My Breastfeeding Story for World Breastfeeding Week

Ariel is happy breastfeeding
Now I'm not the usual lactativist, not even sure if they would accept me but I am a breastfeeding enthusiast. I think that all mothers should at least try to nurse their babies, and to try to overcome any problems, now I say this as someone that only made it 6 months with her first with supplementing, and is now struggling to get to exclusive (my defense is Ariel got bottles in the NICU). I was also a "if they can ask for it they are too old for it" type of person before I had my own kids. Then I got it.

I only made it 6 months with my son, AJ before coxsackies claim my breast milk. I was severely dehydrated and probably should have been in the hospital but I stuck it out at home. Just with my fever and being so weak I didn't want AJ by me, much less to feed him. I was also supplementing him. I let my grandparents comments (whom I live with) get to me.

"He's not gaining enough weight."

Now even though his doctor said he was completely fine, that it's normal for breastfed children to take a while to put on weight and that I should continue exclusively breastfeeding. I didn't. Pure and simple it was that the comments got to me. I started giving him formula, once a day, twice a day, three times a day, then every other feeding. 

And I kick myself for it every day. 

Then when I got pregnant, I was determined to exclusively breastfeed. I was better equipped with the knowledge, I knew what to expect. I also found out I could ask to nurse in recovery if I needed a c-section. I was ready, I was going to nurse, my daughter would never see a bottle. 

Then I had her almost 8 weeks early and she was in the NICU.

Now I had tried pumping with my son and was so disheartened by the results that I said it wasn't for me. It took me 2 days of constant pumping to get 1 bottle worth. Well I was determined to pump and pump I did for Ariel, every 2 hours that I was by a pump you better be damned sure I was pumping. It was a great supply I could only get 25mL as my high point, but I was going to keep going.

I was over joyed when I got to nurse her at the NICU, even though I was freaked by the one nurse that came over while I was nursing and grabbed my boob without asking and squeezed it till milk came out and pushed Ariel's face onto my boob. Can we say awkward? Especially since it wasn't the first time I had nursed her.

Well now that's she's home we have come to an interesting problem. I can't pump, even if I go into another room to pump, Ariel screams bloody murder. So we nurse then have a bottle. We switch nurse then have a bottle. I got her into the habit of having a bottle and am now trying to wean her off the bottle onto just breast. At first I was so worried about her weight and didn't want her to drop from coming home. I would watch the clock, I would wake her up every 2-3 hours, I would nurse for 20 minutes each side.

I did a bunch of things that I shouldn't have done and am now paying for it.

Then we both thrush, her mouth, my nipples. Painful nursing. So I gave her bottles more. My fault but I was basically crying in pain from nursing her. We are back on the nursing wagon now I am happy to say. 

My only issue now is nursing around my mom. I never remember having a problem with her when I nursed my son, but I also wasn't nursing by the summer, I was also not as big and wore t-shirts not tank tops. I nurse Ariel in Target in her mobywrap and my mom was like oh my god Amanda that is not appropriate, cover up, you're showing way too much. Not that anyone else was saying anything. I nurse Ariel at Barnes & Noble, I use a blanket to cover myself as I unhook and put Ariel on, but she is like her brother and does not like a blanket over her head. My mom goes Amanda cover up. I'm all she doesn't like it, she will fuss and that will be much more noticeable. So now I give Ariel a bottle when my mom is around in public, which I hate but I just can't deal right now. 

Although it isn't just a out in a public store type of thing apparently. At Sunday dinner I started nursing Ariel, again with no blanket, hello I'm at home, and my mom goes really Amanda? I said really what Mom? That's where I draw the line. I was in my own home. Not in public. My daughter was hungry. I nursed her. What was my mom's problem? I told her I already have enough of an issue with her popping on and off that there is no way I'm going to put a blanket over her head so that she will pop off and start screaming. AJ wouldn't pop on and off with a blanket he just would fuss and eventually pull it off. 

Once we have established exclusively nursing my mom is out of luck though cause I'm just going to nurse her out in public without a blanket. It's mine and Ariel's legal right to nurse without a cover. If my mom doesn't like it then she can look somewhere else.

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