. It's so worth it.


The Stauffer Shenanigans

2 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for having me as a guest =)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ashley, I need to add you to my blog reader. It's super hard to keep up when working and pumping and bf. UG Id know. So far it's going strong but it makes me nervous bc so many ppl lost supply around 8 months and mine is just over 7!

    ReplyDelete

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