Happy National Breastfeeding Week!
Here’s my story:
I knew breastfeeding would be the right choice for me and my baby from the beginning. To me, there was only one clear option- feed my baby how nature intended.
When my baby was born, we had a bit of a rough start. Little J was born at home, and we had a wonderful delivery. But, my placenta delivery was delayed, and when it finally came, a lot of blood came with it. Like, A LOT. My midwife was an absolute champ keeping me alert and keeping the bleeding to a minimum, but we ended up transferring to the hospital to have help stopping the bleeding. I ended up missing most of the golden hour with my baby, between transport and being rushed into surgery when we arrived at the hospital. My husband was left to give the first feeding to our little love- he and the midwife tried their hardest to get a milk bank donation, but were unsuccessful. Formula it was.
In the end, they estimated I lost about 4 pints of blood. I was warned I might have a hard time nursing due to the physical challenges I was overcoming. I did not take that as the final answer. I was determined. I was not going to let that negativity in!
3 weeks, baby weight loss, several lactation consultant appointments, weighted feeds, pumping, lots of tears, billi lights and a tongue tie revision later, I was told that my body likely wouldn’t ever produce enough milk to fully provide for my baby. We needed to supplement with formula.
I was told by nearly everyone (even our lactation consultant) that it was OK to give up; that formula would feed my baby just fine. But, I refused to give up. The benefits and rewards for breastfeeding far outweighed the challenges. (Maaaayyyyyybe not at first…) I battled pain, tears, discouragement, misery, guilt, depression, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t tell myself I needed to quit at least once a week. I had so many “what’s the point?” conversations with my husband.
Eventually, my morale changed. I began to love the time I was given to spend with my sweet baby, just the two of us. I changed my thought about the lack of milk and began to feel grateful for the nourishment I was able to provide, and the bond I was building. Today, my little guy is the biggest mama’s boy I’ve ever seen. And I love knowing I’m 100% his favorite person on earth.
As it turns out, breastfeeding is about more than just about milk and nourishment. It’s also about the bond, the memories, the snuggles.
240 days later (and counting), our breastfeeding journey is coming to a close. We generally only nurse once per day, sometimes every other day. I’m a sad, but I’m grateful.
Around the 6 month mark, I could tell baby was starting to wean. I scheduled a photoshoot to document our journey and our bond. I couldn’t be happier with the results. When I look at my photos, I can feel the bond I have with my baby.
Consider documenting your journey. You won’t regret it!
What’s your breastfeeding journey been like? Tell me in the comments!
Photo by Madison Gutel Photography