Thursday, October 3, 2013

First post on my own domain! Our breastfeeding journey

Here we are... at a big milestone! Reset your favorites, because I am movin’ on up to my own domain name! So welcome for the first time to! I hope that I will have some very exciting stuff going on around here soon!

In honour of  “World Breastfeeding Week” I am going to share with you our breastfeeding journey. We had a very rough start but with lots of persistence and tears we made it through that first month and everything has been uphill since then.

If you scroll waaaayyy back to my oldest posts you will find sprinkled in the day-by-day updates on our breastfeeding progress, but here is the cliff notes version. Our breastfeeding challenges began when Evie was about 4 days old.  My milk had not yet come in (most likely due to the anesthesia I was given during her birth) and this was a contributing factor in her admission into the NICU. She was diagnosed with a 12% weight loss, mild dehydration and jaundice. This in itself might not have become a breastfeeding problem, but within 24 hours she began to prefer a bottle. She was released and we brought her home along with a hospital grade pump. The root of her problem was that she would immediately work herself into a frenzy because she didn’t want to wait for let-down. We persevered and thankfully after a few weeks we were able to return the blasted pump as we were finally having success breastfeeding! While we were struggling, I remember being incredibly confused and angry. It seemed viciously ironic that I, a strong advocate for breastfeeding, might not be able to make the relationship work. But I can say that I now have a massive respect for pumpin’ mamas! I hated it!

After the first month things became MUCH less dramatic. We have had very few problems. She went through a short biting phase after the appearance of each of her first few teeth. It was very frustrating for a little while but after seeking some help from friends, we got it sorted out. Beyond that it has been pretty smooth sailing.

We are now 19 months in and I realise she is slowly weaning herself. She rarely breastfeeds anymore, except at naptime or during night. But I am not too worried about her dropping it completely anytime soon as she it seems to be the only way she can calm down enough to allow herself to fall asleep.

I always wondered how I would feel nursing a toddler, but honestly I think I would feel strange not nursing her. Why would we stop something that she likes so much and is not hurt (on the contrary it is helping!) anyone? I have been seeing mixed support for full term breastfeeding lately. For example my Doctor, while not overtly against, is somewhat puzzled by our choice. But the public nurse breezed right by the subject as if it was completely unremarkable. I was very pleased and proud to be a Canadian today when I first saw this ad circulating around Facebook.
I have recently been seeing a wonderful shift in society’s feelings towards nursing of any duration. Of course there will continue to be naysayers, but I feel there is an overall improvement in public awareness.

Our breastfeeding journey has such a great experience. I am sooooo thankful that we persevered through our difficult beginning and stuck it out. At the risk of sounding cliché, it has been such a powerful experience that I would gladly repeat over and over again taking both the good and the bad.

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