It has been 6 months of exclusive breastfeeding for Baby J and I! Not to mention, my sweet little J’s 1/2 birthday! It was a long, hard road to where we are now. There were many bumps (and definitely bruises) that almost kept us from our goal. I was so excited about breastfeeding when I was pregnant. I always tell people that breastfeeding was something that NO ONE prepared me for. I thought I was totally “prepared” and ready to go. I was adamant about skin-to-skin right after birth. I was super excited about our “Miracle Hour” and I made it clear that baby would “room-in” with me in the hospital. I was so fortunate that all of those things happened for me. What didn’t happen was a proper latch. I couldn’t figure it out. I did everything “right”, and I took all the lactation consultant advice that I could get. Nothing worked. Baby J was eating just fine and growing like crazy, but I was in an incredible amount of pain. I was made to feel as if this is just how it was going to be. As long as baby was healthy and gaining weight there was nothing to worry about. Except possibly the excruciating pain? No big deal. There was absolutely no way, no matter how passionate I was, that I could keep it going for the recommended 6 months. Those first few weeks of breastfeeding are killer for everyone, but I was engorged to a whole new level. Honestly, I was making enough milk to feed (what felt like) 10 babies! My husband thought we were in some sort of horror movie because I was constantly covered in (and spraying) milk. The worst was the mastitis that eventually knocked me off my feet. Not only was I exhausted and overwhelmed, now I was fighting off an infection! All I could think was, how could I possibly make it another day?
Thankfully, with a lot of support and advice, I didn’t give up. We uncovered that Baby J very likely was “tongue tied”, keeping him from latching correctly. While I was very hesitant at first with the idea of a frenectomy, I would go back and do it again in a heartbeat. It drastically changed our nursing relationship, and I know that I would never in a million years have made it to 6 months without it. Now, at 6 months I have no intention of stopping. Next goal? 1 year here we come! I want every woman to know that with patience, and dedication she CAN do it! Even when it feels like you can’t (because it will). All you need is a little support and a lot of cheerleaders!