Breastfeeding Crunchy Mama

Our Breastfeeding Adventure Has Come To An End

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 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?

How was your breastfeeding adventure?

11 Comments

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  • We were told in birthing class that the first couple weeks were the worst.I think that last for more like a month for me! My girl had a squirrelly latch and it just seemed to take forever to be comfortable. We made it to almost 14 months before she was no longer interested. I have to say I was pretty sad and missed the closeness. But I guess it's all part of growing up ;-)
  • Thank you for sharing this, Courtney. I really, really need to hear this encouragement as I begin to prepare for the next little girl. I really want to be more successful this time around!
  • My first one I lasted 6 weeks and couldn't handle it then. We didn't have the support system that is in place now (that was almost 17 years ago). My second, I couldn't last out of the hospital. He was constantly hungry, but what do yo expect for an almost 10 lb baby! Now, with my newest, we've been going almost 19 months and he's still going strong. If it wasn't for the support system and breastfeeding becoming more acceptable, I don't know if I would have lasted this long. Congrats on making it!
  • Congrats to you Mama! The first four months were brutal. We over came my baby being tongue-tied, having acid-reflex, me having mastitis, and I exclusively pumped for 10 weeks, having an under supply, and now having an over supply. I was able to give two babies a total of 800 oz of milk. My son is almost 15 months old now. I'm starting to question when he will wean more and more. He has cut two teeth this week so breastfeeding has been very enjoyable this week. Congrats again!
  • WTG! That's a very long time to hang in there. I have the utmost respect for anyone who can keep on going through some of the problems I've only heard about. I was lucky when it came to breastfeeding. The worst that happened was sore nipples, a few bites during teething, and my desire for my own body back after 2 1/2 years. Those are absolutely NOTHING to complain about! I am in complete awe of those of you who have had problems and were tenacious enough to keep with it. I can't say that I would have if I'd have run into any trouble.
  • Huge congrats to you!! 18 months! WAHOO. We stopped around 16 months. The other day, I sort of missed it b/c now he HATES cuddling before bedtime... :( And I asked him if he remembered getting milk from mommy the other day and he looked at me like I had two heads and said, "no!" Sad. But all part of growing up, yes. I also had tons of challenges - which you've probably read about in my probably over-sharing posts from my BFing events! LOL :) You are awesome.
  • Good for you! My little man is ten months old and it has been smooth sailing since the very beginning. Now, my supply continues to decrease so not sure how much longer it will last. I have mixed feelings of relief and sadness - not wanting to lose out on the cuddles and bonding but will be a little relieved at the freedom and not having to pump any longer. Congrats on making it that long!
  • What a great post! Good for you for making it to 18 months. I didn't have too much trouble in the beginning. Well, except for the mastitis and thrush. :) But My daughter did go through a nursing strike just recently, she is only 10 months so too young for real milk. I pumped and sneaked the milk in her food where I could (she never took a bottle). And finally 3 days ago after a long month she just started nursing again! What a relief. I will say that I have gotten a lot more judgment from outsiders than I thought I would Breastfeeding is so taboo and I don't understand why.
  • Way to overcome the obstacles and stick it out! I know that everyone has their own journey when it comes to breastfeeding and I feel like I've been pretty blessed considering that I went in to it with the thought that I would give it a try and no biggie if it didn't work (my mom didn't BF, so I assumed I wouldn't be able to either, but I thought I would at least try.) We are 8 months now and still going, although the biggest challenge I've had has developed in the last couple of weeks and that is biting me with 4 teeth now in place. She has broken the skin a couple of times and it hurts. Honestly, if it doesn't stop soon, I don't know if I can take several months more of it. Hopefully this phase will pass pretty soon!
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