Smiles, even during sickness. Even a stomach bug cannot hold his joy back.
stroller naps. not a usual occurrence
Since I can remember I always planned on breastfeeding. My mom breastfed me, and I grew up watching her breastfeed my siblings, so it only seemed to make sense that I would breastfeed.
Right after Havilah was born, she had to be taken to the NICU because she wasn't breathing properly (I never understood exactly what was wrong), but it was over three hours before I got to hold her. Of course, this completely crushed my hope to have skin to skin contact and breastfeed her immediately, but I tried not to make a huge deal out of it.
Once I got her in my arms, and after everyone had oohed and ahhed over her, I offered her my breast and she immediately latched on!
Of course, a few days later things were a little different. My nipples started to crack and bleed, and I had to grit my teeth through the beginning 20 or so seconds of every feeding. I dealt with scabbed nipples for two to three weeks, but the latching on was only painful for a few days. My milk also came in, which was pretty uncomfortable and made showering painful, but that soon passed as my body regulated my supply.
I think my biggest enemy of breastfeeding was fear. I constantly worried that she wasn't getting enough, and there were many times that I wished I could just feed her a bottle so I would know exactly how much she was getting. I was afraid I was failing her, and that she was hungry, and that my body couldn't handle nurturing the baby it had just given birth to.
If there was any point where I nearly gave up breastfeeding, it was probably this one. It was so tempting to say I just didn't produce enough and move on. Thankfully, I have a wonderful support system in my husband and mom, and my mom reassured me that as long as she was gaining weight and having so many dirty diapers a day, then she was fine. I religiously counted her diapers for probably a month, and as silly as it sounds I found comfort in knowing she was having a good amount of wet diapers.
Apart from fearing I wasn't making enough, our second biggest challenge came when she was about two months old. One day she decided that she didn't like to be fed in the "cradle" hold. I fed her laying down at night, but during the day I always sat up and held her. She would start out eating just fine, and then a few minutes in she would start fussing and crying and refuse to eat any more. Of course, this really freaked me out, and I tried every variation of sitting up and feeding her that I could think of. Through trial and error (and likely complete exhaustion at that point) I found that she preferred to eat when we were both laying on our sides. From that point on we laid down while she ate. Occasionally now I can get her to eat while I hold her, but she still prefers laying down.
Havi is now 11 months old, and unfortunately I think our breastfeeding journey is coming to a close. I got pregnant when she was 8 months old, but I didn't know it for over a month. I actually decided to take a pregnancy test because it started hurting again when she would latch on. We were elated when we found out about the pregnancy, and I hoped to be able to tandem nurse Havi and the new baby.
Around two months pregnant my supply started drying up (I wasn't just worrying this time, I could barely squeeze anything out), so we started supplementing. I would feed her first, and then give her formula afterwards. Eventually the length of her feedings grew shorter and shorter until I was lucky if she would breastfeed for two minutes. I tried every little trick, but nothing brought results.
I honestly felt like I had failed her, and my body had failed me. I soon realized though, just as my body was able to support and nurture her through my pregnancy and up until she was 9 months old, it is now using its resources to nurture another precious baby.
I can still get her to breastfeed for about ten minutes in the morning, but that time is growing shorter as well. I'm now cherishing every moment she wants to breastfeed, and knowing that I will soon have another little one is helping ease the fact that she is weaning.
hello! I'm chelsea, mama to asher, and expecting our second baby boy. This is my adventure with breastfeeding.before the birth of my son i had only an idea of the kind of mother that i wanted to be. the parenting style that i thought would be my own. all i knew for certain was that i loved him with a greater love than i'd ever felt long before i got to finally hold him in my arms and that i'd always do the very best i could for him. i knew i wanted a natural birth and that i wanted to breastfeed as soon as possible once he arrived. we did just that! i feel truly blessed in this journey together and am so thankful that we've not had any big issues along the way. It was painful in the beginning sure and my overactive let-down was no fun for awhile for either of us but we got through it. those growth spurts and the days that were spent doing nothing else but nursing...those were hard on my body and i remember my exhaustion and feeling like how the heck could i keep this up, but we did! having the support of my sweet husband really helped on those days. Asher never had a bottle in all these months. i am now 30 weeks along with our second baby boy and still nursing. i had just one cycle before this babe decided to join us. we were so surprised that we conceived so quickly! i didn't think for a second about weaning and just carried on. i found myself holding my breath for the first 15 or so seconds each time he would latch...just like in the beginning. again, we would get through it. i can tell when i have a surge of hormones going on-for example, baby growth spurt because it will get that intense every time. keep calm and nurse on! asher is now 20 months and i don't see us stopping. i plan to tandem nurse once little brother arrives early may.breastfeeding my son has been more beautiful of an experience than i could have ever imagined. some of the best moments of my life are the ones spent with him at breast. the pure happiness, peace, comfort and nourishment that i can provide my son. each and every time. for all these months! it's magic. there are really no words for that closeness and that love.ive followed my instincts as i have with every little or big thing since becoming a mother. turns out my instincts led me to attachment parenting. we co-slept till he told us he wanted otherwise. he never once cried it out. i would nurse as frequently as he needed throughout nights and keep him close throughout our days. we've loved our ergo and toddler tula carrier and our wraps/slings! nursing as he pleased as i wore him. love love love!thanks for reading my story mamas! truth is i've been trying to write this up for weeks! it's so dear to my heart and i've so many words that when i would sit down and reflect back on these 20+ months i could barely find them. so i decided to just keep it simple. xoh and i nurse in public like it aint no thang. because it isn't. and it need not be hidden. #normalizebreastfeeding #nip!