Adventures in breastfeeding

You're probably thinking: "What the -- is there anything she won't blog about?!" (No.)
Breastfeeding.    I could go on forever about my experience but will try to keep it straightforward.  If reading about boobs, nipples, & such makes you squirm, this is the post to skip.  After all, reading about my lady parts in detail might be just the thing to convince some of you to unsubscribe (Ben, Kevin, & my father-in-law.....talking to you specifically. ).
    :) happy
I breastfed Quinn for almost 14 months (she's now 14.5 months old).  My goal had been 1 year & when we passed that mark, I felt extremely fortunate/blessed to have made it that far.  Then I wondered if I would be nursing her into her school years (kidding, sort of).  When she decided she longer cared for it, it felt like a natural stopping point.  Of course, it was bittersweet.
The Beginning
Breastfeeding didn't come easily or naturally for me.  I had to work hard at it for several months. I thought about giving up countless times.  There are lots of women to whom breastfeeding is like second nature......I was not one of them.
When Quinn was born, I knew I wanted to give breastfeeding a go. (Which reminds me, I never got around to blogging about her birth story.  In a nutshell: I was 2 weeks past my estimated due date, got induced, had 24+ hours of labor, pushed for 2 hours, then had a C-section).  If breastfeeding worked out, awesome!  If not, it wouldn't be the end of the world.  Still, I'm Type A by nature & had read all the literature.  I wanted so badly to give Quinn all the health benefits that came w/ breastfeeding.  For as long as I could make it work.  
My blood loss from the long labor & subsequent C-section, combined w/ a thyroid condition (I've had Grave's since my mid-twenties) all resulted in my milk not coming in for 2.5 weeks.  According to my OB & midwife, that's a long time by milk-production standards.  We opted to give Quinn donor breast milk to supplement during those first weeks of her life (the fact that our health insurance covered it also helped us to reach that decision).    
So for those first weeks of Quinn's life, I would nurse her for ~40 minutes (she couldn't get much milk though, my poor girl), give her a bottle of donor milk, change/swaddle her, put her back to bed, then go pump for ~15 minutes to encourage my milk to come in (in addition to taking Fenugreek, goat's rue, & mother's milk tea).  Then it was time to do it all over again in an hour.  Welcome to motherhood, FC.  :) happy
She sure is worth it though.



The Ups & Downs
Once my milk did come in, there were several weeks of latching issues.  Quinn latched too aggressively according to the lactation consultant.  There were also blocked milk ducts, cracked/blistered nipples (I know, gross), a dairy intolerance on Quinn's part.....and, of course, my new mom sleep-deprivation state only exacerbated things in my mind.  But Quinn was healthy & FINALLY getting enough to eat through me (based on her weight gain), so I was determined to keep up the breastfeeding.  I'm stubborn.
Ah, the dairy sensitivity.  At around 1 month, we suspected Quinn had developed a sensitivity to dairy.  So I altered my diet & she was like a different baby.  I'd like to think I'm a fairly healthy eater but hell.........I missed cheese & ice cream.  I would even dream of gooey 4-cheese pizzas, not kidding.  It was quite jarring to alter my diet in such a way.  I now have a whole new respect for people who have food allergies & sensitivities.  I got to know the soy & coconut milk products at Whole Foods really well during that time; at least those options were available to me & I learned to embrace (even enjoy) the whole dairy-free experience.  Throughout the next months, I would re-introduce dairy in small doses but it would result in a fussy Quinnie.  So for about 11 of the 14 months of nursing, I was dairy-free (I went back on dairy right before she turned 1 & so far, so good).  Breastfeeding + dairy-free diet + parenting = best unintentional weight-loss plan ever.


It's also worth mentioning that Quinn never really took to taking bottles.  Except for those first weeks of her life, she never truly liked taking milk from a bottle.  In fact, she flat-out refused most of the time.  I get a lot of skeptical looks from parents when this topic comes up but believe me -- we tried lots of ways, for weeks, to no avail.  I made the decision to not keep pushing it on her.  I'm fortunate enough to work part-time from home, so it all worked out in the end.


So for 14 months, my daughter & I were never apart for more than a few hours.  Yes, I missed date nights, girls' nights, & such.  Yes, there were times I felt isolated.  Yes, I sometimes wished I could just "get away" for even just a bit.  But I accepted it & made myself look at the big picture........in the grand scheme of things, those long months would seem like nothing.  I'm not saying I'm a mommy martyr or anything.  I just wanted to make this small sacrifice for my girl.



The Emotions
I'm going to be candid about my emotions here.  It's not my intention to scare anyone away from breastfeeding, nor do I mean to sound ridiculous or resentful.  This is just me being honest about my experience.  I feel like so many parents feel it's taboo to tell the truth.
It took me a very long time to enjoy breastfeeding & I constantly chastised myself over it for several months.  I sometimes still do.  What was wrong with me?  Why wasn't I blissfully enjoying the bonding time with my darling baby girl?  Where were the smiles & adoring gazes I saw in all the literature I read?  In addition to the searing physical pain, I had trouble relaxing during each feeding, even after several months.  Quinn is affectionate but she was never the type of baby who would contently nurse.  She has always been a spirited little one, even in her newborn days, which made for very interesting/exhausting nursing sessions.
Breastfeeding was physically, emotionally, & mentally exhausting to me.  I'm not one to sit still.  My mind was always racing with a never-ending to-do list that kept growing.....while I sat sequestered.  Then I'd feel guilty for even thinking about something else aside from my daughter.  I was trying to bond, yet I felt hoplessly bound.
At around 6 months, we eventually found our groove & breastfeeding became easier.   It was convenient & cost-effective.  I started to enjoy the relaxing quality time it allowed me to have with my daughter. It just took me a very long time to get there, for which I still have guilty & regretful feelings about......again, welcome to motherhood, FC.  Get used to having "the feels"!!




We live in an area where breastfeeding is highly encouraged & supported.  I was not shy about nursing Quinn in public (using a Hooter Hider, of course) & very few people ever gave us a second glance.  Still, I would get mixed reactions from people, should the subject of breastfeeding come up.......which it did quite often.  
See, when you're a lush like me & you turn down wine, people want to know why.  So I'd mention that I had a "breastfeeding window" in terms of wine consumption & more often than not, a discussion would ensue.  "You need to do it for at least a year."  "A year is too long, I'd feel weird.  Good for you, though."  "Nothing wrong with nursing into toddler years, that's what I did w/ my kids." "Formula has come a long way."  "Formula is the devil." "You're doing a great thing."  "You're lucky to have your circumstances; wish I could've done the same.....but you know, I have a career."  Ouch.
Yep, I heard it all & I'm sure I'm not the only one.  I usually just kept my opinions to myself.  Each parent has to do what's right for their little one.  Who are we to judge?  



The "End"
A week before Quinn turned 14 months old, she pulled back during one of our nursing sessions, shook her head, smiled sweetly, & hopped off my lap.  I kept offering over the next few days & she'd refuse.  She was never really fond of cow's milk (we introduced it at 12 months), so thanks to other moms' suggestions, we mixed in some almond milk.  She started to drink it all around this time (not exactly chugging it, by any means, but at least she wasn't throwing it).  So just like that, our breastfeeding chapter was over (Quinn's always had her own agenda, that's for sure; Sassafras.).  Weaning was much easier than I anticipated.  Yet it was bittersweet.  She'll always be my baby, but she's no longer baby.  Despite all my difficulties, I was still sad that this journey of ours had ended.  
I fought so hard to make breastfeeding work.  Then I couldn't fathom keeping up with such an all-consuming endeavor.  Finally (surprisingly) I was saddened when it all came to an end.  Bittersweet.


I have nothing but respect for all you moms out there (working, stay-at-home, work-at-home, pumping, breastfeeding, bottlefeeding).  I know what it's like to feel like your body betrayed you & not be able to breastfeed.  I've been there.  I know what it's like to feel so fortunate, grateful, & blessed to be able to breastfeed.  I've been there.  It's an incredible, emotional roller coaster ride.....but it's one I'd hop on board again in a heartbeat.
A spontaneous snap to document the end of our little journey.
I'm embarrassing her already.
{ Those of you who follow me on Instagram (@freckleschic4) have already seen this, thanks for indulging me. }




P.S. If you've read this far (Mom, are you the only one?), I'm incredibly thankful for your time.  A thousand xoxo's from me to you, friends.  :) happy

84 comments:

  1. What a great journey. Thanks for being so candid. I feel like talking about breastfeeding is frowned upon and something that's whispered about. Quinn, a girl on her own agenda. Love her (and you!) xo

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    1. Aw thanks so much, friend! Love you to pieces!!
      xoxo

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  2. A very nice and honest account, FC! Just last week I posted about my own journey on my blog.

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    1. http://jankafranta.blogspot.cz/2013/01/my-breastfeeding-journey.html

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    2. You are one amazing mama! Becoming a mom is enough of an emotional roller coaster ride & to add to it breastfeeding hormones/tribulations, other kiddos, pregnancy.......I feel like it's only appropriate to give you a medal of honor. You provided your little ones w/ the best start possible in life & I'm in absolute awe of you.

      I think every parent should do what's best for their little one & I'm an advocate of 'breast is best' when possible. I never took to pumping (I think patience was my hurdle too) & my daughter never took to a bottle either but am so glad it all worked out in the end.

      Thank you for taking the time to read my breastfeeding story & for your kind words of praise & encouragement. Thanks so much for sharing YOUR story so honestly & beautifully!

      Brava, Jana, brava!!

      xoxo

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  3. Thanks for sharing! I breastfed up until O was 12 mos. It was probably the hardest thing I have ever done, but so rewarding once we both got the hang of it. I completely relate to your thoughts on the 'feelings' and wanting to quit. But you did it! Congrats to you!

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    1. Thanks so much, A & for sharing YOUR story! So proud of you for breastfeeding O for so long. Amazing job, mama!!

      xoxo

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  4. Just wanted to drop a line and say... You are a wonderful mother and Quinn is lucky to have you. We all walk our own path, but to fight for BFing like you did for her...I hope you can feel really proud of that. I breastfed my daughter for 16.5 months and am currently nursing my 9 month old son. My daughter was just as you described Quinn and I FOUGHT hard in those early months to continue. My son had a MUCH easier time but he was also the one with the dairy/soy intolerance (which he appears to have now outgrown - yay!).

    In any case, I just wanted to say that I agree the fight is SO worth it, and hopefully, if you want more children, you'll find that it only gets easier :).

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    1. Thanks so much for your incredible words of praise & encouragement, Lisa! It means the world to me coming from a stellar mom like yourself. You're such a wonderful inspiration! Many thanks for reading my story & for sharing yours!

      xoxo

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  5. That Quinn is lucky to have a mama like you! I breastfed Alice till she was 12 months, it was the best, most convenient thing for us. Being in Canada we get a year long paid maternity leave so it is quite common for mom's to do it for the full year, but still everyone has their opinions (and often aren't afraid to share them). The number one thing I've learned is that every mom/baby/parent is different and you have to do what works for you! Chances are you know what's best for your baby.

    Don't hate me, but breastfeeding came somewhat easy for the two of us but I so sympathize with mom's that it doesn't. You are already going through so much, I admire your strength to stick with it and persevere! And all that pumping!? Ugh. You are a trooper, pumping is the WORST.

    Wow, as a mom who just went through this I feel I could go on and on, but this is a blog comment so I better wrap up! Thanks for sharing your story!

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    1. Thanks so much, chica! Don't worry, we're not frenemies b/c breastfeeding was easier for you, HA!

      Canada knows how to treat their mamas right, that's for sure. What a sweet deal! There are so many things I'm aware of/feel like need to be improved upon now that I'm a mom. It's boggling.

      Thanks for sharing YOUR story, my friend.

      xoxo

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  6. Thanks for sharing so candidly. I am a firm believer that the more we talk about breastfeeding so openly, the more mainstream and accepted it will become.

    I remember reading that you had some challenges with bf'ing in the early days. Nursing my son came incredibly easy for me, for which I am grateful, but my supply tanked around the 8th month and was completely gone by 10 months due to stressful times and being laid off at work. Everyday, I think about how much i wish I'd been able to nurse him past the one year mark.

    My point in saying this is that we all have different challenges as mothers and although we try our best, it's so hard to pat ourselves on the back for what we've done well. So here's my pat on your back: congrats on making it through the hard times, and for getting to 14 months!

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    1. You so eloquently put into words my exact feelings! As mothers we constantly have that guilt looming over us, no matter how much we sacrifice or try. It gives me the sad feels EVERY SINGLE TIME. =]

      I'm always relieved to hear that bfing came easily to someone, since I know firsthand how difficult it can be! I'm so proud of you for making it to 10 months, especially given the stressful conditions along the way. That's quite an achievement & you should be so proud of yourself for giving your little guy the best possible start in life. Now it's MY turn to pat YOU on the back.

      Thank you for taking the time to read & for your kind words of praise & encouragement. And thanks so much for sharing YOUR story!!

      xoxo

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  7. Thanks for sharing your story and major props on going dairy free- I swear cheese is my only vice. Hudson and I had a rough BF start too but we got the hang of it and now I'm so glad I stubbornly stick with it. He's 8 months now and I think we'll hit my goal of 1 year. I'm too am selfishly looking forward to weaning but it also makes me sad {damn mommy hormones!} to think he's growing up so quickly.

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    1. I'm so proud of you for making it this far!! Brava, mama, brava!! Thanks so much for taking the time to read & for sharing your story!

      xoxo

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  8. She is adorable! I'm not a mommy yet but I sure do appreciate your candor. So many people are afraid to tell it how it is but I love your honesty! Thanks for sharing :)

    amanda
    thesequinedspaniel.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to drop by, Amanda! (And yay I've loved chatting w/ you on Instagram!)

      xoxo

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  9. Thanks for sharing! Great job! I can relate to everything you wrote! You are a great mom, Quinn is lucky to have you. :)

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    1. Aw, you're too kind, Lindsey! =] Your comment made my day! I appreciate you taking the time to read my story.

      xoxo

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  10. Oh, you've stirred up so many of the same emotions I had on my breastfeeding journey with Chloe. I had a hard time enjoying the act of it - many times, I just felt constrained by it. That I had to sit or lie there when I could be doing something else - and of course I would feel guilty for even thinking that! But it was a beautiful 14 months, even with the pain, the clogging, the guilt. I'll always treasure that time of closeness with my baby girl (she'll always be my baby). So glad you persevered and gave Quinn a wonderful start. We moms are lucky to experience such intimate moments with our children.

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    1. You have no idea how good it is to hear you say this. I felt SO much the same way, yet felt guilty confiding in anyone b/c heaven forbid, I should JUST be grateful for my little one & all the blessings that come w/ motherhood. Ha!

      Besides, where would Pinterest be if us bloggers chose to document unglam parental things & child neglect?! =]

      xoxo

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  11. Thanks for sharing your journey. It's good to hear other people's experience - especially the fact that it took almost 6 months for you and Quinn to get in a groove with breastfeeding. It's not always easy - any of the parenting stuff - but especially breastfeeding!

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    1. There's so much truth in your words, I wholeheartedly agree! Thanks so much for taking the time to pop in & read my story. I so appreciate that.

      xoxo

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  12. Thanks for sharing your story, it sounds very similar to mine right down to the dairy sensitivity. We are at 11 months and planning to make it to a year and gradually wean from there. I felt many of the same emotions you felt too, definitely a roller coaster ride!

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    1. Thanks so much for reading & for sharing YOUR story! Wonderful job making it this far, amazing mama. You should be so proud!

      xoxo

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  13. You girls are adorable. Good for you for sticking it out, even when it got tough. I don't think there's really anything that can prepare you for the adventures of breastfeeding! But they're so worth it.

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    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to read my story, friend!! I agree 100%....it's an emotional, bittersweet journey but so very worth it in the end (whether it was for a few days, months, or a year). And just like parenthood, noone can prepare you for it!!

      xoxo

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  14. I nursed my daughter for 14 months as well (she's 20 mo now) and dealt with latch issues and dairy allergies (still am) so I definitely understand. I applaud you!!

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    1. Thanks so much, EA! I'm applauding you right back, so proud of you! We parents have all been there in one way or another & surviving....so far. =]

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  15. Beautiful story - thank you for keeping it real, and non-judgey. Now go enjoy that glass of wine and 4 cheese pizza :)

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    1. Thanks so much for your kind words of encouragement, my friend! Means the world to me! Consider wine & 4 cheese pizza enjoyed in excess. =]
      xoxo

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  16. "You're lucky... I have a career." Gotta love those back-handed compliments! Thanks for sharing your story. How did your meds for Graves work into the breastfeeding equation? Just wondering if you had to go off them or anything like that.

    -S

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    1. Right?! One of the rare times that I was rendered speechless, ha.

      My meds for Graves (Levothyroxin, the generic brand of Synthroid) had to be adjusted as soon as I found out I was pregnant & throughout pregnancy. Then immediately post-delivery, my endocrinologist tweaked my levels again. There were a lot of blood draws, checking my TSH levels, & trial & error in tweaking my dosage.

      Quinn didn't seem to be affected by any of it, which in the end probably meant I was getting the right level of thyroid meds.

      Thanks so much for asking & for reading my story!!

      xoxo

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  17. Yes, thank you for sharing. Nice to know someone else's milk came in super late (2.5 weeks here two...actually almost 3!). My LC was amazed at the delay. We supplemented with formula to the horror of those around me. zbut after months of pumping my supply normalized and we got into a grove. I appreciate yoru honesty about it not always being something you enjoyed. I was/am there at 8 months and there is this guilt. The Feel! Love that way of describing it.

    Anyhoover, job well done mama!

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    1. We had such similar experiences, so crazy! Yet another reason to talk about these things b/c chances are, we're not alone in this! Thanks so much for your kind words of encouragement & for sharing your story. You're doing a wonderful thing, mama. And I can't thank you enough for taking the time to read my story.
      =]
      xoxo

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  18. Love love love reading this!! I just love knowing more about you, especially. I thought about you a lot during those early months. I remember how hard it is, how guilty you feel for being resentful/exhausted/not 1000% grateful, etc. Moms need to tell each other like it is, be supportive and non-judgmental...motherhood is a tough journey, we don't need the b next door looking down her nose at us! So glad you made it through, and enjoyed it (for the most part). I still miss those quiet moments with mine, and I swear I still get the feeling of my milk coming in!!! And if I were a good friend, I'd have sent you some Lanolin cream before she was born. It saved my life, and sanity. (I swear no one tells you about bleeding nipple scabs!! Which, btw, is the name of my new band)

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    1. Thanks so much for this. Exactly what I needed to hear & so true, every word. Thanks for thinking of me in those early months. I find myself doing the same w/ my girlfriends who are new moms. Like I call them up & am all, how are you REALLY? Can I come over & clean your kitchen for you? Or just let you pee in peace? Or wash your hair b/c it's so dirty that your roots hurt?

      Anyway, I remember reading your post about meningitis & mastitis after one of your kiddo's birth & MAH GAWD! That is insanity, I had nothing to complain about. Also, yay for Clorox wipes & antibacterial gel.

      love you to pieces

      xoxo

      P.S. Bleeding Nipple Scabs as a band name = priceless. The opening band can be Cassie & The Lanolins

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  19. Fantastic post. Loved every bit of it. I wish more women were up front with their experiences because I have a feeling that there are more of 'us' out there than we think! It isn't all adoring eyes gazing up at us while grabbing our shirts with their little hands, is it?

    We had a very similar experience and I was constantly beating myself up for not having the 'bonding experience' I thought I was supposed to have. It was painful for me until Luca was 3 months old (i.e. very painful) and no one told me that could happen. Luca also doesn't just chill out and nurse - he constantly pulls off, punches me, cries, etc.

    I remember reading about people who breastfed for more than a year and I thought that sounded crazy, but now that I'm in it, I honestly don't want to stop. Funny eh? I think part of it is because it took so long to start working well...

    I'm glad I stuck with it for convenience reasons though - one less thing to worry about!

    Anyhoo - loved this! You are a great momma!

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    1. I completely relate to every single thing you wrote! And Quinn was also, shall we say 'spirited' when she nursed--punching, crying, biting, pulling off aggressively...you name it.

      But later on, I couldn't imagine stopping & you're so right--was SO convenient!!

      Thanks for your words of praise & encouragement girl!! Right back atcha, Luca's a lucky kid!!

      xoxo

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  20. You're lucky to have your circumstances. I don't have boobs. Or a baby.
    - Ben :)

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    1. Aw thanks, Benny. Too bad too, b/c you would LOVE having boobs. =]

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  21. Just when I think, I couldn't love you anymore, I do! Thanks so much for sharing. You are a trooper--ALL moms are troopers. Breastfeeding is quite the experience! I was naive enough to not read any books and just think it was going to be "baby sees boob, baby sucks...done and done!" Haha--yeah right! Theron has taught me so much in his 10 short months {that sometimes seem like multiple eternities} than I ever thought possible. And now, just like J above, I am loving nursing. Once we got in our groove I simply adore it. I never thought I'd last an entire week and now we're nearing a year and I am elated. Thanks for sharing and thanks for being you. Love you!

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    1. And just when I thought I couldn't love YOU anymore, you go & leave me the best comment ever. Kudos to you working mama for giving the T-man the best of yourself. You're amazing. Thx so much for your kind words of praise, they mean the world to me. Love you right back!!!

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  22. It's like a Dickens tale...It was the best of boobs, it was the worst of boobs....haha. Kudos to you for keeping at it, overcoming obstacles for seeing the big picture. I'm proud of you and happy that you get to eat cheese again.

    jbhat

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  23. oops: make that obstacles, and

    jbhat

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    1. Bwhahaaha! Best comment ever & so spot on. I expect no less from you. =]

      Love you so much!
      xoxo

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  24. What a great post! Your little Quinn is ADORABLE! I don't have kids yet, but someday I hope that I will get a chance to be a mommy. Props to you for sticking through with breastfeeding and for sharing and being honest about your journey. I doesn't help the moms-to-be in this world to not be aware of all situations and possibilities of things to come, nor is it scary to hear the truth. Thanks for sharing :)

    CherryBlossomsandChai.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks so much for your kind words of encouragement, Dehdee! Means the world to me!
      xoxo

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  25. Thank you so much for sharing! I had a baby girl a few months after you and I was breastfeeding her also so I enjoyed reading all of your posts! I am so impressed that you were able to make it 14 months without a bottle. We had a hard time getting our little girl to take one, but because of my job I wasn't able to be with her for every feeding and luckily she finally decided she would take one. Thanks again for sharing! And congratulations on having your body back, I know it is a little bittersweet.

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    1. Aw thanks, Carie! I'm so glad that bottle feeding worked out for you! I know I probably gave up too soon on it but I'm somewhat of a pushover, what can I say. Ha! Thanks so much for sharing your story, amazing mama! (And for taking the time to read mine.)
      xoxo

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  26. Wonderful post! Thank you for being so honest!! Breastfeeding was so so sooo very hard for me and the 5 months that I did it made me pretty miserable. If we're ever blessed with baby #2, that baby's getting 6 weeks of breastmilk. If it sucks, I'm stopping. So be warned, future fetii... That is my line in the sand. ;)

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    1. I can so relate. I think it's amazing that you stuck w/ it for that long ::applause:: Good job mama! We just have to do what's right for us & our bebe, no matter what path we take.

      Thanks so much for reading, friend!

      xoxo

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  27. I loved reading about your BF journey. It reminds me so much of my own--i believe our daughters are just a few days apart - she was born on 11/20/11. we also had to eliminate dairy, and she also self-weaned, rather suddeny, at a few days shy of 14 months. I was ready to wean, but it was still bittersweet. Funny how can fight fight so hard for something, then wish it would end, and then come to love it...and ultimately miss it :).

    Congratulations for making it to 14 months mama!

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    1. Wow we had such similar experiences! And we survived! =] You done good, amazing mama! You should be so proud b/c I sure am proud of you. Thanks for sharing your story! (And for taking the time to read mine.)
      xoxo

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  28. Only after my own experience have I been hearing about women who went through similar circumstances! Thanks for sharing! I breastfed my first born to start. They were concerned she wasn't gaining weight, and she would cry from hunger after I breastfed her. My supply was overall so low. We supplemented with formula, and while I eventually got over the guilt of it all (and wishing our culture still had wetnurses) I totally relate to your early months of feeding for 40 minutes, pumping for 20, cleaning everything up and then having about 30 minutes of time to do something (pick one: eat, shower, sleep) before it's right back to the couch. My lactation consultants were stumped and eventually didn't have anything else they could do for me. We made it to 4 months, but by the end it was mostly for bonding since she'd only get about an ounce a session from me. I am truly hopeful that my experience with baby 2 is much better! Good job on making it so long with Quinn!

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    1. We had such similar experiences! Yet another reason to talk about these things b/c chances are, we're not alone in this! Thanks so much for your for sharing your story. I'm proud of you for sticking w/ it for those 4 months, regardless. Kudos, mama! And I can't thank you enough for taking the time to read my story.
      =]
      xoxo

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  29. FC -
    Adorable pics of you and your baby!
    Thanks for sharing your breastfeeding journey with us. You are so open and honest.
    I really appreciate that!
    Molly

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    1. Thank YOU, my friend, for taking the time to read my story! Hope all is well w/ you & yours.

      xoxo

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  30. Thank you so much for sharing your journey so honestly! I am nearing the end of my breastfeeding journey with my son and have a lot of the same mixed emotions. He is 13 months and we are down to just two nursing sessions a day. What I once wished would be over, I am now so sad. I am looking forward to a little more freedom and time in my day, but hate the lost snuggles and time with my boy. I am looking forward to writing my own journey soon - you've inspired me to be open and honest! Thank you. I'm so glad I'm not alone!

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    1. I can so relate, Leanne! Congratulations on making it this far, something to be so very proud of. You did an amazing thing, thanks so much for sharing your story, mama! (And for taking the time to read mine.)
      xoxo

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  31. So glad you posted this. I love that moms are being so open of late about the challenges of breastfeeding. It's really enlightening. It makes me a little sad that many moms are so unsupportive, no matter what your decision in feeding. I related to all the quotes you've shared - I've gotten them too. The working mom one - wow. I've just learned that its almost always about insecurities in the other woman and has nothing to do with me. It's definitely made me feel strongly about being supportive and kind first, no matter what. Life's too short for judging. I got a baby to feed. I don't have time for that crap.

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    1. Couldn't have said it better myself. No judge-y, yes unite-y (doesn't quite roll off the tongue but you know).

      Thanks so much for your kind words of encouragement, my friend! =]
      xoxo

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  32. Ellis stopped at the xact sam time as Quinn! She was pretty similar in her departure with the journey - except she kept biting me for fun, and then finally, refused to go near it. :) She breastfed longer than my other two though, so I was very happy with how it all went. I never did have any issues - latching was perfect and unpainful for all three. I always made A LOT of milk and it just seemed pretty easy ... but I have SO many friends who had a very rough go, and it was heartbreaking for me to watch. Thanks for sharing your story! She certainly is one happy girl :)

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    1. Having experienced breastfeeding myself, I'm honestly so happy to hear when other moms say it was easy for them. I feel relief for them! You did an amazing thing, thanks so much for sharing your story, mama!

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  33. I can totally relate! I had to have a lactation consultant come to my house a few weeks after Amara was born, and we finally got the hang of it. It truly is a roller coaster. Some weeks would be so great ( and mostly painless), but then other weeks would be so much harder. I literally wouldn't want to leave the house because then I would have to take my nipple protectors off and put a bra on.... OUCH! Sometimes, though I would have to go out looking a little like Madonna in the chest area and leave them on....desperation! haha!

    Good job mama for making it this far! I stopped with my daughter at 1 year! That was my goal, and I was extremely proud! She is now 16 months. I will do it all over again, Lord willing, with our next baby!

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    1. Couldn't have said it better myself, lol @ the Madonna referece!

      1 year is incredible, kudos to you! Thanks so much for sharing your story, mama!

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  34. I'm incredibly pro-breastefeeding, and with a daughter at 14 1/2 months and no plans to stop soon, I get some weird looks when I mention I hate it at times. When she was a newborn, I quickly learned how to nurse lying on my side...and promptly became addicted to angry birds to keep me from utter boredom. I once looked at my husband and said, "Seriously, what am I supposed to do this whole time, gaze lovingly at her like a fucking postcard?!?" And now, oh the nipple pinching, the squirming, the lifting my breast out of my shirt all on her own without asking....sometimes I want to scream. And then other moments I love the snuggles, I love that it's bonded us, I love that she loves it. It's a rollercoaster.

    Oh, and if she doesn't like cow's milk, have you tried goat's milk? Closer to breastmilk actually, full of goodness,easier to digest, and has a higher fat content (which is important right about now). Nora has recently decided she loves it. Bravo for making to your goal and beyond....you've done great!

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    1. And this is exactly why I love you. Keeping it real for moms like me. My emotions were along the very same lines as yours--amazingly spot on! It's not all lovey-dovey & rainbows for everyone. (LOL @ Angry Birds--I did a lot of Instagramming & blog reading.)

      Brava to you for keep on keeping on. You're giving Nora the best life start & I want to give you a hug & pats on the back for all that you do. Thanks so much for reading my story, the encouragement, & for sharing your story!!!
      xoxo

      P.S. Thx for the goat's milk rec! Our ped just mentioned it too & we're definitely going to try it.

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  35. Awwww! Q will ALWAYS be your baby, no matter what.

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  36. So I read this again and just wanted to thank you for sharing your experience. It's a difficult one, whether baby latches on from the first second and milk flows like good wine or it takes weeks before the connection happens, if it ever does. I'm still nursing my little, and dread-slash-anticipate the day he hops off my lap and decides he's done. Why do they have to grow up so fast? :)

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    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to read my story, M!! I agree 100%....it's a bittersweet flood of emotions, this whole breastfeeding thing. Mother Nature is so kind to hit us w/ that, in addition to the onslaught of postpartum hormones & sleep deprivation. HA! But no matter if it was a month, a year, or more--the journey is worth it.

      I'm so proud of you for keeping it up w/ your little one!! Something to be proud of, amazing mama!

      xoxo

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  37. Great post! I just wanted to add, and maybe someone mentioned it already (I didn't read all the comments) that if you have a thyroid condition you will want to watch your soy intake. Soy interferes with the absorption of the thyroid hormone. Just a friendly FYI.
    Quinn is such a little cutie-congrats on your beautiful family.

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    1. You are correct, thank you so much for mentioning this! My endocrinologist monitored my TSH levels throughout breastfeeding & the soy didn't seem to adversely affect my body absorbing my medication/thyroid hormone production. I consumed soy in moderation, nonetheless.

      Thanks again for your kinds words!!

      xoxo

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  38. Great post! It seems like you and I had very similar experiences. I really loved the line "I was trying to bond, yet I felt hopelessly bound". Beautifully put. Thanks for sharing!

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  39. Thank you so much for sharing your story -- I'm sure it will help many breastfeeding mothers. I had a similar experience 18 years ago with my first daughter, but there weren't any blogs to read back then. I felt so awful at first for not having a magical breastfeeding experience right from the beginning. We did finally work it out, but it took months. Luckily, it was much easier the second time around!

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    1. You're so welcome & thank you for sharing YOURS! Good to hear that it might be easier the subsequent times around, hello relief =] Thanks a million for dropping by!

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  40. What a wonderful post!!! This should be a must read for all new moms :) My little girl (Fiona Quinn!!!) is 13 months and still loves nursing. She had the same dairy issues and refused bottles which is still mind blowing to me and every one that loved to try and figure out a solution. Ditto on being dairy free as a great weight loss plan! Passing your blog along to my sister who is moving cross country with her hubby and 22 month old to CO!

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  41. My experience was very similar to yours. My baby would not take the bottle so I was tied to him for 14 months. I loved breast feeding and would get questions on why I was still doing it after six months. I plan to do it for a year with my second baby too. Great post and thanks for sharing!

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    1. Thanks for sharing YOUR story! You did an amazing thing, mama!

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  42. I experienced the same process with my little one. Although she did not have much trouble latching on at the beginning. It was hard work for me. I felt like know one tells you that it is not easy at the beginning. Nor do they mention how you feel like that is all you are good for at beginning. It did get easier as time went by and now I know what to expect if I ever have another. Thank you for sharing and for being honest that it takes a while to find that groove and bonding isn't always instantaneous.

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    1. Thanks so much for sharing your story, Nena! It's true, no one tells you...perhaps some sort of parental amnesia kicks in & they forget how hard it was at the beginning. My memory's like an elephant's though ;-) Breastfeeding, motherhood is one of those things: you just don't know until you KNOW.

      Your little one is absolutely darling!!

      xoxo

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  43. How did you breast feed? You have NO boobs...JUST KIDDING! I know you have a great sense of humor/sarcasm so hope you're not offended. It's a JOKE! Your daughter is precious.

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    1. My boobs are even smaller now. Do they make bras in negative boob sizes like 36 minus A?! ;-)

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~Freckles Chick~