Being Brickner : My Breastfeeding Journey

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

My Breastfeeding Journey

I went back & forth about doing a breastfeeding post.  Something about anything with "breast" in the title was a little too much for me.  Then I remembered how I lost all sense of modesty during my entire pregnancy, labor, and the breastfeeding process itself.  That realization, & the fact that I hope this can be helpful to another momma or mom-to-be sealed the deal for me.  And of course, it will be a helpful reference for future Brickner babies ... someday. :)
 
I am a total Type- A, over-planner kind of person.  Waverly's nursery was complete months in advance of her July birthday, our bags were packed & hanging in the hallway for weeks in advance, & I drove around with an empty car seat for well over a month.  We took an 8-week birth class & read endless books & blogs to the point that I pretty much have a medical degree in child birth.  In fact, I may just forgo the whole hospital thing with my next child and do it all on my own.
Kidding.


What I didn't prepare for, mentally or physically, was breastfeeding.  I had every intention of feeding my girl exclusively.  Yet for whatever reason, I never thought it would be an isssue.  I just figured that that she would come out, latch right on, and we would never turn back.  I was SO wrong.
 
Despite lots of help from lactation consultants, it took a couple of days for either one of us to even come close to figuring this whole breastfeeding thing out.  The "holds" were foreign to me, the parts to that weird-looking pump were anything but easy to identify, and to put it mildly, I was in pain.  Like even more than child birth pain.  Pair that with the fact that I had no idea how long this whole thing took (or about engorgement!) ... and there was more than one moment that I almost completely gave up. 
You know, in a mad dash to the grocery store for a bottle for formula for Waverly & a bottle of wine for me.


There were MANY moments of frustration when I didn't think we would ever make it through. Just like they say, when you think you have it all figured out, things change.  They did, ALL of the time! There were nights that I thought she wasn't eating enough to find out, I was overfeeding her. After returning to work, my supply went down & I was convinced we wouldn't even make it to half of my goal of an entire year.  We pretty much went day to day on my supply for the entire time I was back to work, and it was something I was always thinking & worrying about.
 
Long story short, the good news is that we made it through.  I am so proud that Waverly Maye never drank formula & exclusively had my milk until she was 11 months old.  Our breastfeeding dates went from moments I dreaded to time that I really cherished with her.  There really is nothing more of a bonding experience or feeling of accomplishment than being your child's one & only source of nourishment.


With that being said ... I am fully aware that for some moms & babes, it just doesn't work out.  That may even be the case for me & a future Brickner baby.  But I couldn't be happier that this time, for me & my Waverly, it did!  It's something we will always have & I really do cherish it, and love this little girl beyond words.
 

 On a side note, as happy as I am that our experience was a positive one, I was almost as happy to pack that god-awful pump FAR away. Really far.  That is one piece of baby gear I can certainly do without.
 
PS - Back to Trendy Tot Tuesday next week!  Since this little lady is FOURTEEN MONTHS this week, I wanted to document my story before I forgot about it. :) 

11 comments:

  1. Love it!! Congratulations!! It really is the best feeling and I can agree that the pain is way worse than birth. Like times a million!!

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  2. Good for you! My son was formula fed, but I exclusively breastfed both of my girls for 11 months and 14 months. I'm breastfeeding the baby now, and he's the one who is having trouble breastfeeding. I remember how bad it hurt the first few weeks with Lexie. I actually quit on day two in the hospital, but started up again at home. It was a breeze with Lily, though. Barely any pain with my next two babies. Best of luck when the next cutie comes along!!!

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  3. Your hair in that last picture is beautiful!!
    Way to go for making it 11 months :) We're going 8 months strong!

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  4. I was one of those moms who never knew a single soul to formula feed and thought all formula feeding moms on TV were lazy. I was going to breastfeed, of course, but what I didn't plan for was the preeclampsia that continued post-delivery, the anti-seizure drugs I had to stay on to live (and the fact I couldn't even be conscious enough to meet my son until he was almost 2 days old because of it) and the post-delivery complications that made it impossible. I suffered from depression about it for several months, worried I'd never bond with my baby or he'd be an obese, miserable moron (true story). I was wrong on both accounts. He's 2 1/2 and our pediatrician prints our meal plans to hand out to her clientele. She says he's the healthiest baby she knows, and exceeds all of his milestones. (Dude can sure ramble on those 6-7 word sentences no problem!) And forget the bonding issue. He's my baby, my soulmate, my cuddlebug -- I've never been apart from him, and he knows I'm his safe place. Life is so funny in the sense you can never plan for anything. I had a good friend who refused to even entertain the idea of breastfeeding and then once her baby was born, she just tried to humor herself and is now still nursing her 16 month old -- ha! That's the fun part about parenting. You really can never plan for anything.

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  5. Breastfeeding is such an interesting thing. Like, half of the positions are totally not practible. There was a pose they were showing me in the hospital called the football hold -- I was/am baffled by it.

    Yay for 11 months!!!

    We are also at 11 months and still kicking along.

    I'm totally with you about kissing the pump goodbye. I said goodbye to it at 8 months and NEVER looked back.

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  6. Thank you for sharing this. I am breastfeeding baby #2 and I have a love/hate relationship with it. I hate the hassle of pumping at work and how timing consuming it is at work. But I did it for my first one so I have to do it for the second one. Dang that mommy guilt! As much as I hate pumping I know it is worth it. I love the bonding time with #2 and the pride I feel knowing that I am his sole source of nutrition. It definitely has its pros and cons.

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  7. Just stopping by for the first time...Breastfeeding definitely is challenging and scary all at the same time! I have the chunkiest little guy and I STILL worry that he isn't getting enough! It's a love hate relationship for sure!
    www.mommysfirstyear.com

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  8. Breastfeeding is a challenge! I wasn't aware of just how hard it would be to exclusively breastfeed Henry. We are almost through the rough part after 6 weeks. I went through every road block imaginable: blocked ducts, mastitis, cracks that hurt like nothing else...and to top it off a mild case of thrush!! Ugh. Even through all the difficulties we have almost reached smooth sailing.
    Congrats to you on making it through the rough patch! 11 months is a good stretch! I hope to keep it going that long also.

    Thanks for sharing!
    JessiRene

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  9. great post! :) I'm 3 1/2 months in EBF.. and I refuse to go back to work because I want to do this for her..haha.. I know I can pump but I want to do everything I can to succeed. My goal is also a year.. Congrats btw for going 11 mos!! may be a strange question but now what?.. is miss Waverly on solids and formula now?

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  10. This is so inspiring!! I'm a working {outside the home}, pumping mom too! {blah}.
    I've been wondering if I'll make it to a year...and actually don't even know any working mom who has been able to do this... but you've given me new hope! thank you!
    your daughter is precious too- love the photographs :)
    xo
    Cassie

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  11. Thank you for this real and honest story of your journey with breastfeeding. Moms need to hear things like this. Like you, I was totally unprepared and had no idea the commitment, stress, tears, and TIME it took. Lack of supply was a huge problem for me and we made it to my first goal of 3 months (my next goal was 6, then a year). I am very proud of the time I pushed through. Although you can never feel fully prepared, I feel a lot more confident going into breastfeeding with baby #2. Congratulations on making it a year! You should be proud.

    P.s. I love the last mommy + daughter picture. SO sweet!

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