I was going to apologize for all the baby related stuff I've been blogging lately...but then I realized it's sorta my life now. And this blog is about my life...so yeah, sorry not sorry :)
Ever since I can remember, I've always wanted to be a mom (though I most definitely went through a period where I wasn't sure I did want kids!) I've always loved babies. I've always been good with kids. Though I've always wanted to have kids...I never remember wanting to breastfeed them. In fact, I always said I wouldn't. The thought of it sort of grossed me out way back in the day to be honest - it was weird to me (and still sorta is to me to be honest even though I know it's the most natural thing in the world.) Not to mention I'm not one of those people who are comfortable with their bodies and nakedness in general. Plus, I was never really exposed to nursing - no one in my family nursed any of the babies we had in the family while I was growing up. Breastfeeding wasn't such a big thing back then - not as much as it is today. So I figured that when the day came and I had kids I'd just give them formula.
But as I got older and breastfeeding became a 'hot topic' I started thinking more and more about it. Once I learned more about it I had the mind set of 'Yeah if I have kids I'll probably nurse' but it wasn't a huge deal to me - it's not something I felt overly passionate about. Once I got married and Matt & I started thinking about having kids I thought more and more about it. Once I became pregnant, it was one of those things we discussed. It was a big decision. I had 100% of Matt's support if I wanted to nurse...and I had 100% of his support if I decided I didn't even want to try it. Ultimately, I decided I was going to give it a shot. I wasn't going to stress over it. If it worked out - great. If not, that's OK too. Either way our baby was going to be fed and nourished and that's all that mattered to us.
We attempted nursing shortly after Camden's birth. He really wasn't interested in it at all. In fact, the whole time we were in the hospital he just didn't seem all that interested in eating. I'd say half of our attempts were successful and the others not. While in the hospital, I met with a lactation consultant a few different times to help with Camden's latch (he just wouldn't open his mouth wide enough to get a decent latch!) When we left the hospital I wasn't discouraged that he didn't latch on great right away and that we were still struggling. I wasn't putting a ton of pressure on myself that I absolutely HAD to breastfeed. Once we got home he nursed much better. It took a little while for him to finally get a really good latch but eventually he did. Throughout the first couple months a lactation specialist from my health insurance called me every couple weeks to check up on me. I'd ask any questions I had - she'd give me advice on getting him to latch better - etc. It was great and definitely helped me through the first few weeks.
Nursing continued to go well while I was on maternity leave. I never experienced the pain I've heard a lot about. Sure it wasn't smooth sailing the whole time, but I never had it as bad as I've heard some moms have - and I'm so grateful for that. Once my maternity leave ended, I stressed a little bit about how I was going to keep up with nursing and pumping (especially since I personally hate pumping.) But I decided to go on with the same attitude - I'd at least try it out. If I could do it - great. If not, no big deal - we'll switch to formula and be grateful I had at least been able to nurse for the first 9+ weeks of his life.
Once I started back at work my supply went down a little and I wasn't getting much when I pumped. So we started supplementing his bottles with formula (at daycare he gets a 4oz bottle - 2oz of formula and 2oz of breastmilk.) I nurse him in the morning and I nurse him before bed (and, of course, at all feedings on the weekends.) And here we are - he's 7 months old and we're still at it. I never expected us to be this successful. I never thought I'd enjoy nursing as much as I do. Don't get me wrong - you won't find me nursing in public or posting any strong opinions on social media about it. But I am proud we've lasted this long. I don't know how much longer I'll nurse for - we just take it day by day. But whether I stop nursing today, tomorrow, or in 5 months - it doesn't matter. It hasn't always been easy but I'll always be so grateful for this time we've had.
If I had any advice for any new moms it'd be to give yourself a break and don't put too much pressure on yourself. But if breastfeeding is something you really want to do - don't give up. Give it time. Talk to friends. Get a hold of a lactation consultant. Just hang in there. And if it doesn't work out or you choose not to breastfeed - don't be hard on yourself. It's not the end of the world....I promise.
Any questions please get ahold of me - I'm more than happy to answer any questions and/or concerns and share my nursing experience.
Hey ~ I'm Renée...just your ordinary, 30-something Accountant, new mommy, wife, runner, foodie, & Pinterest addict! Welcome to my newest adventure...stay awhile...look around...and keep comin' back!