Monday, October 28, 2013

//Adventures in Breastfeeding- Ashley's Story//

I am thrilled to post another Adventures in Breastfeeding story!  Here is Ashley's story. I love that she took a breastfeeding class before her delivery.  Seriously, I've never thought of that and I could imagine that would be great for all mama's to be!  Because seriously, the more information the better!  Read this mama's story and follow along with her blog at moderation mama and her instagram is moderationmama <3

When I look back on my breastfeeding journey so far, I can't believe that it has already been 14 months. I always thought I would breastfeed for one year (like I thought you were supposed to) and then stop. Then, I found a wonderful online community of breastfeeding supporters and my whole outlook changed. I've had such a positive experience, and I feel so blessed because of it. Sure, there were hard times, especially at the beginning, but now they seem so insignificant compared to all of the great experiences I've had.

I took a breastfeeding class with my hub while I was still pregnant. Everyone told me I should take a labor and delivery class instead, but I knew I would deliver the baby one way or another. I did not know if I would be successful at breastfeeding, and I wanted to do everything I possibly could to increase my odds. At the beginning of the class, the instructor went over all of the many, many benefits of breastfeeding. To me, that was the most important part of the class because it convinced both my hub and I that this was something we were going to do (as long as it was physically possible).

When my sweet baby J was born, the delivery nurse encouraged me to try feeding him before we let visitors in the room. I wish I could give her a hug right now for giving me that great advice. He latched right on. I couldn't believe how "easy" it was. One of the nurses called him a little piranha, and honestly, that's kind of what it felt like. After the second day in the hospital, it didn't seem as easy anymore. He wouldn't latch on and we both started crying in frustration. A different nurse said to me, "You wouldn't believe how fast he would suck down a 2 oz bottle right now". I couldn't believe it. I had made it very clear that I only wanted to breastfeed him. Not to mention, I had learned in my class that their tiny little bellies aren't even made to hold that much milk in those first few days. Luckily, I was introduced to the lactation consultant who gave me a lot of tips and helpful information. We actually used a little feeding tube and syringe to put formula on my nipple so J would realize that he was supposed to get food there, and it worked like a charm.  

We headed home from the hospital feeling pretty confident and comfortable. Hub was so amazing. He kept track of all of the feedings and diapers and was so helpful when J wouldn't latch on. We finally got to a good place of him eating regularly, and then I developed thrush, which lead to mastitis. Then, thrush again. It was awful, but I never thought about quitting. I just knew I had to deal with it and move forward.

I'm so glad I stuck with it through the tough times because once we got through that (and even during it), it was amazing and, for the most part, effortless. There have been a few times that J has gotten really sick and our only saving grace was that he would still nurse. I was so thankful during those times that I was able to provide comfort and nourishment to my poor, sick boy.

Now that I have a full-fledged toddler, nursing is our quiet, peaceful time. It is the way we welcome our mornings and the way we quietly end our day. It has created this amazing bond between the two of us, and I will be forever grateful for my breastfeeding experience.

Thank you so much for letting me share my story. I have loved reading everyone's individual experiences. They are all so different and all beautiful in their own unique way.

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