8.05.2011

my breastfeeding story

i've been a nursing mom for over 19months now and i love it.  it wasn't an easy road we've had a few bumps along the way.  here's my story:

 when i was pregnant with my oldest the thought of breastfeeding, honestly, weird-ed me out.  just the thought of another person on my boobs was a strange thought, i mean they are mine.  but i told myself i'd try it out and hope that the baby would be able to latch and like my milk.  well fast forward to the day she was born...  due to her lungs being underdeveloped she had to spend 6 days in the NICU.  well that threw a wrench in my plans for breastfeeding and bonding with my new baby and trying to avoid nipple confusion.  not only did i have to deal with the painful engorgement but my baby couldn't latch on.  i had to pump so the nurses and hubby could have milk for her if i wasn't there.  she was only a couple days old and i already hated pumping!  thankfully the NICU nurses were great with us and one gave me a nipple shield.  i had never heard or seen these so i didn't know what on earth they were.  you can take a look here, don't worry it's just a picture of a nipple shield.  it basically turns your boob into a bottle.  this IS the greatest invention ever!  i was able to nurse my brand new baby, FINALLY!!!  over the next couple of months, that nipple shield started to drive me nuts.  i always had to make sure i had a couple on hand and had to make sure they were clean, it made nursing in public difficult.  then one day, about 4months later, while i was taking a shower with her she started sucking on my arm, i was amazed.  so i moved her over to see if she could latch on and sure enough she DID IT!!!!!!!  i was so excited, i yelled for hubby and told him well now i can't move.  i was afraid that she wouldn't latch on again.  we stood in the shower for a couple of minutes and then i had to get out, we were getting cold.  it took about another month, so she was about 5m old, before she could go without it.  i nursed her successfully for 13months.  i decided to stop because i was pregnant with baby number 2 and didn't have enough energy for the 3 of us.
 now with number 2 i was excited to nurse her, my worries were out the window.  i knew if she wasn't able to latch on i'd had the nipple shields to my rescue and we'd be good to go.  well fast forward to her being born...  i tried nursing and sure enough she latched, she latched!!!!!  i was ecstatic, i had a smile ear to ear.  and then the engorgement set in and i was in so much pain i just had to pump to relieve some of the milk.  well being a slave to the baby and the pump resulted in the worst pain.  my nipples were sore and were starting to bleed and have blisters.  but i knew it had to get better and i just had to wait it out.  i know most women probably would have given up and cut the baby off.  even though i cried a few times when she ate, i kept nursing.  i would sleep with a heating pad on my chest just to help the milk come out on it's own and to help the swelling go down.  i knew that me pumping was only making things worse.  it was telling my body that my baby needed more milk and to produce more resulting in a longer healing time.  thankfully two weeks had past and my pain was almost gone, i could see the light at the end of the tunnel.  She is now 6 months old and nursing like a champ and we no longer have any issues.

i plan to nurse at least a year if not longer.  i'm glad i stuck it out and continued to nurse both girls and now have that bond with them.  here are a couple pictures.  i don't have any pictures of me nursing emma so the first one is of us in the NICU. 
Emma and I





Addi and I


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