There is a reason that I waited so long to write this post. For starters, I never even had intentions of breastfeeding baby boy #2. We had such a hard time with Noah…he wouldn’t latch, my milk supply was low, and we had ZERO support in that department where we were in Florida. I just assumed that we would formula feed Jonah when he arrived. In fact, we even went to the hospital with our formula of choice and a diaper bag of bottles.
And then Jonah was born. And he had those few complications within the first few seconds of his tiny little life. He didn’t get to come straight to me like we wanted and the nurse suggested attempting to nurse to get that bond going. So I did. And once I started I didn’t want to stop. I was providing nourishment for my baby boy. Nourishment that I had wanted badly to give to his older brother but couldn’t.
Breastfeeding has been a roller coaster of a journey for me the last seven weeks. Up and down, down and up. The first week and a half or so, I loved it. Couldn’t get enough of my sweet boy (still can’t) and our time to snuggle up and relax.
Then, I got mastitis. Which sucks the big one, if you’ve never had it. My body hurt, my boobs hurt, and I pretty much wanted to throw in the towel. Even the thought of holding my sweet boy to feed him made me cringe and I spent many nights gritting my teeth and fighting tears while he nursed. It finally got bad enough that I stopped nursing and we went straight to the bottle for the majority of his feedings and I just pumped.
About three days after they gave me a round of antibiotics, I felt like normal again and started nursing Jonah like I had been. The doctor told me to pump after each feeding to empty each side and then to pump every two hours if Jonah wasn’t awake/nursing at that time.
So I did.
And then I was engorged. Which hurt. And also led to a second round of mastitis.
Now…seven weeks into breastfeeding, I feel like we’ve finished the roller coaster ride and I can give a clear opinion on how I feel about nursing. Because two weeks ago? The opinion would have simply been that I hated it. Period. Dot. End of story.
We’re at that good place right now. That magical “aha!” place that everyone told me would come where Jonah has mastered latching on properly, my supply has leveled out, and my body isn’t completely rundown.
Things are good right now.
Jonah eats about every two hours for 5-10 minutes per side. He wakes up at night every three to four hours and nurses about five minutes before he’s back asleep for another three or four hours. We have the occasional restless night where he wakes every two hours. But, even then, he doesn’t eat but just a few minutes before he’s out cold again.
I’m back to the point of loving my little snuggly baby and enjoying my down time while he eats. Even if it’s only for just a few minutes at the time.
Does it get frustrating at times to be the only one feeding him?
Sure it does. For now, I’ve put the pump aside until he’s on more of a definitive schedule (we’re almost there). I am 100% convinced that all of the pumping with that first round of mastitis, led to the second round because of all of the extra milk. I have several bags in the freezer for when (and if) I go somewhere for an extended period of time. And I’ll be adding to that again soon. But for now, the pump is put away.
I’m past the point of feeling constant pain with each feeding and feeling too full every time he eats (no matter how long he eats).
That being said, I’m really glad that despite the pain and tears and doubting that we stuck with this this time. My husband (God love him) even told me to let’s go to formula a few times when things were really bad and I was crying during every feeding.
But I stuck it out. As much for myself as for my little guy.
I couldn’t breastfeed Noah like I wanted and there were so many who were questioning whether I would or could breastfeed this go around.
And I’ll be honest…I really didn’t want to. I didn’t want to spend six or eight more months with my body belonging to my baby. Especially after nine months of pregnancy. I didn’t want to have to be the sole resource for Jonah getting his meal (pump or no pump). I didn’t want Josh to not be able to spend time bonding during feedings with his youngest.
But all of those things are out the window now. And I’m nursing as much for Jonah and his health and well being as I am for me. To prove that I can. To show myself and those who thought that I couldn’t, that I can.
We don’t have a set time frame for when we’ll stop breastfeeding. My original goal was six months. Just depending on how he does and when he starts teething. I know we won’t nurse longer than eight months. That’s my cut off.
All of that said, I do want to thank all of you who offered support and encouragement in the beginning through email and Facebook. Those of you who shared ideas and tips for getting through those really tough times and initial weeks of getting used to each other and learning what the heck we were doing. You guys made the adjustment much easier than it could have been, and for that I’m extremely grateful!