*****DISCLAIMER: IF YOU ARE A MAN AND CONTINUE READING, YOU HAVE NO ONE TO BLAME BUT YOURSELF. JUST SAYING.******
I would like to start out by saying that I am writing this post for my self and my daughters. I want to remember how I felt during this period of my life and I want my daughters to have something to reference if they ever are blessed with children and choose to breast feed.
First off, I’d like to say how much I don’t like that word. Breastfeed. It really annoys me. I'm not sure why it does, it just does. Maybe its because I am on old fuddy duddy and saying the word breast so freely makes me uncomfortable and perhaps that in itself is weird. Something I defiantly need to get over! But when I talk about it, 95% of the time I say nurse/nursing or feed.
Lets talk about my history with it. For obvious reasons I did not nurse James and Audrey. I did however pump for 2 long, arduous and, grueling months. Fast forward 3 1/2 years and Olivia came along. I had big plans to nurse her but that didn’t work out. The days leading up to her birth and the week after were extremely hectic and stressful and SHE HURT ME LIKE CRAZY so I thought something was wrong. I did not have good support in the hospital and things were just different then. So basically I panicked and gave up, turning to pumping and then formula because that's what I was used to. I felt comfortable and in control with it.
Then Henry came along and I had every intention of pumping for as long as I could. And then, in recovery, the nurse asked if I wanted to try breastfeeding and just laid him up on me. She exclaimed “OH!!! Look at him! He’s a natural! This is going to be so easy for y’all.” I believed her and decided to give it a shot. Plus I had Jon over my shoulder encouraging me to do it. I’d like to go back and find that nurse and stick a note on her forehead that says LIAR! LIAR! PANTS ON FIRE!! Hahahaha!!
I have never experienced such pain in my life. I cried and I sobbed and I cried some more. Almost every time he would nurse for almost two weeks, I cried. And then at one of his check ups for jaundice the pediatrician asked if I wanted to see a lactation nurse. I almost shouted at him YES! before he could finish the thought. Vickie was an angel from heaven. Even though I really did not want to hear the things she was saying because I was looking for any excuse at all to fold like a deck of cards, she told me things I needed to hear to put on my big girl panties and do it. She told me I had to let go of the control of knowing exactly how much he was getting and trust in my body to do what it needed to do to nourish him. She told me to dig down DEEP to find the strength to fight through the pain of the first few weeks and it would get easier. I can still remember how those words “dig down deep” made me feel. It made me feel strong and determined to follow through what I needed to do. To not give up. And I didn’t. Even though there have been many a nights where I say “That’s it, we are switching to formula tomorrow” when I wake up the next morning I say, ok, I can do this one more day. And that is really what has carried me almost 5 months down the road of being a nursing mom. A breast feeding mother. A mother that whips her boob out to feed that baby.
At Henry’s two month check up the pediatrician told me how proud he was of me for pressing on with it. Especially since I had three previous bottle babies. He said the average time period for breastfeeding moms is 1 week. I told him I can understand why it is only 1 week and he agreed because it is SO HARD. I told him it is the hardest thing I've had to do since having to survive newborn, premature twins and then get them to 18 months old still alive with all of their extremities attached and my sanity still in place, even if it was hanging on by a thread!
This month has been very challenging. February and March were really a breeze but April has been tough. We started out the month by Henry deciding a growth spurt of 36 hours worth of feeding every 2 hours was a good idea. He couldn’t of picked a worse time since it was Spring Break and Olivia got really sick with some type of mysterious cold virus that made her run a high fever for the whole week. To make it worse, I insisted Jon and the twins go on with out us and follow through on our SB plans. For 5 nights and 6 days it was just the 3 of us: one suckling infant, one very sick 5 year old and one mother that was running on pure adrenaline. The rest of this month has just been exhausting. He refuses to sleep through the night and still wants to eat every 3 hours. I went and bought a bottle of formula because I keep threatening to switch and thought if I just give it to him at night time maybe he will start sleeping. But alas, I cannot bring my self to do it!! Last night I had an ephiniy and thought about rice cereal!!! So I called the breastfeeding goddess, my sister, and she made me feel so much better. She told me things I needed to hear and gave me excellent advice for a plan to move forward and try to get this kid to sleep at night and to space out his feedings better during the day! Even though I had to get a cup of coffee and pop 2 ibuprofen so I could sit here and write all this, I feel rejuvenated about pressing on.
To wrap up this post, I will say I am very glad that I pressed on this time. That I reached deep down inside and found the strength to hang in there and do what my body was designed to do. I am so very grateful for my amazing husband who has encouraged me every step of the way. Especially in those early weeks when I wanted to give up the most. Most of all I am thankful for my Creator, the one who designed my body to do such amazing, awesome, incredible things like give life to a human being and then to be able to nourish that tiny human from the same body. And for giving me the strength and fortitude to hang on for dear life, even if I did have to dig down so deep to find it.