Thursday, October 4, 2012

Breastfeeding sucks. (Sorta)

This post is about breastfeeding.  So if you don't want to hear about boobs, lactating, or latching, I recommend you come back tomorrow.  There's a pretty good chance I won't mention those words again then.

I'm talking to you, Tara.
...

Breastfeeding sucks.

Now before you get all righteous on me, hear me out.
I do breastfeed Skeeter.
I do agree that "breast is best".
I'm going to do my best to breastfeed until she's one.

But in no form or way was I prepared for how hard it is.
I watched the lactation videos in the hospital when the nurses were trying to occupy me.
They all showed these perfect babies latching perfectly while the mother smiled lovingly.
And maybe this happened for you- and we can't be friends anymore- and that's great.

But I've had so many friends tell me how surprised they were that it was hard.  And I was certainly caught off guard myself.

...

After Skeeter was born, the nurses wheeled a big breast pump into my hospital room.  Since Skeeter was in NICU, I obviously wasn't able to nurse her for a while.  So I woke up faithfully ever three hours to pump- day and night.

When she was about two weeks old, a lactation consultant met me in NICU to practice nursing Skeeter.  The first few times went great- she even seemed to get enough milk.

Coming home was a completely different story.  She screamed at my breast until I finally gave in and gave her a bottle I'd pumped.  I attended lactation support groups (which I highly recommend) at the hospital and found some help there.

When she finally did start latching, it hurt.  I cried alot the first few weeks she actually nursed.  A few times I couldn't bear it anymore and gave her a bottle.

I'd like to say the desire to give my child the best nutrition drove me to push through.  But at times I think it was sheer stubbornness.  You tell me I can't do something and believe me, I'll find a way.  Like the time the boy across the street told me I couldn't ride my bike over his ramp, because I was a girl.  So I did.  And nearly ran him over.  But that's not relevant.  And definitely with the support of friends who understood.

But, with time and practice, we got it.
And now it's so rewarding.
I get that bond with my baby that I wanted so bad.

It's still not all rainbows and unicorns, but I'm so glad we've stuck it out.
 ...

 This post is my attempt to encourage those who want to breastfeed, not to discourage those who can't for whatever reason. 

20 comments:

Jo said...

I'm glad you were able to stick with it. I tried but due to lack of support/lack of milk etc I didn't manange to do it for very long.

Luckily my kids survived the bottle but I do think that breast is best!

Jennifer said...

It was hard for me too. I was in pain for a little bit in the beginning so I pumped till my nipples felt better. After a bit of pumping and feeding her and getting severely tired of that, I tried feeding her again and it worked! We are so attached to each other now it's beautiful.

Sarah E. said...

I failed the first time around because when Matt wouldn't latch properly, the LCs just gave up on me and handed me an manual pump - I dried up within a month.

With my second, I breastfed for 6 weeks. I was so ridiculously drained physically, mentally, and emotionally, that I started to pump with a dual electric. I pumped for 6 months and it was so much easier and better for me. So usually when people ask, I say I was an exclusive pumper.

It is really hard!! But nothing can really prepare you until you are doing it.

Michelle @ The Vintage Apple said...

My boobs just went into hiding. I'm scared!!!! LOL!!! This is the one thing I am the most nervous about come December!!!!

ImarriedAtexan said...

My start was rough too.... But like you I found support and stuck withi it. You Rock!

Candace said...

This is so true. Hardest thing about being a mom I think. I BF Harper but I don't produce enough milk so I have to supplement. I have been tempted to quit but even if she gets a little milk from me it is worth it.

Meg O. said...

I think it's amazing how you really pushed through to give little Skeeter her mama's milk, especially being separated from her. I can only imagine how hard it was to get your supply up when your baby is in the NICU. And I commend you for not giving up! I must be the exception and only had a hard time for about a week. I hope my next babies will be just as easy (but I am sure it won't since K has been easy all around - that just means the next one will be a pistol). Heart you!

Amber said...

Totally loving the story about the little boy and the bike. I read between the lines :)

Preemie Twins and Me said...

I stuck with it for 4 months. Hey, I have twins! But read my blog on my thoughts on breastfeeding here: Preemietwinsandme.blogspot.com

And we are back! It is the 31 Day Challenge, Day 4: Throwback Thursdays! Can you guess how many weeks I was? Find out the answer at http://preemietwinsandme.blogspot.com/

Heather said...

I'd have to agree that it kind of sucks! I had to exclusively pump so i never had that bond with baby... it was worth it i know, but i was so glad to be done at 9 months... i was so tired of pumping 4-5 times a day!

Mateya said...

Although bf has been pretty easy for us (I hope we can still be friends :)) I just didnt' realize how consuming it would be. I feel like I am constantly nursing or pumping. After 4 months I am starting to get annoyed and I know it's the best thing so I just keep reminding myself that as I roll my eyes every time I have to pump!

I'm so impressed you stuck with it. I imagine it would be super hard having your baby in the NICU and not being able to try to nurse right away. Go you!

Amanda said...

My mom's a lactation consultant (that's her full-time job), so I know all about boobs, breastfeed and latching ;) I'm glad that it's gotten better for you and Skeeter though!

Lindsay @ Trial By Sapphire said...

I intend to breastfeed, and I like reading honest posts like this. I'd rather have someone prepare me for reality than make me think it's a perfect dream from the get-go.

Sarah said...

I hear ya. Breastfeeding was HARD in the beginning and we didn't even have a stay in the NICU! Seems like everything goes upside down when you leave the hospital. That's when I really started second-guessing myself. And for me, my milk came in the day we were discharged, which makes it hard for baby to latch on! We had no problems before that (of course), but once my milk came in there were a host of issues. I cracked SO badly that my MIL and I both thought my nipples might fall off. =P Obviously, we got through that and breastfeeding is super easy for us now. I'm so glad I stuck with it!

thenerdykatie said...

I'm so proud that you were able to successfully BF with her in the NICU. That is a MAJOR accomplishment!

thenerdykatie said...

I'm so proud that you were able to successfully BF with her in the NICU. That is a MAJOR accomplishment!

tara said...

hi. i went straight from your disclaimer to the comments and skipped over the body of the post! ;)

Rachel @ The House of Burks said...

The biggest reason I breastfeed is because formula is too expensive. I have saved thousands by breastfeeding. My $300 pump has paid for itself 10 times over. Yeah, all that bonding stuff is okay, but truthfully breastfeeding is a literal and figurative pain. I am really glad to have done it, but I am looking forward to weaning this one completely!

Sylvia Holman said...

Girl I feel your pain! It's great to talk about breastfeeding and put it out in the open. The only way can succeed at it is with support!
I wrote a breastfeeding post "I Make Milk, What's Your Superpower?" here: http://www.sweetpeasylvie.com/2012/07/i-make-milk-whats-your-superpower.html
if you want to check it out! Good luck with it! And it gets easier as they get older. X

Caitlin said...

I absolutely love your honesty...and thanks for posting. I just started breastfeeding, and I feel like I'm doing everything wrong--but I know I'm not. Good know it's going to get better :)

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