A - Z Challenge

Breastfeeding – More than boobs and milk

B.jpg

If I said to you that breastfeeding was the most wonderful and easiest thing I’ve ever done, I would be lying. In fact it was one of the most difficult and borderline traumatic experiences of my entire life.

DSC_7503.jpg

Let me give you some context. My son was born via C-section and rushed to NICU with water on his lungs. I hadn’t seen him for two days and he had been feeding off a drip or IV the entire time. Add a frazzled mother with swollen breasts and an incompetent nurse who had never had a baby herself and you have a recipe for disaster.

So there I was with a baby that I hardly knew and a nurse heaving over me telling me to squish my breast into a sandwich and shove it into a child’s mouth that refused to latch no matter how many damn times I sandwiched my tits to death! Nothing! Nothing! Nothing! And then instead of helping me Nurse Helpful gave me a look of disgust like I can’t even breastfeed right.

Hours and hours passed and he still hadn’t fed. I felt hopeless and useless. What kind of a mother am I? Am I a real mother if I can’t nourish my child? I remember sitting in that hospital bed, lights dimmed and teary eyed. Trying to shove, shove, shove this sandwich breast into my son’s mouth.

Then it was like a guardian angel was sent my way. A nurse (sorry I can’t remember your name) saw me in my sad state and told me to stop and try football hold. Football hold? So I did and it worked! Yay! My son was finally latching and it was great to keep him off my scar while it healed. Thank God!

eac5e23743524068c0d5f595479ef62210146c3f95d1ac2e2aa150e289b217bb.jpg

As soon as I was well enough, I went straight to our local baby store and purchased a breast pump (Why did I do that?). So two grand spent; I left quite happy with a breast pump that was the same brand as the little one’s bottles. I read the instructions carefully and decided to give it a try. I sat there and sat there, pump in hand and about 1cm of milk in the bottle. What the hell? I thought I was doing something wrong so I searched for videos and demonstrations on YouTube and all these women were doing the same thing I was doing, but ended the video before showing how much milk they actually got out of the breast pump. I sat for a further 30 minutes before he started crying, then the crying turned to violent wailing until I abandoned the pump all together. I had this dream of having a fridge full of bottles of freshly pumped milk, but that wasn’t what happened. I tried pumping again a few times after this encounter, but ended up ‘milking’ my contents into the bottles by hand. I had bottles full of milk in a third of a time that it took me to get 1cm of milk out of the breast pump. I don’t even know where the pump is right now, to be honest.

Breastfeeding-comic-I-think-hes-still-hungry..jpg

But that wasn’t where my breastfeeding woes ended. He was insatiable; I struggled to keep my milk supply up. I tried everything from vitamins to brewer’s yeast tablets to Jungle Juice. Nothing really seemed to increase my milk supply so when he turned eight months old I conceded and started formula and breastfeeding him. It really helped up my milk supply and I found that he slept for longer periods, probably because he was full.

 

It was very difficult to find the right formula for him. Some formulas gave him the runs, others caused a rash and eventually we settled on a brand.

 

We had happily reached his first birthday and I was breastfeeding him, but following his cues as to when he wanted to nurse. This was met with much disdain from family members. I was constantly asked “Are you still breastfeeding?” with a tone of repulsion. This was said so much that I decided to stop breastfeeding all together, which was the biggest motherhood regret I’ve had so far. He wasn’t ready and I wasn’t ready to stop, but I was so scared of being judged.

cross_cradle_2000x1100_4x3.jpg

These are the things I’ve learnt from my breastfeeding journey:

  1. I should have investigated or learnt all the different types of holds for breastfeeding.
  2. Drink lots of water to up the milk supply.
  3. Prepare freezer meals to pop into the oven.
  4. Mixed feeding is okay, I’m not a failure for choosing to do so.
  5. Don’t be scared to ask for help.
  6. Don’t let others stop you on your breastfeeding journey. My boobs! My problem!

 

Thanks for reading my second A – Z Challenge post.

I hope you enjoyed it. Let me know what you think.

 

Join me on Monday, when I discuss Colic.

 

Love and Blessings,

Lindsay Sign Off

Advertisements

28 thoughts on “Breastfeeding – More than boobs and milk

  1. I was to write about this topic for this challenge, but I just couldn’t pin it down so strongly, hence I wrote about Being Rejected.

    You have written on a topic that the world needs to know, especially women, who should understand the nitty gritty of breastfeeding and childcare. You have shared first hand experience of how it feels and what must be done. I think this is really appreciable. There will be first time ladies who will find this very helpful. Good Job. Appreciable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. I appreciate your kind comment. I went through so many struggles with breastfeeding, I just wanted to share it with everyone. I thought it would be an easy thing to do. I’m going to read your blog post on Being Rejected right now. It sounds really interesting. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, sharing such experience is an act of kindness. We don’t want everyone to face the struggle repeatedly on Earth. As we keep sharing and as the new people try to learn from previous experiences it becomes easier and helpful for them. Reducing the struggle and being helpful to one soul is what blogging is for – 🙂

        Here’s the link What it feels to be Rejected ! – http://wp.me/p3NR8n-F4

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for sharing your story. Bhanu is absolutely right ” sharing is an act of kindness.” That’s exactly what you did. Your theme is so important! These issues need to be discussed, not shamed. I did not breastfeed either one of my children. Do I regret not breastfeeding? No. Do I second guess my daily parenting choices? Absolutely! That’s what motherhood is, second guessing. We need each other’s support for reassurance that our first guess was a good one. I am off to check out Bhanu’s Being Rejected post too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much. I’m getting very raw with the A – Z challenge. Sometimes I feel like I’m sharing too much.I’m still second guessing my choices, but they are my choices. Thank you for this wonderful comment. I agree, parents are too busy looking down on each other rather than supporting one another.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree. I am also divulging a lot of information too. I think that’s part of the challenge. We are leaving our comfort zones for a month. It’s Day 3 and I am enjoying the wonderful conversations that I would not have if I stayed in my familiar bloggy corner. Keep going. Your theme is so helpful.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for writing this! I didn’t have even close to as hard a time as you did and I still had a really challenging time breastfeeding. Despite the challenge, I am weirdly looking forward to it again.

    When E was 2 days old she cried & cried & cried. . . . and I ended up nursing her for 6 straight hours! After about 4 hours a nurse came in and noticed I hadn’t charted anything and I said (very nearly hysterical) that of course I hadn’t because I’d been nursing for 4 hours! I was tired and sore. She just said, “Well, I breastfed all four of my babies with no pain” and then waltzed out of the room. Thankfully that was my only poor experience.

    But seriously, how you feed your child (especially in those first few months) is a deeply personal decision and no matter how your baby gets fed we should be supporting each other.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I had flashbacks of my first child reading this. I tried and tried, pumped and pumped but I did not know wth I was doing and I had no help. I guess they thought I was suppose to know all this. Being a first time mom and trying to breastfeed you need all the help you can get. By the time he was 6 weeks I went to formula.because my milk dried up under all the stress. Moms just need support no matter how we feed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree! I read the books, but no one told me how difficult it was going to be in real life. I muddled through it myself. There is so much stigma if you bottle feed, but the truth is that I had to do what I had to do. The child is healthy and alive right now. That’s what counts.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Lindsay, thanks for your beautiful, honest post. I’m so sorry to hear breastfeeding was such a difficult experience for you and especially to hear that you regret caving in to everyone’s criticism and stopping. It sounds like you had absolutely no support, and yet did a sterling job! Well done for seeking and finding a solution to your low milk supply, and for nursing for over a year. Do you know that places you in a very small minority of Moms who practice extended breastfeeding? You did grrrrreat!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for this comment. It really warmed my heart when I read it. I had no idea I was in the minority, I wished that I would have breast fed a little bit longer. I hope you have a wonderful day.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s