I have nursed all three of my kids. It was a journey that I had always intended on traveling, but I had no idea that it wasn't as easy as I had thought. This is for all those mommas and some-day-mommas that want to hear another perspective on nursing one's babes.
I assumed that nursing was going to be quick and simple. This is how I had always thought it would go: baby is hungry... baby latches on easily and perfectly... baby eats and gets full after 5 minutes... baby sleeps for three hours. That certainly isn't how it went for me with my first experience.
Let me preface this by saying, my last two babies were much easier for me to feed (I knew a little more about what I was doing), but Isabella was certainly a little more challenging.
I think my nerves, the pain from nursing, and the fact that my milk might not have been as plentiful as with the last two, made those first few weeks were very tough. I went into motherhood adamant about nursing... it was the only way for me to feed my child, in my mind. She had terrible reflux and tummy issues. I was a ball of nerves and barely ate anything all day. She cried... and cried... and cried. Which in turn meant that I was crying pretty much all day as well. I almost gave up nursing all together.
I was told to try a special formula to see if it would calm her tummy (this was around 2 1/2 weeks). During that time I pumped and stored milk while I gave her formula, just in case the formula didn't work and I could resume giving her momma's milk. Long story short, the formula did not work and I continued to pump and give her bottles. For me, doing a bottle took out some of the guess work.
The "Is she crying because she didn't get enough milk?" mind game that I think all mothers play with themselves when they are beginning the nursing journey.
At about 5 weeks (she had been on a bottle full-time for about 2 1/2 weeks) I was at a family function and didn't want to pack bottles/milk and deal with all the commotion, so I decided I would try and nurse her while I was there. I had prepared myself to be patient and relaxed. It went great! I was so much more in tune with her. My hormones weren't a complete wreck. My milk was flowing great and she was much more experienced as far as sucking went.
I never looked back. All my kids have been nursed full-time from birth. I needed that short amount of time with Isabella to get myself "detoxed" from baby hormones. With Liam and Guinnyth, my milk came in very early and I had an abundance of it for my babies. Nursing was painful with all three at first, but then it goes away and is pure bliss.
For me, I always go through those moments of worry about whether, or not, my milk is sufficient for my babies. I have moments when they are fussy and I second guess my body's ability to provide enough for them. I just drink lots of water, rest my body, and try to have confidence in the whole process.
Here I am with my third, not sure if it is our last, and I relish in that closeness that I get to experience through nursing. I know it doesn't work for everyone. I know not everyone feels like it's the right journey for them, but for me... it is a very fulfilling and blessed journey.
Let me know if you have anymore questions you would like for me to answer!!
Did you nurse your babies? I would love to hear your stories, too!