April 5, 2012

My love/hate relationship with breastfeeding

Warning:  Yes, this post is about breastfeeding.  Feel free to stop reading now if you think the topic is TMI!  You've been warned!

Also, these are my opinions, feelings and experiences only.  I know there are many thoughts and facts on breastfeeding vs. formula feeding and I respect all of them.  I am just speaking from my own experience so please don't think that I am a "know-it-all".   Only I know what is best for my children.  And only you know what's best for your children. 

I was nervous about breastfeeding with Kyla.  Terrified, actually.  But I was determined.  I didn't go into it with the thought "I will give it a try and see what happens" because I felt like that would be an easy way to give up.  I know several moms that said they'd try it out and only lasted a couple weeks, if that.  Which is totally fine!  But I really wanted to do it so I didn't say "I will try it".  I said "I am doing it!"

I really wanted to give up the first day or two in the hospital.  It was brutal.  I would have to call the nurses in every time it was time for a feeding for help.  I cried.  And cried.  And cried some more.  And I'm not afraid to admit that.  It would have been very easy to give up.  Luckily, Tyler was very supportive.  He never once made me feel like I had to keep going.  He saw how upset I was and the trouble I was having, but continued to tell me how amazing I was and how proud he was of me.  To be honest, if it weren't for him, I probably would have said screw it.

As my wise sister-in-law, Amber told me, it got easier.  The first couple of weeks were rough, but it definitely got easier.  I ended up breastfeeding Kyla for almost six months.  Did I enjoy it?  Absolutely not.  But I knew it was best for my baby.  And that part, was most important.  I would have done anything for her, and still will!  I will make sacrifices for her.  And for the new baby coming in a few months.  I did end up quitting with Kyla earlier than I expected, but I was happy with how long I made it.  Her and I were both ready to be done.  She was starting to bite, scratch, pull my hair and just act uninterested.

So we did it.  We switched to formula.  It broke my heart.  I felt like a horrible mom.  But I was proud of myself that I was able to provide for her for as long as I did.  And of course, being the awesome baby she was, she made the transition like a pro!  Even though the first week or two were very painful as I dried up, I was amazed at how relieved I felt.  I didn't feel trapped.  I felt like a whole new person.  Even though I felt bad about giving her formula, I felt like a better mom and wife because I was just so much happier.

Along with it being free (because formula is crazy expensive), I believe breast milk is the best thing for my babies.  So with our new baby, I will:

~Get up every two hours to feed while Tyler sleeps because I'm the one with the boobs :)  Trust me, Tyler still got up a lot, just to be supportive or change a diaper or rock her back to sleep.  If he could have fed her, he would have!  And we did introduce Kyla to a bottle after a couple weeks so that gave me a break once in awhile.
~When the baby eventually sleeps through the night, I will still get up every few hours to pump because I'm in so much pain.
~Leave the comfort of my own couch when we have company to go in the other room to feed.
~Take extra warm showers in the hopes of getting rid of the painful lumps.
~Uncomfortably and reluctantly wear a bra about 3 sizes bigger than my regular breasts.
~Watch what I eat and continue to give up my beloved caffeine.
~Be even more emotional than I already am.
~Feel like I don't want to leave the house because it's not only inconvenient, but I feel self conscious.

I will make sacrifices!  I will enjoy the special bond that I will have with our baby.  I will breastfeed!  And I will be proud of myself!


  1. ...I just want to say THANK YOU for posting this...I have less then 5 weeks left before I delivery and I will be breastfeeding...My husband and I feel that it is so much better for the baby...I am scared out of my mind, but after reading this, that about covers everything that I have thought about...

  2. Good for you! I on the other hand enjoyed breastfeeding. It was a special time for my daughter and I. NOT from my husband, but from my MIL I received comments about how did I know my daughter was getting enough to eat and she doesn't look like she's getting any bigger. Am I sure I am not starving her? All in that first 2 months when you are so emotional and unsure as a new mother. All you truly need is support. My daughter still is feed strictly breast milk but it is now by a bottle (I only pump). I am glad that my daughter is still getting BM but wish we still had our mommy/daughter time. Plan to go as long as we can or until she is a year. AND with the next baby I will be sure to enjoy my breast-feeding time!

  3. Amy, I have recently started thinking about the whole breastfeeding thing again. I have done it with both of my girls, and of course it wasn't always fun! I remember flying to FL for my friend's wedding and having to find a spot in the airport to pump! Not fun! But, you are SO right. If this is what you want to do as a mom and feel that it's best, then as mom's we will do it! That's great that you have done it and plan to again!

  4. Don't feel bad---I have a tolerate/hate relationship with breastfeeding haha. With both of my girls breastfeeding came really easily. I don't get sore, they both caught on immediately, easy peasy by all accounts. Still didn't like it at all though! I despise pumping and because I hate what I feel is wasted time pumping I never do it---which leaves me very tied down because no one else can give bottles. Ugh. But I made it 4 months with Raya and 6 months with Brielle---I considered that pretty darn good lol. However I always have a great "out" when I can't take it anymore, in that my rhuematologist never wants me to continue very long so that I can get back on my meds ;-) Good luck! Hopefully this time will be easier because you already know what to expect!

  5. Atta girl, Amy. I am so proud of you!!!
    Love you,
    Grandma Barb