When I found out I was pregnant, I already knew that I was going to breastfeed. It wasn’t a decision that I had to come to or wonder about. I just knew. For me, I wanted to make sure that I experienced everything about motherhood I could. In my mind, pregnancy and becoming a new mom meant baby kicks in the belly, cravings for cheesecake at 3 in the morning, having a vaginal birth and breastfeeding. I did crave cheesecake but for a day and it was around dinner time. I ended up having a C-section (after being in labor for 77 HOURS!) and at first I bummed but the Universe knew my heart. I was terrified of the pushing and splitting and the pain so the C-section worked for me. The baby kicks were amazing, beautiful, exciting and more than I could have dreamed of…until it felt like he was kickboxing and doing somersaults. That’s when things got interesting. Otherwise I was in love with it. Breastfeeding though…was a whole new ballgame. One that I was not prepared for even though I thought I was.
First off, why was breastfeeding so important to me?
I wanted that connection, yes but also I read about all of the great things that Xavier would get from the breast milk. New moms, whether you breastfed or not, it was at least brought up through your OBGYN or a nurse or a friend or family member. I read everything I could about it and was convinced almost immediately. He won’t be as sick, it will help with acne and eczema, decreased the risk of SIDS, helped brain development, plus it had so many nutrients to help him grow that I couldn’t imagine not doing it. What surprised me though is almost everyone in my inner circle did not breastfeed, did not have any desire to do so nor were they breastfeed either. My mother didn’t breastfeed myself or my brother. Neither did most of her sisters. I always seemed to get the same response as to why they didn’t. They thought it was gross, they felt weird giving their baby their breast (which really threw me for a loop) and some said it was easier to make a bottle. Before I go any further, I respect all who make the decision to breastfeed or not. What you do with your child will work for you and that is okay. I cannot and will not judge a woman who doesn’t breastfeed because every woman will mother the way she wants. I can say for me, I without a doubt wanted to breastfeed.
I am so glad I stuck with it.
I almost didn’t. After finding out that my son had jaundice and the fact that my breast milk hasn’t come in so it made things worse, I was ready to quit. I thought I was doing a great job. I thought he was getting nutrients. I felt pretty confident in what I was doing. So much so that I ignored the advice of the lactation consultant. Now, I blame that on being sleep deprived but in the midst of my ignorance, I was so glad that we had chosen the pediatrician we had for Xavier. Everything happened within a perfect mess. Had it been one more day, had she not insisted on us getting his blood work done, had she not put a rush on everything, I may not have my son today. All of that brought us back to the hospital to where I found out that my milk hasn’t come in yet. After I cried for a full day straight, the consultant showed me what to do and then I saw the milk. I was so happy and excited and scared all at the same time. After that huge scare, coming back home and knowing that I was in fact feeding him, I learned there was still so much to learn.
Feeding every two hours and he’s still crying???
I will let the new moms know that in the beginning, it’s hard. Both you and your baby are learning together. They’re hungry and tired. You’re exhausted and will feel like a cow constantly milking with feeding your baby and pumping. It is hard in the beginning. I will not lie and say it’s not. Once you get into a groove, then your baby wants more. They’re crying and it seems like you aren’t filling up fast enough. All I can say is keep going. Keep going at it. Your baby is getting enough. You are doing great. Your baby will go through the growth spurts and it will seem never ending but it will. Things will be crazy. I remember feeding Xavier in my room. I think he wasn’t even a month old yet. He wouldn’t stop crying. I stopped feeding him and tried to play with him. Crying. I tried to read him a story. Crying. As a new mom, trying to figure what’s wrong was hard enough. I then started crying because I didn’t know what to do. I woke my husband up, only for him to hold him and Xavier went straight to sleep. I growled at the wall and tried to catch a few Zzz. Ten minutes later, he woke up and he was hungry. I learned at that very moment that I as a new mother and he as a new baby are learning together and everything is going to work out. I also learned that my husband liked the fact that he was the ‘hero’ so to speak. I was fine with that. I just wanted to get some sleep and to make sure Xavier had enough to eat.
Don’t Give Up
If you made the decision to breastfeed, don’t give up. It is a challenge and you are going to want to but I promise you, if you keep at it, you will feel so accomplished and proud. Like I said before, if you don’t breastfeed, that’s okay too. You as the mother have the right to make that decision. We are all in the mommy tribe so I myself support all of us because we need it.