A Goodbye to Breastfeeding

A few days ago was the last time I breastfed Charlie. The process of weening from nursing wasn’t intentional but after Charlie was diagnosed with acid reflux last month we realized that he had a worse reaction to my milk and did better on formula so we decided it was in his best interest that I stopped. I was heartbroken.

Let me start this post by saying that I completely understand why breastfeeding isn’t for everyone. I mentioned before that when I left the hospital after giving birth I told the nurse I understood women decided not to nurse their child. It was HARD in the hospital and didn’t work at all until Charlie was 6 days old (which is why he lost 12% of his body weight in those first few days). There is so much pressure put on the mother to nurse, have your child latch immediately and everything go perfectly – I just can’t imagine this is the case.

However, once Charlie and I were home (and I was more comfortable) we got a good rhythm going and nursing ended up being really easy for us.  Again, I know it is not for everyone but if you’re a new mom and feeling discouraged, please allow yourself two more days to see if it works because I can’t tell you how special it is. My friend Chassity and I were having a conversation a few years ago and I asked her what she is most proud of in life and she said breastfeeding her children. At the time I didn’t really get it but I can confidently say that it is without a doubt the greatest thing I have ever done. It is a HUGE sacrifice. You give your body completely to another being and honestly you are a slave to your child. I lost myself those first couple months – most days I wouldn’t shower, I wouldn’t wear a shirt or bra, I wouldn’t leave my house – it felt like I just nursed Charlie around the clock. It was exhausting but also something I would never trade for the world. The fact that we are designed to feed our children is absolutely insane. You gain a whole new respect for your body once you have a child and nursing elevates that even more.

When I decided that it was time to stop I was a HOT MESS. They say your hormones level off after giving birth to what they were before you got pregnant but weaning off of nursing was a whole new cluster of emotions. I cried more in these last 2 weeks than I have in my life (which apparently is common). I couldn’t let it go – those big smiles when he would pull off of my breast with his little milk beard – ugh I’ll cherish those days forever. I had a 45 minute therapy session with our pediatrician, she told me that it wasn’t an allergy and that I should keep nursing if I could – sadly my milk supply was already diminishing and as hard as I tried to get it back, it didn’t work. In the end, Charlie is a new child after discovering and addressing his acid reflux. I had to give into my selfish desire to keep nursing and realize that having a happy, healthy baby is obviously so much more important.

My goal was to nurse Charlie for 6 months (hopefully longer) and in 10 days Charlie will be 6 months old. I stare at videos I took of Charlie nursing (pathetic, I know) and will forever cherish those moments I spent with my baby boy.

If you have any questions about nursing, pumping, storage – anything to do with breastfeeding, email me at liz@sequinsandstripes.com! xx

 

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