Updated: Aug 10
Breastfeeding is such a beautiful experience and if any mother can go that route…do it! With Amilyah, I couldn’t enjoy that luxury, but with Aniya, I was able to give my child all that she needs but trust me…it came with a price.
I can remember always saying that if I were to become pregnant, I wanted to breastfeed. I was 22 when I had Amilyah and that entire experience, I can remember as if it were yesterday. The moment I found out I was pregnant my mind was made up to breastfeed. Unfortunately, I was unaware of the many resources that was available to me, so my start was a little rough. In preparation of having my daughter, I got a breast pump, nipple cream, breast pads and storage bags and had no intentions of using formula. I had a plan, and in my head, everything would go as I desired. Although I hit a low point in my life because I wasn’t producing the milk like I should. Having that low production forced me to use formula and when I say I was crushed I was CRUSHED. I had one nurse try to help me in the hospital and I had one at home visit and in both situations, there was little to no milk. I remember pumping one day and being so excited at the colostrum that was coming out. While I was pumping the plastic jar somehow detached from the nipple shield and fell on the floor. To be honest…at that moment, I felt defeated and stopped pumping. There is nothing more hurtful as a mother than wanting to give your child the best but simply cannot. No, I am not against feeding my child formula, but I desired something different and that was to breastfeed. I will admit, I threw in the towel and formula fed Milly 100 percent.
When I found out I was pregnant with Love Bug, I knew I wanted to take another shot at breastfeeding. I prayed and I prayed, and I asked the Lord to bless me in this area. This time around, I did a lot of research and found organizations that would support me during my journey to breast feed. The moment I walked in the hospital to have Aniya, I made it very clear that I needed to see the lactation nurse. The day after I had her, I met with the nurse, and she made sure Love Bug was latched right away. I was producing but once again, it wasn’t enough. Not only was I running into the same problem, but my daughter had a tongue tie, and she was losing entirely too much weight. It was my lactation nurse, Ms. Woodward that pointed it out. Once the doctors clipped her tongue so she could properly latch. I was pumping and breastfeeding and it felt good. Don’t get me wrong I had my troubles. Every two hours I was latching her and pumping but I noticed when I pumped, the bottles were barely making a half an ounce. Despite what I was going through, I stayed consistent and through that I began to produce bottles. It seemed things were finally falling into place until she started growing teeth that is.
I never really picked an age that I wanted to stop breastfeeding because it was something that I desired to do long term. I put everything into making sure my daughter had the best when it came to her milk. I put a lot of thought into what I was eating and drinking. Once I stopped eating meat, it only made things better; I made sure I increased my water intake as well as fruits and vegetables. I still was cross feeding but Love Bug having breast milk as her main source of food was my focus. Trust me, things were hard, but I was dedicated especially during the times my supply was low. I cried but I didn’t give up, I pumped until I couldn’t pump anymore.
When my daughter got her first tooth everything changed. I love my daughter, but those little bites hurt! By the time Love Bug had four teeth, I was ready to slow down on feeding and boy was she NOT having it. Aniya was not happy when it came to the word no every time she wanted to latch. My sweet child went from feeding to treating my nipple like a pacifier and I was over it. Every night it seems she and I are fighting about nipple time, and I’ll admit, I give in and let her latch just to stop her from fussing. You couldn’t pay me to think that I would want to slow down on breastfeeding especially after everything I went through to be able to do it. Making that decision with breastfeeding has been very hard to do because I genuinely enjoy it. This situation has certainly been an ongoing challenge and every night I must prepare myself to fight with a one-year-old. People tell me all the time to pull the plug and stop her cold turkey but it’s deeper than that. I don’t want to quit just slow down but we all know if you don’t use it…you lose it. I’m currently trying to find the perfect balance if that even exist. It does gets exhausting that my child has literally made my breasts her own. I must honestly say I have let the situation get out of control because she is now playing with my nipple and has made me her personal pacifier. Trust me when I say having red nipples is NO fun. Something has to give, and I must be firm in when I let her latch and for how long, but I can’t take the excessive crying. I tell people to pray for me all the time because if I’m not optimistic about the outcome of this entire situation I’m sure I’ll find myself having a fit right along with her.