In my opinion, nursing is not portrayed to a new mother correctly. They make is seem SO easy in all the baby books. No one talks about how painful it is, how depressing it can be and how at some point you may resent it with every bone in your body. How all your brain cells get sucked out of your body and how you spend every second of your day worrying about your supply.
We wonder why so many moms won’t attempt to nurse OR give up after a few weeks. Because no one tells them the truth. It SUCKS (literally).
I want to give my kids the best and I am a great producer so it was a no brainer to give my kiddos “Mommy’s milk”. My daughter hated nursing so, in my mind, my only option was pumping. When I got pregnant with my son I prayed and BEGGED for him to be a good nurser. I had no clue…even with him being baby #2 what my next year would look like.
No bottles, very few sippy cups…just Mommy for 13 months. We tried everything to get this child attached to something other than me. It hasn’t worked. I’ve been used as the main food source, a pacifier and, at times, a freaking TEETHER, for over a year.
I have missed so many moments with my daughter because I had to stay home for my son. First swim lesson, first trip sledding, first ER visit…I hated every minute of that. Not being able to be at that hospital with her so that I could be a cow on stand by, I felt so trapped and helpless.
I had to give up ALL dairy, my favorite food group, for 5 months because he was allergic. Almond milk ice cream is disgusting. Rice cheese is disgusting. And don’t get me started on sour cream.
I had to rush everywhere during an out of town bachelorette party and wedding so that I could pump and nurse. I was stressed about it the whole time and it look a lot of fun out of my time away.
I’ve had mastitis 5 times in the last year. My husband has had to miss several days of work and still I’ve had to take care of my kids while feeling near death a few times.
I haven’t had a full night’s sleep in over 2 years. First the pregnancy, then the newborn stage, then the “I need my paci/boob stage and finally the “my baby is sleeping but I still wake up because I forgot how to stay asleep without worry stage”. And finally the “my boobs are killing me and my son hates me because I’m weaning” stage.
I’ve flashed more people than I’ve ever cared to in public. I’ve nursed at every public place possible where we live. From the mall play place to the park. I’ve sat hunched over my little boy making oinking sounds as he sucked the life right out if whatever trip we were on. I’ve had to cut him off more than once to take my oldest potty only to listen to him scream because he wasn’t finished.
I have thrown a fit and cried (a lot more than a few times) because I wanted to be done. Because I wanted my freedom back. And, since I’m being honest here, because I wanted a bowl of ice cream.
I’ve had to listen to anyone and everyone give me advice about how I should continue, be done, put him on a schedule, no feed him when he’s hungry…etc.
I had to turn down a lot of photography clients this year because I has to be here in case my son got hungry.
I’m so tired of nursing. I am SO done. So why am I sitting here teary-eyed and sad? Because he’s my last baby and, I can’t believe I’m saying this…I will miss it.
Nursing helped me bond with my baby boy so much faster than when I pumped for my daughter. I am so proud of him for being such a good eater and am so thankful that he knew just what to do. He taught ME how to do this. My 4 hour old baby looked at me at the hospital and all but told me “don’t worry mommy, I got this”.
I have spent hours that have added up to days of my life sitting in this rocker feeding this little guy. I hated the down time then, but I will miss being able to stare at him sound asleep in my arms. His little cheeks pink because he’s so warm (why do little boys sweat so much?!) and seeing his little ears go up and down while he sucks because that’s what the nurses said to focus on when it hurt. So much cuddle time that I am very thankful for.
Nursing for 13 months was my personal marathon. This was the biggest challenge and the payoff has been well worth it. My big boy has thrived on MY milk, I gave him the best of the best! We were able to save tons of money by not buying an ounce of formula and I was able to loose all my baby weight and still eat Oreos (did you know those are dairy free?) whenever I wanted. Oh sweet Jesus how I will be being able to eat like this.
Another great thing about my nursing experience over the last year was that another little boy benefited and thrived on my milk. I have donated over gallons of my milk to a Momma that couldn’t produce for her son. Seeing that little boy grow and hear that he’s doing well made all that extra pumping worth it.
I know there will be Moms reading this post on their phones at 3am as they nurse their baby for the 5th time that evening. You are exhausted, your boobs hurt, you look at your baby and think “a little formula won’t hurt” or “I want to just quit”. My advice- if it feels right to quit, do it. But if you feel an ounce of guilt, keep going. It gets easier. This is coming from someone that doubted myself every single time I sat down to nurse. It is WORTH it. When you are done, you WILL miss it (even if it’s a tiny bit). And when you round that final corner where you can see the light at the end of your nursing tunnel, you will be so proud of yourself and your precious baby.
Here’s to 13 months of nursing! I’m giving myself the gold star for the month as I remind myself it is no longer appropriate to eat an entire king size Snickers and sit in my son’s rocker playing Candy Crush or cruising Pinterest. Dang.