Friday, 5 August 2011

Milky Tales. .


In keeping with World Breastfeeding Week, i am looking back and reflecting on my own breastfeeding journeys. I was lucky enough to be able to feed both my little ones, and for this i am grateful.


I had trouble breastfeeding R right from the beginning, he was so small, and lost so much weight during those first days. But i was stubborn and it was something i really wanted to do. 
I never realized breastfeeding would be so difficult, no one ever told me how hard or painful it could be. 
I had trouble attaching him properly, and he had shredded me to bits {seriously it looked like someone had been at my nipples with a cheese grater..} But still i persisted. {lucky i have a very high pain thresh hold, and a very supportive husband!} And after seeing lactation consultants and doctors they discovered he was tongue tied, and had to have a procedure to release his tongue. Almost instantly his feeding improved, but i still had to continue with all the expressing, top ups, supplements for both of us and all the other crazy things i did to try and increase my supply. On top of that he had reflux too, which caused us all sorts of grief! 
All in all, it was worth the effort and perseverance, I breastfed him for nine months before he decided to wean himself, just like that, he had slowly cut his feeds down and then one day just flat out refused. I was heart broken, i wasn't ready, he didn't 'need' me anymore, i was so emotional and rational at the same time, i told myself it was much better this way, it was all his decision and i hadn't had to force him to stop or wean him when he wasn't ready, he was obviously ready.


With L, everything was so much easier. I think being second time round i felt so much more relaxed and at ease, i just followed her lead. Of course we had our hiccups, her attachment wasn't great and i was a little grazed and sore, and she too developed reflux which was challenging, but things improved quicker than they had with R and i found i could deal with it all a lot better. In fact she loved breastfeeding so much she totally refused the bottle and never had one at all! 
I breastfed her happily for twelve months, until just like R, she decided she had had enough and weaned herself. Slowly but gradually cutting down her feeds in duration and frequency, to one day she just refused.
There was that feeling again, of heart break and sadness, an emptiness really, a longing, i missed having her so close, more so because i think she will probably be my last baby. I knew it was something i would never get to experience again. But i was happy in a way too, she did it all on her own, it was natural, she was ready.

I loved every minute breastfeeding my little ones, i loved the closeness and the bond, the special quiet time we had together. I felt so special that this was something only 'I' could ever do for them. And i feel so privileged and grateful that i was able to have that experience. 

What were your experiences like?

I'm joining up once again with the lovely Maxabella, what are you grateful for this week?




Enjoy your weekend!

x jody



16 comments:

  1. I had no trouble feeding at all and know how lucky I am. But the pain for the first few weeks, horrid. No one tells you about that, nor that it will end within a few weeks.

    Happy bf week!

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  2. We had trouble with my first. I was in tears on day 4 in the hospital because we were supposed to be discharged and I still couldn't feed her properly. How could I take this baby home and not be able to feed her? I was SOOO grateful to the lactation consultant who suggested a nipple shield might help and, sure enough it did the trick. She stayed on it for 3 months and suddenly just got the hang of it without. We had a few other bumps along the way, but we made it to almost 18 months. I can totally relate to the sadness of it all ending (I wrote about it today on my blog) but it is a comfort when you know they lead the weaning. It would have been too difficult for me to force it and I, thankfully, was in the position not to need to. I'm feeding my 5 month old now. She's been a good latcher from day dot and we've not had any other problems. We will see how long she chooses to feed for. I hope I get the chance to make sure I say my "goodbyes" when she's ready to wean. She is probably our last child too.

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  3. Oh what a special story - I had to stop by when I saw Milky tales even at midnight.
    My grateful is about my breastfeeding journey too.

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  4. it still makes me sad that I couldn't breast feed properly, poor Emma was so underweight that the first thing the lactation consultant did was put a bottle of formula in her mouth, it shattered me, I'm getting teary now still. But my Emma is good and healthy now so I'm glad for that. The day I forgave myself for not being the 'perfect mother' was such a weight off my shoulders. My boobs never came to the party, I just had to accept it and stop trying to beat myself up about it all.

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  5. Oh such similar stories with my two, but in a different kind of order. Charlie I totally struggled with. He had reflux and and couldn't latch on. My nipples too were mashed and bleeding, the pain! I used to cry and cry through the pain, but I was stubborn enough to keep going. I had support with la leche and Dan helped me through it. Eventually things became better and I fed Charlie til he was 13 months and he self weaned. Rufus, he was tongue tied. Fussed at the boob and couldn't latch on. Luckily it was in the first few weeks his tongue was snipped and we went on to have a great time feeding for 12 months. Best time of my parenting life was the cuddles and closeness of feeding. Love it. Miss it! Thanks for your beautiful story and the chance to remember my own once again! Lou xx

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  6. Oh yes Jody, just reading your descriptions of your experiences made me wince with pain. It's such a personal decision isn't it? Like yourself, I was persistent. I struggled with my first boy, as he was such a big baby and SO INCREDIBLY hungry. I felt it was my duty to be 'on tap' for him and so he fed constantly. I ended up in hospital with mastitis when he was 3 weeks old. It was hideous. Thankfully the stint in hospital gave me some much needed practice on how to properly attach etc... and after that it was no trouble. Feeding my second son was a breeze, not one bit of trouble... other than the fact that he was also a big baby and liked to feed alot and often. Both boys weaned themselves at the 6 month mark, which was bittersweet for me. I loved feeding them, but was also happy to get a bit of myself back after 6 months of having to wear clothes that were suitable for feeding and having to get my boobs out everywhere I went ;o) Beautiful pics in this post Jody xo

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  7. I love this post..it brought back so many memories. I tried so very hard to feed our first but being premmie without the sucking reflex made it very difficult and he needed surgery which didn't help. I was too young and inexperienced and got no help whatsoever that I just gave up. Our second latched beautifully just after birth and taught me how it was done and I feed him and the next two till the age of two..there were problems to overcome but it was something I was determined to do and do right :) Our fifth was also a great feeder and I so adored feeding him that at 12 mths I was devastated when told I had to wean him so I could take medication. To this day I still yearn to have him at my breast...neither of us were ready, I feel kind of robbed!@

    x

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  8. I love hearing people's bf stories. Number one was really hard, like Riley but without the tongue tie. He just couldn't attach, I couldn't work it out and no-one could help. Everyone, midwives, MCHN, etc, said "it all looks okay, everyone feels a bit of pain".. By day 8 my nipples were shredded too. Took 5.5 weeks to heal. But no-one ever suggested pumping or shield, just fed through it. Aahhh the agony. But fed till 12 months so was worth it.

    Number two. No problems at all. I nearly got mastitis but strangely a few champagnes and it disappeared... Still going at 6 months.

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  9. Jody, your breastfeeding stories have made me clucky! Those are some seriously beautiful photos too. xxx

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  10. My first two feed like little champs. So easy. The nurses told me I had perfect B/Fing nipples. Yay me. So I thought I had it all under control third time around. But alas no. Little pink just couldn't attach or feed. (She was a C-section baby and they bruised her cheeks badly getting her out). I presisted for a month (but had to go the EBM way to actually get anything into her). After a month, and several laction consultants later, it all just got to much and I had to give in and switch to the bottle. I was heart broken and so confused. But she thrived and life went on. You just never know hey!!

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  11. What a beautiful photo!

    So glad you persevered and continued to feed your babes.

    Me? My 1st, she didn't seem overly in love with the boob. I feed her exclusively for 3 months, then did comp feeding with a bottle. At 5 months, she just refused the boob and preferred the bottle.

    I have a 5 month old son and we are BF'ing which we both love. He doesn't have a dummy so uses the boobs as comfort as well, which I don't mind. I had mastitis with both of my kids and it was hell. This time around, I have pumped and supplemented some feeds with EBM and even formula. Every baby is different, you have to do what you have to do! There is no right or wrong.

    Great post,

    xx

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  12. What a lovely post. I had trouble feeding my first, he was full of gunk from a quick exit and I had to express and feed him via his nose from a spoon for a week. But like you I was stubborn and kept at it. He weaned himself at 12 months.
    My daughter was a natural! And I fed her for 14 months before she self weaned.
    It is such a special time, and I feel lucky that I was able to do it relatively easily with both my kids.

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  13. This is lovely. I was also lucky enough to be able to breastfeed my three babies. The first 2 months with baby #1 was definitely a trial. With perseverance we finally got there. I fed them all for over 12months and it was such a wonderful experience. I count myself to be very blessed.

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  14. Breastfeeding was so hard first time around. We found out weeks later, during a visit with a child health nurse, that C. had a tongue tie. That's why we'd had so much trouble feeding. OMG it used to hurt, but I perservered because I knew it was best for him. I fed him for about two years ago, and then when I got pregnant with his sister he gradually weaned himself. I don't know if the milk tasted different, or it was just time.
    Miss 8 was much easier to feed, but because my boobs were so mangled by Mr 10 I had to give up after a year, because (OVERSHARE) blood was going into the milk. It was hard for both of us to give up, but we still had special cuddles.
    Breastfeeding is special, and it's way easier once you get the hang of it than messing about with formula. We also found out Miss 8 was highly allergic to cow's milk and soy, so it took us a while to find the right formula for her. Bronnie (Maid In Australia)

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  15. My first was pretty easy to feed. Looking forward to any day now be breastfeeding my second and final little girl. I hope it all goes well!

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  16. Darling photo of you with Riley - such a precious time in our life.

    I had three different experiences with three different little bubbas. I learned that you can never really have a strong opinion about anything at all because there is always another side to every experience. x

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Thank you so much for stopping by, i love hearing from every one of you! xx

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