i’m dipping into a topic that i didn’t think i would ever publicly write about. so…here goes.
i always knew i would breastfeed. actually i should say i always hoped that i would breastfeed. “knew” is such a strong word and i’d never done this before so who was i to know that it would be for me or my baby.
it was hard. good god it was hard for me. those first few weeks. a month. it must have been.
the first few days in the hospital, easy breezy. a lactation consultant came in to talk to me and i listened but in the back of my mind i kept thinking this is a waste of time. addison is doing great and i know what i’m doing. i don’t need your help. i was that person.
then we got home and everything changed. i would dread to hear that cry of hers. i would ask andrew to bounce her around a little bit more because maybe she just needed a little comforting. i would try to convince him that she wasn’t hungry. and when i had held out long enough, i would sit in the rocking chair and cry as she fed. i begged andrew to make it stop. i would stop her halfway through because i couldn’t take the pain anymore.
it’s hard. for anyone who tells you it’s not hard and breastfeeding is easy, they’re lying to you.
i finally had it one day and instead of calling a lactation consultant, i called one of my closest friends. she had a hard hard time with breastfeeding but she stuck it out. she was my inspiration to keep chugging along. she’s the reason i didn’t stop. after a long talk and lots of advice, i did a few of the things she suggested. google also helped. and a few days later, i wasn’t dreading feeding my four week old. in fact, i was looking forward to feeding her because it was finally an enjoyable experience.
a few months into breastfeeding addison, i was sitting in the rocker in her nursery that i always nursed her in and i noticed her feet were dangling off the side of my leg. and i balled. i cried not only for her growing so quickly, but for my selfishness. i apologized for being a bad mom in the beginning when it came to nursing. i weeped for making her suffer through my pain. my heart went into it and the world got blurry and i couldn’t stop the tears streaming down my cheeks. i couldn’t believe how selfish i was with feeding her. who was i to make her stop eating halfway through because it hurt me? i tore myself down and i destroyed myself with terrible thoughts on how i was a bad mom because, even though i got through it, i put addison through the selfishness of my pain.
it’s hard. but don’t do what i did. don’t ever put yourself down. you know what’s right for you and your baby and MOST IMPORTANT, your body.
reach out though friends. you can’t do this alone. and you shouldn’t have to. if i didn’t have that support system, i wouldn’t still be able to nurse addison on a daily basis at almost 7 months old. so keep on keeping on. and if you can’t do it, don’t. it doesn’t make you any less of a mom. but if you can breastfeed, it’s the most beautiful thing you will ever imagine.