Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Breastfeeding: Take 4

It has taken me 4 tries at breastfeeding to make it to my goal of breastfeeding my baby for at least the first year. Well, I haven't made it to that one year goal with Gracie just yet but on the 22nd it will be 11 months and I definetly don't forsee any weaning taking place in the next month. So I'm super happy to see my goal being met soon! It's what I set out to do since I was pregnant with my first baby 7 years ago. I knew from the time I found out I was pregnant that I would breastfeed. I never considered NOT doing it. When Jordan was born we started out GREAT! No problems at all with nursing. But due to me working outside the home we only made it about 4-5 months. When I had Mya once again nursing was going great. This time we made it to about 7 months. Both of them were given supplemental bottles of formula throughout the day (that was probably the main reason for stopping so soon--I didn't pump so my milk supply slowly dried up). Then came Mason. I breastfed him for a full 9 months. He only had a few bottles of formula now and then. I worked hard at pumping milk for when he needed bottles. I thought FOR SURE we would continue for the first year UNTIL I got a real bad kidney infection and had to be put on strong antibiotics so I couldn't nurse for 5 days. I had to pump and dump. How horrible to see all that milk being dumped down the drain. And how horrible it was to see Mason want to nurse so badly and not understanding why I was handing him this plastic bottle instead. I cried many tears because of that! Right before bed was the worst. He seemed SO sad to be missing out on those nursing sessions. By the time it was time to nurse him again he had almost weaned himself. I continued to breastfeed him for about another month but it didn't go very well. So now I'm on my 4th try at it. It has been going GREAT! Forget the supplemental bottles of formula, forget pumping (I mean, really, WHO has time to pump??..I sure don't!) I just feed Gracie when she needs to be fed. No messing around with pumping. Usually that involves me feeding her while walking around the house doing other things but hey, she's happy! As long as she has boobie she's a happy girl! Since I don't pump I have had to buy a can of formula for when we are in the car. She SCREAMS when we go anywhere. So I put the formula in a bottle and it helps keep her content while we drive somewhere. BUT other than that no formula.

I keep trying to think of why this time around it was so successful. All of them started out the same so why is it lasting so long this time? I came to the conclusion that it's because now I feel more comfortable and confident with it. The first two, I would leave the room to nurse the baby (even in my own home). I just didn't feel comfortable when other's were around (besides Ryan of course). Even with a blanket over I was afraid the blanket would slip off or something. When I think about it now, how foolish of me. With Mason I was a little more comfortable but I still wouldn't do it in public. I guess I was afraid someone would make a negative comment?? Again..foolish. But with Gracie I bought a nursing cover and with that I have nursed her everywhere! I feel comfortable because I don't have to feel like I might accidentally expose myself in a way I would not want to. Now of course at home I don't use that. Just in public. So, I guess since I have felt more comfortable I didn't have anything holding me back from doing what I wanted to do for my baby. Now I'm thinking that this time my issue might be with weaning. I've never "had" to wean really. It just kinda happened slowly on it's own. Gracie sure LOVES to nurse! Especially at night. She would all night long if I would let her. She seems to think I'm an "open all night" milk bar! Either that or she is using me as a human pacifier. (she's my only child that refused to take a pacifier--to this day she won't take it!) So we'll see how that goes when that time comes to wean. I'm not sure when that will take place. I'm just SO happy to have almost made it a solid year of breastfeeding!

Now on a side note. I do think breastfeeding is a great thing and EVERY mother should at least give it a try. BUT I don't hold anything against you for formula feeding your baby. I know each person's situation is different and everyone has their reasons for not being able to breastfeed. I do not judge you. I trust you have done what is best for your baby and your situation.


NanaDiana said...

I was lucky enough to be able to nurse 3 of my 4 kids too. It is such a wonderful bonding experience. Not only that, I think it is easier than having to prepare bottles...whip out the boob and presto-bingo- lunch is served. I, too, was always really shy about nursing in front of anyone. I never did it without a small cover of some kind, even at home I kept a small cover up blanket at hand. Congrats-Hope you make it the full year. My longest was 10 months.

Simply Sherri said...

Congrats on making it as far as you have! Its always sad to have to give up that nursing relationship sooner than you had hoped.

I never not considered breastfeeding either. I just knew I would do it. Even when so many people in my area don't and think I'm crazy for doing so... LOL.

I set my goal for a year with DD. By the time she was 9 months old I decided I wanted to go at least 18 months because she was so darn tiny. Unfortunately we only made it to 13 months. She was bit in the face by a dog and had a huge gash inside her mouth (not to mention stitches under her chin and in her cheek) and her little mouth swelled to the point of not being able to latch on. She tried to suck her pacifier and it was so sad seeing it hanging in one corner of her mouth since that's all she could get closed. Anyway, after she healed we tried to nurse a time or two but by then she was quite content with the sippy cup and wasn't interested in nursing any longer.

DS nursed to 20 months. I really had no intention of nursing him past a year but as he crept up on 1 year I realized that he just wasn't ready to give up his nummies. I decided to go ahead and let him nurse as long as he wanted. He weaned himself from day time nursing at 18 months and at 20 months he gave up the night time sessions too.

I'm glad you are getting over your fear of nursing in public. That is one thing that never bothered me. Well, it may have at one point but I don't remember it bothering me. I just remember my baby being hungry and me having no choice other than to feed her where we were. She was 4 days old, and I nursed her in a busy book store. After I survived that, I had no problem nursing her anytime, anywhere. :) Neither of my babies ever took bottles. I tried with both but they both refused.

Shawna said...

Diana--I's such a wonderful bonding expirence. And yes, I LOVE that I don't have to mess with mixing up bottles..the boob is ALWAYS ready! Gotta love that!

Sherri--what a sad story about your DD...I'm SO sorry that happened. ANd sorry your nursing had to get cut short. But hey, you still made it to 13 months..that is GREAT!
How nursing is going now, I can see Gracie starting to possibly lose interest in nursing during the day. However, I have a feeling it's going to be a long time before she's ready to give up night time. Which is fine by me. I'm in no rush.

Thanks for the comments ladies!