Wow, breastfeeding is no joke. Before Liam arrived I promised myself I'd hold myself to no unrealistic standards, set no "goals" or timeliness but would breastfeed, if I could, for as long as I could. Four weeks later I'm glad I did this; I'm glad I didn't set unrealistic standards and I'm glad I tried to breastfeed...I'm still trying. I should mention now I do truly believe that "breast is best" but there is absolutely nothing wrong with formula feeding your baby as you will soon read...
Liam has been a champ, he knew what he was doing from the beginning, I was just along for the ride. Unfortunately my body is unsure of this whole thing (not surprising my body would do this to me).
TMI warning! For one thing breastfeeding hurts, especially at first or if he's really hungry! I felt so bad for the little guy those first days before my milk actually came in, he was just munching away on my poor nipples, they never saw it coming! Then it hurts when your milk does come in, holy molly giant boobies! Then my body decided it was unsure about this game and one breast stopped making milk. Great. I called the lactation consultant only to learn this is normal. I thought "Really? Normal? To have milk in one breast! I have one giant breast....Great." (Seriously it looks like I have an implant in just ONE). Not only that but Liam clearly wasn't getting enough milk from the one with milk in it. Poor guy had a night or two where he would just cry and cry until we realized he needed more food and made him a bottle of formula (Thank God for those samples that magically show up after you have a baby!) I asked the consultant about my lack of supply and was told to pump 4-6 times per day for 10-15 minutes and take these "vitamins" 3-4 times per day. Gosh those things are nasty! Kind of a daunting task but I wasn't ready to throw in the breastfeeding towel (or burp-towel) just yet. I'm unsure if my supply is up or not so far, Liam eats everything I pump everyday and usually still needs a few ounces of formula each night. And before you say it yes I'm getting enough calories and water, I've been told this over and over by everyone I'm honest with about my breastfeeding challenges.
I didn't really think much about breastfeeding before I started, I meant to take a class or buy a book but never did. I thought I had another week before Liam arrived so I never got around to either, whoops. Perhaps I should have prepared more but I don't think it would change the things I'm going through since they are normal. I've read up about the topic since Liam has arrived, when he's napping and I can't.
Part of me wishes I was one of those women who was just able to magically breastfeed for 6-12 months with not so much as a fore-thought but no surprise that it doesn't come easily for my body. None the less I don't mind breastfeeding, I don't find it particularly bonding like some women say but I don't mind it. Perhaps I don't find it bonding because I spend most of the time trying to keep Liam awake, little guy zonks out about 1/2 way through almost every time. It is sweet though, he snuggles up to me and munches away, I wonder if I'll miss it when the time does come to move on (be that now or later).
Anyway those are tales from breastfeeding-land thus far.