My name is NaShae, and I blog over at Two Tuomeys +1as a hobby in order to document my family’s special moments and my random thoughts.
When my husband, Ryan, and I found out we were pregnant, we knew that I wanted to breastfeed our child. My mom breastfed me and we were well aware of the health and emotional benefits. I took the classes, listened to advice from friends, but nothing can prepare you for the breastfeeding journey.
I loved breastfeeding, I really did! But breastfeeding is hard. It’s work. But the work is worth it.
My daughter, Ryleigh Katherine, was born on February 22, 2013. I decided to immediately feed her, even before loved ones were brought in to meet her. She did a great job, and she continued to do a great job in our stay at the hospital.
It was a long first month. Ryleigh cried a lot. I think she was even a bit colicky. She didn’t gain much weight (she wasn’t back up to her birth weight at her one week appointment), and I was fearful that she wasn’t getting enough milk. I was barely producing enough to get by and I felt like I was depriving my poor baby just because I was bound and determined that she was going to be exclusively breastfed. My husband was a wonderful support system, and he encouraged me when all I wanted to do was mix up some formula and throw in the towel. At our one-month checkup our pediatrician ensured us that she was growing acceptably and I was given the green light to continue. Mommy win! From that point on, our girl was happy-go-lucky and we never looked back! Goodbye, haze of the first month of motherhood!
Fast forward three weeks and I was headed back to work as a high school teacher. This meant morning feedings before school, pumping twice a day at work (squeezing it into my lunch and conference period in between grading papers and scarfing down a sandwich) and regular feedings in the evenings. Like I said, breastfeeding is work. It’s even more work when you have to go back to your actual work…you know, the one that pays your bills.
Nonetheless, I loved breastfeeding Ryleigh. I never had a lot of pain, she always slept well, and the bonding we gained from this process is invaluable. We continued on exclusively for 6 months, and then with the help of formula and food here and there until 11 months. At 11 months we slowly came to the end of our journey at a time that she and I were both content with. She seemed ready, and though it was emotional, so was I. I am thankful for the experience, and honestly, I’m proud of myself for sticking it out. I know that when we have another child, I will work hard to do it again.
Be sure to catch up with the rest of the Breastfeeding Diaries at the top of my navigation bar.