This real life breastfeeding story was written and shared by Laid Back Lactation client Stephanie M.
I never thought it would be easy. I was prepared to struggle and fight through it. I can’t tell you why it was so important to me, but all I knew of that I was willing the endure the pain as long I was able to give my baby the nutrition that would help him thrive.
The first days where horrible. The pain made tears poor down my cheeks. I would let out screams every single time he would latch. I just kept telling myself what everyone told me, which was you get used to it and it stops hurting. To those just beginning to breastfeed, I know it seems like that can’t be possible but it absolutely is.
After one week, I got mastitis. I woke up with a high fever, achy, and had excruciating pain in my left breast. I was lucky enough that my husband and mother were able to help with the baby because I felt like I had the flu. After pumping, nursing, heating pads, and a hot shower I was able to release the clogged duct.
And so the true test started. My. Child. Would. Not. Stop. Crying.
It was constant. It was horrible. It was scary. And I felt like a failure. I did not understand why people said how wonderful it was to have a child. I could barely get by. My baby that had three phases- eat, sleep, and cry.
After numerous doctors visits, I was recommended to cut out dairy, soy, and egg from my diet because they felt like most of his fussing was coming from not being able to digest those proteins.
I cut everything out.
He still did not stop crying.
But, if I did eat any of those things, the crying would get worse. I felt very upset and alone. I did not want to be alone with him because I couldn’t calm him down. It took me almost two months to reach out for help. I found support through family, friends, doctors, and the Laid Back Lactation Support Group. I did not know what to do to help my child and to calm him down. The only time he stopped crying was when I was nursing him.
Nursing became our bonding time. It became the thing that made my child content—even if it did not last long. It was my one success story. The one thing I felt like I was doing right. And I was NOT going to give it up.
Most people would try to convince me to switch to formula since he was “colic.” I felt like my life became justifying why I am breastfeeding and that I would rather stay on this crazy diet and not be able to eat out, eat at weddings, or grab a quick bite, in order to know I was giving my child the best nutrition I felt like I could.
We are now at 5 1/2 months of breastfeeding. My son is still not out of the colic woods but he is better. And I am better at knowing how to make him smile.
This journey of parenthood, being a new mother, is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. More times then not I felt like a failure. But nothing will take the place of the bond I feel when I can look down at my baby boy, latched to me, in my arms, and know that this is something that will not last forever. It will be a bond I would never be able to recreate at any other point in his life. It will be the only time outside of the womb that he is part of me still. I never take the time for granted. I do not go on my phone while I nurse. I stare at my son. I watch his every move. As if to memorize it.
I breastfed my child. Through tears of physical pain, through constant cries from my baby, through everyone discouraging me from continuing, I persevered. I succeeded.