When I first decided to take the breastfeeding class at our local hospital, I had NO idea what I was in for. I thought “I’ll just try it, if it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work.” Silly me, I had no idea how much of an effect it would have on me. I also didn’t know that 12.5 months later I would sit and cry as we had a joint decision to end our nursing journey.
In our first two hours at the hospital, little man latched on. For the most part he had it down pretty well. We had our ups and downs like anyone nursing for the first time, but overall he was gaining weight and we didn’t think too much about supplementing. When little man was 8 days old, I couldn’t stop crying, I was exhausted and was having an overall frustrated day. My prescription of Tylenol had run out and I honestly just didn’t feel well. After a call to the doctor, a nurse trying to convince me I had PPD (postpartum depression) and a scheduled appointment I sat in my chair bawling because I could not get him to latch and I had no patience to do so.
The next morning I was diagnosed with a severe uteran infection, dehydration & a bad UTI. It turned out that I was Group B+ and had tested negative. I had left the hospital with a fever and the shakes but they assured me it was hormones. It turned out not to be and the Tylenol they sent me home with was masking the real problem.
Ultimately I had to pump and dump for 10 days. I had enough milk pumped already that we were able to give little man two bottles a day of milk and then supplemented the rest. I felt like a horrible mommy (hormones crashing anyone?!). I thought for sure this was the end but was determined to try and continue. Little man latched right on and we were back at it after our 10 days. I was so happy!
Upon returning to work I started pumping 3 times a day. Unfortunately, despite pumping 12-15oz a day it was still not enough. Little man was eating 3-4 bottles of pumped milk a day followed up with 2-3 of formula. He was a piggy. We kept chugging forward.
Around 6 months we started giving more formula and then 1 or 2 pumped bottles a day. We continued to nurse in the morning, in the middle of the night, at night and on the weekends. All along I had said I wanted to make it to a year of nursing at least once a day.
As time went on our nursing switched to mornings and nights. At 11 months I stopped pumping (hallelujah!!!!!), work was getting busy, I was tired of it and it wasn’t worth going twice a day for 2-3oz to me. Little Man was drinking up to 8 at a time and it took me 3 days to get him a bottle’s worth!
At one year we dropped our morning nursing session. With a recent vacation we decided to keep going at night to avoid changing up his routine too much. This weekend we decided it was time for a new bedtime routine.
A HUGE part of me is sad that our nursing journey is over, but another part of me looks forward to nursing my next baby (someday). Little Man and I spent hundreds of hours bonding and I wouldn’t trade that time for the world. We watched many different fish in his fish tank (next to our nursery chair), spent hours just talking, time just rocking and nursing and ultimately had one of the greatest bonding experiences of my life.
I had a lot of doubts many times throughout our journey but I am happy to say that even though it was far from exclusive, I nursed for a year and earned my golden boobies!
(Please note: while these are my views on my personal nursing experience, I know many other people have their own opinions and views. These are 100% my views based on my own experience. It is not to offend anyone in any way, shape or form.)