Six Months of Breastfeeding, Baby!

15 Jun

Breastfeeding No1 was a disaster.  Milk allergy, improper latch, nippleshield, clogged ducts, projectile vomiting, PPD…you name it?  We suffered through it.  For three long months.  And I have a perfectly healthy evil genius bright little girl on my hands now.

So when No2 was born, I knew that if I had to bottle feed, that she (and I) would eventually be okay.  But secretly, knowing this would be my last baby and my last chance to breastfeed, I wanted to be successful more than anything.  I dug my heels in and fought to nurse No2 week by week, day by day.  Some days, I could only go feed by feed.  Though massive overactive letdown and oversupply, milk protein imbalance, reflux, and milk protein intolerance, I nursed.

And somewhere along the way, it stopped being so hard.  We still face our challenges – my oversupply is still rampant (medication-induced) but No2 manages the letdown better now that she’s older.  I’m on a restricted diet that prevents me from eating any dairy or soy (I would kill for a slice of cheese these days), but have gotten pretty used to it.  Thankfully Oreos are dairy-free.  And because nursing has never been relaxing for No2, she doesn’t really comfort nurse.  She eats when she’s hungry and that’s it.

But I’ll take it.

Because it means no bottle prep at 3 in the morning.  I carry her food around with me everywhere (even if she’s too distracted to eat when we’re out).  It means I get to snuggle her  against my skin and give her something no one else can.  My breastmilk has grown this baby from day one and there’s something amazing about that.

Before breastfeeding, I never understood why mothers were so proud of something that could be replicated by science and a bottle.  But I get it now.  Breastfeeding is hard.  It’s challenge-ridden.  It’s not just as simple as “stick boob in mouth.”  Instead, it’s a relationship between mother and child – a conversation.  I am proud not because I think breastfeeding No2 makes me a superior mother – each family and mother has to decide what works best for them – but instead because I set out to do something challenging and have done it.  I never thought I would make it to six months breastfeeding.  Now I can’t wait to get to twelve.

I never would have gotten this far without help and inspiration from these folks.  I thank you.  My baby thanks you.  What an amazing gift your help has given to us both.

Gina at The Feminist Breeder for her timely post on oversupply which gave me hope, helped me troubleshoot, and let me know I wasn’t a freak.

@SigningCharity for cheering me on and sharing with me what a joy breastfeeding was for her.

@Story3Girl for supporting me 110% when I was making tough decisions, no matter what the outcome.

@JamesandJax for helping me find support online and celebrating the good days with me.  And for sharing her story about breastfeeding difficulties.

@jenrenpody for sharing her experience with nippleshields and getting me though a difficult week.

My good friend Melissa @sweetlyvoiced for her practical wisdom and calm reactions to my “crises”.

Nancy Holtzman (@nancyholtzman), baby guru and IBCLC for chatting with a stranger on twitter for an hour to help me with oversupply solutions.

My local bestie Jessica for beaming with pride every time she saw me nurse the baby, and for helping me stay focused on keeping my happiness in every decision I had to make.

@Hopin2BHappy for the “milking stool”. ;)

@velveteenmama for the allergy information and making mspi dieting sound doable.

And my husband for supporting me even though it has meant he has to get up more at night, expensive (and yummy) food from Whole Foods, and some very emotional moments.

I’m sure I’m forgetting someone.  So thank you.  Truly.

UPDATE:

Yup, I forgot someone important.  @smldada?  Thank you for being around at all hours of the night and for keeping me company!  All your advice helped so much!

7 Responses to “Six Months of Breastfeeding, Baby!”

  1. story3girl June 15, 2012 at 2:26 pm #

    So proud of you. Love you. As I would have whatever choice you made.

  2. tranquilamama June 15, 2012 at 2:57 pm #

    So proud of you meeting this goal. So honored to have helped you in this journey. You are doing a wonderful job.

  3. nancyholtzman June 15, 2012 at 3:12 pm #

    You rock, mama! Keep up the great work. Your cheering squad is here to support you each step of the way. XO, nancy @nancyholtzman

  4. Smldada (Sarah) June 15, 2012 at 4:51 pm #

    I am so proud of you! You have done such an incredible job of staying in the moment and weighing what was best for everyone involved. 12 months will be here before you know it (13 months nursing dd2 is mere days away for me)

  5. danielle (@VelveteenMama) June 16, 2012 at 12:22 pm #

    Oh mama, you have done such an amazing job being so present and in tune with yourself and your baby. So honored to be part of this journey with you and to see you beam with (well deserved) pride in what you have accomplished. xoxo

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Breastfeeding on Psychotropic Medication « Learned Happiness - October 24, 2012

    [...] four months ago, I wrote about meeting my goal of breastfeeding for six months.  Now, No2 is almost 10 months old and we’re still going strong.  In fact, we’ve [...]

  2. And then I shared my boobs with the internet… « Learned Happiness - January 25, 2013

    [...] expect to write about it or post pictures of myself nursing on the internet for all to see.  And yet here I am. And I’m somewhere in this photo set from Gina’s 72 hour Facebook photo ban campaign. [...]

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