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17.1.16

My Breastfeeding Journey (So Far!)

I've officially breastfed Hunter for (almost) 42 weeks. I've nourished him earth side as long as I did in utero! How amazing!My overall experience so far has been a pretty great one! We haven't had any real struggles in regards to latching and supply. I've said this before, but while I was pregnant, I always said that if I could have anything go my way, it would be to breastfeed easily. It's been such a blessing to have that come true.  
This was Hunter's very first latch. I'm so thankful his dada thought to take photos and videos during this time. I was so focused on Hunter that it didn't even cross my mind to document anything! He was maybe 20 minutes old and he was instantly nuzzling my chest, trying to find his milk! I sat up and latched him on and that was it! He was sucking right away and did so for probably 10 minutes! It's funny because to this day, he often nurses for 10 minutes and he's done!
I nursed Hunter as much as possible but we ended up "topping him up", as the nurses would call it, with formula, during our 5 day hospital stay. He would nurse nurse nurse & then I would feed him an ounce of formula. (To this day, I still regret giving him formula & not trusting my body to do it's thing. Breastmilk usually comes in around 3 days postpartum. My milk didn't come in until day 5 and I feel like giving him formula and not the boob may have helped in delaying the process, along with all the stress of our extra stay.)
After a day or 2 at home, I ended up quitting the formula cold turkey. He was only getting an ounce every few hours and my milk was finally in so I deemed it unnecessary! The above three photos are him holding his hands so sweetly. He used to nurse like this all the time! It was so nice! Now, I get hands and feet in the face. He pinches me, sticks his fingers in my mouth and twist and turns his head. Oh and he also likes to stand or be like, downward facing dog type positions.... 9 month olds are fun to nurse people! Haha!!

The first few weeks are a complete blur. I literally feel like all I did was nurse Hunter! I remember he did a lot of cluster feeding during his growth spurts. He still nurses quite often now when he's teething or just having a bad day. Breastfeeding is nourishment and comfort all in one convenient little package! The photo directly above is REAL life! Sleeping, looking like a hot mess, boob out, baby snuggled in close. Oh and "mom arm". Don't forget the mom arm. Am I right ladies? 
I did try to pump. I wanted to pump so I could bring bottles to town with us. It was easier just to give him a bottle in the car instead of having to get out, hop in the backseat and nurse him (which is easier said then done with a small 2 door car!) Well, turns out, I can't pump very easily! It takes me all day, sometimes 2 days, to pump a bottle big enough for him to drink for one feeding. I have never pumped more then 3 oz in one sitting. The most I usually get from pumping is 2 oz. Still to this day, I'll try to pump, and Ill get maybe 1 oz from one boob. So, now I don't bother. The above photo is me breastfeeding Hunter in the back seat while his dada washed the car at the carwash! Haha! It's a bit more convenient now that he's older and eating food. I can just give him a banana or a muffin and he'll be content. 
 This is one of my all time favourite photos. I remember taking it, very clearly. It was really early in the morning one summer day. The window above my head was open and the cool morning breeze was coming in. I could hear the ducks quacking down at the bottom of the yard. I thought Hunter was going to wake up for the day but as soon as he started nursing, he dozed off. He was barely latched on and I could feel his slobber all over my boob. Haha little sweetheart. He was just in a diaper, snuggled under the blankets with me. It was the best.
We mastered laying down nursing somewhere between 2 and 3 months. I would always nurse him while I sat and he laid propped on a pillow. When we finally got comfortable enough to nurse laying down, it was a game changer! Then he learned to sit up on his own, or at least with me holding him, and then he wanted to nurse like that for awhile hahah! Now that he's 9 months old, I literally don't have to do anything in the middle of the night when he's in bed with me. He'll just roll over, find my boob and dream feed! It's a life saver in the sleep department! I've never really had too many "up all night with the baby" moments. I can probably count on both hands, how many times we've had a rough night. 
"Hi, I'm Hunter and I like sitting in moms shirt to nurse because I'm too lazy to hold up my own head" Haha!
Quick break to smile for the camera! 
 I really have always been so thankful for my ability to breastfeed my son with such ease. It's comforting knowing you're giving your baby the absolute best nourishment they can receive. Plus! It's so incredibly convenient! After having such a successful breastfeeding journey, I don't know how I could ever prepare bottles for an infant! With all the cleaning and sterilizing (plus, I don't have a dishwasher), and the mixing and warming. Maybe that says something about my laziness. Haha!!
One this is for sure, like I said, it's not ALL sunshine and rainbows! .... But for me, its pretty close. Sometimes I just want to go a few hours without being touched. Or I just want to give in and give him formula because I'm tired of being the ONLY one who can feed him. Those feelings usually don't last too long. The endorphins during a nursing session usually crumble the negative feelings. 

There are so many opinions on breastfeeding these days. What age you breastfeed them to, if you breastfeed in public, if you cover up while nursing, the list goes on. I'm trying to be a part of the group of women who promote breastfeeding and all the positive things that come with it. Normalize it again! Make nursing breasts non sexual and see them as what they are meant for; nourishment and comfort. It's such a wonderful bonding experience. I want to be a part of the positive movement! It's nice to hear stories and experiences of others. I know it's helped me! If I can be a positive influence in a nursing woman's life, I'll be happy!