23 April 2012

Breastfeeding round 2!

Breastfeeding. It's definitely a personal choice, and everyone has their opinions on it. I definitely have mine, and I'll share a little bit of my feelings but I will try not to go too far into it because I do realize that sometimes it can sound preachy or that I'm being judgmental. I promise- I'm not. :-)


Before I got married, the thought of breastfeeding was kind of intimidating and I wasn't sure that I wanted to ever do it. I mean come on, who wants to have a kid attached to them every 2 hours all the live long day? And who would want to have to be the only one that had to get up at night to feed the baby? Not me.

But after Philip and I got married, and from the moment I found out I was pregnant with Bennett... I had an immediate change of heart. It was like a little voice whispered to me "hey!!! quit being selfish, breastmilk is the very best you can give to your baby, don't you want your baby to have the best?? also? the bond you will create with your child through breastfeeding will be unlike anything you've ever experienced. oh and hey, it's cheaper, too." Ha ha. Seriously, I feel like that really happened. 

After that, it was never a question in my mind. I was going to breastfeed Bennett, and all other future babies. When Bennett was born, it was a little weird at first but we settled in and it was awesome!!! I nursed him until he pretty much weaned himself around 10-11 months and I am so happy that I did. I do have a few regrets, though. Like not having a pump. HELLO! What was I thinking?!? You never know when you might need a stash of milk. Like... when I went back to work and would be gone for 3-4 hours at a time. Hubby had to supplement with formula. It wasn't the worst thing ever but it did make me sad. Or for that time when Bennett went on a nursing strike and would only take a bottle for 2 weeks. Would have been nice to have a milk storage then, too. To this day, I'm not sure why I never bought a pump. It was probably because they are so darn expensive and I'm pretty cheap.

This time around??

Yes, I'm absolutely breastfeeding Easton. We had a rough couple of days at the beginning where he struggled a little. This is about the point where a lot of people would give up and say "oh well, we'll just buy him forumla." And... that's OK. But for me, I really wanted, no I NEEDED to work through it. It's frustrating and can be exhausting when you feel like the baby just is not getting the hang of it, but, I'm so happy that I stuck with it. After several days, Easton caught on and now he eats wonderfully. Sure, at times, it can feel a little bit tedious to sit down to nurse him every couple of hours, and to wake up at night and nurse him-- when I could easily have Daddy get up to feed him. But the bottom line is that when I chose to have children, I chose to put them first. I made a promise to myself that I would always do my best to give them the BEST. And I feel that breastfeeding is best for my children.

Oh and also this time? 

I learned from my mistake. I bought a pump. Hallelujah!! I got the Medela Pump in Style Advanced. It has been such a must have. At the beginning I was producing SO much milk!!! Hellooooo uncomfortable engorgement, seriously, it's no joke. Not to mention that since East was having a tough time at first, I could pump some milk and then give him a bottle if I needed to. This pump really saved me. If you are planning to breastfeed... even if you aren't planning to give your child any bottles at all... a pump will still come in handy. Trust me. You will want it. You just never know what circumstances might come up that you will wish you had it!


So now, since Easton is pretty much exclusively breastfed and I have no need to give him bottles (unless I'm gone), I get to store all of my pumped milk. "Liquid gold" as people have been calling it. Ha ha.

What a blessing this will be when I start all of my photo sessions again next month and Easton will be home with Daddy!!

Here's the thing. I am not one of those women that will breastfeed my child until they are 3 years old. Not even 2 years old. I will breastfeed my child until they can have cows milk (10 months old - 1 year). It is important to me that my babies have my milk until they are at LEAST 6 months old. After 6 months, I will probably not push my baby to nurse if he starts weaning himself (because that's totally possible, some babies do that.) But hey, if they want to nurse longer, that's okay I'm happy to do it! But at 1 year, they are cut off. My rule of thumb is that if they are walking (and most babies are walking by this point) and can have cows milk, they won't be breastfeeding anymore.

So that's my story. These are all my personal feelings and I don't expect everyone to agree with me but I really just wanted to document all of this!

Thanks for listening :-)

27 comments:

meaganbriggs3 said...

Pumps are the best! I had a manual....hahahahaha it was ridonkulous! I have no idea why I didn't get an electric. After pumping for more than 10-15 minutes, it would do this squeak. Hahahaha oh the memories. Anyways, my daughter weaned at about 7 months, and I felt SO sad and a big mom failure, but she switched over to formula no problem after just 2 weeks of tears with both mommy and baby. I am pregnant now, and am soooo excited to give nursing another shot. I was a full time student and intern the first 6 months of my daughters life, which I 100% contribute to why she weaned early. Nursing wasn't a bonding moment anymore and I wasn't taking care of myself to produce enough. Plus, we moved across the country and were nursing in gas stations, for the love!!!

Love your blog. New-ish follower.

Kathleen Hall Gee said...

With you girl, 100%. Way to go for sticking it out!

Amy said...

When I got pregnant I thought I'd give breastfeeding a try but if it didn't work out, we'd give Eli formula. I wasn't really super hyped up about it. I was not expecting it to work for us. I'd recently had several friends/acquaintances have to give up breastfeeding after a few days for one reason or another. And my boobs are pretty small and for some reason I equated small boobs with not being able to make milk! Haha!

Anyway, Eli arrived and we gave it a try. He took to it right away and surprisingly, so did I. It's such nice bonding time with him and I'm so happy we stuck it out. The first few days were a little uncomfortable but it absolutely got easier. I plan to keep going until he can have cow's milk, too, unless he gets sick of me earlier :)

Karly Gomez said...

I was almost nervous to read this because of your disclaimer, but you don't sound even remotely judge-y! I'm glad you were able to work things through with Easton and finally got yourself a pump! A pump is what really allowed me to continue to feed my first two kids breast milk when they wouldn't latch until my milk ran dry at 9 and 6 weeks respectively.

The difference, healthwise, between my first two kids and Vivi, who wasn't breastfed is pretty huge. Vivi is sick all the time, whereas the other two are very rarely sick. And I believe it to be 100% because of the few weeks of breast milk they got as kids.

I don't regret not breastfeeding Vivi, though. I was in no condition mentally, and although I know many women will say it was selfish of me to put myself first, I totally disagree. There is nothing more selfish than endangering a child by taking care of oneself first. And that's what I had to do. And I am SO GLAD, because this time I was actually able to enjoy my new baby and my kids, which was a huge relief, especially after nearly dying a week after Vivi was born. Ugh.

Anyway, enough babbling! I am just so thrilled for your success!!

Katie -Loves of life said...

I feel the identical way as you do about nursing. Basically, it's good for us till 10/11 months (my daughter quit at 11 months, her choice!)--and I was proud of how far I came. Having a pump helped me with freedom a bit, too! I also didn't feel at all like I HAD to nurse prior to having her, but then I just did it, and it worked, and that was that. Granted, I had about 2 months of painful adjusting, but I chugged through and it was great for us. 

When baby girl 2 comes early August, I'll be nursing again. Not sure for how long, but I will do what I can now that I know I am capable. 
I also don't feel adamant about what others should do. I liked it for us, and that was that ;)

Kiara Buechler said...

I agree with you 100%, you go mama!

jenni from the blog said...

I don't think you sounded judgey at all mama!  You just wrote how you felt and that's okay! :)  And I am so so glad it's getting better/easier for you!  YAY!

When I had Carter, I did not even consider BFing him.  It just wasn't an option.  Everyone I knew formula fed their babies and it was just all I knew.  When people asked me if I was going to BF, I simply said no.  I was confident in my decision and thought it would work best for us.  I also had a super short maternity leave with Carter and no place to pump at work. I just felt that all odds were against me so we just went straight to formula. He had awful reflux and was on special formula and meds right from the start too so who knows if BFing him would have even been possible anyway (I'll never know.)

With Brynn, I wanted to BF.  I guess I wanted that bond.  And up until about 38 weeks PG, I was going too.  And then I changed my mind.  I don't know why, I just did.  Again, I had a short maternity leave (Bob was laid off and just started his new job 2 days before she was born!) and no place to pump at work, so I just felt like the odds were against me again.  I went straight to formula and never looked back.

This time?  I'm determined to BF this baby.  I'm in a new office, I have a place to pump at work now AND I have 16 weeks off post baby.  HELLO!?!  I feel like the odds are finally on my side!  Will it be difficult to learn to BF with 2 toddlers in the house?  Hell yes.  But I'm really hoping I can do it and I already set small goals for myself.  I plan to attend a BFing class with Bob and I've already researched pumps (The PIS is on my list!) and other BFing tips (including BFing with toddlers in the house!)  And because this is my last child, I feel like this is my last chance to BF. 

But if it doesn't work out?  I'm okay with using formula again. I have two very healthy FF babies and they are amazing.  I don't think I've lost a bond at all by not BFing them.  We've bonded in other ways.  I do hope it works out this time though.

Again, I'm so glad it's working for you!  I may have a ton of questions for you come September ;)

Jessica Pugliese said...

I agree with you on everything! I wish I could have nursed Addison to at least 6 months. I'm really sad it didn't work out. I mean we struggled so much, and some might think I just gave up but I know I didn't. :/ I will try again with my second, and this time with a bit more knowledge. 

Chelsea @The Curly Cues said...

Hooray for the pump! That thing is a lifesaver! I am really looking forward to breastfeeding again in a few months, I hope everything goes as smoothly for me this time as it did last time.

Christy Owens Johnson said...

What a great post! We also had some difficulties with breastfeeding at first, but stuck with it until Jackson weaned himself at 12 months. I am so happy that we went the breastfeeding route! It's great for other women to hear that it's not easy at first!

Anne U said...

I agree with everything you just said.  And holy cow, you could feed an army with all that stored milk, great job!  If I need any I'll let ya know...j/k :)

Janietilly said...

If you don't ind me asking, how is it working with taking care of Bennett and nursing Easton all at the same time? My son will be 3 a few days after we have our second baby and I am starting to get really scared about balancing all of it!! 

Meagan Skarbek said...

I've loved breastfeeding the 2nd time! I didn't have any of those terrible nipple pains I had the first time and she had a great latch from the very beginning. She's 8 months now and has gotten to where she'll only nurse in a dark, quiet room, but I still love it. It's so sweet, and quiet and EASY! That's the best kept secret of nursing once you get through the first 3 or 4 months. :)

Nikki said...

That is quite a store!  Glad you stuck with it, with baby #1 it took my Sister almost a month for him to get the hang of it.  I'm impressed she kept at it.  I will most definitely breastfeed (if the kid takes to it) because you can't beat the benefits...brain and wallet.  And I will totally breastfeed until they are like 5 years old so I dont have to work out ;)  Just kidding.

Olivia said...

My pump was my best friend for a while:)  You've got a great store building up there, good for you!!  It really is a beautiful experience to nurse your baby, a big sacrifice but a wonderful experience nonetheless.  

leah @marital bless said...

So glad it's going well for you mama!

Lisa @bitesforbabies said...

I felt the same way. When I got pregnant I was hoping to feel a change of heart but it did not happen for me!! It's just not my thing! I have a lot of people who commend me for having a natural birth, but I think breastfeeding is WAY harder than giving birth naturally! I commend ALL the moms out there who do it ;-)

XSZdefineMe said...

Breastfed premie TWINS! It's so rewarding to continue to basically provide life for your babies even after they are out of the womb

Chelsey Rice said...

Wow! I'm so jealous of your milk storage! I'm a photographer too, but I could never pump enough milk, and my baby wouldn't take a bottle. So he just ate rice cereal, haha! I am one of those weird Moms that likes to breastfeed past one. I'm almost at 15 months now.

mandy @ asortafairytale said...

 Yah pumping is tough... I've found that you have be to super consistent to continue to produce enough to pump anything!! Our bodies regulate our milk supply quickly!

mandy @ asortafairytale said...

 Breastfeeding is definitely hard!! It takes a lot of time, and patience! But WAY to go on the natural child birth!! I did that too (not by choice, though)... and it was not fun! lol

mandy @ asortafairytale said...

 Thanks Leah!

mandy @ asortafairytale said...

Definitely a sacrifice but you're right- so worth it!!

mandy @ asortafairytale said...

Yay!!! So glad it went well for you the 2nd time around!! It definitely doesn't hurt nearly as bad after the 1st baby :-)

mandy @ asortafairytale said...

 Hi! I will be honest, it's tough taking care of Bennett while nursing. He knows now, that when I'm nursing Easton, he pretty much can get into anything he wants and I will be extremely slow to react. He takes advantage for sure. But... I'm hoping that he'll do better with time. It's hard to balance everything-- I'm getting there... slowly. lol

mandy @ asortafairytale said...

 Awesome!! I love hearing that women stick through the tough parts of breastfeeding and continue to do it. It really takes a lot of patience but it's so worth it!

Mindi said...

Hooray for breastfeeding and frozen liquid gold.   I just used my very last frozen storage bag for N this past week and it was a sad moment.  I have been weaned from the pump for 3 weeks now and I certainly don't miss it.  Still nursing but trying to wean..it's been slow going for Noah, who still doesn't want to take the bottle at night.  I'm hoping my weekend blog conference changes that in a few weeks.  I'm just nursing at almost 13 months morning and right before bed. I remember how full my boobs were those first few days when my milk came in.  It was sooo painful!  I can't imagine not pumping to get relief.   

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