My nursing stories

I was honored when asked me to join the Adopt A Mom group. I happily filled out the application. Now, for your viewing pleasure, I’m typing up my nursing stories.

(Forgive me for lacking in wit tonight.)
(Feel free to move along. I’m just wanting to join Adopt a Mom.)

Ahem…

My mother was very supportive of nursing and successfully nursed my sisters and I until we were all over a year. So when I became pregnant, I knew that nursing was something that I was determined to do. I took the classes, I read the books, I bought the pump.

When Simon was born, I didn’t expect the pain. I experienced sore and cracked nipples. I was engorged. Luckily, my very supportive then boyfriend (now husband) helped me through everything. I was successfully able to breastfeed, attend class at the university, and pump when necessary. When Simon was 9 months old, he bit me. My reaction frightened him and he refused to return to the breast. I know now that this was probably a nursing strike.

Despite frequently trying, I could not get him to latch back on. Unfortunately, I didn’t seek support and gave up nursing, while being committed to the pump. I continued to pump for the next month or so. Between 10-11 months I resorted to using some formula. He also was given breastmilk shared by my sister, but not enough to last very long.

I felt like a failure. I didn’t make it to my goal of at least one year.

So, four years later when Bennett was born- I knew that I was going to make it at least a year, with a goal of 18 months. He was born, latched wonderfully and nursed on demand without any problems. I returned to work part-time and pumped 4 oz a sitting. He was a very fat baby and loved to nurse. We started slowly with solids around 8 months.

When he was 18 months, we hit trouble. I developed a sore on my nipple. A cracked, bleeding, puss-filled sore. I don’t know if it was because he bit me or if his latch slowly changed. I refused to give up and continued to nurse through intense pain. My "failure" with Simon resulted in an overwhelming desire to not give up despite the pain.

I eventually sought the help of my primary doctor, which was a mistake. (By this time I thought my nipple was going to fall off.) He diagnosed me with a bacterial infection, antibiotic, and the instructions to let my nipple heal. I allowed my husband to thaw one of the few bags of milk and he put Bennett to bed for the first time ever. Slowly, over the course of the month, we did the dance of the gentle wean. I stopped offering and eventually Bennett stopped asking. My milk dried up without any pain for both of us. Bennett was 19 months and he was never given a single drop of formula.

I was happy to make it to my no-less than 18 month goal but very sad to let go of breastfeeding. It was difficult and I felt like I lost part of my identity. I hope to be pregnant again soon and can’t wait for my next little nursling. Poor girl (seriously. I better get a girl) is going to be nursed until she’s 18 years old! I will not fail again.

So! Right now, I am happy to fill the shoes as a lactivist. Supporting breastfeeding mothers where ever and when ever I can. I feel pretty very strongly about breastfeeding and hope that I can help others.

Audrey 🙂

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