Tuesday, August 12, 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 - a l i c a ' s s t o r y //

I feel terribly about the break in the series.  Adventures in Breastfeeding is one of my favorite things about blogging and I plan on continuing it as long as their are women willing to share their stories.  I wanted to remind everyone that this series is not just about successful breastfeeding.  It's about women sharing THEIR stories, whatever that story may be.  It's about seeing how connected we really are, despite differences in opinions/experiences.  We love our kiddos and that's all that matters.  Today, I am sharing Alica's story.  I love the spirit of her story; that all our successes as mothers can help other mother's out there.  Even our difficulties can be used to help others.  I relate to her story and am so grateful that she has shared it! Thanks lady. <3

God has blessed me with 2 beautiful little beings, Alivia 3 and Oliver 1.  Alivia is my adventurist, free spirited and full of love child; while Oliver is a loving, calm, and at times, wild child.  Both are the happiest children I have ever seen, full of smiles and laughs all day long.  They make being a mama so rewarding for me!

When I was pregnant with Liv, I knew that I wanted to breastfeed.  I figured, "how are could it be," babies are born to breast feed?!?

On March 10, 2011, my beautiful, 9 pound 11oz, free spirt came into this world.  After 13 hrs of labor, I ended up having to have a c-section because she was getting stuck.  It was another 4hrs of waiting after birth until I was finally able to hold her and try nursing.  I was exhausted and tired, but I was very eager to start our breastfeeding relationship!  With the nurses help I was actually able to get her latched for a few seconds.  However, it wasn't going the way I had it planned out in my head.  She was tired and didn't really want anything to do with eating.  So we all got some sleep and decided to try again in a few hours. The next attepte wasn't much better than the first, and it eneded with use both crying and me telling the nurse that I couldn't do this. The next 2 days we spent in the hospital werent any better.  Each time we tried to breastfeed I would end up feeling defeted and stressed.  I didn't understand why this was so hard for me!

We had just moved to a differnt state 5 months before I had Alivia, so I didn't really have anyone I could lean on for help. I sought out help from a lactation consultant who reasured me that I was doing everything right, but after 2 weeks of lots of tears, stressing and feeling defeated, our breastfeeding realtionship ended.  3 years later, I am still hard on myself for not trying just a bit harder or sticking it out just a bit longer.  Alivia is happy, healthy and beyond bright and that's all that matters!

When I became pregant with Oliver, breastfeeding was the only option for me.  I was not going to fail again! I spent the next 9 months reading and filling my brain with every piece of breastfeeding knowledge I could!

On June 27th, 2013, my handsome 9 pound 2 oz Ollie was born.  I rememebr the nurse saying, "wow he's a big boy!"  My husband and I just laughed and said, "he is little compared to what his sister weighed!"  He had some breathing problems right after birth so, again, it was another 4hrs until I was finally able to try nursing him. He was a natural! This baby in my arms was born to breastfeed!  I thought to myself,  "so this is how breastfeeding should be," and it made my heart so happy!

When we got home I started to stress a bit.  Even though everything was going great, I was stressing about something going wrong like it did with Liv. In the hopital you have people there to help you.  At home, when it is hardest, you are all alone!  I just wanted to live at the hopital for the next year?!?

The next 2 weeks were extremely  rough!  My nipples were constantly sore and my milk coming in.  This is the stuff moms dont warn new moms about.  I was just frustrated that I didn't remember all this from last time?!?  It was around 3-4 weeks that our perfect and easy breastfeeding relationship started getting really hard for me. Every time Ollie would nurse it would hurt so bad.  I would watch the clock just waiting for him to be done! I remeber calling my friend crying and begging her to come over and help!  After 5 weeks of horribly painful nursing, I finally decided to go and see a lacation consultant.  Of course, while she was watching, I was able to nurse pain free.  Why couldn't I do this at home?  At the appointment she was able to find our problem, Oliver was tongue tied.  Being tongue tied was making it impossible for him to take in enough nipple while nursing.  This was causing my nipple to rub againt the roof of mouth because of a shallow latch.  Finally, I dont have defected boobs!!!

My lactation consultant directed us to an oral surgeon, and around 7 weeks we went to get his tongue tie clipped. The first nursing session after the procedure was a success.  I could tell a difference right away.  It took us another 2 months until we finally got a good latch down because he was so used to nursing the wrong way for 7 weeks.  It was going to take time for him to learn how to nurse the right way.

Before I became a full time breastfeeding mama I looked at breastfeeding in a totally differant way.  I supported breastfeeding, but always viewed it as something that should remain private.  I felt it was somthing that should be done under a cover or in another room.  I had never been around it a lot, so I didn't know any better.  Within the first 2 months of nursing Ollie my views completely changed.  I now understood why using a cover was so annoying.  It's 100 degrees outside, why am I covering up my kid? Why should I have to hide something that is so natural?  And thus, I began to openly breastfeed wherever I was. 

Breastfeeding has opened my eyes, and my views, to a whole other world.  A world filled with milk sharing, support and love!  It's somthing that I love, and am very passionate about.  It's somthing that I love sharing and normalizing with the world!

We just hit 13 months on the 27th of June, and I have had 13 months full of support from my husband, family and friends.  Without them, I wouldn't have made it this far!

As of now, we have no plans of stopping anytime soon!

I urge veteran moms to encourge and support new moms.  Encourage them not to have fear about nursing in public, covered or uncovered.  Encourage them to not listen to  the negative comments or advice, but instead, listen to their baby.  Give them help and guidence if they need it, and always show them love <3

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