This week I have baby on the brain!
For a few months of my life I did have a chubby, yummy baby!
Breastfeeding was one of the most overwhelming, stressful, emotional roller coaster rides for me with my first baby. There was such GUILT…and a new odd feeling kind of guilt…perhaps it was my first time experiencing motherhood guilt? Such guilt because for a while I could not nourish my baby, fed my baby or provide for my baby the way my body was intended to.
My first experience with breastfeeding probably didn’t help. My oldest, Abby, had to be taken to the NICU right after I gave birth to her. So they wheeled in this tool chest looking machine and told me I needed to pump. Oh seriously…the machine itself would have scared the crap out of anyone. Especially a new mother who was already kind of nervous and, honestly, a bit weirded out about how this breastfeeding thing worked anyway. Well, when my baby was better and with me…it didn’t get much better. It hurt and there was a lot of bleeding, scabbing and crying. She wasn’t feeding the right way and wasn’t growing the right way. I wish I could go back in time and shake myself and say, “YOU AREN’T A FAILURE IF YOU ASK FOR HELP. GET OVER YOURSELF!” Around 3 or 4 months, it got better and I loved it. Breastfeeding helped me bond with her, it really relaxed me and may I say that when I look at pictures of myself during different times of my life…I look quite radiant during the breastfeeding times?! If I do say so myself.
Well then, I found out I was pregnant when my baby at home was only 9 months old. Abby was also a baby who looked and talked and interacted with people like she was much older. At about 11 or 12 months I decided that we both were done and we were. It was a very easy thing to have her stop nursing.
Now with my second daughter, Cameron, breastfeeding was a breeze! Maybe it was because I didn’t have much of a break and things were still in “breastfeeding” mode. Or maybe it was because I knew more of what I was doing. Once again, I loved it. For a time in my life I had a chunky baby (not too long) and around that time (12 months) *I* was ready to be done. Breastfeeding and being pregnant for years was making me feel claustrophobic and I needed my space. Although, if I could have ANOTHER moment to go back in time and tell myself something, this would have been that time. Cameron got sick after I stopped breastfeeding and lost a lot of weight. She was a very sad child. I wished that my body would let me start breastfeeding again. I felt like she needed it and was very disappointed that I had decided to stop. I could have nursed her until she was two.
I do swear by Lily Padz. They were very comfortable and I felt a lot less gross wearing these than I did wearing “pads” in my bra. Also, I do breastfeed an odd way (or so I am told). I have always disliked nursing bras and do not wear them. I buy a lot of V-Neck shirts and nurse from pulling the top of my shirt down. I like the positioning better that way, how my shirt isn’t all pulled up on my sides and I don’t have to wear those annoying (to me) nursing bras. I also have made the decision…because it is what *I* want… that I cover up with a blanket when I am out in public breastfeeding. I do not, however, feel the need to confine myself to a certain “room” or “area” and will not do so when breastfeeding. Also, I’m very thankful that I have a very supportive husband in breastfeeding. He probably would have liked if I had breastfed our second child longer as well.
What were your experiences with breastfeeding? How do you breastfeed? Any tips of the “trade” you want to share?