Thursday, March 27, 2014

// a d v e n t u r e s i n b r e a s t f e e d i n g - l i n d s a y ' s s t o r y //

I'm excited to share Lindsay's adventures in breastfeeding story.  I love her honesty and hearing a bit more of her journey.  The biting is such a common thing to go through, yet when you're actually going feeling the pain of biting it can be quite upsetting, to say the least!  You want to fix it now, because obviously, it hurts!  Thank you, lovely for sharing.  Lindsay is a photographer and you can check out her photography here: Lindsay Dee <3




Unlike most stories I’ve heard, the first attempt to nurse Wes wasn't the easiest. He wasn’t crying or frustrated, just simply couldn’t latch. I stayed calm and knew he’d get it on his time but kept trying every 20 minutes or so. After a couple of hours our midwife noticed he was tongue tied, so we finally had an understanding of what the problem was. She snipped it and assured he wouldn’t feel it, and he didn’t even cry. Well, then he fell asleep for two more hours! When he woke up he latched just fine and we went on to nurse for the next nine months with a pretty easy time. ( I feel bad saying that, but it’s true) Of course in the beginning I was engorged and had raw and painful nips for the first three weeks, but my body eventually adjusted. I didn’t give up because it was important to me. I knew I would have to sacrifice in the beginning for it to work and it was a lesson for me upon becoming a mother. I think it set the tone for me with everything else since every part of being a mom requires sacrifice.  
Unfortunately, around nine months Wes had 6 teeth and started biting down when he nursed. His latch got lazy and he liked to pull off when he’d hear sounds. Not knowing what to do, I let it go for a few weeks thinking I would adjust. Well, I never did and they started to crack and bleed. I would cry and cringe every time he latched and for the first time I dreaded nursing sessions. This was a sad thing for me to feel. After seeking advice from several people I started unlatching him every time he bit down. I had never done this before because I knew he wasn’t doing it on purpose, rather that was just how he sucked. I knew he wasn’t being malicious towards me, since he’s a baby and all. But a friend made the point that he just needed to re-learn how to eat with a bunch of teeth in his mouth. So after unlatching him several times and making him very upset with that, he caught on fast and started sucking like he used to. I was able to heal after a few days while I pumped and we finally got back on track. 
While this was going on and before I had reached out for help I started wondering what it would be like to wean. The thought itself made me anxious and sad and I couldn’t believe I was even considering it. I had a plan to nurse for a long time, so to be thinking about stopping without preparing for it made me incredibly sad. I did not want this to be over. I had never thought about the impact breastfeeding had on me until now. I realized I had been taking it for granted. Now, with the thought of it being taken away, I could see how sacred and special it was to me. But I knew I couldn’t go on how I was either. I am so grateful I did all I could and tried all I could to fix the errors so we could continue going. 

After all of this and while I was still recovering, Wes had a minor surgery. I anxiously waited until they called me back to go see him as he woke up from anesthesia. I walked towards my baby and heard his cry, but didn’t know it was him until I saw him. His cry was different because of the tube they put down his throat and he was delirious and out of it. This was probably one of the hardest moments for me as a mom. My voice would not soothe him and the nurses asked me if they could give him more meds. I told them I would try to nurse him first. He took to it right away and calmed down instantly. He fell into a sleep again and was okay as long as he was at my breast. I cried silently a prayer of gratitude. This was a lightbulb moment for me. I witnessed right before me the way breastfeeding was able to help my little boy when nothing else could. This connection we shared is more than just nourishment- it’s a safety and a surety and a bond we do not experience anywhere else. I thought about the fact that if I had weaned him the week before, I would not have been able to help him. The nurses could have given him more drugs, but I wouldn’t have been able to do anything for him as his mama. I know that would’ve crushed me. 

I am incredibly grateful for this experience because I have more compassion for those mothers who have a hard time with breastfeeding, whereas before I didn’t understand. I now have a little insight to that feeling of not being able to when that is the only thing you want for your child. Every time we nurse I reflect on how truly blessed I am to have such a bond with my son. 

I have also been more confident breastfeeding in public since. I now see it as a blessing to be able to nurse and I shouldn't be afraid to share it. I haven’t ever been too self conscious about publicly nursing, but I’m not one to whip it out every where I go either. Wes has never been a nurse on demand baby, so I have always gotten away with nursing before or after we go anywhere. I have always had the attitude that if I don’t need to make others feel awkward, why would I? Since this experience I have a new sense of confidence in why I breastfeed. The other day Wes was so sad and would not stop crying as I waited in a long checkout line. I nursed him right there and it was something I hadn’t ever done before. It felt amazing. It felt normal and natural and right. I am grateful for this experience because of that. I hope I can go on to encourage, educate and support others in their journey, whatever it may look like. "




2 comments:

  1. It's refreshing to hear from a mom who had an easy time and still understands the heartache of a momma who couldn't nurse even when that's all she wanted to give to her baby.

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  2. We also went through a biting phase. I was surprised by how emotional it made me. Something that up to that point had been very special and enjoyable became a dread. When Johnny bit me I would immediately set him on the floor (at the recommendation of someone who had just gone through the same thing.) That made Johnny pretty upset, and for a couple days it was like we were in a fight. But now he's figured it out and rarely bite anymore.

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