All of my clients hold a very special place in my heart, as they have opened up their lives and their families to me, as well as trusted me during one of their most vulnerable times. This client, in particular, has truly left a valuable impression on me, as she embodies what we all strive to do as mothers.... do the best we can for our children with the situation we are given. I am so thankful that she had the courage to share her breastfeeding memoir with all of us. Laura, I think you are amazing!
I've always felt a little disappointment with my breasts, as they've always been small. So when I thought about breastfeeding, I thought, even if they don't fill out my shirts, at least they'll be useful! I was excited to breastfeed and never dreamed it wouldn't work the way I envisioned it.
My plans all came crashing down the first night home with our little guy. He screamed the entire night, and a call to the Dr. got the response of “He's probably hungry and your milk isn't in yet. Give him some formula”. Not knowing any better, we went out and bought formula. Things went downhill from there. I never did get a full supply, and ended up supplementing for 6 months, then pumping and supplementing for another two.
Two years later and pregnant again, I hoped to have better success with breastfeeding the second time around. I tried to warn myself that it might not go smoothly this time, either, but I got my hopes up anyway. So at the 3-day appointment when the Dr. told us the baby's weight was too low and I again heard “Just give him some formula”, I barely made it out of the office before having a complete breakdown. This couldn't be happening again. I sobbed the entire time I gave him that first supplement, and many after that.
Then I started to set goals.
I'd done the supplementing thing before, why not keep at it again. So I started with the first month, then the first three months, then until we started solids.
Now at 7 months, we are still nursing with no reason to end anytime soon. Not the perfect, peaceful, smooth process I'd hoped for, but what works for us.
I know I will always get jealous of women who nurse without first making formula. I will probably always feel a little less of a woman than those who can provide all their baby needs. But when we have a third, I will without a doubt give it another try. For now, I have a little peace of mind that we've made it work, in our own way. And I would never trade this time with my two precious boys for anything.
We would love to hear your breastfeeding memoirs. This is a place to share your triumphs and struggles, your successes and heartbreaks. We need to share our stories. Will you share yours with us?
* Stories can be submitted for publication to this blog by emailing them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please keep them to 200 words or less. Before publication, stories will be edited only for minor spelling/grammatical errors. If the stories will be published in any other medium or venue, other than this blog, your permission will be obtained. Feel free to widely share this post and encourage others to also submit their stories. Deadline for memoir submissions is November 1.