Thursday, August 2, 2012

Breastfeeding Week: August1-7

So this week (started yesterday) is BREASTFEEDING WEEK! That's right ladies! It is the time of year we celebrate the amazing thing that is our boobies.. for their actual purpose... to feed our children. 
I thought I would start today with some local things that are going on to celebrate. we are doing a breastfeeding walk tomorrow morning.

I also am selling boobie hats for 10$ only this week. 
My kids hats normally sell for 15$ but for this week they are 5$ off. I have a goal of selling 10 because that is how much money we need to finish paying the car insurance this month. So far I am halfway there.

So now I would like to talk about what breastfeeding means to me. What our walk with breastfeeding was like. I knew I wanted to breastfeed well before Bug was even conceived. Our birth story though as I have written about before was less than ideal and that is putting it mildly. My child and I were separated for a long time somewhere between 30 mins and 2 hrs... I was out of it so my recollection of how much time had really passed is fuzzy. After slicing and dicing me in a coerced c section I was pumped full of morphine, percocet, and ibuprofen. I know they gave me a few other things too, as well as the spinal... so to say the least I was on so many drugs that I personally fell it was dangerous to bf in the first place, yet I was assured it was fine. I was finally handed my baby and was not gently showed how to breastfeed. I remember just nodding and agreeing but inside screaming "give me my child you witches!!!!" I just knew what to do.. I didn't need or want their help and their gruff harsh help would not have helped any struggling mother anyway so I do not know who they thought thy were helping. We were handed a breast pump (a cheap hand held) and bottles, we were also given 2 cans of formula. I was really wondering by the end of our stay if anyone left that hospital a successful breastfeeder. Had I not been so determined I may have not succeeded. Bug however latched perfectly the very first time. There was no pain, no fear.. we both just came together and knew how to do it. He fed all day and night the second day and my the next morning my full milk had come in. The nurses would take him away from me for hours at a time and were not bringing him back to me for feedings.. I didn't know enough to ask then but I now know they must have been feeding him formula. I realize now I knew not much. You can study all the books and websites you want but you still are too shy and too fearful to mess up with your first child to second guess anyone, least of all midwives, doctors, and nurses. This knowledge now has only served to reinforce my desire for a home birth.
Once we were finally home and my sweet baby boy was under my protection we took to breastfeeding like a fish to swimming. I was pretty fearless about it too. I did cover up a lot in the beginning but only with a receiving blanket. After awhile though I stopped caring and breastfed openly and unashamedly despite several nasty encounters. At the time I did not have many Mom friends and most of the ones I did have formula fed from day one... so it was an uphill battle to say the least. I had no help or support to help guide us. Still though we did it... month after month we made it through. Even when I went to school we still nursed. I would nurse 2 times in the mornings and then first thing when I got home... trying to take a few classes per day as possible to make sure he didn't have to use a bottle much. To me breastfeeding was joy, just pure joy. We co slept and so I got to go to bed every night holding my precious child in my arms and feeding him milk from my body. It was he most important and beautiful thing I ever did as a parent.
Sadly a around 9 months he went through a feeding strike. He started walking, talking, and eating non pureed foods all at the same time... right around 8 months so after a few weeks he just stopped wanting to nurse.
I know now that I could have worked through it, I could have started nursing again later on once I realized the truth, I could have even relactated months later.... I did not know any of those things at the time. Now that I do it breaks my heart. We did not make it to a year. Yet my issues with breastfeeding have taught me so much, and also helped me help many other mothers who HAVE made it to a year and passed. I know now that with our second child I want to go no shorter than 18 months. That is 9 months longer than Bug... 2xs the amount of time we made it with him. If I can make it to 18 months I will be so happy. Still though to be able to have felt the joy of breastfeeding for even one day was a blessing. I can't wait to do it again.

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