Breastfeeding is the worst best thing for me right now…
Early into Destructo’s nursing season I suffered from a nursing aversion. In short nursing my daughter made my skin crawl, which made me feel like a terrible mother. I honestly think the nursing aversion was a symptom of a larger diagnosed post-partum depression. Destructo taught me to ask for help. I was exhausted and suffering from emotional waves I couldn’t handle alone. I would cry while nursing her because I wanted to get away from her. I hit rock bottom when I actually had the desire to throw her off of me, that’s when I was honest with Hubs and asked for me. I thought a “good” mom could do it all; I learned even the mom knows when to ask for help.
(the only picture of me nursing Destructo)
Tiny’s nursing season is testing me in other ways; low supply. I felt like a failure then when I finally admitted I had a low supply; as if I chose to produce less milk! I take Fenugreek to increase my supply and it helps but every so often I think about giving it up. I look at my “free samples” we kept just in case and wonder if its really worth all the frustration. My heart was wrong. I took my supply as a failure instead of a challenge. Tiny and I work together to keep my supply up. She is teaching me to face my difficulties with grace (I’m still working on this daily). Breath and remember WHY I am fighting instead of lowing my head and plowing through.
You’d think something so natural would come, well, naturally, but often that is’t the case. Breastfeeding is complicated and emotion. When you are pregnant you read these breathtakingly beautiful stories of how breastfeeding bonds a mother and child. The images of little hands touching mommies face while nursing make you tear up (but you are pregnant so that not to abnormal). You imagine over and over looking down at you milk drunk baby resting comfortably on your natural “pillow” after a midnight feeding. Then the day comes when your beautiful baby arrives and you realize nature isn’t straight forward. You meet the “Lactation Cunsultent” who teaches you how to nurse your child by shoving your babies face into your boob and shows you varies holds. Then the rest of early nursing symptoms begin; chapped nipples, bleeding, cramps, its a wonder anyone ever nurses longer then a day or two. But we do, you do, I did!
You push through 45 minute long feedings every 3 hours. You push through cluster feeding and comfort feedings. You learn what to eat to keep your supply up and how to nurse in public comfortably. You learn how to use a pump (yes that is an awkward first time event) and the proper way to store breast milk. You learn the pain and frustration of growth spurts and dry spells. You endure teething bites and razor sharp baby nails to the face. You cry over spilled milk! You push through the worst of it too; Thrust, Mastitis, Clogged ducts, food allergies, supply issues, tongue ties, and everything else! I do it because I love it all and I fully can’t explain why.
I love looking into my little ones eyes, holding their little hands, feeling them stock my chest or back. I am intoxicated by the intimacy and familiarity. I don’t mind how convenient it is and how much money it saves us either.
I am not anti-formula feeding mommies, I bottle feed Tiny frequently. It is a uniquely different time with her. What I am saying is as a nursing mommy I want to normalize nursing and explain why I love it so much and why I fight everyday for it.