The Breastfeeding Diaries: Kary from Always Painted, Usually Chipped

September 10, 2014

Hi, I’m Kary from Always Painted, Usually Chipped and I’d love to share my breastfeeding journey with you. I am the mom to a spunky 23 month old boy and I breast fed him until 14 months, but that’s the end of the journey. Let’s start back at the beginning. 

When I was pregnant I was very hesitant about breastfeeding, VERY hesitant. I worried more about breastfeeding than I did about labor and delivery. I was anxious to the point that I had dreams about practicing breastfeeding on my cat during my pregnancy. (Yes, you read that correctly. DreamS, with an “s” - as in, I had more than one dream about breastfeeding my cat.)
I knew all of the information about why I SHOULD breastfeed and I wanted to do it if I could, but I felt so awkward about it. I wasn’t exactly “scared” to breastfeed, it just seemed so far outside of my comfort zone. I’d never been around babies and changing a diaper seemed hard enough to me, let alone feeding someone from my body. Plus, I basically failed breastfeeding class and my husband had to hold the fake baby up to my boob to show me how to do it correctly.
Then on November 12th, my son, Reed was born. All through the labor I knew what was coming – the first nursing session. I kept thinking that pretty soon they were going to hand him to me and I was supposed to feed him. Out he came and then here I am looking at this teeny, adorable baby and I am expected to breastfeed him. I was nervous as can be, but I did it. He latched on, and yes, it did hurt and yes, it was a little odd, but I did it.

One month went by, then two, then three, and I kept it up. I was really breastfeeding a baby! Reed refused all bottles and ate so often that I wasn’t away from him for more than 2 hours until he was 7 months old.  Even so, he was slow to put on weight and was monitored monthly by the pediatrician. I became very close friends with my Boppy pillow. I had to be brave and nurse in public to have any hope of leaving the house. It wasn’t until my son was 9 months old that he actually stretched his feedings out long enough for me to spend an afternoon out and about without him (and by that I mean 4-5 hours). He was still nursing 3 times a day when he turned a year old. At that point I felt a wave of relief. I DID IT!!!! I made it to one year and I honestly didn’t think I’d make it past week one when I was pregnant. He dropped the remaining three feedings soon after, with a little push from me on the last one.

  Reed’s favorite nursing position. I was told that they stare lovingly into your eyes.

Thankfully, I had a pretty easy road overall, which I know helped me to keep going. Sure, I had some sore nipples, but I made it all the way to the end without a clogged duct, mastitis or any of the other major issues that can hinder a breastfeeding journey and for that I am SO thankful.

It turns out that the one big issue we had, I didn’t even realize was an issue and that’s why I want to take a minute to mention it here. It wasn’t until after my son was done breastfeeding that I came across a post on one of my favorite blogs (Bower Power - here) about lip ties. I’d heard about tongue ties, but never the lip. Sure enough, that’s exactly how my son’s mouth looks. He has a lip tie. I talk more about it in this post on my blog.

When I learned about lip ties, all of a sudden the sore nipples, frequent feedings, fast nursing sessions, slow weight gain, etc. all made sense. What’s surprising to me is that during Reed’s early months we were seen on a monthly basis by his pediatrician for the weight checks and we were seen by two different lactation consultants at the office during that time. They checked his latch, watched him feed, looked in his mouth, and never noticed the lip tie. They had me pump and attempt to supplement with a bottle (big fail – lead to an oversupply that lead to a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance that lead to some gross diapers). They had me mix breast milk with oatmeal cereal (big fail – lead to screaming fits from tummy pain, short naps and the worst “new mom attitude” month for me). The only thing that worked was their suggestion to feed him every two hours if he was awake, which made me feel a little defeated since I thought I was finally at the point where he’d start to stretch feedings out, not bring them closer together. Thankfully once he got more into solids he dropped feedings pretty quickly and that was only a few months later. 
I hope that sharing my story will give some of you that are nervous about breastfeeding the push to try. Now that our breastfeeding journey is over I am SO happy that I stuck with it. Trust me, I am definitely excited that we’ve moved past that stage in the game, but I am proud that I overcame all the nerves and anticipation and gave breast feeding a shot.

 Be sure to catch up with the rest of the Breastfeeding Diaries at the top of my navigation bar. If you are interested in sharing your story, please email me at thegirlintheredshoes @ gmail

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3 Responses to “The Breastfeeding Diaries: Kary from Always Painted, Usually Chipped”

  1. Thanks for sharing your story Kary! I had never heard of lip tie before and had to jump over to your blog to read your post about it - very interesting. Thanks again for sharing!

  2. I had heard about tongue and lip ties but never knew what they looked like. Now this makes so much sense as to why it was so difficult and painful to get our son to nurse!! He has both and this is just so helpful!! Made my day to learn about this! Thank you!!!!

  3. Yall are so welcome! It was such an "ah ha!" moment for me to read about lip ties on the Bower Power blog. I wish I'd had the information earlier, but it was still nice to know. I just noticed yesterday that Reed's tooth gap is almost all the way closed and his tie has definitely moved up. I'm so happy to see that it's correcting itself on it's own!


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