I’ve been breastfeeding Henry since he was born and after getting over that initial feeling of hating breastfeeding (that would have been most of the first month) I’ve come to actually enjoy it. At first my motives were selfish, but now I love having the time with him cuddled up in my arms. It’s just about the only time anymore that he isn’t trying to wiggle away.
When I started breastfeeding my goal was to make it to 6 months. Now I’m on the cusp of having a five month old and breastfeeding has gotten so much easier. Pumping is a pain in the ass, but it gives me a lot of peace of mind knowing that my body is still producing enough sustenance for my little guy. One of the things that no one tells you about breastfeeding is how it’s so much more than food for your baby. At times breastfeeding is the only thing that will give Henry solace. Maybe it’s the sucking motion or the cuddling or the warm milk. More likely, it’s a combination of all of these things and more. When all else fails it’s nice to know that I have breastfeeding in my back pocket.
When in doubt, get a boob out.
In the beginning I didn’t understand all this bonding that people were talking about when it came to breastfeeding. I just didn’t feel it. 5 months in is a whole different story. Sometimes while Henry is eating, he will take a little break and stare up at me with a big gummy grin of gratitude. It warms my heart.
Breastfeeding has given me a lot of confidence as a mother. There is something special in knowing that I am providing my baby with something no one else can. Mastering breast feeding is no easy feat.
My breastfeeding journey hasn’t been without hiccups though.
1. I supplemented with formula in the first month or so. Physically my body could produce enough milk, but emotionally I was exhausted in that first couple of months and sometimes I just needed a break. Some people will freak out or judge when they read that, but hey, we did what worked for us as a family. Those nights when my husband took the night feedings saved my sanity. And I felt better knowing that my baby would take a bottle and formula with no problem. Slowly, over time my dependence on formula waned and we went back to exclusive breastfeeding.
2. I’ve pumped in some really interesting places. Most recently, I pumped in the backseat of my boss’s car, her master bathroom, the parking lot of a Starbucks, the public restroom of a casino. It’s not glamorous and at times is down right inconvenient. It takes a lot of time out of my work day and I sometimes feel as if my coworkers silently wonder how long this is going to last.
3. It took me a long time for me to get comfortable with breastfeeding in public. It’s a miracle that most of Reno hasn’t been flashed by me. For the first few months I would bring a bottle of expressed milk with me when I was in public. Then the day arrived where I ran out of bottled milk and had to feed him in a restaurant. It wasn’t bad! I could do this! I could feed my child anywhere! Boo-yah!
At this point in the game I can see us easily gliding into the next six months and continuing to breast feed. I don’t see myself as a long term breast feeder, but I didn’t see myself going past 6 months either. My main goal is to wean my baby gently since I now feel like it might be harder on me than it will be on him. That damn bond is in full effect.