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our breastfeeding journey so far

Posted Jan 13 2014 5:00am

 

I wrote this post over the course of a week or two so it will likely be a bunch of jumbled thoughts vomited on to the page.
Also, if you follow me on IG , you’ve likely seen most of these pictures.

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Breast feeding has been everything & nothing like what I thought it would be.

I’ll admit that I was probably ill equipped for this whole breastfeeding thing; I didn’t read any books & I didn’t go to any classes; maybe books & classes would have helped, maybe that wouldn’t have. At this point it doesn’t really matter. What’s done is done, and now all I can do is move forward.

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Breastfeeding is hard. It’s physically painful, it takes an emotional toll on you when things don’t go perfectly {and probably even when they do} , and it takes up a large chunk of your day.

 

It hurts:

I was under the assumption that breastfeeding would come naturally to me (and to Paisley). Ha. The only thing natural about it is that she roots when she is hungry, and I know to put her to my breast… after that, it’s all downhill. Maybe if I had read some of those breastfeeding books I would have known that it is painful…. then again, maybe I wouldn’t have known; I’ve read in multiple places that the initial latch should be painful, but then the pain should stop. ARE YOU KIDDING ME WITH THAT B.S? On very rare occasions do we have a feeding session that is pain free. I know from talking to friends/family that BF can be pain free, but for me, it’s not. I’m hoping that with time it will get easier, and the pain will lessen – or my pain threshold will increase. (you would think my pain threshold would be super considering the delivery I had, but no, it’s still basically nothing).

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It’s emotional:

I recently wrote about our struggle with jaundice and how our pediatrician wanted us to supplement with formula. My heart nearly broke at the thought of feeding my brand new baby formula – I desperately wanted to exclusively breast feed her, but I needed to do what was best for her. We gave her a few feedings of formula from a bottle, and I pumped so that whatever milk supply I had wouldn’t go away. (I don’t know how these things work, but from what I’ve read, pumping while she ate from a bottle would help to keep any supply that I had, up.)

The pain that comes with breastfeeding also wears on your emotions. It’s tough to let a baby latch onto your nipple when you know it’s going to hurt. I became a little bit resentful; I love my daughter more than anything, and I want to breastfeed her, but it stressed me out every time that 2 hour mark would hit. I would feel pressure to breastfeed, but I didn’t want to because it was so painful.

The more I pushed myself, the more anxiety I got, and the more stressed I felt at every feeding.
A few days ago I basically spent the entire day in our room crying and breastfeeding. That was a hard day. I prayed a lot , and cried some more.

I finally broke down and ended up giving her a bottle with breast milk. I just couldn’t handle anymore that day.

I’ve read on so many websites that you should avoid feeding from a bottle AND avoid giving a pacifier for the first 4 weeks because it causes nipple confusion.

We messed that up pretty much right away….and I cried about it. It was all my fault that my baby was having such a hard time latching.

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we snuggle as much as possible after every feeding.

It takes up a large portion of the day {and night}:

The pediatrician recommended 2-3oz every 2-3hours when we had our first appointment with her (where we found out Paisley had jaundice). Every 2-3 hours is a whole lot easier during the day than it is in the middle of the night. Our middle of the night (MOTN) feedings have turned into every 3.5 – 4 hours; I typically feel guilty about this, and I’m not doing it on purpose; I’ve started to sleep through all the alarms that I set. As of right now, Paisley doesn’t wake up & cry when she is hungry, so we have to set an alarm so that we can wake her up and feed her. Her sleeping is a blessing, of course, but sleeping through the alarm is kind of a problem.

Attempting to go anywhere is also a challenge; It takes some pretty good timing, and lots of team work to get out the door quickly after she eats so that we can be out and back by time she needs to eat again. Obviously I can NIP (nurse in public) but I’m a little apprehensive about that since I already struggle with breastfeeding. I have fed her a few times in the back seat of the truck, which is not ideal, but it works.

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I finally found a lactation consultant that will come to my house for a consultation. Prior to finding this lady I was directed to the LC at the WIC office. Uhm. I’m not sure how that works since I don’t qualify for WIC, PLUS, she is/was on vacation. PLUS PLUS, I’m an idiot when it comes to asking for help & I’d rather suffer for as long as possible before I break down and ask for help. My threshold has been reached, I’ve asked for help. Now I’m just waiting for her to call me back to set up an appointment.

Much of this post was written when Paisley was about 2 wks old. She is three weeks old now, and while breast feeding is getting better; it is not easy by any stretch of the imagination, nor has the pain gone away. I am trying hard to come to terms with the fact that exclusively breastfeeding just might not work for me. Right now I am breastfeeding during the day, and bottle feeding breast milk at night. This is working for us right now. We’ll see what the lactation consultant says after we meet with her.

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