Why doesn’t anyone ever tell you how hard it is? How physically, mentally, and emotionally draining it is? But also how rewarding it can be?
I remember when we had Bea I thought nursing was just going to be the easiest thing. Everyone with kids had prepared me for the sleepless nights, the gazillion diaper changes, the “don’t wear anything nice because you’ll have spit up everywhere”, etc etc but no one ever told me anything about nursing. But I also never asked.
With Bea, we had a go at it but it was difficult. I wasn’t producing enough, she was a bad latcher and she was eating SO SO SO much (which we later attributed to the fact everything went through her because her body couldn’t process the nutrients like a normal baby).
About 2 weeks into nursing her I resorted to pumping what I could and bottle feeding while still supplementing. I was very upset I couldn’t make it work the “normal” way but tried not to be too hard on myself.
WELL – this time I went in DETERMINED to make it work. One of my best friends, Amanda, had a baby the same time we had Bea and she struggled in the beginning but ended up nursing for a really long time. She was a true breastfeeding badass! I was so impressed and just in awe at how she could do it and I spent 9 months thinking about how I wanted to be just like her this go-around!
I wanted so badly to have the most “normal” baby experience possible since last time I convinced myself nursing didn’t work out because Bea’s health was struggling.
So, I went into it this time with a great attitude, a hopeful heart and gave it a go. I’ll save you all of the details but here I am now – 3 weeks out from welcoming Miss Poppy into the world and I am right where I was last time. Pumping when I can, supplementing and bottle feeding.
I really struggled, AGAIN, and even went to see a lactation consultant but after a solid 2 weeks of trying to make it work I decided something.
My body can’t do it all. And that’s okay.
I’ve asked a lot of my body over the last 2 years. In less than 2 years, I have carried and birthed 2 beautiful babies and given up part of my liver to save one of them. If my body can’t nurse Poppy 100% then I need to be fine with it.
Not only that, but I need to recognize that I am in a different space mentally than a lot of parents. I have had 4 doctor appointments and 1 lab draw just this week for Bea and pumping/bottle feeding has given me flexibility on timing and who is feeding Poppy. It has allowed me to successfully care for BOTH of my kids with all of the craziness that we have going on and that is what is most important.
Anywho – in the spirit of keeping things real over here on the blog – I wanted to share. And if you are reading this as an expecting mom or new mom – I encourage you to do everything you can to nurse if that’s what your plan is.
There are a lot of helpful resources out there and a lot of support to get you through the first few tough weeks. But you can do it!
And if you are in a spot where you can’t do it – don’t feel guilty. Everyone’s situation is different and at the end of the day a happy mom has happy children and you need to do what’s best for you 🙂