if you knew me pre-everett, you know that i was a little freaked out by the thought of nursing my baby. i was just not keen on the idea at all and i was planning to exclusively pump.
once i got pregnant and researched more on the topic, i warmed up to the idea a little. i read and read on proper latching, holding positions, when to feed, how to gauge whether or not the baby is getting enough to eat. i took classes, asked questions – you name it, i did it. i wanted to be prepared. it wasn’t until my husband placed our baby in my arms that i felt that natural motherly instinct to feed/nurse my child.
everett was a champ. he nursed so wonderfully! he already knew what to do and that made it easier for me, too. but then we hit a wall.
on our second night at the hospital, everett was hysterical. he would not stop crying. he would eat for a little bit and then fight me off, still crying. i began to think something was terribly wrong. the on-call pediatrician took a look at him and said all seemed fine. i was determined to exclusively breastfeed, so i asked the nurses not to give him a bottle with formula. …that only led to more crying. this cycle went on for what seemed like hours upon hours. at one point, the charge nurse was in my room trying to console me because i had become an emotional wreck. finally, my husband and i made a decision to allow everett to have a formula bottle. and, wouldn’t you know, that did the trick. my poor baby was so hungry. of course, i felt like the world’s worst mother. i just wanted him to have the best possible and i knew that that was breastmilk.
from that point on i have struggled, beyond my wildest dreams, with breastfeeding. everett was a perfect little eater from the first minute. it was all on me. my body just could NOT produce enough milk for him. i tried everything: from having him latch every couple of hours, getting up all hours of the night to pump, eating all sorts of ‘milk enhancing’ treats, taking fenugreek and mother’s milk, talking to a lactation nurse, MY doctor, drinking a special blend of tea, taking a prescription milk enhancer, drinking a swimming pool amount of water… nothing really helped. to this day, i still do not produce enough to solely provide my son with breast milk. and, you know what, THAT’S OKAY. i’m not going to lie to you and say that it doesn’t weigh on a person because it does. especially when it seems like every other person around you can produce a million gallons of breastmilk…while it takes me a couple of days to even get enough for a single bottle. it’s discouraging.
although everett was not exclusively on breastmilk, he is one healthy and good-natured little boy. i give him what i can. i’ve been persistent with pumping and have been able to provide some breastmilk for him for a year. that was my goal and i did it!
my advice to you, if you’re struggling with breastfeeding: don’t get down on yourself. everyone’s body is different. do what you can! you are a good mother and your baby loves you more than anyone in the world.
good luck to you!
if you have questions or would like to share any of your experiences/resources, comment below.