Tuesday, April 21, 2015

My Breastfeeding Journey



When I was pregnant I did a lot of reading on a lot of subjects. Like any first time mom I was super nervous about sleeping and breastfeeding. Those were my two main concerns. I feel like that’s what I heard new mom’s talk about the most, so I was trying to prepare myself as much as possible! Funny thing is you can read all you want but what it comes down to is your baby! They are all different and every mama is different so it’s hard to apply every piece of advice cause it’s not a one fix fits all cases! This is my breastfeeding journey!

I’m nowhere near being done nursing, but have 7 solid months under my belt. Some easy, some hard, some happy, some sad, and pretty much every emotion in between.
Right after Milan was born I was very adamant about getting at least 30 minutes of skin to skin within her first hour and breastfeeding the majority of that time as I read that that is when the babies are most awake and alert! To my surprise and all the nurses as well, Milan latched perfectly and started guzzling away. It was a beautiful sight! Every nurse that came and checked on us in our time in the hospital said something about how good she was nursing! This made this new paranoid mama super happy and proud! On the day we were supposed to get discharged they did her final weigh and the Pediatrician on call came and told me that she had lost more than they like to see so she wanted me to supplement with formula, gave me some samples, told me how much, gave me the bottles, and left. She waked out of the room and I was left so confused. Why am I having to supplement? I told every nurse that I plan on breastfeeding, Milan is doing so well? Another nurse came in and totally reassured me and said babies come with more weight than they need and their bodies are designed to wait  some time for the mothers milk cause it can take some time to come in! She told me that if I didn’t feel I needed to supplement then don’t worry. I was a huge worrier and I felt like oh no what if I’m starving my daughter? But I didn’t want to give her the bottle because I didn’t want to jinx how good our nursing relationship was going. I ended up giving her some formula through a syringe after our 1 week ped appointment that she had lost more weight. It was barely any but enough to get her to gain until my milk came in. As soon as my milk came in she started gaining weight on just that and we stopped supplementing.

Those first 6ish weeks were spent pretty much naked, with rock-hard engorged boobies, cracked bleeding nipples, hours of cluster feeding, and lots and lots of snuggles. I could not figure out how to breastfeed with clothes on so I pretty much just took off my shirt any time it was time! I got stretch marks on my boobies from my milk coming in so fast, I woke up in milk puddles and didn’t have a single bra that fit! Even though Milan’s latch was perfect my nipples still hurt like HELLLLL. Whoever said it only hurts if you’re doing it wrong is WRONG! I cried and cried and cried! I had to keep a rag with me to bite down on every feeding! I would dread the next feeding because it just hurt so bad! Michael always said it made no sense that he just watched me give birth naturally and then sit and cry over breastfeeding! The easiest thing to compare it to is it felt like my nipple was getting pierced over and over again! No fun! Cluster feeding. Oooooooh cluster feeding! I kinda el oh el when new moms try to put they’re newborns on a feeding schedule-I mean if you did more power to ya! But I truly truly believe that our success in breastfeeding came from giving in to those hours and hours of cluster feeding and feeding on demand. It’s good for the baby to practice, bond, and grow, and it is also good for mama’s milk production, and contracting the uterus to help it go back to normal size! There are so many benefits to cluster feeding and yet I think so many new moms try to avoid it! Embrace it! There will be days (and nights) you will be stuck on your couch with a baby on your boob for HOURS. And that’s OKAY! Find a good Netflix show:)

Fast forward a few months I was still so proud of myself for being so successful in breastfeeding! Proud-YES! But did I enjoy breastfeeding? Not so much. It is really hard to put how I felt into words but Milan was about 4 months at this point and still ate every hour. Also the only way that we could get her to sleep was by nursing, so that meant bedtime was all on me. She was an extreme comfort nurser-still is! Never used a binky or a bottle. So I could never get a break. After trying and trying and trying to get her on a bottle and failing miserably every time I think that’s when my despise for breastfeeding really sank in. I felt totally trapped. Like I was being forced to nurse her and even if for some reason I wanted to stop or had to stop, or even needed to leave her, take a certain medicine, or anything…I couldn’t. I was stuck nursing her until she said so. For some reason this really gave me severe anxiety and depression. I started to really dread every nursing session. I started to really resent and become bitter to bottle feeding mamas and how “easy” they had it. They could take a three hour break if they were having a rough day, they could get a full nights sleep, they could have their husband put their baby to sleep, they could feed their baby wherever without judgmental stares. They could wear a dress to church, they could take any medicine they wanted. Anything! It was really twisted of me to have these feelings but I really couldn’t help it I think it all stemmed from the feeling trapped. It was like I was claustrophobic to the situation if that makes any sense! 

We started her on solids at 5 months to hopefully keep her full longer, it helped a little bit at first. She started going 2 hours in between feedings! And I just accepted that she wouldn’t take a bottle and backed off for a few weeks. It seemed like everyone around me was a formula/bottle feeding mama and it was so frustrating! I felt like no one really understood how trapped I felt! Also I felt like I couldn’t talk to anyone about it because nursing is beautiful and natural and an awesome way to bond with my baby, I shouldn’t hate it. I should be grateful I’ve been so blessed in it when so many aren’t so fortunate that want it so bad! I felt like I couldn’t express my true feelings without sounding selfish and being judged. Which only made things worse.

Then the miracle happened. Milan took a bottle. Ooooh glorious day! I’d be lying if I didn’t think about switching her to formula that instant! I felt a sudden rush of freedom! I continued to practice with my saved breast milk and she continued to take it like a champ. This is when everything changed in me. Suddenly that option to stop breastfeeding was there. It was right at my fingertips. Thinking so hard about giving it up is what made me realize how much I truly love it. I started to really reflect on all of our nursing sessions. Every time I would feed her I would stop what I was doing and just look at her, watch her eat, watch her eyes drift off into sleep. I would hold her hand and just look at her. I started to really truly enjoy nursing again. I think I was too caught up in what I couldn’t do and didn’t think about how fast time is going and a year is just a blink away versus before where it felt ages away!

Having her take a bottle literally flipped a light switch in me on how I felt towards breastfeeding! Now two months later we really rarely use the bottle! We try to giver her a couple ounces at least every other day to make sure she doesn’t refuse it again but other than that we strictly breastfeed and all negative feelings have gone away! I thoroughly love nursing her and the relationship we have from it! I do wish that she saw me more than food sometimes haha just kidding! But it is so refreshing!!!

Breastfeeding is hands down the hardest thing I’ve dealt with in motherhood-and not for the typical reasons and struggles of supply and latch issues! But I’m at seven months strong and I don’t see it ending anytime soon! It’s crazy before I would have told you I’m stopping on her 1st birthday! But now I really feel that I could go further until she shows signs of being done….but no two year old for me haha maybe;)

Now some of my favorite moments are during nursing her! She constantly has her hand up on my face, playing with my lips, grabbing my nose etc! Every once in a while I'll grab her hands with my mouth and kind of bite down on it and she loses it!! Thinks it's the funniest thing ever! Also when she started biting someone advised me to kinda squish her face into my boob to stop that habit, I also found out that she thinks that is the funniest thing in the world-doesn't help the biting but brings some giggles! Her smiles with half of my boob hanging out of her mouth are my favorite smiles!! I am so grateful that our nursing relationship did a complete 180! 


Wow if you read that all you deserve an award! And please don’t judge me for hating something that is supposed to be “natural and beautiful” yes it was both of those! But it is also really really hard sometimes!

If you are struggling or not struggling and just want an AWESOME resource for breastfeeding @lactationlink on Instagram is so so helpful! Answers FAQ's but also can offer a more personalized help! She teaches classes in person if you are in Utah County, or online!! I will definitely be taking one with my next baby because I am still learning new things about nursing everyday!! Here are her links! 

http://www.eventbrite.com/o/lindsey-shipley-7842147438

Her website:
www.lactationlink.com

Insta: @lactationlink
Fb: www.facebook.com/lactationlink

Sunday, April 12, 2015

7 MONTHS



Size (Diapers, Onesies, Etc.): Same as last month! 0-3 clothing mostly, size 2 diapers! She’s a little shrimp!

Eyes:  blue!! Maybe that’s one thing she got from mama!

Hair:  Totally coming in nice and thick! I officially put her first pony-tail in this month!!! It is a super light brown and looks blonde in some lighting! I’m excited to see if it will keep lightening up or go darker like daddies!

Sleeping: She goes to bed at 7pm, wakes up at 5 am like clockwork for an early morning meal, and goes right back down until about 7:30-8am! She takes two naps a day, normally around 2 hours each, if her second nap isn’t long enough then sometimes she will take a little catnap around 5! This month she’s been sick so her naps have been a lot longer! 

Eating: She is still primarily breastfed with some purees! Since she’s had a double ear infection she hasn’t wanted anything to do with her purees as it hurts to swallow! But she’s such a good eater! Really hasn’t refused anything we’ve tried to give her!

Milestones

  • Is the biggest copy-cat and can say “papa” and tries so hard to say bye bye
  • Army crawling maniac! She looks like a little seal it’s so funny
  • Moved to convertible car seat
  • She bobs her head up and down all the time and will do it back to you



Loves

  • The bath
  • Her cousins
  • Daddy
  • My phone
  • Mickey Mouse
  • Other babies
  • To eat everything she gets her hands on
  • Trash wrappers and water bottles
  • To be outside
  • Rolling
  • When I peck her like a bird
  • Her butt cheeks tickled
  • When I grunt like an old man-hard to explain but it gets her laughing everytime!



Hates

  • When mommy leaves the room
  • Staying up past her bedtime
  • Still not a huge fan of the car but nothing horrible anymore
  • When mommy isn’t paying attention to her


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

MARCH PHOTO DROP

okayyyyy woahhhhh picture overload to the max!!! I wish I had the time to go through and caption every picture but lets face it...I barely had the time to upload them! There just aren't enough hours in my day and honestly sitting and watching the kardashians sounds way more appealing during nap time than blogging! But I am forcing myself to stay on top of these monthly photo drops because I know my future self will appreciate it:)