I learned right away that “breast is best.”
Breastfeeding a child is a lot of work and it takes a lot of time and dedication. And why not? It has so many benefits that I am not going to get into because its obvious. I wanted to breastfeed my little parasite when I found out I was having it. (That parasite turned out to be a bouncing baby boy. He is my favorite little man and I love him even though the last post I wrote when I was pregnant, I might add, would suggest otherwise).
I did the research all day everyday. Every night, before bed, I would read blogs, do research, found books because I knew no matter what happened, I was going to educate myself. I refused to give up. This was happening. This baby was going to get the boob and dammit, he was going to love it.
Well, he came and of course he loved it. Baby M latched the moment I gave birth to him. The moment they handed him to me, he slithered his little body up to my breast and latched on. It was magical and amazing. I felt like an awesome mom.
I know this doesn’t happen to everyone and I am not trying to offend anyone whose babies didn’t latch on right away. Some babies need some help and it can take a few tries. For some, it can take a few weeks, but the point is, don’t give up. It will happen. Patience and perseverance is the key.
Baby M might have latched on right away, but it didn’t mean that we were in the clear. We hit our hard days. Those days came by fast. My milk didn’t come in right away and my poor little man cried and cried. He cried for over 3 hours straight the first night I brought him home. My milk didn’t come out fast enough and I didn’t produce enough at first. But when my milk did come in, finally, we were happy again.
Breastfeeding soon became a norm in our house. After the engorgement and a few stints with the clogged ducts, I thought it was pretty easy. I have become so comfortable with it, that I would whip my boobs out no matter who was in the room or where I was when I was out. When Baby M was hungry, he obviously had to eat and I was not going to make him wait. He gets some serious “hangry” fits.
Now if you know me, you know I am a huge planner. I plan as much as I can and do whatever it takes to make sure it goes my way. I am kind of a freak about it. Well I was so worried about breastfeeding and making sure that Baby M had enough milk that I practically had this really twisted relationship with my breast pump.
Now I am guessing you want me to clarify.
I was practically attached to my pump. I thought that my son would wean himself too early or that I would give up, so as my back up plan, I pumped milk and boy did I go overboard. I planned my day around my pump schedule and Baby M’s eating schedule. He was a little harder to predict. Babies do not eat on a schedule, they eat when they are hungry and with their tiny stomachs, it happened at random times. Now some moms will beg to differ, but my son ate on demand.
I would pump for 15 minutes 6Xs a day. Yes, do the math. Thats a lot of time to be attached to my pump. I would wake up in the middle of the night and pump milk when I should of been sleeping because I was always worried that I didnt have enough milk to feed my little man. Needless to say, that got old really fast after a month.
I kept trying to quit, but I got it stuck in my brain that I shouldn’t because it would have been selfish of me. So instead of quitting, I complained about it. I hated my pump but I just wouldn’t stop. It was seriously draining. I do not know how I would have done it, if I had to work. Thats not a can of worms I want to think about. I would have probably lost my mind.
My pump and I had this really intimate relationship. I took it everywhere with me. I had to have it by my side. It was sickening. It was like the controlling boyfriend that mentally abused you, but you couldn’t walk away from the relationship because it would have devastated you. It was toxic. To think, I did all this put up with all of this because I was AFRAID that I would give up breastfeeding or my little man refused to nurse or wean. These things often made me crazy just thinking about it. The hormones from breastfeeding controlled my life.
Now here we are 9.5 months later, and I am still breastfeeding, but I have slowly started to wean myself from the pump. My son now has teeth and with his biting, I often want to quit, but I cant. I feel selfish and I want my son to be a healthy baby boy. Formula isn’t bad either and that fine. I know there are women out there that would have done anything to be able to breastfeed and I shouldn’t take it for granted. It has been an amazing experience. I had hard days but in the end, that time spent with my son was wonderful. We have an unbreakable bond from it. It was our time.
Now with my pump, that relationship is pretty much over. Once I discovered that my chest freezer was getting obnoxious, I knew it needed to end. Pumping is a lot of work. I could literally write a manual called confessions of a pumper and it would probably sound psychotic because it was. I had good intentions for why I started in the first place, but it was misguided by fear. Fear that I should not have had in the first place. But I accept that and now I am OK.
Time will only tell how long I last. Breastfeeding after all is still a sacrifice. After all your baby gets everything momma eats, and I pretty much still eat whatever I want, but I have to keep in mind what is going in.
This has made me all kinds of crazy, but in the end I would not give it up for anything.