When I found out I was pregnant, one of the first questions the doctor asked me at my first OB appointment was if I planned to breastfeed. "Well yes I want to try," I replied. He says in turn "that's great. You know that's what God created them for. Not just for seducing your husband." I let out a laugh but it seemed like already at 10 weeks of pregnancy I was being judged on how to parent and how to feed my child.
The truth was, I did WANT to try breastfeeding. I did. I just thought that the whole thing seemed really overwhelming and scary. I kept telling my husband that I feared I would never get into it like other moms do and that I would be judged for saying it wasn't the right choice for our family. My thought process changed when Ellie was born. I had this instinctual need to try and provide for my baby already. I wasn't nervous, no; I was driven.
Breastfeeding has had its ups and downs for me these past 5.5 months.
No one tells you about how hard it is for each of you to learn how to latch on.
No one tells you that clogged ducts feel like tiny (or big) rocks underneath your breast tissue that cause pain and discomfort.
No one tells youthat the baby may pull off too soon and their face will soon be covered in milk that continued to spray (I always found that to be funny).
My point is, we always hear all the good things about breastfeeding and the benefits but rarely do we hear what hard work it is and time consuming. But even with all the hard work, learning, trial and error, I wouldn't trade it. I got to have these precious moments with my daughter that I will remember forever.
The goal I set for myself was to try and nurse Ellie until anywhere around the 8-12 month mark. I'm afraid I don't think we will make it that far. Once we started introducing cereal and puréed fruits and veggies, she sort of started to give me clues that she was weaning herself. She also never stayed latched for long during feedings which was my other clue that my supply just wasn't keeping up with her demands. I sit here and a part of me is really bummed.
I never imagined that I would enjoy breastfeeding as much as I did.
But, the other part of me is dang proud that I was able to do it and stuck with it. I had plenty of times when I could have quit. When she came home at a mere 5 pounds and would need to be rubbed on the back while she fed or completely stripped of her clothes to try to keep her awake--even that didn't work sometimes. Or how I would spend 20 minutes trying to breastfeed in the early days only to have to supplement and pump which usually left me very little time in between feedings.
My point is that it was challenging to get to this point during our breastfeeding journey and now that it is ending, I am so grateful that I was able to do it and that I continued to push myself, but I am still sad this chapter is closing. On the flip side, I will not feel guilty feeding her formula. I will not feel guilty that I am not breastfeeding her for a longer time period.
I will enjoy the moments we did share together and know that as long as my baby is fed, she will be okay.
**disclaimer: I am in no way promoting breastfeeding or making mothers feel bad that chose not to breastfeed. This is my own experience with nursing, but am not judging the way mothers feed their babies. You have to do what is best for YOUR family. **
Get to know Darcy & Two Pink Lines
Hi All! My name is Darcy Martin. I am married to an amazing man of almost 2 years and we welcomed our first baby, a daughter, in April. I began blogging as a way to therapeutically write when I was pregnant and I haven’t looked back! We moved from the city of Chicago to the suburbs a year ago to start a family. I am finding the new “me” as a stay at home mother, continuing to find ways to “date your spouse,” and finding ways to socialize/get involved with other women in a new city. Writing and making others laugh has been a passion of mine from a young age and I thoroughly enjoy using those talents on a blogging platform. Thank you for following along with me on this journey!
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