Week 1- Our first latch boy was I excited, nervous, & scared all at the same time. Will I produce enough milk? Will my milk be enough to sustain him? Will he latch correctly? So many questions so many fears ran through my head.
Week 2- Well the stains on my sheets and my achy engorged breasts, definite indicator that my milk is here! Yay! Now the fun really begins. Oh no, I think too much is coming out at once and you're not liking this letdown, what do I do? How do I fix this? How do I make my milk come out slower? Someone help!
Week 3- I think we finally got down our own little rhythm. Found a position that you and I are both good with and you have been having plenty of poop and pee diapers I really don't know what all this fuss is about we got this! Yeah we got this.
Week 4- I haven't gotten more than a few hours of sleep since I had you I don't think I can go one more night without some sleep. Maybe I should look into pumping so daddy can help with the night feedings that will solve all my problems, I know it will! Now what pump to get? That is the problem.
Week 5- So remember those two nights of full sleep I got, Thanks to daddy taking over the night feedings with my pumped milk? Well nobody told me that interfering with our routine & going so long without nursing would cause me to get a plugged duct and I'm in terrible pain! This is what I get for wanting a little sleep? It's so not fair! Why didn't anyone tell me this would happen? Not only that, but these cracked nipples are not helping anyone. Why did I think I could do this? Why is this so hard for me? What am I doing wrong here? All I could do that whole day was sob like a baby.
Week 6- Things seem to be back on track and I'm ready to go somewhere, anywhere outside of this house! Not even an hour into our outing and you're ready for some milk. Wait there is people around me, real live people that isn't my husband. What do I do? Is it even legal for me to nurse him in front of everyone? I did not prepare myself for this. Well my baby is hungry he needs to be fed so I'm feeding him. Awe that wasn't so bad even got a couple of smiles. Not sure what I was worried about.
Week 7- Why does it seem like I'm not producing as much milk as I was a week ago? Milk was flowing like a stream. No I can't lose my supply I just can't not when I'm finally getting the hang of it! Off to find supplements I guess. So many to choose from how do I choose? I swear I need a Breastfeeding For Dummies book. Well the lactation consultant says that the amount I'm getting out with the pump is not a true indicator of how much milk I have. I don't understand that though a pump gets my milk out so how can it not be a true indicator? Apparently because a pump cannot replicate a baby's suckle perfectly so baby could be getting more out when he nurses. You have plenty of pee and poop diapers so I guess I'm making enough. I hope.
Week 8- Time for your check up little one. How come there is a paper full of what formula brand I'm using and how I prepare the milk? Don't they know I'm breastfeeding? Did they give me the wrong form? Doctor said that you're a little underweight and I should consider supplementing with formula. Formula? What? Why? So I'm broken? I can't produce enough milk for my baby? Just like that? I feel so defeated. Maybe I should talk to other moms and see if they were told the same. Hmmm... "Breastfeeding Mama Talk" on Facebook looks like a good group. Well boy was I in for a surprise. Apparently breastfed babies grow at a different rate than formula fed babies. Looks like his pediatrician was going off the standard form. According to the other chart my baby is right on track! I wonder why the doctor was so quick to have me supplement. Doesn't he know that breastmilk is the healthiest?
Week 9- This was probably the hardest week of all. It's the week I have to return to work. It's the week that I could no longer stay in all day just to keep you at my breast. I was not going to let this obstacle stop me I will make sure you still get mommy's milk. I will just have to work a little harder that's all. I got my pump, all the supplies, time to bring home the bacon and the milk. Well this should be fun where am I gonna pump? Boss tells me there is an outlet in the bathroom? Well that doesn't seem very accommodating. Luckily that fantastic group I joined last week informed me on the laws in place to protect breastfeeding moms. I showed up to work the next day with a print out of my state law and handed it over to my boss. About an hour or so later he called me into his office and thanked me for informing him on the law and that he would abide by it. Phew, that was nerve racking , but I'm so glad I knew about the law beforehand. I would have been miserable pumping in that bathroom.
Week 10- I cherish the moments when I do get to nurse. Cuddled up in bed and getting to nurse my baby to sleep almost makes up for the hours I miss when I'm at work. Sometimes I feel so guilty about leaving him, but I have to provide for him more than just my milk.
Week 11- We got this. public outings I ditch that cover, pull down my shirt, and nursing with my head up high and proud. I've even gotten a few negative remarks, but I pay no mind. I'm hardcore now and it feels liberating. The time I do get with my baby is precious so I refuse to waste any of it by focusing on what the people around me think about me providing the best for my baby.
Week 12- Everything is right on track and would you believe it? I'm now assisting other moms with their breastfeeding struggles! How about that? I'm the one telling mamas that it will get easier. I'm the one informing moms on what the laws are that protect us. I'm the one telling moms to question the doctor recommendations if it doesn't feel right to them. I'm the one reassuring moms that what they pumped out is not a true indicator of their supply and to just relax and breathe they will pull through. Would you believe it? I even attended my first Nurse In to support a local mom getting discriminated against and it felt amazing. All I can say is I had some hard weeks, struggles, & doubts, but with some information, support, & confidence we got through it and you will too.