I have to start from the beginning (even if I may be repeating myself.)
Once upon a time ago, I had a plan.
I was going to deliver naturally & I was going to nurse my baby.
My baby was breech, so we did not even try to deliver naturally. I think I took almost the other extreme when delivering my baby.
Growing up, I did not have a lot of exposure to babies, but those I did come in contact with had been nursed & I really bought into the health aspects. I wanted to do what I felt was best for my baby.
I had concerns in the hospital, especially when it was determined that Jacob lost more than 10% of his birth weight, but I did not get to see a lactation consultant until I was checking out. My equipment was o.k., she thought that the baby might be a bit tongue tied (he was not). Between that & the scheduled nursing sessions at the hospital that I did not get to attend for one reason or another, we did not get the greatest start.
At home, I hired a lactation consultant/baby nurse who helped with his latch.
I thought that everything was going fine. My baby was not miserable, as a matter of fact he slept rather well. When he stirred, I fed him.
I remember one night when we were on the couch so that daddy could sleep & he latched on all by himself. I could not have been happier. This is what I was meant to do for my baby.
Following the advice that I had read in far too many books on the subject. (If I knew any better, I should have questioned the length of time that he was or as the case my be wasn't nursing.) Since it was getting close to time for me to return to work, I started to pump so that he would have enough for his bottles. (not knowing how much he actually took while nursing, I had no idea how much was enough.)
Right about the time that I went back to work, we had another check-up & found that unfortunately, he was not gaining weight as he should. (He fell off the growth chart.) So we had to start waking the baby in the middle of the night for a feed, he should not have been sleeping through the night yet. (& we had been listening to the "do not wake a sleeping baby advice.") He also was spitting up a lot, so at this time we also started a prescription to help with the spitting up.
After his shots, I was able to nurse him & that got him over the pain & made me feel good, after feeling awful about his crying after getting shots.
Daddy was home & in addition to the paltry amount that I was able to pump, was using the frozen stash. On advice of the doctor, we started to supplement with formula. I was still feeding him every chance that I had - I now question if I tried to feed him often enough? He wasn't always interested & he did not stay for any length of time, we always used both sides.
Soon, it was time for daddy to return to work & for the baby to start day care. They complained that he did not have enough milk... I was still pumping as much as I could - up to 4 times in an 8 hour time frame, while still feeding the baby. I even got up in the middle of the night to pump some more.
After one or two weight checks, we were sent to a specialist who added a second prescription & upped his milk/formula to three 8 oz. bottles. (That was probably the fix - more calories, the bottles give him what he wanted with less effort.) At the same time, I was lucky to pump 8 oz. in total per day.
For quite a while, we were nursing in the morning, he was getting 3 formula only bottles during day care & we nursed before bed.
(Some where in there, he started to eat cereal & loved it & then started to eat the food that I pureed & love that as well. My boy, he loves to eat.)
(Since I wanted to stop nursing when we were ready & not when my body quit producing, I started a prescription to increase my milk flow - minimal effect, but when I stopped the initial dose, my out put dropped by half - based on the pumping.)
When we went to New York for father's day on the train, when he fussed I was able to comfort him & then he was able to take a nice nap in his stroller.
Then we went to Portland & he refused to nurse in the evening.
We continued to nurse in the mornings, our time, in the dim light, in a quiet warm cocoon. Unless we were interrupted & then he was off seeing what else was happening. & he was hard to relatch especially on his least favorite side.
Then he started to bite. Those three little baby teeth are sharp. (I guess they have to be to get through the gums.)
On Sunday night, while getting him ready for bed, it hit me like a wall of bricks & I bawled. & then I would wipe my tears & smile, so that he would smile & then I would uncontrollably bawl again (this went on for a while - I am crying now recounting it.) I wasn't initially able to express why I was crying when asked. (Some of those were tears of joy, that I have a baby boy who smiles at me & who recently was taken off of his medications because he is healthy.) When I was finally able to express myself fully, I sobbed.
& then yesterday, I listened to him & he weaned me.
I took this photo to remember the moment. This was our last time. He is only 9 months old & I only feel like 1/2 a failure. You see I wanted to nurse him until he was at least a year, and I easily could have been one of "those" mothers. I really wanted the weaning to be mutual.
This morning when we woke him, he had cereal & I choked back the tears. He was happy & went back down for a nap until it was time for him to get ready for day care. I went back to bed & cried into my pillow.