Breastfeeding Envy…Mama Confessions

I never breastfeed my first two children.  I really didn’t know much about it after having my first son.  I was never really encouraged or discouraged to do it.  I knew it was hard but also good for the baby.  My sisters did try it and one of them actually did it for a year.  At the time very few of my friends had children and none of them breastfed.  To be honest I couldn’t imagine nursing my child.  It just seemed weird to me and uncomfortable.

We were thrown a huge curve ball with my first son having bad infant reflux his entire first year.  I had such a hard time,  I didn’t even give breastfeeding a thought with our second son.  Then came our third son.  I had a fabulous nurse who was really encouraging me to breastfeed.  I was curious and seriously thinking about it.  I still wasn’t sure.  What if he had reflux like my first two?  Would it be worth it?  Well I ended up trying it when my son was 4-5 days old.  I had very little knowledge and was unprepared.  My milk had already been in for two days and I was very engorged.     He had already had a bottle for 5 days.  He actually did latch on well but would get frustrated.  I bought a breast pump and tried pumping to keep my supply from diminishing.  It was a long 2 month battle of trying everything  to get to increase my supply enough for him.  In the process I ended getting bronchitis and pneumonia.  I was also diagnosed with an auto immune disease and post partum.  I had to let go and stop breastfeeding.

Then game my fourth little guy.  I was ready and prepared.  He was born almost 4 weeks early.  He latched on well but got tired way to fast.  It effected his breathing, blood sugar, and of course weight gain.  I continued to pump breast milk and give what I got to him with a bottle.  For the first 2 months I could give him mainly breastmilk. I didn’t have a large supply like some mothers do but he ate such a small amount it was working.  Unfortunately in the meantime he was also diagnosed with GERD (Infant Reflux) and a milk protein allergy.  UGH!!!  I tried to eliminate everything I could and he still had trouble so we had to go to a prescription only formula.

I was so disappointed.  I know I did my best and he did get breast milk for 2 months.  But I still felt very depressed that it didn’t workout the way I had hoped.  It felt like a loss or a feeling of failure.  Why couldn’t I be like some of those moms how had an instant over supply?  Or like a mother who’s baby was completely healthy and could breastfeed for as long as they wanted to do so?

I never thought in a million years I would ever say I missed it.  When I see a mother who is breastfeeding her child, hear a newborn crying, or hear how a mother was able to breastfeed successfully for 6 months to a year, I get that feeling.  It’s crazy how are bodies are so programmed with that motherly instinct.  Sometimes when I’m holding my littlest one, now 8 months old, I get the longing to be able to give him what only a mother could.  And that my fellow mamas is Breastfeeding Envy

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