I have contemplated over the past several weeks whether I should share this piece or not… Through some self encouragement and and encouragement from a fellow blogger check out her site by clicking here, I have decide to share my journey with breast feeding…Not for pity or whatever but to simply let others know that if they are going though what I went through, it’s going to be OK, as I tell my pre-k students when they have an issue they are trying to work though….
-YES LEARNING TO TIE YOUR SHOES IS AN ISSUE….SO IS LOSING YOUR MARKER CAP!
Before Greyson made his debut in to this world I knew that I was going to breastfeed, it had been something on my heart from day one of finding out my husband and I were expecting. I knew the benefits my milk could offer my baby and my financial situation.
-DONT LIE YOU KNOW YOU WANTED TO BREATS FEED TO SAVE $$$ TOO! IT’S OKAY WE CAN BE HONEST, THIS IS A SAFE PLACE…
So… During delivery my OB looked up at me and said… “Do you want us to clean him first or lay him on you? I vividly remember saying…
-I WANT TO HOLD HIM!
As soon as I delivered my sweet boy, Dr. Vallery placed him on my chest. It is the single most amazing moment in my life, next to marrying my husband, who that moment would have been impossible without. The feelings I felt are difficult to describe so I won’t even try…
At 10:39am, on April 23, 2015 mine and my husbands lives were forever changed. Greyson Michael Copenhaver had finally arrived!
Immediately after our skin to skin session Greyson began rooting (he wants the milk!) He latched on like a champ with little assistance from me. It seemed so natural just like so many websites and books claim.
-I THINK I GOT THIS BREAST FEEDING THING! I HAVE TO ADMIT, I WAS PRETTY PROUD OF MYSELF!
Pride goes before destruction….
As the night went on I began to feel pain when I nursed so much that I consulted with three different lactation consultants during my two day stay in the hospital. My sweet boy had literally turned my nipples to hamburger meat (sorry for the intense visual)! It was incredibly painful to nurse. I had tears in my eyes every time. For goodness sakes I was even bleeding! After my first night one of the nurses brought me a nipple shield. It was uncomfortable and made feeding Greyson even more difficult but, it worked. I was sent home with well wishes and two shields a few days later.
Fast forward a few weeks…. Greyson had his two week check up. The doctor was a little disturbed that he had lost over a pound. He suggested that I visit with a lactation consultant to see if there was something going on with my transfer. Keep in mind it’s normal for babies to lose weight after birth but the percentile of loss Greyson was in alarmed my pediatrician. Fast forward three consultations later…. Greyson and I were still having issues. I blamed everything, myself, the nurses even that stupid shield… Which btw did cause some pretty painful damage. My sons suction was so hard that my nipples literally went through the holes in the shield popping blood vessels and therefore creating button like look (four holes where if you connected them would make a square) on my nipples, I’ll spare you the picture.
-YEP I TOOK ONE!
On top of the barrier (shield) I seemed to not be producing a whole lot of milk…
-YES, IT’S POSSIBLE!
I tried everything from fenugreek to lecithin. Nothing seemed to work and Greyson never seemed satisfied.
-NO HE WASN’T CLUSTER FEEDING.
Still determined to give my baby the “best” I decided to pump after feeding sessions, every feeding session. I would feed, pump, sleep (ha), feed, pump, sleep, feed, pump and sleep. This cycle went on for two months until my friend Missy finally had an intervention with me. I was sleep deprived, exhausted physically and emotionally and even worse I was becoming frustrated with my son (never good and hard to admit). She literally told me to “slap some cabbage on (dries your supply, what little I had) and go by formula, Greyson will be okay!” Her experience with breast feeding was very similar to mine almost parallel. So I knew she understood my feelings and the mommy guilt I had over making the switch to formula.
-NO I DID NOT QUIT, I DID WHAT WAS BEST FOR ME AND MY BABY.
Greyson did not deserve the mother I had become. I needed to give him my very best (that doesn’t necessarily mean my milk) and formula allowed me to do that. It’s like something one of my friends Shanna said to me (btw she is an awesome photographer! click here to check her out!) “Milk doesn’t love babies, mommies do!”
So, though my breastfeeding journey was cut short I am thankful that I could do any of it at all. So again, I leave you with this quote….
“Milk doesn’t love babies, mommies do”
To all my mommies out there, please do not let breast feeding define you as a mother because it doesn’t! Everyones journey is different, feeding our babies looks different but, the one thing all mommies have in common is that we love our babies unconditionally!