Day Seven | Cassondra's Story | A Colorado Breastfeeding Story
It took me three kids to finally get the gumption to breastfeed. My family was very adamant that bottle fed was the only way. My two bottle fed kids are just fine, but when I found out I was pregnant with what would be my last little I knew I would breastfeed.
I researched it and had all my arguments lined up. I explained that genetics did not determine supply; my family was certain because they couldn't breastfeed I wouldn't be able to either. I also explained how breastmilk was continually changing since they believed there was no way she could get what she needed nutritionally.
To add to all the research I was doing I found groups that I could use as support since I only had my husband in the family realm. Those groups really helped me in so many ways. I was able to ask questions or share stories. It even helped to be able to vent or share funny stages she was going through.
She finally arrived and oh did it hurt - for weeks, but eventually we got past that and I figured out how to get her to latch right. I had to use my fingers to train her to open her mouth wide enough to latch on.
I didn't have the budget to go to an IBCLC (Internationally Board-Certified Lactation Consultant) so I watched IBCLC videos to see how to improve her latch. I took my time and I supported her. By the time she was 8 weeks old and I was going back to work we were on a good system.
Shortly after she was born, my husband went through something where he was unsure if we were the right family for him. This, among other stressors made me really fight to keep my supply up.
I took extreme hits to supply and was constantly confronted with “you'll end up bottle feeding her anyways.” As I am not one to back down from a challenge I took these comments to heart and vowed to prove them wrong.
I even got my adamantly no breastfeeding family on board with my nursing her until two. This was at a time when divorce was really being thought about and I didn't want to lose my baby so if I nursed her until I was two I could keep her closer longer. It ended up being a moot point as we reconciled and are stronger than before.
Now as her second birthday looms in the future I am realizing that the journey is coming to an end. Partly because we nurse less often; partly because I pump less and less when I'm at work; and partly because I'm just exhausted.
It is a very hard thought to cope with but I know she's almost ready and I'm more and more ready. It was rewarding and fulfilling and I can say I accomplished this goal despite my family's opposition. We're slowly weaning away from day and night feedings and are down to maybe 3-5 a day - trust me, that's almost none for us. I'm not sure if we'll go a little bit past the two-year mark but I know the sun is setting on our journey.
I would encourage all moms who are thinking about it and have family pushback or are currently nursing with pushback to NURSE ON. You will not regret having made this choice in the long run, in the short run the sleepless nights and family harassment might be daunting but be strong and don't give up. Join an online nursing group to get advice and support, especially when you need it most. You can do it but only if you want to!
Comment below with some words of encouragement or an anecdote of your own. We are well on our way through the 31 Days, 31 Stories – so be sure to continue to follow along or go back and read the others before now. If you would like to share your own story, contact me and we can start to plan the perfect session to celebrate your breastfeeding journey.