I had a wonderful pregnancy. After hearing horror stories for years, I was prepared for the worst and was pleasantly surprised and thrilled that my first pregnancy went so well. I didn’t have any morning sickness, I didn’t really ever feel bad and I never got to the point where I was “So Done Being Pregnant.” I was incredibly lucky and I know that.
My labor and delivery was basically the same way. Again, I thought it would be pretty terrible — something along the lines of painful, crazy, scary and exhausting.
But that wasn’t really my experience. I had drugs and lots of them and I had them the whole entire time pretty much — so although there were some painful moments, I wasn’t in pain for too long. And I did have a couple scary moments during labor, but I didn’t realize they were scary until after the fact (because when you’ve never done it before, you’re not really aware what’s out of the ordinary until things calm down and they explain it to you! And then I was like “Oh.”)
Basically, again, I was pleasantly surprised. I felt incredibly lucky and relieved!
And then I tried to breastfeed.
I think my breastfeeding experience is payback for my pleasant pregnancy, labor and delivery — I couldn’t possibly get a free pass all the way through. And boy, I haven’t!
I’ve seen three different lactation consultants, I’ve heard numerous reasons as to why baby may not want to latch on, I’ve been given a “nipple shield” (like I’m some kind of lactating superhero) — and still, it’s a no go.
I began pumping when I was in the hospital and would give baby what I’d made in a bottle. And my theory is that little baby inherited his mommy’s extreme impatience and got used to that bottle and decided that was WAY better than spending time working for it. Smart little booger.
So I’ve been exclusively pumping for the past two weeks. It was important to me to at least try to breastfeed him and this was the only way I could do it. For the record, I am not at all opposed to formula, but it was just a personal goal of mine to breastfeed, and even though I couldn’t really get him to do it the natural way — I felt this was the next best I could do. And doing it calmed me down. I needed an alternative because the constant strain of trying to get him to latch was becoming too much. For both of us.
So now baby and I have a new system. I pump and then we sit together and I feed him and then I pump again. I’m lucky and I’ve been producing a good amount of milk so I’ve been able to stockpile some too. My goal was to make it for at least the first month — which will be this Friday — so I’m pretty freaking proud of myself! Now that it’s so close, I think I can go longer. Even better!
So that’s my breastfeeding story! I didn’t have an easy time of it but now we’ve got a plan that’s working for us and I’m happy with what we’ve been doing. Little impatient baby seems happy and he’s been gaining a good amount of weight so I’m really thrilled. But I have an all new respect for breastfeeding moms — it’s not as easy as it looks!
On a separate note, I will say I had an issue with clogged milk ducts last week and my sweet sister made me a card that actually said on the front, “So your milk ducts are clogged…” Awesome. I really think Hallmark should be called.