I remember the very first time on October 8, 2014. I was in love, yet scared, and I was overwhelmed with emotions, and frustrated as each minute passed. I was in so much physical pain following my unexpected c-section at 39 weeks, he was so hungry, and we just could not get him to latch on, but I was still yearning to breastfeed my beautiful, newborn, baby boy.
I didn’t care what it took or how long it would take,
I was a mom on a mission.
I had this “vision” in my head, and on paper (yes, I was THAT first-time mom with a typed out birth plan, gone over point by point with my OBGYN) of what my child birthing experience would be like from beginning to end. Needless to say, God had a very different plan in mind for me when it came to delivering my son, and nothing went according to MY ideal, so why should my post-birth plan be any different?
You are pregnant and think, you will have this baby, he or she will be hungry and VOILA…breastfeeding should be as easy as 1-2-3, right? Well, for some moms sure, but not for me. The milk was there, but my little guy just was not latching, and he was hungry and cranky, boy was he cranky.
3 lactation specialists,
2 weeks of syringe feedings,
1 breast pump,
a breastfeeding workshop,
lots of tears and prayers,
and a solid 2-3 weeks before Luc and I found our rhythm.
From that point on, we were inseparable. Luc never went hungry and I knew exactly what to do when he needed me.
I could feed, calm, comfort, nurture, and heal him at any point in time. I told myself I wanted to make it to 12 months, and then 15 months, and then 18 months, and well, 23 months, 13 days, and so many hours later, I was still nursing that beautiful baby boy, except he isn’t a baby boy anymore, he is a 24-pound toddler.
You are reading this now, and I am happy to announce that Luc is officially DONE nursing and was forced into quitting when my husband and I went on a four day getaway and left him with grandma for the weekend, without my one working boob (yes, you read that right! I had been nursing on just one side since Luc was about 10 months old).
When it comes to breastfeeding, the best advice I can offer is do what you want to do and what makes you 100% comfortable. If you have the desire to breastfeed, which is not for everyone, and that is perfectly okay, don’t let anyone make you feel guilty, feel bad about yourself, or feel like less of a mother because you choose to, choose not to, or are physically unable to nurse your babies.
You are perfect just the way you are and you are enough for your child.
However, if you DO want to breastfeed, DON’T GIVE UP!!
I’ll be the first to admit, it’s hard, it’s painful, it’s exhausting, and boy, is it a commitment, BUT at the same time, it’s amazing, it’s a blessing, and it’s one of the best feelings in the world to be able to naturally make food for your beautiful, tiny human, and be just what they need, whenever they need it.
While desire and patience are definitely some things that you need when breastfeeding a newborn, here are some of my favorite items that really helped me get through the most difficult stages in the beginning, but also helped me be able to nurse Luc for so long.
– My Brest Friend Pillow – this was highly recommended from the lactation consultants back in California and it was a Godsend and was so much more comfortable than the Boppy for me in the beginning.
– Medela Advanced Pump-in-Style Dual Breast Pump – need I say more? Find one that works for you and pump. Pump. Pump.
– Medela Easy Expressions Bustier – in the beginning, I had no idea this thing even existed, but it was gifted to me and I must say, it was one of the absolute BEST inventions and best investment a breastfeeding mom can make!! The last thing you want to be doing to sitting there, hostage to your pumping station, holding the bottles for anywhere from 15-45 minutes.
– Coconut Oil – I used this instead of nipple cream, it worked better for me, was more cost effective, less sticky, and was something I already happen to have in my pantry
– Mother’s Milk Tea – I would drink a cup of this tea almost every night to help produce more milk
Again, these are just a few things that helped me with nursing my little guy. It wasn’t always easy for me and God blessed me with a lot of milk to be able to nurse for so long, but, now that Luc is officially done, I wouldn’t change my experience for anything!
If you have the desire to nurse, don’t let anyone or anything stop you and please don’t give up! You are not alone mama and I am praying for you and your new bundle of joy!!!
I love stories and would love to hear about your breastfeeding experiences too; share with me in the comments section below!!!