I think I went through it all, or at least a lot
by Jackie Ebert
My mother is a lactation consultant so there was no question on me breast feeding. I would have had an ear full if I didn't at least try. I was excited to know that although my health insurance didn't cover my son's circumcision it did cover my breast pump. So the day my son was born and I nursed for the first time, it was this amazing, yet weird feeling all at the same time. My mother's co-workers (lactation consultants) came in and saw who I was they chuckled and said "So I guess you won't be needing us." It was good though to see other techniques that they used vs. just what my mother was telling me.
When his testing came back saying he was slightly jaundice I knew he wasn't getting much yet and I supplemented with some formal. My milk finally came in on day number 6. That was a rough first few days. I continued to supplement 1-2 oz of formula a day I wasn't5 quite producing enough food for him yet. Week number 2 was not better might have even said it was worse. My nipples were sore, full of blisters, and colored purple. I began pumping every other feeding just to give my nipples a break. I went and saw an outpatient LC. We tried using the nipples shields. Those didn't work at all. We began to think maybe he wasn't latching right and in turn hurting me and not transferring milk. He had a large bubble palate. After trying, warm packs, ice packs, nipple cream, treated for yeast, nipple shields, every holding position to try to relieve my sore, painful nipples and still nurse him, I decided to pump exclusively for the next few days. I was so afraid that after getting a bottle he wouldn't go back to the breast but I thought, well at least he is still getting breast milk. I tried nursing again and it felt worse after the week of not nursing at all. I came to the decision to pump exclusively and bottle.
After about 2 weeks (taking fenugreek to increase my supply) I was pumping enough to I didn't have to supplement formula. Woohoo!!! Man was that hard, waking up in the middle of the night, feeding my son the previous pumped bottle, then pumping again. I am a single mom so there was no one to help me in the middle of the night. After a while the pain got better but was never gone. It felt like this deep tissue pain. My mother (the amazing mom she is) was at work doing research and brought up every idea that she could think of; engorgement, mastitis, etc? Finally one day she brought home the idea that maybe I have raynauds. So I went to the doctor and was put on medicine (although my doctor had no idea what I was talking about, she had to ask 5 colleagues before one of them heard of this and had the info for the right medicine I could take)
About a week later I noticed the pain was gone, amazing. I was so excited. I continue the medicine for the recommended time 2 weeks. Got off it, the pain came back, so my doctor lowered the dose and told me to stay on it for a month. About 2 weeks later. I got this migraine. I was there for 2 weeks. I was so distraught and in agony, taking care of a baby, pumping and bottling by myself I broke down. My son was 5 months at this point. I was so exhausted I was ready to give up (the pumping thing) I prayed "God I can't do this anymore, my head is killing me and I just don't have the energy to pump and bottle him" I put him to breast he was hungry and there was no fresh milk for him. I thought just maybe it would sooth him until my friend got off work to help me. Low and behold, he nursed for 20 mins both sides. It didn't hurt and we both fell asleep on the couch for 2 hours. It was heaven. Still had the headache. Came to find out the medicine for the raynauds was giving me the headache. Went off that and wow the headache was gone, and we were still nursing. 1 week of full nursing, just pumped at night and in the morning because my body was producing more than he was eating. No sore nipple no deep breast pain (well the pain still comes and goes but never as bad as it was) The Lord answered my prayer.
Up until he was 11month I still pumped every morning and every night. We have a freezer full of milk. I donated milk 3 times all totaling over 500oz. I love being able to nurse now. I was so amazed that after 4 months of no breast he went back to it. I have a pro for a son. I disbelieve that if introduced to a bottle that they won't take the breast again, at least that wasn't the case with my son. I have few friends who pump exclusively for variance reasons; some said "I am afraid of him biting me" Or this is my favorite, "My breasts are for the sexual satisfaction of my husband, that would just be gross to have my son/daughter eat from them." Here is my take, my son bit me twice, I pulled him off said "Ouch, No" and put my shirt down. He has not done it since then. He has nine teeth and doesn't bite me. As for the husband thing, God made breast to produce milk for a reason and I am sure the reason you get it after a baby is to feed your baby. I am just saying I think that is obvious why our body makes it.
I find as he got older the more fun it was to nurse. Randomly he will start laughing with nipple and all in the mouth, so cute. Now he tries to nurse in the weirdest ways. Upside down, kneeling on my thigh, trying to stand up while nursing, or the many ways he can put is body and still nurse. I am so glad I am a breast feeding mom, my son loves it and it is the healthiest for him. I know if I can do it through all that then I know so can most women.