I am so honored to be able to share my story with you today. I am grateful to Julie for offering the breastfeeding diaries series. It was support and stories like these that helped sustain my own efforts at breastfeeding!
My name is Anneliese and I am mama to one wonderful, crazy, wild and energetic almost one year old, Nolan. I am a fulltime wife and mama by day and blogger by night. You can find me reveling in all of the glorious chaos that comes with parenting as well as sharing some delicious and yummy clean eating recipes over at Superfresh Babypants.
Nolan had a rocky start entering the world and an even rockier start establishing a nursing relationship. I labored for two days and finally consented to a C-section late on Saturday evening. Our breastfeeding journey began shortly after my arrival in the recovery room. Nolan was latched on by a nurse at the time. I was disoriented from the medication and struggled to process everything that was occurring at the time. We were wheeled to our room for the evening. For the next several days, I was assisted by several nurses and lactation consultants in the hospital to help establish a latch. We continued to struggle and I endured severe pain every time he nursed. I was told that what I was experiencing was normal and that it would take a few weeks to establish a solid nursing relationship.
Once we were home, I was surprised, frustrated and upset that I was continuing to experience severe pain when my son was nursing. Soon enough, I was experiencing sharp pains in my breasts when he wasn't nursing. I cringed at the thought of his next feeding and the pain that would soon accompany latching him on. I was starting to dread nursing and found myself in tears several times throughout the day.
Several weeks into a very troubled nursing relationship, I called a lactation consultant and scheduled her to come to my house. She arrived on a Sunday afternoon and spent several hours with me. We talked about my routine, my concerns, issues and frustrations. She helped me revise my current system of nursing and had me get rid of all my accessories. I tossed the boppies and pillows. We practiced what she referred to as laid back nursing. I was on my way to establishing a proper latch but was still plagued with intense pain. I made a visit to my doctor who promptly diagnosed me and treated me for thrush. Finally after months of pain, I finally saw the light at the end of the tunnel. For the first time, I was able to nurse Nolan without cringing in pain.
After 12 weeks of being on maternity leave, I decided to turn in my notice of resignation at work at the 11th hour. I consider myself extremely fortunate to be given the opportunity to stay home with my son as crazy as it can be some days. This choice has obviously had an impact on our nursing relationship. I have never had to develop a routine or schedule because I am constantly available to allow him to nurse on demand. I have also never had to pump despite owning the Medela Freestyle which continues to sit on the shelf in the closet!
Our breastfeeding journey has certainly been a bumpy one but almost a year later and it feels like the early days were a lifetime ago. Nursing has become second nature and feels completely natural now. I was and still am so grateful for the support and encouragement I received along the way. I quickly learned that I was not alone in my journey and many mamas before me experienced the same trials and tribulations. Having a support system and resources available helped establish and solidify this beautiful relationship. When in doubt, reach out!! There are so many mamas willing to help and guide you on your breastfeeding journey!
Thanks so much to Julie for having me here to share my breastfeeding experience. I hope that my experience will offer strength and hope to other breastfeeding mamas that may be struggling.
Be sure to catch up with the rest of the Breastfeeding Diaries at the top of my navigation bar!