Breastfeeding: If I knew then what I know now

First I’m going to tell you if you formula feed good for you that is your choice and I’m not here to judge anyone. However, I do judge those that chose to formula feed because of some bullshit they may have heard.

Even before I got pregnant I was going to breastfeed my baby. In my mind there is a reason why milk is produced. It has been the most satisfying, depressing, frustrating, rewarding, madding, and well I could go on and on.

I know now that one of the biggest mistakes I made was allowing them to take Xander to the nursery for his bath and hepatitis B vaccination. If I knew then what I know now I should have kept him with me so that I could have latched him on as quickly as possible; of course had the hospital allowed me try and latch him when I was all done being sewed up that would have been even better. But I didn’t know then what I know now and so begins the hardest part about breastfeeding for me.

When I finally got Xander in my room I tried and failed to put him on my boob. I had to have help from the nurse and then once he was on he was on. If I knew then what I know now I should have went to a breastfeeding class before he was born. In my mind though what the hell was the point I mean it is suppose to be the most natural thing in the WORLD! Yeah right!

Having a c section is the worst for breastfeeding because there is so much time between being able to breastfeed.

At one point I was able to get him to latch all on my own or with the help of Steve and then I couldn’t do it on my own, I always had to have help.

Help is such a nice word from what I got. What I got was 4 different nurses telling me 4 different things and then some would so forcefully shove his face into my boob. I had one nurse look at my nipples and say “well they are too small”. To small give me a break bitch! Some nurses would take my boob and manhandle it into Xander’s mouth, others would manipulate my boob in a hold that looked like they were folding origami!

Then one night (2:00am) when Xander started to cry, I tried and tried to do everything everyone was telling me to do and he just would not latch and I broke down. At first my crying was soft and gentle and when I spoke Steve could understand me but I became so frustrated that I began to cry so hard I couldn’t breath and I couldn’t be understood. All 3 of my nurses came in and I tried to tell them but I couldn’t even understand me.

Here I was with a newborn baby and I couldn’t give him what my body was supposed to give. Everything was so messed up and of course the on call pediatrician told me he was losing too much weight and I would need to supplement with formula…

So one of the nurses who could see that I really wanted to breastfeed decided to take me on as a project parse; she would show me a way to supplement without having to give a bottle. I was excited and couldn’t wait to get started, but of course it was just another thing that would only be more frustrating because it still involved him having to latch on but added with a tub that would also give him formula.

Bottom line I ended up giving him bottles there was no getting around it, he needed to eat and I was not producing milk yet and he wasn’t latching on anyway.

If I knew then that most babies can latch on around 4 weeks of age, I wouldn’t have worried about it so much in the hospital. If I knew that my milk wouldn’t come in for 5 days because I had a C-section I wouldn’t have worried about it so much in the hospital. I didn’t find this stuff out from the 12 nurses I talked to, no when I was home and reading I found this out.

So I’m home and you know from my previous post that Steve pumped me and what I pumped was what I gave to Xander.

Home for a week and I was elated when my milk came in. I mean who would have guessed that would be something I would be so excited about. So I pumped and pumped and pumped.

After a well baby check visit we went to Babies R’ Us, I believe it was to buy a breast pump. And of course we walk in and Xander has pooped so he needed to be changed. So we got to the changing room which was really nice. It was pretty big had a couch, glider, and changing table. So Steve is up changing Xander and we knew we would need to feed him soon.

Here is some back info that I can’t believe I left out. If it hadn’t been for Steve Xander would have been on formula because I was so over trying and what was the hardest part was failing over and over again making me feel inadequate.  Steve was always there for me to tell me exactly what I needed to hear so I would keep trying.

Steve has this ability, I don’t even know how to describe it but it’s just like he is totally attuned with Xander’s emotions. So he says “Xander seems to be really calm right now maybe you should try breastfeeding him.” I’m thinking what here? At Babies R’ Us? I of course get all ready for disappointment and even though I didn’t even want to try to breastfeed him I did it for Steve.

I get us comfy in the glider pull my shirt up and my bra down bring his lips to my nipple and wouldn’t you believe it the little fucker latches right on like he has been doing it all the time. I couldn’t believe it I look at Steve and Steve looks and me and we both begin to tear up. I mean the road to getting there had been so long and it wasn’t just a hard emotional road for me but for Steve as well. So there we sat and then a knock on the door and it opens and the women apologies and I tell Steve to tell her if she is just changing her baby to let her in (at this point I wasn’t going anywhere). So she comes in and we get to talking and I tell her how this is Xander’s first time latching on since we got home and she was really happy for me. She tells me she just fed her little son in the furniture part of the store LOL. We ended up talking to her for a while…it was freaking awesome!

From that day on Xander just knew what to do.

So he can latch on now and everything is great right? Wrong because as long as I am breastfeeding I worry all the time, is he getting enough, getting to much, is my supply low, is it high and on and on and on.

I do love being able to breastfeed him, the benefits to breast milk far out way stopping because of my emotional issues.

But I will be honest because that is what I always plan on doing with this blog…I can’t wait until it is over. Don’t get me wrong the bonding is wonderful and just being able to pop out a boob anywhere is great. But the constant worry about my supply sucks.  Like who knew that when I stated my period my supply would dwindle down and Steve had to defrost some reserves because I couldn’t pump enough. Or the growth spurt he went though and I couldn’t feed him enough from my boob so I had to give him some ounces from my supply in the fridge in a bottle. I wake up and worry for the rest of the day if I will pump enough.

I say if you can do it, do it. The health benefits for the baby, for mom, and hey, let’s face it for the wallet are amazing.


  1. Celia

    My mother Erma told me you had this blog so I had to visit it and comment. I really hated to hear about your breastfeeding problems. None of that drama had to happen.
    I understand why you did not consider a class during your pregnacy, they are not really widely supported by either OBs or pediatricians, ( they generally barely mention it) and unless you know someone who is currently nursing it can be hard to find support. It IS the most natual thing in the world, it’s just that nothing about being in a hospital is natural, including drugs,(before and after birth), separating Moms from their babies, even for baths and shots, and shoving babies on boobs. Some stuff can’t really be avoided, like anesthesia for surgery, for instance, but any separation or forcing can and should be avoided. If only the staff nurses are better prepared, and able to prepare the new family for what to expect the first 24 hours and what to expect the second thru fifth days and then ongoing.
    I work at a Hospital that is “Baby Friendly” and all of our nurses have education on breastfeeding. I am so inspired by the miricle of it all that I pursued more education and I am a Certified Breastfeeding Consultant, IBCLC. I have the priveledge of teaching new families what to expect so they never have to have that horrible experience you and Xander had. I wish I could have been there to help you. If you ever have any questions, feel free to call on me. Now that you know pretty much “what NOT to do”, I hope you will tell all your friends and family so they can be sure to not let anyone tell them the wrong things. Basically, the first 24 hours, the baby is as worn out as the mother and needs to be skin to skin for comfort, and will eat when and if they want to. If not don’t sweat it. When we get all panicked about the baby not latching, baby senses it and they panic too. They, like us, will eat when they are good and ready.
    Your family is truly beautiful. I just adore Xanders smiling eyes. Clearly you are doing what you need to do, for nutritions and everything else. –Celia

  2. Yes, yes, yes to all of this. I feel the same exact way, especially about how I feel that my doctors robbed me of that moment right after birth when a baby is supposed to latch immediately.

    I hope I don’t have to have another C with my current pregnancy, but if I do i’m really putting my foot down on this

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