Monday, January 25, 2016

nursing


written on january 11, 2016

I am a week shy of having nursed Sophia for an entire eleven months. Trust me, the magnitude of that accomplishment is not lost on me.

But I'm a numbers + goals type of girl. So when I set the goal to exclusively nurse Sophia for the first year, eleven months is just good. But it falls short.

Austen said maybe it was winter break throwing me off of my nursing + pumping schedule. Maybe I'm a little stressed. Or maybe my body is just tired. Nursing came quickly but it has not been easy to continue for me. I've had mastitis twice (the second time sucks just as bad as the first), a clogged milk duct at least once a month, and a handful of milk blisters. It would have been easier at times to throw in the towel, but that's not what I wanted.

I love breastfeeding.

I know that every baby is different and it is an incredible blessing, both emotionally and financially, to be able to nurse for this long. There is no guarantee that I'll be able to nurse our future babies for the amount of time that I've been able to with Sophia. I hope and pray that I can, especially since I have a bag of tricks for those common breastfeeding challenges, but there is nothing written in stone.

We are at the point of considering beginning to supplement with formula. Her first four days, she was a formula baby, so this really shouldn't be emotional for me. I know that "fed is best" and whatever I need to do to put milk in her belly is what is best for her, that I have done a job well done in breastfeeding, that life won't get flipped on its head...

But I'm ridiculously emotional about all of this. Maybe it's another part of her getting bigger. Another thing I'm just not quite ready for. A little bit of her depending on me less.

The things they don't prepare you for when having a babe.

update: january 24, 2016

I made it to eleven months of exclusively breastfeeding, and felt really good about that accomplishment. After noticing that three weeks into work my supply wasn't evening back out like it typically does after a break, we decided to buy formula in order to supplement at night. We feel comfortable and confident with our decision, especially after eleven months of only nursing, and are hopeful that this will help her to sleep more soundly + longer at night. I still plan on continuing to pump like I normally do so that Austen can give her bottles during the day, and I can still nurse her in the mornings + after work. I love the connection and bond we have because of breastfeeding and neither of us are ready to be done quite yet. So very thankful for that.

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