Thursday, December 1, 2016

The Truth About Breastfeeding





There is a lot of girl talk in this post. You've been warned.

Let me get all the fluff out of the way...

- I'm so thankful for being able to feed my child.
- I'm so thankful to be able to produce enough to feed my child.
- I'm so thankful my body has cooperated from day one and breastfeeding has come more natural than I ever imagined.
- I'm so thankful that I'm a human cow and have over-produced from the beginning affording me to have over 500 bags of frozen milk stored in our freezer.

Is that enough pat on the back statements? Good.

Now let's get to the truth...

Breastfeeding in the single most sacrificial thing I've ever done in my life.

Seriously.

From day one I quickly realized why so many women give it up for whatever reason. How come the person who just pushed a human out of a pin-sized hole then has to turn around and have their boobs mutilated for God-knows how many months? All the while everyone else gets to just hold the baby.

I quickly became one of those people who envied all those around me who got to hold Graham without having to whip a boob out. So many people would say, "Well you just held him for 45 minutes while you nursed him" and I'd have to pull a b-move a tell them that I'd love to hold my child while is isn't literally attached to my body.

As time went on, and things got easier, I still hated it. I dreaded the fact that I was the one who had to leave the room, cover up, eat a cold meal, get up in the middle of the night, etc. because I was his sole source of nutrition. I hated (and still do) that my wardrobe has to be nursing friendly. I dreaded the pain that came with it and the fact that my world truly revolved around whether or not my boobs would explode.

It was right when G turned three months that I was going on 4-5 hours of broken sleep for about a week, when I had a huge breakdown and told Chris that I just couldn't do it anymore. I would get up to feed G for 30-40 min (when things were all said and done) and then I'd have to pump because he wouldn't fully drain me, and by that time it would be only an hour or so before he'd wake again. I was miserable.

Luckily, Chris had a plan that literally saved me. He suggested that he just give G a bottle while I pump, that way I wouldn't have to do both. Duh! What a genius I married, right? Haha!

So, from 3 months on, anytime G needed a nighttime feeding, Chris would hop and give him a bottle while I pumped.

Now, here I am 8 months into this motherhood thing and I'm still pumping. I haven't nursed Graham in about two months (or maybe more? I can't remember) and I don't miss it one bit. He takes a bottle in about 3 minutes and I can pump around 12 ounces in 10 minutes. This is so much better than nursing him for however long.

Here's my theory on why I'm still a human cow: pumping saved me. 

I never thought I'd say it, because I despised it at first, but if it weren't for pumping, I'd have given up on this whole thing a long time ago. I've been exclusively pumping for a few months now and, although I still dread it each time I hook up to that stupid machine, it has become such a part of my routine that I am hardly even phased by it anymore.

If you know me personally, then you know I am not the mushy-gushy, sentimental type so, no, I'm not sad or sentimental in the least about never nursing Graham again. I'm actually elated because I seriously hated it that much. I am Graham's favorite person, we've bonded (blah blah blah), and I think that has nothing to do with the fact that I breastfed him for the first three months of his life. I think it has to do with the fact that I'm his mom, period.

Bottom line: do what is best for YOU. I've always been Team Sanity and if that means pumping, good. If that means formula, good. If that means, exclusively nursing until they're 5, gross, but yay for you.

Breastfeeding is the hardest and, in my opinion, worst part of becoming a new mom. I'd have five more babies by now if boobs weren't involved. So, new moms, just know that it might get better, but it might not, and that's okay. Just know that your baby will love you and that you are doing a great job.

Now, I'm off to count down the days until I've weaned myself off of this milking machine.

Happy Thursday!

PS: My child is 8 months old today and I'm going to find out how to slow down time. Wish me luck!

9 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you shared this! I think this is the part I'm not worried about. I don't mind either way what way Adilynn gets her nutrients but I'm worried about if I will be strong enough to sacrifice myself for her at all moments in time. Sounds selfish when I type it out but it's definitely a thought that has been present, especially here lately.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Breast feeding is so unnatural... its so glamorized but honestly... it takes 2 full weeks to learn how to do it...and what people don't understand is it IS easier than cleaning and filling a bottle in the middle of the night... but it is isolating.. I'm glad I did it... but it really isn't for everyone...

    ReplyDelete
  3. This post totally strikes a chord with me as I sit here at work pumping away! Thanks for sharing the unglamorous side of nursing.....and for letting other moms know it's ok to do what works best for their family!

    ReplyDelete
  4. yes! i exclusively pumped too and it was the best fit for me!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks for sharing! I was one of the lucky ones that had a kid eat a full meal in 10 minutes from me...but yes if I was you, I would have totally done the same thing!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Thanks for sharing this! This is something I've really been thinking about. I know I want to breastfeed if I'm able, but it is daunting to feel like you're the sole person responsible for feeding the baby.

    What pump do you have? I've been looking at the Medela Pump in Style.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Love our honestly! I have fed my babies all ways and I totally believe finding what works best to keep you sane and create a content baby is the way to go. When I had my littles I didn't mind nursing at all and they rarely took a bottle but that was mainly because I was driving all over God's creation taking my bigs to baseball and soccer and dance and on and on. It was a huge convenience to whip my boob out haha. Obviously whatever you decided worked because G is perfect!

    ReplyDelete
  8. Our first baby is 2-1/2 months old and I'm exclusively pumping as well because I under produce but seriously changed my life and relationship with my baby!! I agree do what's right for you and the best you can - this mom guilt thing sucks!

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love your honesty. It is so hard. I underproduce so I have to supplement with formula as well and I'm constantly going back and forth on how long I want to try and keep it up especially once solids are involved too. It is such a sacrifice and pretty much a full time job.

    ReplyDelete

Pin It button on image hover