Wednesday, July 9, 2014

My Nursing Journey

So Sunday, Ansley will be 20 weeks old, and that means 20 weeks of nursing. I feel like I wanted to do an entry about our journey together so far. (I actually wrote this in my journal first, and decided I wanted to share) The beginning was difficult. The first day in the hospital, I tried to assist Ansley in latching, and was holding my nipple the wrong way, which resulted in an awful sore that ended up blistering, scabbing, and bleeding. It took a good three months for it to grow back.. there was a legit chunk missing. (As you can see now, I have no filter, so if you don't want to read this, don't read it. This is just real talk.) Well because of my injury and the immense burning raw pain that came with it, I favored the opposite side. In doing so, I created one breast that gets massive, and the other that only fills about half way, AND an issue with supply sensitivity.. meaning ANY and EVERY time I am stressed, my supply in the "bad boob" virtually disappears, and I have to go through a whole routine of trying to bring it back. I pump constantly, don't ever supplement with anything ever.. and drink plenty of Mother's Milk tea. I only discovered it about a month ago. There were several times while in pain from the initial latch injury that I thought I would have to stop nursing, but I suffered through and am glad I did. Since I've been healed though, there has been three distinct times that I didn't think I would get my supply back. I even tried to give formula one night because Ansley was losing her mind, but she completely refused it. Any nursing mother who has dealt with supply problems knows its a vicious cycle of stress causing problems and those problems causing stress and then next thing you know, you have only nursed three months and you have a supply issue and completely give up.. which can be devastating, especially if you had a goal in mind for how long you wanted to nurse to begin with.
Well good thing my daughter was persistent and wanted to feed often and we always got my supply back. she is very sensitive.. its almost like she legitimately NEEDS to nurse to be in a good mood. There have been times where I had to go do a client's hair and my boyfriend stayed home with her and fed her a bottle and she literally would be in the worst mood when I would get home and would want to be on me for hours and would refuse to sleep. I can only imagine if she strictly got bottles.. Yikes.
I guess the whole point of writing about nursing, is that despite all the drama and difficulty we have had so far, we always manage to get through it, and I just love nursing her. It's just as good for me as it is for her, and so I wanted to really write down the things I love about it so that later on down the line and I can read this (in my hard copy journal) and remember all the sweet memories we had.

1. Getting up in the middle of the night, in the dark, getting her out of bed and laying in the spare bed and just feeling so relaxed and at peace as my baby girl suckles away and falls back asleep at my breast. Then waking up and seeing her precious, relaxed face, sleeping face, as she cuddles up to her mommy she loves so much and relies on for protection.
2. When she reaches up and touches my mouth so I give her kisses. Ever since she was a newborn I would hold her little hand and give it kisses while I nursed her, and now she willingly reaches up so I kiss her. I just think it's the sweetest thing in the world.
3. Sometimes, based on her mood, she grins while she nurses, and tells little stories while still latched on.
4. Sometimes, if she is REALLY into her story, she pulls off and babbles forever, telling me all about her dreams and how happy she is that I am holding and feeding her. ;)
5. It may be annoying to some, even to me occasionally, but if she is really hungry, she HATES it when I try to burp her between sides and will have a huge fit. She bitches til I take the other boob out, but as soon as its out, she stops, grins, and does this little wiggle and scrunches her nose before she latches. Her attitude is hilarious, and so much like mommy.
6. Finally, I love that it is a bond for us specifically, and I know some will say that sounds selfish, but once you push a baby out of your crotch, you should be allowed to have something just for the two of you.. your own special thing that no one else can be a part of. I have no problem with other people's choices on how they want to nourish their little ones, but nursing is for me and I am so thankful that I have been able to do it as long as I have, and hope to be able to do it for several more months to come.

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