|First day home from hospital|
Whew. It's been a year.
The first three months were at times, if I'm being honest, pure hell. I hurt. I cried. I didn't sleep. I hurt. I thought my body would neverEVER let me function normally again. I felt like I was letting Blythe down. I tried so very hard not to resent her when she got hungry and I had to nurse her…again…because it hurt, so very badly.
|around two months|
AND I COULDN'T BE HAPPIER!
When Blythe was first born, I knew I wanted to breastfeed her. So I stuck with it. And I stuck with it. And Brent would bring her to me and then rub my feet to help me not think about the pain. I would call my sister so she could keep telling me over and over, "It gets better, I promise." My mom would sit next to me and tell me I was going awesome, and then she would switch off with my mother-in-law.
And then I got mastitis. Google it if you don't know what it is. Awful. I was running a 104 temp at one point. After I survived that, I made 8 weeks my new goal-- one year was too big, too lofty…too far away, so I would just try to nurse Blythe for 8 weeks.
|around three months|
The lactation consulted couldn't believe I was still nursing after she checked me out. Blythe was latching on fine, but without going into too many details, there were other issues at hand. She prescribed some cream and told me to take a week off just pumping to heal. This helped a little. I set a new goal: I would to nurse her until 3 months.
By the time three months rolled around, I was physically feeling a little better. Other mothers had jumped in when I wrote the "life" post and encouraged me to press on. I still did not like nursing. I couldn't just cover up and nurse her. I always had to isolate myself. And Blythe was a slow eater. She took AT LEAST 45 minutes to eat. I read a lot of blogs, perused a lot of pins on Pinterest, checked a lot of facebook statuses, and read a lot of books…because I was sitting and nursing, by myself, all the time. I heard the song on a Christian radio station around this time that said, I might let you bend, but I won't let you break, and it spoke volumes to me.
|3 1/2 months|
Slowly but surely, Blythe and I carried on. And slowly but surely, we kept dropping feedings and by six/seven months we were down to FOUR feedings! FOUR! I could do four! Four is reasonable! So I told myself to buck up, hang in there, and make it to 8 months. "You can do it, Kels. 8 months! Let's go!"
And sure enough, we made it to 8 months. Though it no longer hurt, I still didn't enjoy it, but it was more tolerable. And by 8 months she could eat in about 20 minutes. Progress! Press on. Full steam ahead. [It was somewhere in here that I sent Kali a text, having figured up to the minute how long I had spent nursing Blythe…the figure was crazy…it was WEEKS' worth of time, just nursing].
This is when I set the goal: one year. I will make it to one year and then stop…cold turkey if we have to. Not one day over a year would I nurse her. [unless I had to of course, and then I'd put on my big girl panties (is this just a saying in my family?) and continue].
Well, last month I realized that my milk supply was dropping quite a bit. Blythe was becoming more disinterested in nursing, and eating a LOT of food. My excitement rose and rose as I knew the end was in sight. So I said to myself, "11 months will be great. 11 months deserves a medal of honor." So last week I dropped to three nursing sessions day, and this week we nurse in the morning, and she has drank formula from a sippy cup for lunch and supper splendidly. When the one little tin of formula I got is gone, I will transition her to cow's milk.
|around nine months|
And I will say this: I will never judge another mother for how they choose to feed their infant-- if they want to breastfeed, great. If they want to do formula, great. If their child won't take either and they have to make custard and feed it to their 3 week old on a little spoon like Grandma Pat had to do with my father in law, more power to 'em! I'm so thankful that the people in my life, my friends and my family, gave me permission to do whatever I wanted to do and what I thought was best for me and Blythe. I will never forget them during that time.
|about two weeks ago, around 10 1/2 months|