I am happy to share a guest post by our friend Ticia and her breastfeeding experience. Ticia's story involves overcoming her own physical struggles with health, some common breastfeeding struggles and the obstacles, some well meaning, that others threw before her. It a beautifully bittersweet continuation of her story, Ticia shares how she has changed and been shaped as a mother threw breastfeeding and the differences in herself between her 2 breastfeeding experiences. I am so glad Ticia is sharing her story with us. I hope you enjoy and are as inspired as I am by her story. Ticia blogs over at Confessional Corner.
When I was just one week shy of turning 20 my Now Husband and I found out that we were expecting. Funny thing is I was already 8 weeks along ( yes, I said 8. Due to past medical history and my body just being weird; lol, I didn't realize I was pregnant until I was practically through most of the first trimester). Soon after learning that we were pregnant the morning sickness crept in, however; due to my body being weird it wasn't regular old morning sickness I got Hyperemesis Gravardium. Yay, right?! Now that I think back I am quiet shocked I was able to work and go to school full time through my second trimester. Even though that was the trimester where everything made me sick and I lost roughly 20 lbs. Fast forward, the day I had my son I weighed a whole whopping 13 lbs more than I did the day I realized I was pregnant. Not Cool......
I always knew that I would Breast Feed, it was never even a second thought for myself. So the day that my son was born was one hectic day, to say the least. After the L&D and everybody had stopped by, I realized I was stuck in a hospital, by myself with my newborn son. He was a good feeder however, every time I would go and lay him in those horrendous 'cribs' he would wake up screaming. I remember feeling really alone, stressed and tired. The hospital had a walkie-talkie like set up between my room/bed (which I shared with 2 other women and newborns), and a few hours into the night when ds was having a hard to falling asleep I recall the walkie-talkie going off with a nurse asking if everything was alright. My first thought was "uh....? i guess?..." I didn't pay any mind to her, a few minutes later it went off again and a nurse came into the room to check on my ds and me. This nurse said something to me that really made me gung ho on breast feeding and being a mother. She asked if I would like them to take ds to the nursery for the night and give him a bottle of formula? I stood there shocked. I didn't know what to say at first. Once the shock wore off I just looked her in the eye and said " are you going to come home with us when we're discharged and take him away when I'm tired or he wont settle down?....And No, he will not be getting formula!" Needless to say she left in a hurry with a bit of an attitude. At that moment I realized that even health care professionals were oblivious to what my ds or I needed. We stayed in the hospital for another 3 days because of my health, not his.
The first month was like zombie mode for my husband and I, but that's to be expected for any parents of a new born. He was a champ at nursing, actually both of our children were/are. Things started to go down hill for us when he was about 8 weeks old. That's when he started teething, YES; TEETHING!! No matter what I did he would bite randomly throughout feedings. Some feeding were without incident and then others felt as if he just wanted to bite my nipple off. It was....what's the word here?...Oh, it hurt like a B****!!! Being a new mother I had no idea what to do about it, but I still continued to nurse. I went back to school for 20 hours a week within a week of him starting to teeth, I would swell up like a water balloon while at school and long to be back home because the engorgement was more painful that I had initially imagined. I tried my hardest to pump, but to no avail I could only ever get anything out when I was psychotically engorged, and that was after being away from him for 6 hrs. I felt weird because i couldn't give my ds EBM while I was in school, he wouldn't drink formula, so we started him on super watery baby cereal and 1st foods. It kept him hydrated and full throughout the time i was gone but all he wanted to do, for at least 30 minutes, was nurse when I got home. All of that, people not supporting me fully, and the random biting sessions throughout the day had me pretty burnt out.
We weaned at 6 1/2 months. It was heart breaking, but I didn't know what else to do. The LC at the local WIC at the time wasn't really much help, nor was his doctor. To top it off all of my family members were making comments like "It's okay, he's gotten your milk for 6 months..." or " It doesn't matter, I didn't breast feed mine at all..." I didn't think much about it at the time, part of me knew I should have stuck it out longer, but part of me just wanted a break. When I got pregnant with dd I thought back about my first breast feeding relationship with ds, and how I gave up on him so much earlier than I had originally planned. So I made a pact with myself, that I would nurse dd as long as both of us felt content. She is now 18 months, and a smart; energetic teeny lil' thing (18 lbs) that doesn't really show signs of stopping. We have had a few hang ups on nursing with her, mainly due to my health and needing surgery here and there since her birth, but she always picks right back up where she left off and we are quite content. Nursing has really helped mold me as a mother, sure there are times when I wanted to stop; but I always pushed forward and persevered. I feel badly that I didn't do that with ds, but I am glad I'm doing what I feel and know is right with dd. Life is full of learning experiences, and I feel that everybody needs to follow what THEY feel is right. This was certainly it for me.