I knew from the moment I became pregnant that I wanted to breastfeed. I read the books, I was counseled by a Lactation consultant, I bought the breast pads, the lanolin, the pump in preparation.
But no one told me how HARD it was going to be those first few weeks.
From Ronan’s first latch I knew I was in trouble. The first time he breastfed he gave me 2 blisters right on my nipple. He cried and cried in the hospital and I knew he was hungry and I just couldn’t satiate him, but we kept pushing through and feeding every time he demanded. The lactation consultant we were assigned was awful and she did nothing but shove Ronan into my boob, yes I literally mean shove. She made matters much work alongside a nipple confusion issue thanks to the paci. We were a MESS.
The nurses kept pulling out schedules and asking me to log this and that when I was so tired and just wanted to calm and enjoy my baby. It didn’t take me long to realize that I was no longer in charge and the schedules were useless.
The first few nights at home waiting for my milk to come in were the worst. Ronan cried endlessly and I just wanted to give up. We both laid there crying with each other, defeated. If it weren’t for my mom taking him and being there for us, I would have gone insane.
From the start it just seemed like everyone kept shoving him on my breast’s and he ended up frustrated. He wasn’t a fan of the nipple shield either and I honestly feel like he formed an aversion to my breast and associated it with the frustration.
After dropping almost a full pound from his birthweight by our first check up, we decided to supplement. His bilirubin levels were not where they should have been and we were no longer in sync with each other. The first night we supplemented, Ronan was an entirely different baby!
I supplemented and pumped for a few weeks before I decided to try exclusively breastfeeding again. I wasn’t the biggest fan of pumping and I wanted that bond with Ronan, but I was terrified after all of the stories I had read that he wouldn’t latch again because the bottle was easier.
One day I just decided to try it and he latched perfectly. It finally felt right and we never looked back. He’s been exclusively breast fed since he was 5 weeks old and only recently have I started pumping again while I’m at work on the weekends.
Despite our struggles, our bond is incredibly close now and I’m so thankful to still be on this journey with Ronan.
I do understand that a lot of women do struggle with this and not everyone can breastfeed and that is perfectly fine! At the end of the day, FED is best and you have to do what it takes to keep your child happy and healthy, and what keeps you sane as well.