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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Luck had nothing to do with it

First off – a disclaimer. I didn’t intend to become a “mommy blogger” but the truth of the matter is when you have an infant there really isn’t much more to your life than being a mommy that is interesting. (another blog post on that at another time though!) So if you aren’t interested in mommy subjects – skip this one!

The hubby went to Mississippi a few weeks ago for his best friends funeral and as you can imagine Jellybean was the topic of conversation pretty often too.
I mean how could he not be?

Apparently..so were my breasts.

Also known as Dominik’s main food source. The udders.

Glad to know the girls are so popular they get discussed in other states when I’m not even there.

One of Joey’s female friends is a nurse and she asked how Jellybean was being fed. Joey answered that I was breastfeeding which earned the response from quite a few of the ladies there that I was more woman than they are.

Joey told me he was really proud of me at that moment. He’s been extremely supportive of ALL of my parenting decisions all along but he didn’t realize how admirable breastfeeding was until he heard from so many women that hadn’t done it. He had no idea how HARD it really is.

Breastfeeding doesn’t come naturally. It isn’t easy. It’s painful in the beginning, hard work and consumes huge chunks of your life. The most frustrating thing I hear is that I’m lucky that I could breastfeed. There was no luck involved – it took work and lots of it but I was determined as I knew it was what’s best for my son.

Jellybean was a preemie. He wasn’t ready to really latch on and suck when he was born. It took him five weeks to catch on to how to nurse correctly. I also had a massive oversupply with an overactive letdown which made it even harder for him. That meant I spent five weeks pumping every three hours in addition to feeding him a bottle and trying to get him to nurse. I averaged between a half hour and 45 minutes of a break to sleep or eat in between all of that. I was so engorged I would sit with a heating pad on my breasts and would take showers at 2am to relieve some of the pressure. I could pump ten ounces when he was only eating 2-3 at a time.

Then once he caught onto nursing he fell in love with it. Wanted to do it for hours. Especially in the evenings when I wanted to get some dinner in me. This was also due to his reflux. Did I mention he also started refusing bottles around that time? Yep – so I honestly couldn’t leave him anywhere for more than two hours. I’ve nursed him while walking down a busy road before because he had to eat at that moment.

All that nursing turned him into quite a momma’s boy too. It took three days of daycare to get him to start taking bottles again. I drove over there every two hours in the meantime. I still go EVERY day at lunch to feed him. I suffer through pumping at work and the inconvenience that pumping is. There is nothing like washing your pump parts in the company kitchen while people get their coffee! He won’t fall asleep at night without nursing which means I may lay in bed for an hour and a half before he has gotten himself to fall asleep completely. Pacifier? Not an option, it’s been tried. I nursed him through my two bouts with the stomach bug and a recent drop in supply due to it. I made sure to request a script to increase my supply as soon as I noticed a drop.  I am determined to nurse him for at least the first year and not introduce solids until six months.

Luck hasn’t played a part in any of this though. My decision to breastfeed was set in me from the beginning. I knew from before getting pregnant that I wanted to breastfeed my child. I LOVE the bond it has created with my child. I love that I am able to nourish my child, comfort him and make him feel safe. I love that that is our alone time. I am glad that I can now encourage other women and help them through their struggles. Breastfeeding actually created a stronger bond for all three of us because Joey is so proud that I am doing it for Jellybean and he sees how happy it makes him. I couldn’t imagine NOT breastfeeding him. I would hate to have to fix him a bottle rather than being able to hold him to me when he is hungry. I also LOVE the convenience of breastfeeding. I don’t need to mix, warm or remember anything. I have his food with me at all times at just the right temperature.

Is breastfeeding for everyone? Probably not. Is it right for us though? Definitely. Through every struggle and hiccup along the way my resolve never faltered. Now when I look down every night and see tired eyes fluttering back at me and hear that sigh of contentment at the end I know that it was all well worth it.



This post is linked up with Shell as part of Pour Your Heart Out Wednesdays.


4 comments:

jmberrygirl said...

I live in Mississippi! Believe me, there aren't many women here who try! Even fewer stick it out. It is hard! It is exhausting. I'm proud of yu for sticking it out! I'm in my 10th month and plan to keep on for at least 2 more. You're doing great! Keep it up!

Kakunaa said...

My child is glued to my boobs. Seriously. But I don't have the kind of supply that you have, so, because he is preemie, we do supplement with formula. Which is the only reason I have any milk built up for my return to work. I'm a bit jealous of your supply!

But yeah, I wouldn't trade it for anything, despite the massive time suck. The funny noises he makes while nursing, that last suck and then release of a breath as he unlatches and passes out on my chest. It is perfection.

Tylaine said...

That's awesome Di. Good for you. Breastfeeding does create such a special bond and I can't imagine not having done it. (even in the middle of the night when you want more than anything to go back to bed :))

Shell said...

Breastfeeding IS hard. I think it really helps to go into it with a determination to make it work. Otherwise, it's easy to give up when it's hard.

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