Adventures In Breastfeeding- Aubri

This post is a part of the Adventures in Breastfeeding Project sharing mother’s unique experiences, successes and struggles with breastfeeding. This post is by Aubri. Here’s what she had to share:182

My journey with my sweet baby girl revolves around two facts: that I am a first time mom and I am a nurse. My pregnancy was amazingly uncomplicated, as was my labor. Presley was born on July 11th, 2011, one minute after midnight. Because I was a nurse at a Childbirth Center, I was very patient with the two hour recovery process that happened in the middle of the night. Because I was a nurse, I was eager to get Presley skin to skin and start breastfeeding and make sure I had a good latch. But because I was a first time mom, I really wasn’t sure what I was doing. It’s incredibly easy to be the one telling people what to do – how to obtain a good latch, how to sooth your baby, how to carry them – but when it’s your baby, you suddenly become a sleep-deprived mass of cluelessness. But I was a nurse, and I was supposed to know how. And so the nurses at the hospital assumed I knew how. And I pretended I did. I was great at pretending I knew how. For the first 24 hours.
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Our first night home with Presley was serene. I felt like this maternal goddess – tired and happy and full of wisdom. And then this tiny, discrete little threat popped up, literally. It turned out I wasn’t paying attention every time Presley latched on. So about 38 hours into motherhood, I had blisters on both of my nipples. Breastfeeding became a test of will. She would latch and nurse perfectly, and I sat there crying because it just hurt. As much as anyone could imagine someone sucking on an open wound would hurt. But I was determined. I would alternate positions and use nipple cream every hour. And in the middle of all of this, my milk came in. I felt relieved – until I felt full. And then I felt engorged. For weeks. And because I was a nurse, I knew how to treat it. I took warm showers and did all of the things you were taught to do. But because I was a first time mom, I had no idea how much it hurt. Or how helpless I would feel when after a shower I became this dripping mess. So I got a doctor’s order for a pump, and I started pumping after Presley nursed, which was great. This also helped me to build up a supply for the day I dreaded – the day I had to go back to work.

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Don’t misunderstand me – I love my job. However to leave my baby girl and go spend twelve hours in the middle of the night with other moms and their babies was not something I was looking forward to. But it had to happen. Since I was new at my job I didn’t have a ton of time saved up for maternity leave. So two months after P was born, I went back. Everything was set – I had found a daycare that did overnight care, and was on the way to the hospital. I had bags upon bags of frozen milk stored, and I would pump every few hours at work. But slowly, my frozen stores started dwindling. This stressed me out like nothing else. I would set my alarm for every three hours, and make sure that if Presley wasn’t eating, I was pumping. I had in my mind that if we had to start supplementing her, I would have failed. So I pumped and pumped and pumped. But eventually, in the middle of the night, Nikki the caretaker ran out of milk, and had to give Presley formula. When I picked her up that morning, I was amazed at how disappointed I was in myself. I mean we had gone months before even introducing formula – Presley was getting ready to start eating solid foods. But for some reason I couldn’t shake that I wasn’t doing my part to feed my baby.

Eventually I came to terms with my limitations, and continued to pump at work, but also made sure the box of formula was in the diaper bag. About six months in, we were in a good rhythm. I had enough loose-fitting tops so I never had to worry about what I was wearing when we were out and Presley needed to eat (I’m all for public breastfeeding, but I’m also a private person, so I always tucked her under my shirt). Presley only occasionally needed a bottle of formula at Nikki’s house, and on days after I worked, I tucked her into bed with me and nursed her every few hours till we both fell back to sleep. And then Presley’s teeth came in. I had heard from my mom friends at work that this was the defining moment – the moment you stop or push through till they self-wean. And once again, I was determined. I was going to follow the WHO recommendation of feeding her for a year (it hadn’t been changed to two years at that point haha). And because I was a nurse, I knew how to reinforce that biting when she ate wasn’t acceptable. But because I was a first time mom, I wanted to swear every time she ate for the next two weeks. She figured out pretty quickly that mama would take away the goods if she bit me, but it felt like a long time.

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I’ve always said that Presley was a miraculously easy kid. That was definitely the case with breastfeeding. Once we got over the biting phase, the rest of our breastfeeding journey was very smooth. And then slowly, around her first birthday, she just started nursing less. She was sleeping through the night, so I would pump only once or twice during the night. And by fifteen months, she had completely weaned herself. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I could wear whatever I wanted, and do whatever I wanted on my breaks at work, but I felt sad. I felt like something truly special had ended. Once in a while, I wish she would still nurse. Of course now she’s two and won’t sit still for anything. But I loved that moment – the moment you’re nursing and look down at this sweet little face, and they’ll look up at you and smile and keep nursing away. I feel very blessed to have been able to nurse Presley for as long as I did. It made me a mother, and it made me a better nurse. Now when my patients are crying at three o’clock in the morning, I can honestly tell them that right now is the tough part, but that it will get easier. And when it does, it will be amazing.

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Adventures in Breastfeeding -Kristin

This post is a part of the Adventures in Breastfeeding Project sharing mother’s unique experiences, successes and struggles with breastfeeding. This post is by Kristin. Here’s what she had to share:
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My pregnancy was a Christmas day surprise.  We really had no idea what to expect but I was certain of two things, I wanted to have a home birth and I wanted to breastfeed my baby.  That summer was hot, unlike any summer before.  I spent many evenings with my husband floating in the pool.  I will always remember those moments, floating in that pool day dreaming about what she would look like or if “she” was really a girl.  We had prepared for her birth by taking a Birthing From Within course; I assumed the rest would come naturally.

Violet was born at home on the 1st of September at 41 weeks 5 days.  My labor and her birth were hard. At 6:30 Am., my beautiful girl was born with an Apgar score of 2. While I was being treated for hemorrhaging, she was being suctioned. We were both exhausted, so nobody seemed too concerned that she wasn’t able to latch on right away.  My midwives advised me to try a nipple shield since I had flat nipples, and she had a tiny mouth.  I sent my deliriously tired husband to Babies R Us for what would become my first of many breastfeeding “tools”.

She would nurse with the shield for an hour or more at a time and when I’d pump after, I’d only get drops.  I would rarely hear her swallow, but I just kept hoping it would change when my milk came in. It never did.  There was no warmth, no engorgement, no leaking, no signs it was even there.  I tried all day long to get her to latch without the shield, hoping that was the key to our success.  My midwives came for weight checks and reassured me that my body would work, and she was just trying to get the hang of nursing.  At around a week old she stopped peeing all together, so I called my midwife in a panic. She had lost almost 2lbs.; she was starving.  I was literally starving my newborn.

From that point on, I obsessively researched how to make it better, how to fix her latch, how to make more milk.  I struggled to feed her milk that wasn’t mine, feeling like a failure with every bottle I gave her. I visited an IBCLC for help. Test feeds showed she was transferring an ounce or less, after 45 minutes of effort.  I was dismissed by them, and told “It’s okay to stop,” and “It’s too late to do anything about it” I missed my window.  “Take a break,” they told me “it’s ok to feed her formula.”  It was my fault.

I’m stubborn.  I bought the book “Making More Milk” and read it cover to cover trying to pin point why my body was failing me.  Maybe it was because I lost so much blood, or maybe something with her mouth?  Maybe my prolactin receptors didn’t form properly because she didn’t latch those early hours, or maybe my boobs were just broken.  I rented a hospital grade pump and a baby scale, I ordered Domperidone from overseas, visited an herbalist, and acquired an extensive collection of pills and gadgets that didn’t help.  At 5 weeks old, Violet latched on without a shield. I started using a supplemental nursing system (SNS) to be able to feed her at the breast.  It was a beast of a gadget; it caused many meltdowns (mostly me) and countless pools of spilled milk, but it got her to want to nurse.  We went on like this until she was about 8 months old, trying everything under the sun along the way.

By then, Violet was fully engrossed in the world of solid food.  We cut back on bottles and SNS feedings and just nursed.  I finally felt like a breastfeeding mother. All the heartache was worth it.  She loved to nurse and we kept going strong even after I went back to work when she was 11 months old.  I didn’t have much for her, but it was her comfort.  She drank her “mama milk” until I was 4 months pregnant with her brother.  September 1, 2011 was the last day Violet nursed, her second birthday.

Everett’s story is much of the same, heartbreak.  I really thought deep down it would be different.  We had an amazing home birth, a totally different experience than with Violet.  He latched!  It hurt like hell, but he latched.  The first 2 weeks I nursed him through extreme pain, using a medicine dropper to feed him the tiny amounts I pumped.  I had a galactocele (a milk filled cyst); in my nipple hat I had developed while nursing Violet that was contributing to the pain and bad latch.  At 2 weeks, my milk wasn’t enough anymore, so I had to supplement.  This time I reached out to my local community of “crunchy” moms for breast milk donations.  I was met with remarkable kindness from strangers who were doing extra work in their day to feed MY baby.  The first time I went to a donor mom’s home to pick up milk, she reached out and hugged me.  From that point on, Everett only drank breast milk until after his first birthday.  In the beginning, I was pumping 8 times a day plus nursing.  At my high point I provided half of what he needed, then I got mastitis and it dropped about 50% and never recovered.  I spent countless hours setting up SNS bottles, filling tiny capsules full of herbs, seeking out donations, and waiting for my next shipment of supplements. I went to a breast surgeon for my galactocele.  Her solution was to drain the cyst in between feeds to relieve the pressure, and hope the “drain hole” would stay open.  Draining my cyst with a syringe needle multiple times a day was added to the long list of crazy things I did to breastfeed.

I went back to work when Everett was 4.5 months old.  I pumped 2 times during the day and brought home 2-4 ounces.  It was a lot of work for what seemed like such small amount, but my milk was Everett’s perfect milk, he deserved it.  I gave up pumping when he was 14 months old to enjoy nursing my crazy toddler and stop counting the ounces.

I want to pursue my IBCLC because I love helping others nurse their babies.  I get so much joy from knowing my encouragement has helped even one person breastfeed.  I don’t know 100%  why I can’t do what my body is supposed to do, but I strongly suspect it is IGT (insignificant glandular tissue) since I had few breast changes during pregnancy, and I have some of the physical markers. My husband supported me 100% through all of the tears and heartbreak, but it was really hard for him to watch, and I know he felt helpless. I found a lot of love and support from a Facebook group for moms with IGT and also MOBI during the dark days with my daughter.
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I am a nursing mother. I am enough for my babies. I did everything I could. I gave everything I had.  I am proud, and I am sad.  I’m stronger because of this.

Adventures In Breastfeeding- Rebecca

This post is a part of the Adventures in Breastfeeding Project sharing mother’s unique experiences, successes and struggles with breastfeeding. This post is by Rebecca. Here’s what she had to share:

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Being a single, working, exclusive breast feeding mom is a tough job. Well “breast” feeding isn’t 100% accurate since my son takes a bottles of breast milk when I’m away.

You go to classes, research at home, and talk to other people about what to expect. None of it fully prepares you for what you agree to when you decide your baby will only drink breast milk. There were lots of hardships in the beginning, but that’s not the story I want to share today. From the day Maverick was born I had a countdown till I returned to work. Till the day he would be away from me for 9 hours, and would have to receive my milk from some foreign object instead of his warm mom. Till the day I would have to wake 3 hours before work to nurse him as quickly as possible and check my pump bag a dozen times to assure I had every crazy piece to my free Ameda pump. Till the day i would have to hook up tubes and bottles to my breast and have it forcefully suck the milk out. As that day grew closer, the more I wanted to call and say I couldn’t work anymore.

Knowing I needed as much milk as possible, my boss agreed I could pump 3 times a day. Day one I nervously watched the clock, doing the math in my head, “I fed him at 7, so I MUST pump at 9, 12, and 3” believing my mill would dry up the next day if I didn’t do it correctly. After a few whispers from coworkers, and one rude comment, the day was done and I proudly had 11 ounces for my son, who only took 9 while I was away.

As the time went on, my pump sessions got further apart, sometimes being 5 hours before I could pump again. Being painfully engorged and constantly checking under the apron to see if I started leaking milk all over and more rude stares from coworkers because I got extra breaks during the day were pretty normal in my work day. My supply has never taken a drop, but it also has not increased. Maverick makes sure he gets the amount of milk he needs each day because he wakes 3-5 times a night to nurse. Add that with the extra time you have to wake to prepare the bottles, assure you have clean flanges, and extra bottles to store milk in, you spend more time than moms who use formula!

But knowing what is best for my son and loving his eagerness to nurse when I’m around has kept us going strong.

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Advetures in Breastfeeding- Jasmine

 This post is a part of the Adventures in Breastfeeding Project sharing mother’s unique experiences, successes and struggles with breastfeeding. This post is by Jasmine. Here’s what she had to share:

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We hear all the time about the benefits of nursing; things like “human milk for human babies”, “breast is beast”, and loads of other phrases come to mind. Breast milk can heal ear and eye infections, can clear up rashes…it really is a miracle liquid. What we fail to appreciate, however, are it’s emotional benefits. I was blessed beyond reason to have nursed my darling Rocket Baby for 28 of his 33 months; twice through pregnancies, and once through a pregnancy loss. He is our only living child, though Angel Baby and Baby O are very close to our hearts.

This isn’t something I ever thought I’d share, honestly. For a long time the beauty of our breast feeding relationship was so personal, something I held close and sacred. I think, however, it’s become too important not to share: the beauty of healing that comes with breast feeding. Breast feeding through pregnancy is no joke – it is rough. There are days when I didn’t feel like being touched and those are the days Rocket Baby would hang on the teat like he would spontaneously combust if he unlatched. During my pregnancy with Angel Baby, I wanted nothing more then to wean Rocket and it just wasn’t happening.

I was devastated when we learned of Angel Baby’s loss at 15 weeks gestation, although this baby had left its tiny body around 12; we just weren’t expecting it to happen. For Angel Baby’s loss, I opted for a D&C and after, wanted absolutely nothing more then to go home to be with Rocket Baby. Just days earlier I wanted him to be wean and be independent, and at that moment I was so thankful he didn’t. Nursing him became my greatest comfort; I could hold him, snuggle him, and smell his sweet baby scent. It was amazing and it truly helped me heal.

We lost Rocket Baby’s brother, Baby O at 20 weeks gestation (though he measured about 17 weeks). By that point, my milk had dried up and Rocket Baby had completely self weaned. We did try a few times to regain my milk supply, but it just wasn’t meant to be. I realized a few days before writing this, that I may never nurse another little one. With plans to adopt and being unsure of the possibility of relactation, my experience with Rocket may just be it. There is one thing, however, that I am sure of, and that is this: what a blessing. What a fantastic blessing it has been to nurse my son for those 28 months. In that time we grew so much together and I grew so much myself. I went from being shy and awkward about nursing to being able to pop a boob in my growing toddlers mouth whenever and wherever he needed it. I became empowered.

Breast feeding is so much more then nourishing a tiny human, it’s so much more then sustenance. Whether you choose to cover, not cover, nurse for 3 months or 3 years, or exclusively pump: it’s so worth it. It’s an unbreakable bond. No matter how you choose to do it, keep an open mind. Most of all, appreciate the time; it really won’t last forever.

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Thank you so much Jasmine for sharing. You can follow her adoption journey at The Violette Underground.

Adventures In Breastfeeding- Brittney

 This post is a part of the Adventures in Breastfeeding Project sharing mother’s unique experiences, successes and struggles with breastfeeding. This post is by Brittney. Here’s what she had to share:
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My odds were against me. Rushed into the operating room for my emergency C-section, numb from the epidural, I could only think negatively about my situation. “Wow.. of course it ended up this way. I am so unlucky.” I had envisioned a natural birth yet I had not mentally prepared for the pain of labor. I found myself begging for the epidural at 7cm and ended up in that crowded operating room instead of in the antique four-poster bed in the birthing center where I had thought we would spend our first moments together as a family. The C-section was difficult; the surgeons struggled to pull her out . She was not breathing after finally being taken out with vacuum assistance. Everything was happening so fast and I looked on in pain and confusion  as doctors yelled and rushed around the room. Finally I heard a cry and saw her arms and legs begin to kick the air. Instead of being placed on my chest to nurse after she entered the world, her cheek was held against mine for a few seconds  before she was taken away to be evaluated in the NICU. My boyfriend went with her and let them know that I wished to breastfeed, and to not give her a pacifier. They gave him a glove, had him hold his finger in her mouth, and they stayed that way until she was released four hours later. She was finally brought to me in the first recovery room. Unfortunately this memory is a blur.. I couldn’t take the pain anymore and had accepted the spinal morphine. I do not remember the first moment I breastfed her, but I do know she was latching and nursing instantly. We went together to the recovery room where we would spend the next three days. She stayed on my chest the entire time, nursing almost constantly. I felt overwhelmed with a sweet, sleepy, loving feeling as I looked at her nursing and falling asleep on my chest. I denied all painkillers from that point on. She nursed wonderfully. She seemed to know exactly what to do and how to do it. I still asked to see a lactation consultant because I wanted to be sure everything was going right. It took two days to finally be seen by a LC and when they saw us, they were shocked by how well we were doing on our own. As they examined my breasts and nipples a stream of milk shot out of one. “Your milk is already in!” I was dumbfounded; I’d expected to feel engorged and in pain like I’d read about. They said everything looked great, and that her latch was fine. “We never see this happen to C-section moms and babies. You’re lucky.”, they said. They taught me what to look for to make sure she was eating enough, such as listening for gulps. Sure enough, she had already been gulping down lots of milk. She actually gained a little weight while we were there! Every time she was checked out by a pediatrician they commented on how healthy she looked and how quickly she was recovering. They expected jaundice from having some blood under the skin on her head after the rough birth, but she had none. We were finally released and happy to go home. Two and a half months of exclusively breastfeeding later, it’s still  going fantastic. I dealt with some oversupply issues but it finally balanced itself out. She had already gained a pound from her birth weight at her two week appointment and is now a healthy baby (and growing out of her 0-3 month onesies!) After a traumatic birth , I am happy to say breastfeeding has been going beyond my expectations. She still nurses every two hours during the day and I enjoy every moment. I can’t wait until we reach a year and I can look back on this, and tell my story again to inspire others. Breastfeeding is the one thing that worked out for us and I can’t imagine doing it any other way.
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Adventures in Breastfeeding- Kerry

This post is a part of the Adventures in Breastfeeding Project sharing mother’s unique experiences, successes and struggles with breastfeeding. This post is by my friend Kerry. Here’s what she had to share:
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My daughter Layla was very alert at birth. My midwife took her little head and latched her on within the first hour she was born. I saw three different lactation consultants before I was discharged, and they all had different techniques. I called on some of them twice to show me again.

When we got home, I nursed her on demand and latched her on often. There was a definite learning curve getting her to latch, but each time got a little easier. A few days after Layla was born a friend of mine asked if my milk came in. I said, “Yes, I think. Wait, how do I know?” She said, “Oh you would KNOW. Your boobs will get so painfully engorged and you’ll feel a let down and it will be white milk, not like the colostrum. You will hear or see her swallowing”. My friend came to see me. Sure enough, my milk had come in and I hadn’t batted an eye. I started feeling my milk let down about 3 weeks later. Around this time, I was also walking around and nursing her without having to think about it, a time when many moms are often still trying to get a decent latch.

Layla gained weight steadily and I never worried that she wasn’t getting enough, I could tell by her diapers and check-ups.

When Layla was around 2 months old, I developed a clogged nipple pore, also called a “bleb.” That hurt. I used hot compresses and nursed her on that side, gritting my teeth and trying to breathe through the whole session. I took a hot shower and let the water run on my breast. I nursed her again. That did the trick, and nursing her on that side felt sore for a few days. I can honestly say this was my only painful issue; a blip on the radar.

I had a healthy supply and a forceful letdown if I pumped, which would make Layla choke and gasp. I block fed for a few weeks and stopped pumping and things got easier on her. As she got older, she handled my let down like a champ. I barely even remembered this happened until now, as I am writing it all out.

She always had a great latch. We sailed through teeth (4 bottoms first, then 4 tops). When her top teeth came in, I did have to make sure she wasn’t lazily latched or I could feel them digging in. I would simply unlatch her and relatch if I felt them. Although she has nipped me a few times accidentally, I haven’t had to deal with biting at all.

Around 5-6 months I got the hang of side-lying nursing which allowed me to basically sleep through her night feedings. Layla just turned 1 and still nurses at night, usually 2-3 times. Some people have balked at this, but because we co-sleep I barely wake up and I never get out of bed. It is so easy and convenient, and it gives me peace of mind that she is getting enough nutrients. 226

Breastfeeding is deeply relaxing for me. I swear I can feel the prolactin and oxytocin coursing through my body when I’m nursing. Sometimes it makes me sleepy. More than once I’ve let out a deep sigh because my body just felt good. I can’t really explain it in any other way.

There really isn’t much else to report.  I’ve been very luck that breastfeeding has been blissfully uneventful for over a year now. My goal was to nurse until 1, but now that we are here I have no reason to stop and many to continue. She is on a healthy self-weaning path, which is best for both of us.

I should add that I had great support, and even though breastfeeding came easily, I still needed it at times. It isn’t enough to just get lucky that it works physically for you- you need to be dedicated and talk yourself through emotionally. It’s hard work nursing around the clock, even if it’s an amazing bonding experience. I really encourage moms to have a good support network just in case they have any trouble.

When I was pregnant, I planned on breastfeeding but truly didn’t know how much I would love it. I know that nursing isn’t always easy or possible, but I hope every mom who can do it gives it a fair chance. It can be hard in the beginning, but stick with it. It might surprise you with how wonderful, convenient, special, and simple it can actually be for both of you.
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You can follow Kerry and her gorgeous family on her blog Naturally Crazy

Adventures in Breastfeeding- Rachel

This post is a part of the Adventures in Breastfeeding Project sharing mother’s unique experiences, successes and struggles with breastfeeding. This post is by Rachel of Swanky & Dapper. Here’s what she had to share:

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it is so easy to be selfish isn’t it? eat what we want. wear what we want. go where we want. do what we want, when we want. but i believe that life is a process of learning to be less self-involved and more selfgiving. pouring into others. in life, you forge friendships, which help you to consider the needs of others. marriage is about two people becoming one—no room for selfishness there. and parenthood. caring for a life. nourishing a life. raising up a little person. that is a tremendous thing. And you can’t be self-involved if you want to do it well and raise a thoughtful individual. this is growth. this is life. a series of things that move you onward. refinement.

for me, pregnancy was integral in this. my body wasn’t just for recreational purposes. what i ate, how i moved, the position of my body. it all had additional purpose. it was sustaining another. for all those months, that itty-bitty life was reliant on me. what i did mattered more. it wasn’t about eating whatever tasted good or exercising to look good in my clothes. it was about building a healthy little being. and then, breastfeeding. my calories were not my own. my clothes needed to be functional. the gals weren’t just for show. my schedule was dedicated to sustaining a life. and i took this seriously. i didn’t necessarily approach breastfeeding with warm and fuzzies. it was what i needed to do—what i was created to do. and i was going to do what i could to support it.

those early days were just about digging in and getting through (much like everything is in those first weeks). you are trying to keep that baby alive and keep yourself functioning. you are adjusting. getting into a rhythm. a good latch. the correct position. let down. burping holds. nipple creams. all that lovely jargon. thankfully, my hubby was home for the first five weeks after elinor grace arrived. and let me tell you, he was a gem. he attended to my needs. taking care of me so that i could take care of this new little life. he gave me my prenatal vitamins. my fenugreek. and made sure i had a constant supply of coconut water. he prepared meals for me. brewed tea. he sat with me for the 15 minutes on both sides. he supported me while i became accustomed to things. he researched my questions. he cheered me on. he kept me going during the day. because, those days are peculiar days. i was in a blissful natural-birth, hormonecocktail stupor. but my brain was buzzing and i was ever so vigilant. my body was tender but i have never felt tougher. i was fatigued but surging with energy. i was a mess but felt whole. schedules and supplements and swaddles. fast and furious. decisions to make. actions to take.

but at night, that was my private time to figure things out with my little girl. i observed her. watching her face. feeling what her little mouth was doing. learning her. connecting to her cues. i would softly sing and hum as i rocked. i knew how many rounds of edelweiss and amazing grace that it took to give her a full feeding on each side. those moments are hazy, yet vivid.

and then, after i came out of the fog of the first few weeks, one thing became clear. this is an amazing thing. the way the body quickly shifts from nourishing a baby in-utero to nourishing a tiny person. how the body heals itself while working hard to produce liquid gold. the way the body matches demand with supply. balances nutrients perfectly. and instinctively prepares for timed meals. intuitive. amazing. breastfeeding is the coolest.

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and as my relationship with my daughter changes, breastfeeding changes right along with it. she used to be solely dependent on me for her needs. a helpless little infant. breastfeeding was a time-consuming, mindconsuming, and energy-consuming activity. but now, my little girl is becoming more independent. her days are spent moving and shaking. and breastfeeding time is our respite. moments when i can talk sweetly to her. pray over her. stroke her face. cuddle. and watch her as she responds to me with her eyes and momentary flirty smirks. it is a sacred time. an easy time. the stuff that dreams are made of. and i cherish this. knowing that not everyone has this. knowing that the next time around, i may not have this. heck, i might not even have a next time around…

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and so, i do whatever i can to protect our precious moments. it is intimate. there is nothing sweeter than sitting in her room, slowly rocking, softly singing, and enjoying that time together. quiet. still. it is so easy to do everything on the go. and while i am all for breastfeeding in public, and while there are always times when we have to take the show on the road…i prefer the “slow food” approach to breastfeeding. establishing routine. constancy. safety. i want that time to be a sweet time. slowing down. getting away. a haven.

i remember saying that i hoped to breastfeed for 6 months. 6 months came and went. we are still going strong. we are 10 months in and i don’t know when we will stop. i feel like we are coming into our own. this is our sweet spot. she is more efficient. i am more relaxed. it is enjoyable. it is tranquil. and i want to hold onto these playful and sweet moments with her for just a bit longer. the satisfaction that comes from giving myself to another. a daily reminder of unconditional love and a sacrificial life. “and she cherished all these things in her heart.” and so, our breastfeeding story goes on…

Thank you Rachel for being a part of the Adventures in Breastfeeding. Be sure to check out her gorgeous blog here: http://swankyanddapper.com/