Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Milk maid is a term I used to describe myself for the first month of motherhood.... that’s how I felt, like I should be put out to pasture because I was nothing more than a milk producing mammal!
I chose to breastfeed- I was nervous and unsure on how this would go. I had many dreams while pregnant that I forgot to feed the baby and I feared that my lack of knowledge on this would cause the baby to go hungry.....
While none of that happened, it was a very tough task. Nurses in the hospital trying to help- all with different advice and techniques. A crying baby-confused mother - all a recipe for disaster. I remember one night being so overwhelmed that a nurse convinced me that the baby was starving so we found ourselves syringe feeding her formula like a bird at 3am. I woke up a few hours later thinking NO.... that’s not right... she's 2 days old and is not starving- I want this breastfeeding to work!!
From there we nursed every 2 hours and pumped in between to get the milk to come in. By the time I went home she was nursing great and I felt like we had really accomplished something!
While the task was accomplished, I never realized feeding a baby every 2 hours would be... well every 2 hours lol!
it is draining on one person to be the only source of food for a baby! So here is how my day went- every 2 hours I fed her for about 30-40 minutes (mostly because she would fall asleep during).... leaving me about 40 minutes until it was time to feed her again.... and that is how my day went for about 2 weeks.... I know it was 2 weeks because I said.... "just get through 2 weeks... and see how you feel"
After 2 weeks, it got better, she ate a little faster and stopped half sleeping half eating! and we got into a groove.
My next goal was 4 weeks... we made it.
Then 6 weeks... then 8... and so on. I kept looking to the light at the end of my 2 week goal tunnel.
It did get easier. Soon I found myself nursing in public- of course I covered up, but if you know me... that is not something I would have ever done, but why should I miss out on being out of the house? Thank goodness for my husband who is so supportive and actually encourages me on this journey more than I encouraged myself!
By 8 weeks I started to enjoy feeding her. She was excited to eat, which was adorable to see her little smile every time...she occasionally took a bottle of breast milk from her dad or family members - which gave me a break and it all seemed just like part of our new normal.
I am now 12 weeks in. I am back at work and starting to feel like the milk maid again! I feed her at 5am- again at 7am... head to work- pump at 9:30-pump around 1 and then pump again around 3:30... go home feed her two more times before bed.
I feel accomplished that I have made it this far and worked this hard to keep a breastfed baby- but it was not easy to get here.
My new goal is 6 months... I am about half way there!
Some people might wonder why go through all the trouble.... isn't it just easier to give her formula? Sure, it would be easier... but I knew that parenting would not be easy and I feel like there is a reason that our bodies produce milk... it is a great bond for us... its free...its natural... I am not against formula nor do I think less of anyone that doesn’t breastfeed- I almost didn’t…. but for now this is what works for us….