Breastfeeding and I Didn't Get Along so Hot......

In Honor of National Breastfeeding Week, I'm going to go ahead and tell you about my own experiences with breastfeeding...
basically, because in the long run, I don't want moms to feel like crap if they can't breastfeed.

Let me maybe start over....

I LOVE when moms breastfeed!  I really, honestly, truly do!  Even before I had my own kiddos, I thought it was great seeing moms breastfeed, whether it was in public or it was my extended family in a private setting.  It's beautiful, it's natural, and everyone knows it is best for the baby. 

But me and breastfeeding?  Well.....let's just say....the relationship was shortlived. 

You'll find out why, trust me.

When I was preggo with Dude, everyone, and I mean EVERYONE wanted to know if I was going to breastfeed.  I'm not just talking about my OB here....What was I supposed to say?  I had never HAD a kid before!  I had NEVER breastfed a kid before!  How was there any way whatsoever that I was going to be able to commit to telling people that I was going to breastfeed for at least 6 months?  Or a year?  I thought it was silly to even try and figure that OUT for pities sake!  I went with the flow....yes, that IS how I do most things in my life.  So, I bought a breast pump, breast pads for leaking nipples, nursing bras, breast milk storage bags.....but I ALSO bought bottles and a couple of cans of formula just in case things didn't work out with breastfeeding.

When Dude was born, he latched on noooooo problem, and that kid could EAT!  My nipples bled, they were sore all the time....but I stuck with it.  There were times that I fell asleep while feeding him....don't judge me.  He ate ALL THE TIME! 

One of the first nights after Dude was born....a late night feeding obviously...

But I was also pumping. S was in Iraq, so I pumped so that my mom and dad (who I was staying with while S was deployed) could have that bonding experience with Dude too....and of course because it gave me a break!  But, after 2, maybe 3 weeks.....the cow dried up.

That's right ladies, the. cow. dried. up.  Simple as that.  I had some breast milk that had been frozen, but my milk machines just slowly stopped producing.

I felt like shit.

Why wasn't I able to keep my milk? Why couldn't I give my kid the breastmilk that was best for him?  I ate all the time.  It wasn't a question of whether or not I was keeping my calories up.  My doctor, Dudes pediatrician, my lactation consultant, my MOM...they alllll told me, "It's ok, the first few days, the first week, is the most important for the kids to have breastmilk, it's ok, it's ok, it's ok."

I still felt like shit.

I dealt with it eventually.  Kind of.

And Dude spent the next 11 months on formula, and he is one of the smartest, healthiest kids that I know.

Fast forward almost 2 years and I'm preggo with Princess. S and I decided to go about the situation basically the same way.  We would see what happened with breastfeeding and go from there.

Princess did have a little trouble latching on (her lower lip didn't really stick out a lot when she was born, the lactation consultant had to work with us a lot with getting her to latch on correctly), but she still ate like crazy once she got hang of it.  I went through A LOT of nipple cream because we had such a hard time latching!  Yes, I cried about how bad my nipples hurt.   I pumped also, so that we could freeze some breastmilk, and so that S could have the bonding experience of feeding her (which he loved!!) and so he could give me a break at nights. 

Immediately after Princess was born.....
yes, I was making mama-like/calming shushing noises at her.

But one week into breastfeeding and pumping....the cow dried up.  That's right ladies, it happened again.  Even faster.

I felt like shit.....and again everyone I knew and their mothers told me to "stop, that I had breastfed her for her first week, and that's what was important.  I got over my crappy feelings a little bit faster, but not really.

And Princess spent the next 12 months on formula, and besides a milk allergy she had for a few months, she is strong, healthy, and smart.

I will be honest with you, sometimes I am seriously freaking surprised when I see moms who decide to breastfeed their kiddos for YEARS....I'm surprised when I see moms who breastfeed their kids into the teething stage!  DAMN! 

But, I admire the HELL out of these ladies, and good for THEM!

BUT, then again......I am really sad when ladies are looked down on for NOT breastfeeding their kiddos.....I wanted to breastfeed mine!  I did...but I couldn't for very long because of no fault of mine (unless you decide to blame my body!). 

When it comes down to it ladies, do what is best for you and your child!  You have to seriously go with your gut on this issue!  BUT DO NOT in any way, judge another woman for deciding to breastfeed for a lengthy amount of time, for 1 week, or not at all!

Um....no you don't have to just whip out your lady parts....but we all love to see nursing covers!  And to see that sweet smile while any mom, or dad (!) is feeding their kid, will raise lumps in the hardest of throats. 

S always insisted on giving Princess her last bottle of the night <3

PS.  While I was breastfeeding, I found those a-line sweater things to work out awesome!  I never used a nursing cover because I could just pull up the corner of my sweater!

After posting this the other night, many ladies commented on the fact that they didn't like that I wrote "we all love to see nursing covers" and I think that most readers thought that I meant that women should use nursing covers while breastfeeding......this is NOT what I meant!  Please bear with me when I'm writing blogs at 11pm after working the past 5 hours and I've had a couple of drinks! 

I really do apologize for my poor writing and not putting down what I really meant ladies!

What I had MEANT....was this:  I knew some women when I was much younger, that would whip out their breasts and shoot their breast milk at others in the room as a joke.  I'm sorry, I personally don't find that funny.  THAT'S what I meant when I said that women shouldn't whip out their girly parts! 
And about how we all love to see women with nursing covers?  At my bridal shower this past June, a women (who I have literally known since she was born!) was breastfeeding her son, and using a nursing cover because she is a very modest woman.  I thought it was awesome to look over at her and see that nursing cover, and just know what it meant....that she was breastfeeding her son, and it was beautiful!

So ladies, whether you decide to use nursing covers or not, it's alllll good and you should do whatever is most comfortable for you!   :)

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  1. How did I not know this is National Breastfeeding Week?? Anyway, great post... Yes, breastfeeding is important, but so is a happy mom. So much more goes into our child's health and security than the whole breast-vs-bottle debate. Thanks for sharing your experience!

  2. Great post... This is such a hot topic these days and not just because it is National Breastfeeding Week. I am in awe of mothers that can breast feed their children for 12+ months. I was never able to, due to various situations with each child... but I think it is definitely an amazing experience and LOVE to see mother's BFing their babies when ever, where ever.

  3. Good post! I'm so glad you gave breastfeeding a try! ANY breastmilk is better than none! =) I agree with you, I don't think it's right to judge mothers on how they feed their babies. But I honestly don't like it when hospitals push formula on you esp if you are a first time mom! I was dead set on breastfeeding and the hostpial asked me what brand of formula I would like to use. NOT EVEN KIDDING! I was almost offended. So I made it VERY CLEAR that my babies would NOT have any formula at all, only my milk. I bf'd my first daughter until she was 14 months and currently still feeding my 2nd daughter who is 8 months. Teething is sooo hard lol. There have been times that I have screamed while sitting in the middle of family because she bit me. But they get over it and learn that boobs are only for getting milk. Sorry such a long comment! ;)

    1. That's crazy! The hospital I was at told me to stop breastfeeding until the lactation consultant have me the go ahead and that I had to feed him formula. Which only wanted me to try it more... And ended up in a heated discussion with the nurses and husband!

  4. Thank you for your story! I also tried and tried and TRIED to breastfeed both of my kids, and I had the same problem with my supply just drying up. There was nothing I could do! I tried lactation cookies, herbal supplements, pumping, more pumping...and there was nothing I could do, with either child. My Mother-in-law actually told everyone that I was just lazy and wasn't trying hard enough, and my husband actually cried when we had to give our daughter her first bottle! It was some of the most horrible times of my life!

    That being said, I have two healthy, happy, large children who thrived on formula. It's always wonderful to hear that among all the moms who seem to have it easy and produce as much as they want, whenever they want, there are other moms like me who gave it their best shot, and it just didn't work!

    I still get a lot of flack for not having breastfed, and I am always grateful to other women like you willing to stand up and say "you know what? I didn't breastfeed and I'm still a good mom!"

  5. What a great and timely post! You're a great mom! You did your part you did your best and support other moms too. Awesome! More moms need to support each other. No matter what our choices.

  6. New follower. :) I'm so happy to read a post like this! There are so many women out there that are so judgmental about the whole breastfeeding/bottle feeding topic. I 100% agree with you that as long as the baby is happy, healthy, and loved that it doesn't matter what method of feeding a mother uses.

    Women shouldn't have to feel guilt because they couldn't breastfeed or couldn't breastfeed longer. It's a shame that others have to push their beliefs on others in order to feel better about themselves.

    Great post! :) I look forward to reading more.

  7. This is a great post :) I love that you have no guilt about it!! I'm working on mine for breastfeeding week too.

  8. I breastfed for 2 months and then my supply ran out. It was just weird but I accepted it (well, I has to!) and my boys are healthy, smart and totally normal...well, as much as I am! :D

  9. I screamed and cried (because it FREAKING HURT!) but somehow my body kept producing and I was able to breastfeed both of my children... my sister was not so fortunate. Like you, she tried, so hard, beat herself up over it, was depressed, etc... And I HATE that people would look down on her or make her feel like shit for not breastfeeding my nieces. She is an awesome mother; though she is younger than me, I look to her for advice on how to be the best parent I can be.

  10. I have four children. My older three are much older and I formula feed them. My youngest was breast fed. I am glad I got the opportunity to breast feed him. I think it is all about what makes you comfortable and what you can do. No one should be judged for their choices. My four children are all healthy and bright. My oldest had ear issues and they said it was better if you breast fed. My youngest was breast fed and had the same ear issues.

    Just be yourself and allow everyone else to be themselves.

  11. I'm sorry you had trouble but know you gave them the good antibodies in that first week to couple weeks you tried and that's what matters. your kiddo's are adorable & something to be proud of. Love seeing tiny baby pics so sweet!
    ~Candice @http://mylittlecircusandme.blogspot.com/

  12. The same thing happened to my friend, she was four weeks in and she woke up one day and it was like she didn't have any milk at all. She tried and tried for the next several days and nothing. I'd never heard of that happening before - what a frustrating experience it must have been for both of you!!

  13. Hi - this doesn't really fit me but I'm sorry you had such a tough time. From what I've heard everyone is different - some hate, some love and some struggle with breastfeeding. It sounds like you struggled. Perhaps in the future it won't be so hard - each baby is different. =D

    I'm following you from the Mommy Monday Blog Hop and would love a visit back when you have a moment. Have a wonderful week & I'll see ya next time! Be sure to check out the Tech Timeout Challenge on my blog CCB - we'd love to have you join in!

    Tina 'the book lady'
    http://familyliteracy2.blogspot.com (Tech Timeout)

  14. Hey you! Thanks for sharing your experience even though it wasn't the common "breastfeeding worked out for me experience" during this week. Not that it was hard for you, but I can imagine for some moms that could be difficult especially if they really wanted to breastfeed. It's unfortunate, but I can always think of reasons why and options that moms who wanted to breastfeed could have tried when they were going through their situation. I never mention those unless someone asks though because I think it would be rude of me to tell someone my advice or opinion without them giving me permission. :) It's sad that doctors/nurses seem to be so ignorant when it comes to something so natural. But then again, I remember that they are apart of a business and pushing formula down all of our babies' throats probably benefits them more just like it does when they prescribe us all types of medications. Following you now and happy that you linked up with us this week at the Mommy Monday Hop! I hope you enjoy the rest of your week! :)

  15. Great post! I too had trouble breastfeeding and also felt like shit. I am not sure which was worse: the pressure and guilt that I put on myself or the judgement from other people and from what I read. Thanks for sharing your story - I know how painful it can be.