When I found out I was pregnant with my first child, I quickly purchased all the books I could to prepare myself for my impending motherhood. After thorough research, I knew that breastfeeding would be the choice for me. But, when my daughter was delivered by emergency C-section 3 weeks early, she struggled to latch on that first time and her tiny preemie mouth couldn’t seem to make it work. Thankfully, I had wonderful lactation nurses who helped me, not just in the hospital, but also after we went home. As frustrating as it was at times, I refused to give up.
We finally got the hang of it and I proceeded to nurse her exclusively for an entire year. As she grew older, I found it odd that all her friends were sick so often and she never was. She had the occasional cold here and there, but no allergies and she didn’t get the stomach flu until she was 4.
I found out I was pregnant with my son in 2007 and immediately, I knew it was time to pull out my Boppy pillow & Medela pump again. But, little did I know what a challenge lay ahead of me. He made it full term, unlike his sister, but he had several medical problems. Breastfeeding him was the most difficult experience…not at all the special bonding time I had experienced with my first. But, again, I steeled my will and continued to try everything I could to make it work.
He was later diagnosed with GERD (a severe case of acid reflux), which was why he would scream when laying down & nursing. I had to buy a different nursing pillow that helped prop him up and I learned to burp him more frequently for relief. Even though we had found our rhythm, he abruptly decided he was done with nursing at 6 months old. But, instead of giving up, I kept pumping (up to 6 times a day during growth spurts) – even when it meant setting my alarm for 4:00am to pump the milk he would need for breakfast. I continued this until he was weaned at the 1 year mark.
Looking back on it now, I can honestly say that I wouldn’t do it any differently. My kids are some of the healthiest in our circle of friends and I truly believe it is because I gave them the best start they could possibly have. Even though I have battle wounds from my years of nursing – going from a C cup down to an A and nearly destroying my breast tissue from all that pumping. It was a sacrifice that I would gladly make again – because motherhood is about being selfless, caring for your kids no matter what the cost & giving them all that you can. And, let’s face it…they’re worth it!
I am a wife of 11 years and a stay at home mom (kids ages 7 and 3). I write the blog Penny Pincher Fashion, where you will NOT find me talking about breastfeeding or my adventures in mommy-hood. But, as much as I love all things fashion & beauty, my family will always come first!http://www.pennypincherfashion.com/