Wednesday, November 13, 2013

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

I'm excited to share this adventures in breastfeeding story! I've been "instagram" friends with Andrea for a little now and her family is so precious.  This is her second guest post on the blog- she shared her "What Mama Reads, What Baby Reads" a little while ago.  Thank you for sharing, lady!  Your story is important and I'm sure many can relate! <3  Her ig is besosdrea and she blogs at Besos Drea.  


i always knew i was going to breastfeed my children. i was bottle fed and i bottle fed 
every baby i ever knew, but i just knew that for me, breastfeeding would be the way. 
yet i was ignorant. i was arrogant. i took no classes on birthing or breastfeeding and just 
assumed that nature would take over and do its thing. 

i was wrong. despite wanting a natural birth in a hospital, i was induced and took the epidural. but 
nothing could compare to that moment when they placed him on my chest, fresh from 
the womb. it helped me through the 30 minutes of stitches i had to endure and the fact 
that they took him away without ever having him latch on. you see, i was mistakenly 
under the impression that they would automatically send in a lactation consultant and 
have him breastfeed right away. when i fought back, i was told it was too late because it 
had already been an hour since his birth and he needed to be in the incubator. 
when my little jonathan finally came back to me (after a lot of demanding) i made sure 
everyone knew that he was to be exclusively breastfed. i was met with an incredulous 
look, a “oh, he’ll never latch on to your nipple”, a ‘he’ll never get full with just your milk, 
boys need more”, and downright lies about my son not having been fed formula when 
he was in the nursery for check-ups and shift changes. every single nurse was against 
me. and in my postpartum state, i was sure formula was laced with drugs. but my little 
champ latched on immediately. he could not get enough.

soon enough i became sore. the nurse in the breastfeeding class (36 hours after his 
birth!) told me that it meant i was doing it wrong. except she saw nothing wrong with the 
latch, or my hold or anything else. and i was officially fed up with the hospital.
we came home and i immediately pulled out the nipple shield and the lanolin. it helped a 
little, but jonathan was just not happy unless he was latched on, so i never had time to 
heal. i barely had time to even eat. it became apparent within a couple of days that he 
wanted to eat every hour on the hour for at least 45 minutes. he would only sleep at the 
breast and would only take a real nap once in the day and once in the middle of the 
night.

after his first doctors visit and literally screaming in pain every time he latched on, i 
started pumping exclusively for almost 2 days and bottle fed him my milk. finally, i was 
able to heal up and went back to nursing, but eventually, i wanted control back of my 
body. showers and meals became a luxury and i wanted to not be milked all day and all 
night. so i started pumping and trying to put my newborn on a feeding schedule. he was 
miserable and so was i. it was awful, and in retrospect, so cruel. 

it didn’t help that i had no real support since the only 2 people who i knew that 
exclusively breastfed weren’t really close friends or lived far away. plus, everyone 
wanted me to give in and just formula feed. except for my husband. he stood by me, 
held me and told me how amazing i was. he was my rock.

then i met another new mother. she had gone through it all in the first three months and 
had the same lack of support, but here she was breastfeeding in public, teaching me 
that breast shields and pumping diminished milk production and reminded me that i was 
stubborn, too. i stared at my one month old baby, wondering why i gave up so easily. 
the next day i set up shop on my recliner. pitcher of water next to me, remote in one 
hand, iphone in the other and my baby on the boppy wrapped around me. if this is 
where he needed me 23 hours a day, i was going to do it. we rocked. we napped. we 
were one. i threw away the notion that we needed to be individuals and i became his 
mother. the only person who could give him everything for this short amount of time. it 
was the very reason i wanted to become a mother so desperately. i had forgotten and 

so i was ever so grateful for that beautiful mom who was put in my life to get me back 
on the path i always wanted to go down.

i went back to work for a month and pumping and formula and breastfeeding all became 
a part of our story. when i officially became a stay at home mom i was able to get him to 
breastfeed all day and in the middle of the night, if he woke up to nurse, but in order to 
go to sleep at night, he needed his formula. fenugreek, oats and barley didn’t give me 
enough milk for that bedtime feed. but that’s when he got to bond with his daddy and i 
was happy to be able to nurse him at all other times. we went on like that for a year. 
weaning him after his first birthday was very rough on us, but we were asked to do so 
by his pediatrician. i would not have listened to his misguided advice if i had informed 
myself better, but we weaned and i was amazed. i had reached my one year goal. even 
after thinking i couldn’t even last six weeks. even after those weeks when i exclusively 
pumped. even after going back to work and not being with him for 11 hours a day. even 
though i had to take herbs and supplements to help me get there. even though i had the 
help of formula and even though i was so scared of nursing in public (with a cover) for 

so long, until i finally found old friends who were also nursing mamas. 
jonathan and i made it. he breastfed; i nursed. and it is such a special and important 
part of our story. i only wish i had taken pictures of us nursing, but my heart is full with 
the memories of those times when i was his all.



4 comments:

  1. This is such a sweet, heartbreaking story! Well done Mama, you should be so proud!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you so much! i am. motherhood made me warrior. :)

      Delete
  2. so beautiful!! Your determination is inspiring

    ReplyDelete
  3. This was such a beautiful story. Mine was very similar to yours in so many ways. I applaud you.

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...