Last week my son, Connor, turned two. My little baby is now a boy. I am celebrating my second year of breastfeeding him and am so happy and proud to have made it this far. I have written about how we started and we got to this point in My Story. Take a look if you haven’t done so yet. I am so happy to be here now where nursing is simple and I can really feel like a regular Mommy and just bring Connor to my breast.
In the beginning I was haunted by Connor’s falling weight and threats by the doctors that he would need to go to the ER if he wasn’t supplemented with formula. I remember nights where he screamed at my breast in frustration and I had to cry out for my husband to come and give him a bottle of formula, so sad that he wasn’t satisfied at my breast. I battled post partum depression fueled in part by my low milk supply. I battled to learn how to do at-the-breast supplementation with an SNS, a device with tubes you cah attach to your breast to supplement the baby but have him at your breast. I pumped after each feeding, day and night, to try and stimulate my breasts further to give Connor ever drop of breast milk I was capable of producing. I took Domperidone, an experimental drug, to stimulate milk supply which caused me to gain 40lbs. All this was worth it to get me to where I am today.
At one year I stopped giving Connor any formula and we relied soley on solids and breast milk. No more pumping, SNS or bottle washing. In June I weaned off the Domperidone and the other galactagogues (herbal supplements I took to increase my milk supply). By Christmas 2008 I had lost all the weight I’d gained on Domperidone and was back to my gorgeous self.
Connor is still nursing like a champ. He loves his boobies and it is wonderful to just pop him onto my breast without all the fuss about technique or worrying if he was getting enough. My boy is thriving and is fiercely independent I think largely due to the fact he’s been breastfed and can come and connect with me any time he wants. I have been hugely blessed to be able to be at home with him full time so that this was possible. I treasure this time together as he starts preschool in the Fall and then this luxury will be over.
I had so many dark days and nights in the beginning where I really thought I would never make it and now Connor and I both love it so much. This is the reward for hanging in there. I think having struggled so much to make nursing happen for Connor has given me the determination to keep going until he is ready to wean. I am so grateful for this beautiful relationship that we share. I hope this encourages some of your mamma’s out there who are in the beginning and struggling. It really does get easier in the end and you will be so glad you stuck it out. I am so proud to still be a nursing mamma! It is no longer became about the milk but was more about the bonding and comfort. I never knew how rewarding my breastfeeding relationship could be and I am so grateful and fiercely proud that despite all the difficulties, I have made it this far.
We all have a story. We all learn from one another. Choose today to inspire those around you by Sharing Your Story. Whatever you are doing to breastfeed your babies is marvelous and I applaud you. Thank you for celebrating with me today!