Breastfeeding, for me, became overwhelming from time to time. Every mom has her breastfeeding journey from feeling empowered to feeling frustrated.
When pregnant with Anora, I always thought I would only breastfeed her for one year. Once she was born, I almost gave up on breastfeeding immediately while I was in the recovery room. It was challenging to get her to latch on, and I felt pressured by the nurse. They said she needed to gain a few ounces to discharged us from the hospital. At that point, I wanted to go straight to formula-fed; with the support of Chris, I didn't give up. I couldn't be any happier with my decision about breastfeeding.
After a few weeks of breastfeeding, soreness, and blistering subsided, and we were doing it! A few months in, I went through postpartum anxiety because Anora develops this horrible inflamed rash from her face down to her tiny little toes. According to doctors, the outbreak was eczema due to food allergy. Dairy and peanuts were it, and I removed both from my diet. Her skin healed over time, but boy did it fucking stress me out for months it put me down, I was so hard on myself.
I wanted to be the kind of mom who was strong and can get over anything for my child, and that took some time. I am that mom now!
Five months into breastfeeding, it became much easier-phew. Anora fed on demand, had a great latch, and her skin cleared up. I introduce her to a bottle, and she did not take it. I could not be away from her for too long since I was her source of food. Strictly breastfed baby she was, nothing like mama's nipples :). I couldn't be away from Anora for too long. Chris would drop me off to whichever event or appointment I had and would stick around the area so I can get a feeding in within the next hour or so. Ah, must love him!
Anora and I grew a strong bond, and I enjoyed every minute of it (until her top teeth came in-ouch!) being able to soothe her to sleep, the eye connection and knowing that I was her comfort was rewarding to me. Anora weaned her self off at 19 months during my pregnancy. Looking back, I miss those moments with her. Now to continue my journey with Ayla.
Help is out there, don't be hardheaded about seeing a lactation consulting as I did with Anora. I saw one recently a week into breastfeeding Ayla, and what a huge difference it has done for us. I now feel comfortable feeding Alya because up until then, Alya did not have a good latch, and I was blistering bad. I learned a better holding position and taught me how to correct her latch.
I am looking forward to this journey with Alya, a new bond.