Before having my son, I had done my fair share of reading up on breastfeeding. Both my hubbt and I were breastfed as babies, and I had several friends who had breastfed. It was the norm for me. I did a lot of reading during my pregnancy. I went through literally dozens of books on pregnancy, labor, and babies. Many of the books had chapters or sections dedicated to breastfeeding. I remember looking longingly at the ideallic photos in the books, wishing for the time that I could be like those moms. The books did make mention of some pitfalls, but they were always made to seem like the exception. . . at least that is how it came off to me. Overall, there was so much sunshine being shoved down my throat on the subject, that I figured that there was no good reason not to exclusively breastfeed for the first year.
The first couple days of Little Dude's life:
Sigh. . . seeing newborn shots of my kids kind of makes my ovaries do back flips.
I think we need one more just for good measure:
I had that in mind with my son, but amazingly there was absolutely no discomfort that first day of his life. I was on a complete hormonal high with my new little guy. Nothing was going to get in the way of the bliss that was me bonding with my child, and carrying out the role that I was born to play as had billions of women before me. He latched beautifully and I was higher than a college student in Amsterdam; those hormones are crazy strong!
Then came day two. . .
Little Dude was a hungry little baby, as I imagine most newborns are, and he liked to nurse often. Within a day or two, I did start to feel some nipple pain, especially when he latched. By day three I was in a lot of pain every single time he fed. Being in the hospital I had access to many very nice nurses that were very helpful with all things newborn and breastfeeding. They all took a look at his latch, and deemed it perfect. I even saw the lactation consultant and she said that he was opening his mouth nice and wide, his lips were out, and his tongue was positioned exactly how it was supposed to. Basically I was told that my nipples would have to toughen up and then it would improve within a few days because I was doing nothing wrong. I was given lanolin and hydrogels to help ease the pain and prevent further damage but they provided rather limited relief.
I did have the typical scenario with c-sections where my milk came in later than average, my one and only reminder that my hormones had been disrupted at least somewhat. I had a couple of nurses that did push formula on me rather heavily because my baby was unable to gain much weight without my milk those first few days, but I adamantly refused. On day five I was reluctantly released from the hospital under the stipulation that I have a home nurse visit in 24 hours, and that my son have a weight check. My milk had come in that day so despite their concerns, I knew everything would be ok.
By the time I hit my 6 week post partum check up, the pain had subsided considerably and I was on track to having a great breastfeeding experience at last. At the check up, Little Dude was weighed, and the doctor advised me that he was not gaining particularly well. That felt like a slap in the face. I remember taking this so personally since I was his soul source of nutrition. That doctor suggested I supplement with a bottle a day of formula and I just about spat in her face. . . did I mention I was hormonal? I told her that there was no way I was going to do that and she conceded, but suggested that I bring him in again at the two month mark to check his weight again. I made all sorts of excuses for his weight in my mind and continued doing what I was doing. He breastfed almost exclusively and I was also a pumping machine. I built up a pretty nice stash for the freezer. Since the pain was gone by now, I truly was loving the breastfeeding.
My son as a healthy 8lb newborn just a few minutes old:
Slimmed up considerably at 3 weeks old:
He HATED the bath the first couple of months.
Still on the slimmer side around 6 weeks old:
In the interest of not writing a mammoth post that no one has the attention span to read, I'm going to throw in a "To Be Continued" until tomorrow.