and I blog over at Sweet, Simple, and Small. I am a lover of the outdoors, Jesus,
iced coffee and am happily married to my awesome husband David. Together, we
have the happiest little girl Gracelyn. I am so honored to be sharing my story
pregnancy, I had such an overwhelming desire to breastfeed so I read just about
everything there is to know about the topic. Once Grace came out, she was very
tired and lazy and didn’t latch at all- she barely opened her mouth! It took
nearly two hours before she finally startled suckling. The first time she
latched was such a surreal moment and I was relieved because I was dead set on
staying as far away from formula as I could. I think as a new mom, we fear
failure more than anything and I didn’t want to fail at the most natural thing
a mom was supposed to be able to do. It took about a day or so for her (and I)
to get the hang of it but without the help of my amazing LC, I would not be
where I am today. I felt like things were
going well since we were bonding and it didn’t even hurt!
After 2 days in the hospital, we were ready to go home. On day four, we went back to the doctor because she was slightly too yellow and we found out her bilirubin levels were all messed up and she had to be admitted to the hospital for a 48 hour UV light treatment. I immediately burst into tears. I can clearly remember the doctor kneel down in front of me as I held my tiny little girl in my arms and gently explain the importance of getting my baby healthy as soon as possible.
The two days in the hospital were a blur. I used a hospital pump right away and began storing milk for her. Because she had to be under the lights as much as possible, I could only take her out for up to 30 minutes at a time to feed her. I breastfed as long as she would take and then I fed her some pumped milk with a medicine syringe. Seeing her under those lights hurt so bad but I knew we had to do it. I was not going to let this stop me from breastfeeding so I pushed through and when we were able to go home again, it was the best feeling ever. I am so grateful for my husband and family who came and stayed with us, prayed over us, called or visited with us when we were there.
At home, we nursed every 2 hours and I usually kept at this routine:
Nurse on one side- 20-30 minutes
Pump the side she hadn’t nursed on- 10 minutes
Store the pumped milk and clean parts- 15 minutes
Lather on some Earth Mama nipple cream and repeat in 2 hours!
Thankfully, I was able to stay home from work for 8 weeks and in that time I was able to bond with my sweet girl, relax, pump and just take things slow- it was fantastic and I loved every minute. At week 3, I woke up extremely sore and noticed I had a white blister on my nipple and flu-like symptoms. I googled my symptoms and self-diagnosed with mastitis and a milk blister. It was terribly painful and I began to dread every feeding as I knew I could not ignore the blister. I had clogged ducts on and off for 2 more weeks and during that time I remember thinking “Why am I doing this to myself?” This is not fun. I hate this. Usually, my thoughts were interrupted by a crying baby ready to feed again. It wasn’t until week 5 that most of the pain was gone and I was actually able to relax and feed more confidently. I began to enjoy it and switch sides during each feeding. I started to look forward to the next feeding as it was my time to truly bond with Grace. There is nothing more special than to see her big brown eyes staring up at me or the adorable smile as she is eating while I tickle her toes.
I feel so much more confident in myself than I ever have before. Breastfeeding
is the most difficult, most rewarding thing I have ever done and the thought of
it possibly ending soon makes me extremely tearful. I have loved every second
of it and never thought I would make it this far (my first goal was just 6