The moment I found out we were having a baby, I knew that I wanted to breastfeed. I remember going through those first couple of scary months trying to figure everything out and wondering would I be able to breastfeed. Luckily, at almost 6 months, I started to leak colostrum. Don’t get me wrong, I freaked out when I finally realized what was staining my bras but also extremely excited. When I told our doctor, she said that it was perfectly normal to start leaking before the baby came and that it meant I should have a good supply.
When I had Rylee, I tried breastfeeding her about two hours after she was born. I remember feeling nervous and scared. I hoped she’d latch and I really hoped it wouldn’t hurt. Well she latched and it did hurt but was tolerable. The nurse put her in the football position which for me was awkward and uncomfortable. I didn’t know better at the time and thought that was the proper positioning to breastfeed. Our entire stay at the hospital, I breastfed Rylee in that position. I think some of the pain stemmed from Rylee working over time trying to drink all the colostrum she could while still figuring out how to nurse. She was eating for at least a half hour each time, which caused dryness and cracking.
The colostrum is the milk our bodies produce during and a few days after pregnancy. It’s a bit thicker than our breast milk. It’s filled with nutrients and helps protect babies from infection. A couple of days after labor is when your breast milk increases and we feel that full feeling in our breasts.
I’ll never forget that day. It was day two of being home from the hospital. When I got out of bed, it felt like two weights dropped and were hanging off my body. I turned to Brandon and said “OH MY GOD, WHAT IS HAPPENING?”. My poor daughter began to breastfeed that day and because of the increase in milk, she would frequently start choking. I had so much milk that it would literally start squirting everywhere when she began to drink. I would have baby rags everywhere so every few minutes I could pull her, cover myself and give her a breather. The plus was the moment my supply came in, I no longer felt any pain. The milk helped moisturize and every time she breastfed the pain was no longer there. INSERT SMILEY DANCING FACE lol.
Breastfeeding for me was and still is a really big blessing. Obviously the bond Rylee and I have is the most beautiful thing I could have ever imagined. The only problem now is…. she will not take a bottle. I was warned and now I have a 9 month old who has been away from me for a total of about 6 hours (not consecutive). Yes, you may now insert frowny face.
I knew the first month I wanted to exclusively breastfeed and I did. The first week after she was born, my mom bought me a breast pump (check out which one and more must-haves here). Of course I was pumping for relief and not thinking to save that milk for later. When the month passed I started pumping and Brandon gave her the bottle every couple of days. For some reason on those days particularly. Rylee would scream and scream at night before going to bed. Brandon being the adorable first time dad he was, concluded that it was the bottles fault giving her gas and he no longer wanted to put her through that pain. Again adorable, and very wrong!
We stopped giving her the bottle for a couple of weeks until I told him we had to start trying again. I really wanted her to able to take the bottle and breastfeed together. We gave the bottle another try when she was about 3 and a half months and she took it! I was so relieved…. for about a week. We were giving her the bottle one to two times a day and suddenly she was not having it. She started turning her head, crying, swinging her arms and breaking our hearts. Okay, okay I’ll admit it I am a sucker too and she figured it out. We started to cave and I knew we had just been played by an almost 4 month old. I also knew we had to figure this out and quick.
If you came into my home today, you would think you were in the Babies R Us bottle isle. I think we own every brand and make of every bottle. We tried them all. We tried all the bottles that promised to feel like the breast. The ones that were great for breastfed babies and transitioning. I tried different nipples in all shapes and sizes… nothing. She wouldn’t take. Fear and frustration ran through me.
So, my Rylee is almost 10 months and is still breastfed. We try the bottle every once in a while and she loves to hold it and bite at the bottom of it. She will take a swig here and there but won’t sit and drink it. She does drink from a straw sippy cup but not for long. We are now trying the give her more solids throughout the day thing to try and wean her off the boob… thing. It’s kind of working, but she still wants to breastfeed a lot.
I am so glad I decided to breastfeed and I am so proud of myself that I have went this long. My goal of going the whole year is right around the corner. Of course I thought she’d be drinking from the bottle at this point and I would have a freezer filled with liquid gold but hey, I know now for the next baby. I am sure the day she quits, I will be reading this with a box of tissues crying hysterically.