I never thought I would have such strong feelings for breastfeeding,because there was a time when I almost quit. Breastfeeding is wonderful, but it is also hard, real hard. A lot of people don’t talk about the hard parts, but I wish they did because I was clueless to the amount of work it takes. Maybe that naivety helped not to quit when things got tough.
With my first, I had my heart set on breastfeeding, and then he was born. I automatically had a lot of trouble getting him to latch at the hospital. It was a constant struggle. When I got home things got worse. He was tearing me apart, literally. I dreaded every feeding. Then came lots of plugged-ducts and the dreaded mastitis. I got the “some people just can’t breastfeed”, from the doctor. For some reason that answer really infuriated me, and ultimately it is what made me suck it up and keep going.
Finally, I met with a lactation consultant who automatically noticed that my son had a tongue-tie. For those of you who don’t know, tongue-tie is when the frenulum (skin that connects the tongue to the bottom of your mouth) is very tight, causing the tongue to be restricted. Having tongue-tie can wreck havoc on breastfeeding–causing pain, creating clog ducts and infections because the baby is not able to suck correctly. It can also cause your supply to tank, which is frustrating for mom and baby. I was so excited to have an answer, but upset that it went unnoticed for six-weeks.
I had my son’s tongue clipped. It was a very quick procedure done in the doctor’s office. After the procedure, it was like night and day. I finally got to experience all that is wonderful with nursing. The pain went away, and with it my frustrations and uncertainties. Through all that trouble I was so glad I stuck with it and was able to continue to nurse him until he weaned at two.
When I found out I was pregnant with my second child, all I thought was how I could not wait to breastfeed again. I find it to be a ridiculously empowering thing to be able to grow and feed your child. The whole thing is such an amazing experience. Having gone through what I did with my first, I was prepared for any difficulties if they arose. I am happy to report that my little one is such an amazing little nursling and for that I am super blessed.