My Breastfeeding Story.
After 21 hours of labouring, Peanut entered this world and forever changed my life.
This is my breastfeeding story.
I was exhausted and beyond sore and achy but I was very anxious to feed my little one.
I’ve had a doula and I have read every single thing you could imagine about breastfeeding and babies, not to mention all the videos. But still, that was on paper and on film.
This was real life. *chuckle*
Within the first hour and a half, Peanut was already rooting. I remember having my little one in my arms and just looking into her little eyes as I got the rundown from the nurse on how to begin nursing. It was all good and dandy, in theory, mind you, but once I began… Well, Gabs did not want to latch.
At least not properly.
I pressed on and as painful as it was, continued trying to nourish my little girl. Unfortunately, I had been on antibiotics and my milk had not come in. My nips were extremely broken, cracked and at times, bleeding.
I was devastated when the hospital staff came in with the formula and offered it to Gabs. I felt like a complete failure as a mom, at least as a mom who wanted to breastfeed. Already.
Gabby was only hours old.
I spent three days in hospital, while Gabs remained on formula and while I continued to offer the breast. Gabs was just not taking to the breast. I was sent home with a hefty supply of prepared formula and a beautiful little girl.
Once I finally got home, it was emotionally difficult to accept the fact that Gabs didn’t want to nurse and the fact that my body just wasn’t making milk. But, I wasn’t gonna give up that easily.
In short, I kept on persistently. In hopes that her suckling would help my milk production and after a week or so, I started getting milk! I cried with happiness and now the task was to perfect the latch. That alone was a task and my nipples were really getting damaged.
With time, patience and support. They began to heal and Gabriella continued to nurse until she was good and ready to wean. As we all know, with inexperience and lack of support, breastfeeding is extremely difficult. You learn as you go and the more you do it, the better you get at it.
Now with Mimi, I’m going to be completely honest. I was just as freaked out as I was the first time. It had been almost exactly six years since I had breastfed and I was starting to wonder if I had forgotten how to.
I spent about 6 hours labouring at home and then headed to the hospital around 7 AM, Mimi was born shortly after 1 PM so needless to say labour was unbelievably a pleasure if that’s even possible. Compared to my first it was more than I could have ever asked for.
Less than an hour later after her debut, Michaela was in my arms and rooting for milk. I listened to the nurse give me the rundown again and I crossed my fingers that I wouldn’t run into the same obstacles as the first time. Though breastfeeding Gabs turned into second nature. I still kinda worried. Next thing I knew, Mimi was latched on and off she went.
Just like that.
My nips were a bit sore but by the time I was ready to go home they were better and Mimi has been nursing just fine ever since. I bought a tube of Lansinoh nipple cream for no reason! BOO! I’m so proud to be able to nurse her and I adore it when she looks up so contentedly.
So, even though I felt like a failure the first time, it wasn’t because I had to succumb to bottle-feeding, it was merely because I felt that I couldn’t provide nourishment for my child. Simply because “I” chose to breastfeed and for a time, wasn’t able to.
Either way, things turned out how they were meant to. In my book anyway. I’m going to continue to nurse until Mimi is good and ready to wean as well.
So, how did you guys find your breastfeeding experience? Or did you choose to bottle feed? Either way, it’s an unbelievably connecting experience! Keep on keeping on BF’ing mommas, if I could ever be of any assistance, I’m at your service with answers!
Let me know ladies!
Til then, cheers m’deres!
Nancy Polanco is a freelance journalist, lifestyle content creator, and editor of Whispered Inspirations. She is a proud Mom to Gabby and Michaela and partner and best friend to Darasak. Having worked as part of a health care team for almost a decade, Nancy is happy to be back to her passion. She is a contributor to the Huffington Post, TODAY’s Parents, and an Oprah Magazine Brand Ambassador.