Now, this might not be a topic for all of you, but it is a huge part of my life right now, and I find that the more I talk about it, the more motivated I am to keep going.
First off, no one ever told me how much of a lifestyle and commitment breastfeeding would be. I'm not going to lie, there have been a few moments where I really considered giving up all together, but true to form, I am WAY too stubborn to do anything I don't want to do.
After Gunner was born, I discovered he wasn't very coordinated, and had such a hard time latching on, and when he did latch on, it wasn't right, and I was in a lot of pain. He was SO bad at the whole latching on thing, that I literally had scabs on my nipples and would silently cry every time I fed him, so I wouldn't scare him and discourage him from eating. He took a really long time to open his mouth the right way, and I think he sensed my frustration, because it got to a point where every time I pulled out the boppy pillow, he would start screaming.
So, after about a week of pure agony for both of us, I made the call to just pump and bottle feed. I originally had planned to hold off on pumping or bottles until he was a few weeks old, because of various literature I read that said it can affect your supply, and cause nipple confusion, so I was completely relieved when he took to it so well.
Poor little guy was probably hungry the entire time. He just wasn't coordinated or calm enough to get the hang of it. It really bummed me out that I couldn't bond with him through nursing, but it was a relief that I wasn't the only one who had to get up at night to feed him. On the other hand, having to pump every few hours was really limiting. I couldn't go anywhere for more than a few hours, and it seemed like every time I needed to go somewhere, my boobs had different plans. Plus, I think people found pumping way more awkward than just feeding my baby under a blanket.
After venting to one of the gals in my Baby & Me class about how I had offered my boob to Gunner a few times, and he had no idea what to do with it, the lactation consultant that teaches the class told me to try and take a bath with him, and for some reason, the water will create a re-birthing experience and he will know what to do. I sort of brushed the idea off, because I figured I'M SMART AND HAVE TRIED EVERYTHING. Wrong. The very next day, I was giving him a bath like I always do, with him in the tub with me after I take my shower, and he looked at me, I looked at him, and we had this... moment. I knew it was the right time to try again, and it worked! I was so happy, that I almost cried. I called Bobby in to show him, and we were both really excited that our little guy had finally gotten the hint.
So the past few weeks, I've been nursing him most of the time, and pumping at night when he goes down for his 5 hour stretch. Things couldn't be going better, and I'm so happy that I have the resources to help me through tough times!
All I have to say, is that mothers who breastfeed for any length of time deserve a major high five. This crap isn't easy!