After 18 months and 21 days we are done. Our breastfeeding adventure had started out rocky, but him being my third I knew that it probably would, because I knew what to expect. I had given up very early with my first two at six weeks. It hurt, it was VERY time consuming, I hated pumping, and my biggest excuse was that I had to go back to work. I didn’t even try to work around that.
Five and half years later I was a different kind of mama. A more Crunchy one and I was determined to make it work. He latched on right away in the hospital and I instantly shouted wahoo! This was going to be much easier this time around. Wrong.
The pain, except for the initial latch-on which lasted a bit longer, was gone after ten days. Things were looking good except for the fact that he never seemed happy. I figured I had a more difficult child, he was a growing baby, and he needed to eat all the time. All of those were true, but we also learned he wasn’t gaining any weight. When I pumped, hardly anything came out. Well hardly anything compared to all the girls online who seemed to be pumping out buckets in my research. I later learned that everyone’s milk supply is different when pumping and I just didn’t have much.
To make a long story short we finally got to the place of misery and I broke into the free formula sample I had sitting on the counter. LifeSaver. I wish my ego would have let me open it days or weeks before. We supplemented with a bottle or two of formula a day for about a month until everything got back on track and his weight started to go up.
I hated every minute for the first four months. It took me that long to get into the groove. I had a fantastic La Leche leader that chatted with me through meetings and emails to help with ideas. Her checking in on me is what made me keep going. I didn’t want to let her down. Or baby. Or my Hubby who was counting on me to do the right thing. Or myself, right? I was determined in this breastfeeding adventure.
My LLL leader would ask me weeks and months later if I now loved breastfeeding and I will admit to you that I never loved it. I did come to enjoy it a lot, the closeness, and more importantly I was so proud that I had gotten over the obstacles and was doing soooo much good for my baby. Look at me! I got past 18 months!
I wanted to share my story because even if you think you can’t do it because you’ve tried before, or heard the horror stories, or whatever…you can!! Be determined, GET HELP if you need it, do your research to understand why your struggles will be so worth it! If I can do it then you can do it too!
Did you have troubles in the beginning?