When Jack was born, my goal was to breast feed him until he was about a year old. After he was born, I immediately wanted to feed him and hold him and soak up every little second with him. My lactation consultant was very supportive and when he wouldn’t open his mouth wide, or he had a poor latch, she was right there reassuring me and helping me through. The day after, my nipples were such a wreck, even nurses on the floor came by to ask if they could offer me anything to help. Many had said that they had never seen anything so awful. (Don’t get me wrong, it was absolutely worth it)
Within his first few days of being home, I stuck with the feeding and supplemented a bit with formula until my milk came in. The pediatrician had us come in for about 6 days straight for weight checks because Jack was not keeping any weight on and was feeding like a champ, or so we thought. The doctor asked me to solely pump for one whole day each time that I would be feeding Jack, so I pumped and pumped and fed Jack all that I had for the day, which was about 3 ounces. At this point, my hormones are a mess, I am covered in a body rash from head to toe from the crazy hormones and am recovering from childbirth. He tells me that I may just need to stick with more of the formula feedings because I was clearly not producing enough to sustain him. Cue the tears. I remember going home and just crying my eyes out. I should have known that I was a well running dry. Jack had given me signs that there was nothing coming out. He had fought me to latch and had given up feeding after a few minutes each time I nursed him. I was heartbroken and embarrassed. Chris was very supportive throughout the entire process and was always on hand to bring me a Boppy or to assure me that he was latched correctly.
My Mom had always told us that she could nurse all of us without a problem, and she assured me that with the rack that I was
blessed cursed with, I shouldn’t have any issued with production.
So, for three months, I hid my little non-producing secret from my family as best as I could. Chris knew that I mostly just pumped and supplemented, but I felt like a failure if I told anyone else.
The day that I went back to work, I didn’t bring my pump. Instead, I brought my nursing cover and went over on my lunch to nurse Jack one last time at daycare. He had only lasted for about 2 or 3 minutes before there was nothing left and he awaited the bottle. My eyes swelled up with tears as I knew that was the last time that I would nurse my wee lad. No more little blue eyes looking up at me lovingly as he slowly drifted off to sleep on my chest. The weirdest part was that I never went through a period where I was engorged while I “weaned” Jack from nursing.
Recently, I have found myself craving the ability to nurse Jack again. He still occasionally pulls my top down a bit, but I doubt he is doing it because of nursing habit, because he hasn’t done so in 10 months, but it breaks my heart.
So many beautiful women out there and able to nurture and nourish their little ones, and I was as dry as the Mohave desert. I still have a little feeling that I was a failure with breast feeding this first time around, but I am hoping to have a better supply with our next baby, whenever that may be.
Now, my Mom cherishes the last bottle feeding of the day with Jack. I loved doing it when we were living in Philly, but seeing my Mom smile as she gives Jack a bottle and sing to him is so special. No matter what kind of day she is having, she is always ready to give her Jack his bed time bottle.