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!
*Revision*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! :)