Friday, February 1, 2013

Nope...not in love

...with breastfeeding that is.

Now...before I go any further, I feel like I need to say that this is not a post about me whining or complaining.  This is just a place for me to express my feelings about my journey breastfeeding Rowan.  I know each mother is different and each child is different...this is just my story so far.

With that disclaimer out of the way, I am so not in love with breastfeeding.  I don't dislike it, in fact there are several things I enjoy about nursing.  I'm thankful for the medical benefits for both Rowan and I.  I'm thankful for the efficiency and convenience of not having to worry about bringing bottles and formula when we're out and about.  I'm thankful for all the smiles and looks Rowan gives me when we're nursing...I think that's my favorite part.  I can you not just feel amazing when you have a sweet baby face inches away from yours that just smiles so brightly. 

But...then there are the parts that aren't exactly my favorite.  I can honestly say I HATE that I'm either tied to a pump or Rowan every three hours of every day.  I don't mind being tied to Rowan, but I hate the fact that if I want to go and do something for more than a few hours without Rowan, I have to bring along my pump and make sure I'm pumping every three-ish hours.  I also hate the fact that I have to pump every morning.  Rowan does a good job of draining 1/2 the milk I make overnight, but he can't drain it all.  So that means I get to pump every morning on top of nursing.  Spending 30-45 minutes each morning draining my udders is not my ideal way to wake up. 

I'm also frustrated with some of the struggles I've had with nursing.  Rowan and I figured out the whole latching thing within the first month, so that was great.  But because I am a freak of nature I produce a lot of milk.  Producing way more milk than Rowan needs has its pros and cons.  It's nice to know we have a freezer full of milk in case I have a dip in production for some reason.  It's also nice to know that I can donate milk to a milk bank in Kansas City for premature babies that need breast milk and can't get it from their mamas for some reason.  The bad thing is it has led to many a blocked duct and two cases of mastitis in the almost 5 months I've been nursing.  And when mastitis hits, I. Feel. Like. Death.  Fever...chills...aches...lethargy...and pain.  Oh the pain I feel in my boob.  Thankfully my milk production has slowed a bit so I'm not waking up in pain due to engorgement every morning.  And here's hoping there's no more mastitis in my future...twice is more than enough.

So do I hate breastfeeding?  Absolutely not!  I am just looking forward to having control over my body.  I'm looking forward to eating and drinking what I want when I want.  I'm looking forward to being able to spend an afternoon away from Rowan having some precious me time without having to plan time to pump.  I don't regret a single second I've spent nursing or pumping.  I don't wish I had that time to do something else.  I'm just not a mother that loves breastfeeding so much I won't want to give it up.  Once Rowan's ready to wean, we're going to tackle that beast full force.  But until then, I have about 7 months of sweet smiles and tender moments to look forward to while nursing my baby boy.  Those are the things that's going to make it possible for me to nurse until Rowan's first birthday...or thereabouts.

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