Quite early this morning I experienced what I have decided to label my very first mom win. And what better way to kick off this new blog than by documenting the first win as my first written post?
As some of you may know based on my previous Instagram/Facebook post, my baby boy, Reef, and I were having some difficulties with breastfeeding.
It began in the hospital with trouble latching and subsequently painful latching when we “succeeded”. Luckily, we were actually very successful with pumping which allowed us to try some different methods and ensure that Reef got enough to eat and my milk supply came in. (Always have to be grateful for the good things in the difficult situations.)
Now nursing my first child is something that I never truly realized would be so important to me, but as it turns out, it is. After considering why, of course, the obvious reasons being the documented benefits to his health and to myself… I realized there was something a bit less obvious for a reason:
Whether this is entirely true or not, to me, nursing would be the one thing that would separate my experience with my own baby and the experiences that I had with all of the wonderful babies that I was blessed enough to care for in my 10 years as a nanny.
So for us to “fail” at nursing! (Gasp!) I felt would be truly heartbreaking. This is one of the reasons I believe I was so determined to power through. And that is just what we did.
We took advice from our wonderful friends, incredibly sweet acquaintances and even some wonderfully helpful strangers. We endured cracked and bleeding nipples, frustrating and sleep deprived nights and I am not ashamed to say many thoughts about giving up. This incredible bonding experience was turning into something I was beginning to dread due to the pain I anticipated every time I was to feed my baby boy. But still, we kept at it and decided to see a lactation specialist. We went to see a wonderful woman at Hawaii Mothers Milk. A free program held at Kapiolani Hospital. They were wonderful, attentive and oh so helpful, I really can’t say enough wonderful things about them!! Anyways… They helped us with a new feeding position and it really just changed the entire game.
Everything started getting easier!
Now don’t get me wrong, we still had our moments of frustration and pain at the initial latch. Reef still flails a bit trying to get on there, which certainly ups the difficulty. And when he needs to burp he tends to rip his head backward …while still attached to my poor boob, which is less than fun… but none of it is a constant, tear-inducing, and painful experience from start to finish as it had been! I definitely considered this to be a small victory but not a full-fledged mom win.
Fast forward a few weeks filled with a nice steady positive progression and it leads us to this morning!!
Baby boy was being a little bit fussy and didn’t seem satisfied after a few attempts at feeding. By 4 am it’s pretty safe to say that I was significantly tired. I was also little bit ready to send daddy upstairs to warm up a bottle from our emergency breast milk stores. Then I decided, “hey I’m laying here on my side, I’ve seen a few examples of feeding lying down and what’s the worst that could happen”… So my husband brought the baby to me and I cuddled him up right next to my body and to my utter amazement he latched on with almost zero help from me!!
It was the easiest experience we have yet to have so far and, in what I can only describe as pure bliss on my end, he continued to eat uninterrupted and happily for ten minutes. The time that I got to spend this morning feeding my child, while laying down, in a pain-free manner is nothing short of spa comparable to this new momma.
Of course my little “don’t get ahead of yourself” mom voice went off in my head trying to protect me should this have proven itself to be a fluke… But then, later on, this morning I decided to give it another go and had the same euphoric experience… On both sides!!
And drum roll, please…. MOM WIN: NUMBER ONE