ROTW :: Breastfeeding

Apparently this week is Breastfeeding awareness week. Or was that last week? Not sure really because every day of my life is National Breastfeeding week. I'm not into the whole awareness thing about it, but I am still nursing Ash so I feel like I am a sanctioned veteran that is allowed to talk about this subject.

I had to laugh at the headlines this week when the lady was told that she was offending children on the plane while she was nursing her baby. Then the other lady at the (delicious but controversial) chicken establishment was told she had to cover up or leave. All during the "Breastfeeding Awareness Week" did these have to happen.

I chuckle because I think they are hysterical when you really think about it and really, because I have been on both sides of this fence. I once was the squimmish person that would look EVERYWHERE but at the nursing mom yet wanted to look right at her for long periods of time. Mostly out of curiosity but also because I wanted to see how it was done. How do they do it? It was a whole world I had never been a part of.

Well now I am on the other side of that fence. I am the nursing mom that gets stared at. The gazee and not the gazer these days. I can't say I have been gazed at to much as I am still a bit timid and will feed her in the privacy of our car most of the time, etc. But I have had many experiences where even just the convo makes people (mostly men) very uncomfortable.

Now that I am one of "them" it's like there was this hidden club all along that I never knew about. So many moms I know have nursed and I had no idea! Had NO clue! Not until I needed them. I needed in that club. If you nurse, you know the club I am talking about. Kinda like the general one for mom's but with an extra badge. You know, that one. I had a bit of trouble at first. more on that in  bit, so I posted something on facebook. Holy Moly! They came out of the woodwork! I have to say though, I respect that I didn't know this tidbit about them, in a way, because they weren't the 'shove it in your face and you should be this kind of mom' gals that you often see associated with nursing. Or the 'your baby will die of mal-nourishment if they have formula' kind of peeps either.

A friend of mine posted this blog and I about died. It's very spot on to so many truths. Like, how the idea of breastfeeding offends people yet, various types of music and celebrity depicts many things that are far more offensive than feeding an infant in the most natural way. It's quite comical.

Let me rewind a bit to give some background to my nursing journey. Let's go back to January 5th - February/March of this year. I was MISERABLE! Right outta the gate please take that idea figuratively; Ash was a nursing rockstar. Sidenote that always comes up: LB was OK with nursing in the beginning but really trailed off while in the NICU when she was supplementing with formula. She later hated nursing and I didn't have the energy(or desire, if we are being honest) to fight it.  I might have nursed LB for a total of 3 weeks. Bought a new pump and everything.

Enter Ash's pregnancy, I had no plan. I have never taken a nursing class, read a book, nothing. I was told that I might not be able to nurse because of an augmentation many many moons ago so I didn't care one way or another. Then it happened, they sat that kiddo on my chest as she was fresh into the world and told me to nurse for one hour. I did and it was amazing. The deciding factor for me? Yeah yeah, she was sweet, it was a moment, blah blah blah. But it really did it for me when she shat all over the nurse. BAHAHAHAHAHA!!! That nasty black goo that you WANT them to do in the first few days, she did it as they were weighing her! Right after nursing. Then I felt accomplished. Oh snap, that was cool!

SO, I kept with it. Then there was the whole production issue. One was doing as it should, one wasn't. Then the questions: Is she getting enough; Why won't she stop eating; When does the rawness go away; I just want to sleep! Why can't I pump enough? On and on and on... Shes clustering, it's a growth spurt. Holy Moly  I MIGHT GO CRAZY!! Oh and I was bringing my hubs too. He all but demanded I quit. But that only made me more determined. I would win this war!

Sure, they introduced me to a lactation consultant at the hospital. I called her. Once. But it was the help and support of one of my closest friends and dearest friends that really got me through it. Kim is THAT mom. She's pure and herbal and all that jazz. She does her research, knows the in's and outs of all situations and is like a friggin encyclopedia britannica. (In today's world, that's like a walking google.) Who needed a consultant when you have a Kim? Bonus, she just had a baby a couple weeks prior too... so it was a WinWin. Selfishly, I called her. And she answered all my needs as I needed them. Not only did she offer the general advice, she was also my biggest cheerleader; my support when the going got tough. We played words with friends at all hours of the night while nursing our little peanuts for at least the first couple of months. I called when I felt like I was squirting my child with blood from the pain; when I felt like I was clogged or punched by an elephant. And she was there. Thank you GOD, for my Kim.

Needless to say, I made it through. I was told by so many people, the first few weeks are the hardest. And yes, THEY CAN BE BRUTAL! But it really has been worth it. Truly! I love feeding my little gal and knowing that I can't forget her milk, has been a bonus. Negative, I would like more than one cup of coffee a day, but hey.. its probably better that I don't in the long run anyway.

So for those moms that are thinking of throwing in the towel, don't! Hang in there. It WILL get better. It may not seem like it when you have a little Purana on your chest but it does. Here's to hoping she isn't a biter. Eek!

Until next time...


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