Last Sunday Ella turned 7 months which got me thinking. I’ve been breastfeeding straight for 7 months!! It’s been a goal of mine since I had my first baby, to try my hardest to feed them the “good stuff”. Owen unfortunately didn’t get the “good stuff” for very long until I stopped for my sanity.
Going down memory lane for a moment….I’m in the labour room about an hour into my two hours of straight pushing when a very cranky nurse comes to my face and blurts out “Your breastfeeding right!”. Well, of course I said yes!
Truth is I gave it a full three weeks before I pulled the plug. It was tough I felt a huge amount of guilt and stress. The pressure I received while I was pregnant was overwhelming on its own. Let alone actually agreeing to it and then finding out it just doesn’t work for you and your baby. With Owen our problem was latching and his never-ending appetite. I would feed for 30 minutes every 30 minutes. I was going crazy.
Over the years I’ve grown stronger as a mother and women. I’ve learnt a lot and had to go through a lot. I don’t let defeat get the best of me anymore! I knew this time around I was fighting this battle and going all in I didn’t care what I had to do to make this happen! I’m so proud of how far I’ve come because all you moms can relate it’s not easy, for you or your family!
I’ve put together a list of things I’ve learnt about myself, my family and breastfeeding in general:
1. It Freakin’ Hurts– Yikes! Not only is every part of your body crying in pain, your poor nips. Drew still has nightmares of the face I’d make when she’d first latch.
2. Panic When Your Stash Runs Low– Heart beats fast, sweat dripping down your face and pure panic takes over. I’m running low…On several different occasions I remember calling my mid wife in pure despair “I have no milk I’m running dry and my baby is starving” She would of course tell me “Breathe, it’s ok” she was right. It was all in my head!
3. Always Searching For The Best Feeding Locations– Any dark, slow moving sheltered area gets me all giddy inside!
4. A Constant Milking Clock In Your Head– Before we would all leave the house we did the “boob math”. When did you feed last? How long do we have in between? When’s the next feeding time? Will we be driving? Thats ok I’ll jump in the backseat….
5. Laid Back– I don’t let it get me down if things don’t go as planned. We all start with a vision in our heads on how we’d like things to go. In the end we figure out that we can’t predict the unknown. Go with the flow and expect the unexpected!
6. Touching Your Boobs– It’s an instinct you get, they start to cringe getting fuller and fuller “get the baby, get mommy a nursing pad hurry I’m leaking..” It’s hard not to touch them in pain. If I didn’t touch them, you would of course see it in the un natural face I’d made.
7. Flexing At Weigh In– Proudest moments when your baby gets the official weigh in at doctors appointments. All the blood, sweat and tears pays off. They’re chubby little legs, cheeks, arms are all because of you!
8. Feed Me– I’ve never felt real hunger or dehydration than when I breastfeed. Everything you have goes to your baby. Constantly needing to replace calories nursing burns to keep up with milk production. FEED ME!
9. Breast Milk Is Magic– Honestly, the family agrees. I pretty much have a secret human power and anytime she cries, starts fussing, hungry, grumpy or just sulking around. Milk cures it all.
10. You Always Win– Enough said, Mom always wins!
11. Sleep Is For The Weak– So is eating, cleaning yourself and brushing your teeth. I never knew what sleep deprived meant until having Ella. Once I did do all those things I felt like a goblin turing into cinderella. Having a baby makes you appreciate the simple things.
13. Favouritism– I use to think that I could balance feeding time, switch from one to the other and convince myself “my boobs will be fine they won’t turn lopsided. I won’t be cursed”. Well….not so much. It couldn’t be helped she loves the right, she digs the right. So I will sacrifice having a gi-normous right side and the left be a tator-tot. All for the happiness of my baby!
14. Scared For Life– Our poor Owen, the things he’s had to put up with and accidentally witness. I use to think I was scaring him for life. Always praying for him to get a good paying job when he’s older to pay for all the therapy he will need. But truth be told, I’ve now started to think that this is a great learning experience for him and its taught him so much. He’s a great big brother, so nurturing and thoughtful. He also feels no shame to say in public “Mom, I think she needs your boobs”. haha
15. Quiet Time– I’m so greedy and selfish when it comes to quiet time with my kids. I love it and make every excuse to make quiet time a daily thing. Those are the moments that mean most to me!
I’m so lucky for my family to lovingly accept my crazy emotional hormones and random crying, switched to hysterical laughing! I’m so thankful that I have had these moments to experience. Also I’m proud of every other mom out there who has gone through the struggle. I loved using bottles for Owen and had so many positive experiences from feeding him with them. I know breastfeeding doesn’t always work for everyone, trust me I know! Do what works best for you and your baby. Don’t listen to the world around you! A happy mom is a happy baby!