The Breastfeeding Diaries: Ashley from Words about Waverly

December 11, 2013

Hi everyone, I am Ashley from Words About Waverly.  I am a Fashion Marketing teacher who loves fashion, design and any type of celebration!  My husband and I live in Virginia Beach, VA , the same place we met fifteen years ago in math class.  We have a 15-month old daughter, Waverly Maye, who is the absolute light and center of our lives.

I am super excited to share my story with you and so thankful to Julie for letting me be a part of this series.  I have been following Julie's blog for months now and  have found the stories of other moms so helpful, inspiring and best of all, reassuring.  The breastfeeding experience is so unique and really only those who have done it can really understand it.  I have come to realize that relating and learning from others during this process is so important and for me, was what helped me make it through. 

Here is our story.

I am a total Type- A, over-planner kind of person. Waverly's nursery was complete months in advance of her July birthday, our bags were packed and hanging in the hallway for weeks in advance, and I drove around with an empty car seat for well over a month. We took an 8-week birth class and read endless books and blogs to the point that I pretty much have a medical degree in child birth. In fact, I may just forgo the whole hospital thing with my next child and do it all on my own.

What I didn't prepare for, mentally or physically, was breastfeeding. I had every intention of feeding my girl exclusively. Yet for whatever reason, I never thought it would be an isssue. I just figured that that she would come out, latch right on, and we would never turn back. I was SO wrong.

Despite lots of help from lactation consultants, it took a couple of days for either one of us to even come close to figuring this whole breastfeeding thing out. The "holds" were foreign to me, the parts to that weird-looking pump were anything but easy to identify, and to put it mildly, I was in pain. Like even more than child birth pain. Pair that with the fact that I had no idea how long this whole thing took (or about engorgement!) ... and there was more than one moment that I almost completely gave up. You know, in a mad dash to the grocery store for a bottle for formula for Waverly and a bottle of wine for me.

There were MANY moments of frustration when I didn't think we would ever make it through. Just like they say, when you think you have it all figured out, things change. They did, ALL of the time! There were nights that I thought she wasn't eating enough to find out, I was overfeeding her.  After returning to work, my supply went down and I was convinced we wouldn't even make it to half of my goal of an entire year. We pretty much went day to day on my supply for the entire time I was back to work, and it was something I was always thinking and worrying about.  And as much as I loved the time with her, the pressure of being the only one who could feed her could definitely be overwhelming.

Long story short, the good news is that we made it through. I am so proud that Waverly Maye never drank formula and exclusively had my milk until she was 11 months old. Our breastfeeding dates went from moments I dreaded to time that I really cherished with her. There really is nothing more of a bonding experience or feeling of accomplishment than being your child's one and only source of nourishment.

With that being said ... I am fully aware that for some moms and babes, it just doesn't work out. That may even be the case for me and a future Brickner baby. But I couldn't be happier that this time, for me and my Waverly, it did! It's something we will always have and I really do cherish it, and love this little girl beyond words.

On a side note, as happy as I am that our experience was a positive one, I was almost as happy to pack that god-awful pump FAR away. Really far. That is one piece of baby gear I can certainly do without.

Thanks again to Julie for the honor of allowing me to be a part of this series! :)

Be sure to catch up with the rest of the Breastfeeding Diaries at the top of my 
navigation bar!

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2 Responses to “The Breastfeeding Diaries: Ashley from Words about Waverly”

  1. I know what you mean about going day to day! After not being able to nurse my daughter, I was determined to nurse my son. Every dr apt (except for the first few weeks) they told me he wasn't gaining enough and I needed to supplement. I knew he was fine, he was acting full and he wasn't LOSING weight so I kept on going. It was exhausting, but now that he's almost a year old I'm glad we made it! (with a bottle of formula every night because after MONTHS of pumping before bed for that extra bottle I just said "screw this" haha)

  2. Ashley, I have been breastfeeding my son for almost 7 months now, and am day-to-day with it just like you were. I never got an opportunity to create a big freezer supply of milk, so I worry about not being able to keep up all the time. I just hope to be able to make it as long as you and Waverly did. It's awesome that you were able to go for 11 months. Way to go, Mama! Thanks for sharing your story with us!


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