In honor of breast feeding month, and the fact that I've exclusively breast fed my little one for a whole two months (HOORAAY!). In honor of that little feat, I've decided to write a post all about it, the good, the bad, and the ugly. No one can prepare you for breastfeeding, you can take lactation classes and fake nurse a cheetah all you want (yes I did). But no one can prepare you for how amazingly hard and wonderful breastfeeding is, all at the same time.
I decided to breast feed my little lady ever since I got pregnant. It wasn't really a discussion or something I had to think about. Maybe in my younger years I thought of not nursing for the exclusive selfish fact that I liked my boobs right where they were, pointing North (grimace). I've learned though after pregnancy, if you breastfeed or not, your body changes, breasts included, I'm over it. Nothing a good support bra can't handle.
Anywhoo, Breastfeeding chetahs...hmm where was I? Oh right! How no one can prepare you for the most wonderful bond a mother and child can share. You don't know how much I look forward to our little moments together, her looking up at me smiling, as if to say "thank you mama." It wasn't always this way, the first few weeks were HARD, let me tell you, I'm talking holy FIRE boobs hard! There were moments where she'd cry, then I'd cry because I knew what was coming, pain. There have been times where I just wished my husband had boobs, so he could feed her. Whoever said breastfeeding doesn't hurt if you're doing it right was lying. I'm sorry, but it hurts in the beginning.
Our breast feeding journey started as soon as she was born. It was the most amazing moment of my life. Realizing that this little being who I had carried and sustained inside me for ten months, I would now sustain with my body for at least six more months, was such an awesome thought! She latched perfectly, in fact a little to well. For such a little being her mouth was like a tiny vacuum, still is. The lactation consultant was impressed at what a strong latch she had. By the time we left the hospital I had two lovely blisters on my right breast from one bad latch. It went away of course, but man! Knowing that you have to place a bleeding scabbed nipple back in the mouth of a little vacuum every two hours is a daunting thought, but I did it.
Now that the little lady and I are mobile, I realized that nursing in public was inevitable. For me it seemed normal, babies hungry, I feed her, and try not to flash the entire public. It wasn't until the recent Instagram debacle that I realized some people have a negative outlook on public breastfeeding, or breastfeeding in general for that matter. Which I find a bit crazy...I'm only doing what my body was meant to do. And if that happens to be in the middle of grocery shopping, or at target, or out to dinner, then so be it. If it makes you uncomfortable, it's probably because you've been staring for too long.
We have our moments now and then when all she want to do is nurse all day, Milk on Demand I call it. But here we are, two months in, and going strong. My advice to you new mamas out there is this. The first few weeks are the hardest. And then all of a sudden BAM! You find a groove and everythings gravy. Well maybe not gravy, I sometimes feel like all I do is nurse and try and brush my teeth before 4pm. It's so worth every pain, and every hour spent looking down at that precious face, knowing that I'm giving the absolute best to my little bear. That's motivation enough for me to keep going. Only time will tell how long our breastfeeding journey will last. I'm planning on sticking with it up until 14 months if I'm able.
I hope speaking out continually on my breastfeeding journey will give strength and courage to other mamas to do so as well. The hardest part of breastfeeding is having no support. As women and mothers we should be doing all we can to support one another, and our little babes.