Almost every mother plans on it…you want to do what is “best” for your baby. But, what happens when you do your best and you still just can’t seem to get into a groove of breastfeeding? Well here is what happened to me…
With Colton (5) breastfeeding was a serious struggle. At first he latched and did well in the hospital, but when we got home it was a totally different story. Colton would get so hungry and frustrated that he wouldn’t latch well. I would get frustrated and upset creating a vicious cycle. Finally after 5 weeks of me trying my best, going to a LC and meetings at the hospital where I gave birth, we ended our journey at 4am when my husband could hear me on the monitor having a nervous breakdown. He was formula fed from then on and we both were much happier for it.
My entire pregnancy with Brooklyn I had planned on breastfeeding. I was so excited about it and I had told myself that if it didn’t work out that everything would be ok. I prepared by getting my pump, nursing bras, nursing clothes and all the other things you need as a nursing mother. Then the day came, Brooklyn was here! Right after she was born and I held her and they cleaned her up I was able to nurse her. She latched immediately and everything seemed great. She nursed for almost an hour and slept really well after. During our stay at the hospital though they were not happy with her rapid weight loss so they had to supplement since I couldn’t get her to wake up an eat as much as they wanted me to. We made it through our 3 days in the hospital and by the time we left I was able to pump some, which was so exciting to finally see something coming out.
When we got home we settled on a little bit of a routine and Brooklyn was taking about 45 minutes to an hour to eat. I had chalked this us to just being a newborn and we needed to develop our relationship and then she would get more efficient…so we pressed on. I continued to get help from an LC friend and go to a meeting at the hospital, I also have several friends that are successful BFing mamas and they were a wealth of knowledge.
I was able to stay home for 7 weeks with Brooklyn and we started to get onto a schedule and she was doing great going about 3 hours in between feedings. We were able to go on outings and I was not shy about nursing in public (with a cover). The one thing that never changed though…the time it took her to eat. At home taking almost an hour to eat was no big deal but, out and about it definitely put a wrench in our schedule. If we wanted to go do anything without me having to feed her while we were out then we had to time it just right.
Once I went back to school the main part of my breastfeeding journey became a relationship with my pump. Luckily my schedule was flexible enough that I could pump at least 3 times a day at school but being an under producer this still was a hard task. I would barely get enough during the day to make up for what she ate while I was gone…the struggle was real. In the evening I would get home and felt like all she wanted to do was nurse and just about the time she was “done” eating she would want to eat again. With a 5 year old and a home to take care of this became a very stressful time. Honestly sometimes I would dread evenings because I didn’t always enjoy being latched on to all. the. time.
My main goal for breastfeeding was to get to 3 months, that was my first goal I wanted to hit no matter what happened. It didn’t come easy and it certainly had its ups and downs but I do cherish the times that I did have with her. I feel like my decision to stop breastfeeding at 3months has created a better bond between us because it has given me more time to focus on her instead of how long she is taking to eat. I can care for my family and not feel like I am stressed out about if she is eating enough or if she is going to sleep well or wake up. Kuddos to the moms out there that are still going, still nursing, still pumping. It’s because of moms like you that I didn’t give up for 3 months. I wanted to give Brooklyn at least that, enough time to get her immune system going and time to bond with me. In the end I feel like it was the best decision for us and I enjoyed the journey while it lasted.