I have a TON of things to do this month since Will is born and it is super difficult to keep up. I want to write about my breastfeeding story. Before Will was born, I took a breastfeeding class, watch videos and firmly believe that I would be an exclusive breastfeeding mom for 1 whole year. Little did I know how difficult the beginning can be.
Back on Dec 7th, the tiny warm baby was put on my breast as soon as he was born. I put my nipple in his mouth and he latched on immediately. He balled his fists up and held them so they were together. My colostrum—liquid gold, came in right after I gave birth to the baby. However, for the first 12 or so hours, he didn’t eat much. Colostrum is very nutritious but very little. For the first and second night, we were doing the clutch feeding, trying to feed him every hour. I was totally exhausted. And he cried quite a bit. It was a nightmare for us to hear him crying all night. I cannot imagine my life would be like this in the upcoming months. This tiny human was sucking the life out of me.
We went to see the doctor the 2nd day I was discharged from hospital and he told us to give him 10cc formula every other feed. At first, I wanted to do purely breastfeeding. After seeing William crying so badly, I finally gave in and fed him some formula, and the formula totally worked. He was not hungry and didn’t cry much. And so we learned, you cannot be dogmatism when nurturing the baby. Luckily, we just fed him with the formula for 2 times/1 days and my milk started to coming in.
My breast milk came in exactly on day 3. My breast became so full and engorged. When the baby touched my breast, it was so sore and hurt. I felt so painful and couldn’t stop crying. I couldn’t even wear a bra. I felt so afraid not knowing what to do. I haven’t ever thought about breastfeeding would be such a painful experience. I was also afraid to see the baby. The nipple hurt when he latched on.
On day 4, I was so painful and we went to see the lactation consultant. During my visit, my baby bit my nipples again and it cracked and bled badly. The nurse gave me a nipple shield and asked me to use it to protect the nipple. She also taught me some right techniques and positions to feed the baby. I was not nursing correctly.
Until day 6, finally, the engorgement totally went away. I massaged my breast and put a warm towel on every feeding. I started to feel much better. I have lots of milk coming in during week 2. The milk is like a fountain coming out and I am like a cow feeding the baby. The lactation consultant said my baby is blessed.
On the other hand, breastfeeding is exhausted. I have to wake up every 3 hours during the night to feed him. I don’t even have a full night sleep. My husband also wakes up for the baby every 3 hours to help with changing diapers and burping. Will pees and poops crazy. Without my husband, the breastfeeding journey wouldn’t be so easy.
The best thing about breastfeeding for myself is I dropped 22-pound pregnancy weight in three weeks which is amazing. My uterus shrunk faster and the bleeding ends sooner. It also helps with the bowel movement. I don’t have constipation issue. I feel so proud to watch Will grows, nurtures and sustains by purely breast milk. It is freaking cool. I am glad I overcame the difficulties and made it.
I think this is the last blog I wrote this year. It’s been by far the best year of my life. Looking at my son Will, I know all the pain and hard work worth every second.