I had issues getting my daughter to latch in the hospital.
It fucking hurt. It hurt so bad that I cried because I couldn’t bear the pain and agony and would wince every single time I had to feed her, so sadly, I turned to formula. I cried because I literally felt like I failed. Failed as a mother, failed as a provider, & failed her when she needed me the most.
Why did it hurt so badly?
I discovered she had a lip and tongue tie and decided to get the procedure done to revise both of them. At the appointment, the ENT told me that I would have no issues with her lip and advised against it.
Fast forward, she could not latch properly, in turn I had to pump every 4 hours, I was miserable, I still at 4 months did not feel connected to her and developed clogged ducts a month straight. I later learned that she had THE WORST lip tie a therapist I booked an appointment with had ever seen and advised getting it done.
So, that’s why I struggled with BF? The ENT was wrong and was the reason my breastfeeding journey was cut short.
I was pissed. I was so irritated. I was hurt, I was angry, I was disappointed.
I continued to nurse her, but she’d always fall asleep at my boob, and in the 20 minutes she was out, I’d use that time to pump so when she woke up I’d give her MY milk instead of formula. I was constantly getting ahead of her in terms of pumping and making sure I had MY milk for her.
I was stressed about it constantly worrying if I had enough or not.
Constantly planning my schedule around her eating.
Not wanting to lay with her for too long because then I’d have to pump.
Constantly worrying if I’d have enough for her.
I knew I’d have to eventually supplement with formula. I thought my pump output was an indication of how much she was getting.
There are OVERPRODUCERS, and just enoughers. Whichever you are, your body is doing an amazing job feeding your baby.
I knew in my heart that I could no continue on with breastfeeding due to my mental health, so around 4 1/2 months I decided to wean. I was DEVESTATED to say the least considering I HATED formula with every fiber of my being.
In Jan 2020, I pumped for the last time.
So, when I was pregnant with my 2nd, breastfeeding was nerve-wracking and this time around, I knew I wanted to succeed.
When my SON (didn’t know the gender, btw) was born on Jan 23, 2022, I knew within 30 minutes of him being born, I’d have to feed him& I was scared shitless.
His latch was way less painful than my daughter, but still slightly painful.
I found out he had lip, tongue and cheek ties, so this time around, we saw the correct people who revised it quickly and I kept seeing a lactation consultant until I felt confident.
Sure, I struggled, but it was different.
I kept with it. I followed his lead, I rarely used bottles and he hated pacifiers. He also did NOT take to bottles anyway.
This time around,
I had a freebirth, drank placenta smoothies, recovered quickly, connected with him instantly, co-slept from day one, nursed all day/night, let him nap on me, tended to his every cry, carried him, got him adjusted regularly, and made sure I ate a well-balanced meal.
FYI > I literally had NO issues with my supply. This boy was OBSESSED with nursing and boobs.
It makes me emotional thinking about that. The first time around I thought I didn’t have enough when in fact I did, I just didn’t have the proper support/the right people in my corner. And, gosh, it makes me cry sometimes that I never had the bond I have with my daughter because it was stripped from me.
I remember saying that I mostly wanted to pump the first time around because nursing freaked me out. I remember saying that I wanted to nurse for at least 6 months and then switch to formula.
That would NOT have been the case with my son though considering he took to nursing right away.
I feel emotional today because around this time last year, I was preparing to give birth, cuddle with my newborn, learn how to balance 2 kids, nurse again, and simply figure out my life with 2.
Now, he’s almost a year old and I feel all types of sadness > sad he’s no longer my squishy baby, sad he’s almost walking, sad he’s growing up, sad he’s not so little anymore, sad that a year has gone by and I don’t feel like I embraced it at times.
He’s also my last baby, so I’m still trying to soak it all in while he’s this young.
To celebrate my one-year mark, I’ve scheduled a breastfeeding photoshoot with a local photographer. I’ve never done anything like this before, but I’m so proud of myself.
I’m proud for never giving up.
I’m proud for tuning out all the noise.
I’m proud for listening to my mom intuition.
I’m proud for setting boundaries.