A moment in time I cherish.
I knew when I found out I was pregnant that I wanted to try to breastfeed and I didn’t have a clue about it. Myself and my siblings were formula babies and not many people around me breastfed, so it was a bit foreign to me. I did a TON of research when I was pregnant to try to prepare. The more I read, the more determined I was to feed my baby the way nature intended. Admittedly, I was worried about potential challenges since I had come across other mother’s experiences that were not positive. However, I wanted to give it my best shot and told myself no matter the outcome baby and I would be happy, and of course, fed! I worried about everyone’s opinions, and was frustrated with being told how things would or wouldn’t happen.
Then the day came that I had my little baby boy, and oh how amazing that experience was! Jack began nursing right away, I remember the nurse putting him in my arms and he just knew what to do. So much of that day was just a blur, but instincts are amazing.
It’s crazy how you think they are not getting much, but they are! Colostrum is amazing! All of the research that I did and I was still in awe while experiencing everything first hand. Surprisingly, me being the private person that I am had no issue whatsoever with the lactation consultant grabbing my breasts and showing me exactly how to get him to latch properly. No problem having her show me how to express milk. I find it a bit sad that this thought made me uncomfortable before it actually happened. Our culture has sexualized the female body so much that as a new mother initally this kind of exposure made me severely uncomfortable. It’s really crazy how labor and delivery makes a woman have no shame!
At almost 5 months I am proud to say that I am still exclusively breastfeeding. Never has Jack had a bottle. I haven’t even attempted to pump any milk for storage. Now, let me be clear, getting here was not easy. Did Jack do his part right away? Yes. Was it easy for me? No. He had a fantastic latch from the get go, but sometimes an over-eager hungry baby can do some damage! The lactation consultant had shown me how to take him off properly in case of a bad latch. Did I always do that? No. Sometimes it was so hard to disturb him, he would look so peaceful.
The first few weeks were painful. If I remember correctly I think around 6 weeks was when just about every nursing session became enjoyable. However, up until then everything wasn’t rainbows and unicorns. I was cracked and scabbed and taking a shower was painful and pure bliss at the same time. Engorgement was no joke. You hear a lot about woman having a low supply. Not me, I was over producing. Poor Jack just wanted to eat peacefully but I was practically drowning him. Again, I think it was around 6 weeks where I had regulated enough where I wasn’t spraying everywhere. Although now it can still be an issue.
To any new breastfeeding mama out there, stick with it! It can be tough and scary and frustrating, but you can do it! BUT sometimes things don’t happen the way you intend them to, so don’t beat yourself up either!
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