In Their Own Words: Veronica
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Sweet Peas, Pods & Papas: All About Birth, B@@bs & Babies

In Their Own Words: Veronica

Bradley Method® natural childbirth classes offered in Arizona: Chandler, Tempe, Ahwatukee, Gilbert, Mesa, Scottsdale, PaysonThis is part of an "In Their Own Words" series in honor of Breastfeeding Awareness Month 2013.  Here at Sweet Pea Births we celebrate and honor all breastfeeding relationships, and want to share these stories with you to empower and inspire you that no matter what the journey, with help, support, and persistence, most mothers can achieve the breastfeeding relationship they want with their nurslings.  If you would like to submit your story, please email me at krystyna{at}sweetpeabirths{dot}com. 
Sweet Pea Births understands that not all mothers can or want to breastfeed.  These stories are shared for learning purposes, not to judge the choices we make when we feed our children.

Veronica's Story:

I knew from the moment I found out I was pregnant that I wanted to breastfeed my baby.  The more I learned about the how all-around breastfeeding would do be the best thing I could do for my child; I knew that I would have to exhaust all my resources before giving up.  When my son finally arrived I was so happy that he immediate latched on, which most mothers know that in itself can feel like a major accomplishment!  On day two we still had no problems with latching on, but it seemed to be getting a little painful.  Taking advantage of still being in the hospital I asked to speak with a lactation specialist to make sure the baby, Marcus, was positioned correctly.  After it was confirmed that all was well I was advised to just keep on using the nipple cream.

When we got home Marcus seemed to constantly be attached to me.  His feeding times would easily last 45 minutes to an hour.  By the time he was just a week old I was in tears at the thought of having to feed him.  At this point, I felt as if I was failing as a mother and that something must be wrong if it could possibly hurt this much.  Like my thoughts on needing to breastfeed, I was very stubborn with the idea of not wanting to give my child a pacifier.  Once his father saw the pain I was going through he insisted that we had to give in to this small thing and give him a pacifier so I could get a break.  I reluctantly gave in.

This gave me a little, and I mean LITTLE, relief from the pain since the damage was already done.  When people talk to you about breastfeeding I feel as though no one ever mentions how much it hurts to get your nipples ready for this loving and nurturing task.  Side note, I don’t feel like giving my child life through breastfeeding is a task, but I chose this and some choose not to so to me that word seems fitting.  No one ever mentions the cracking and the bleeding and the most painful 60 seconds ever as your child latches on every 2 hours to give your baby the most beneficial nutrients you can.  That is, no one mentions it until you speak about your problems and all of the sudden you hear all the gory details.  I wish I had been mentally ready for this or to be better prepared on ways to get past it. 

We were now on day 9 and my friend told me she could lend me her manual pump, since I still did not have one.  As this relieved the pain, now I was onto other worries.  First I was panicked that the milk was bloody from the breaking of the scabs.  Then came Baby Center to the rescue!!!  Having blood in my milk was perfectly normal and still could be used.  I also came across the great information that breast milk also helps cracks and scabs heal faster.  Now that those concerns were eased I had to deal with the grueling task of pumping, manually, for 20 minutes on each side to get 2-2.5 oz.  I was thankful since he ate so often that more of this “liquid gold” didn’t have to be pumped at such slow speeds.

Four days after exclusively pumping and everything seemed right in the world again!  I was not completely healed, but I was able to feed the most important person in my life without wincing or trying to hold back tears.  Within a couple weeks after that the scabs had stopped and I was one happy breastfeeding mamma!  This was until I got mastitis from Marcus not completely clearing out the milk on both breast.  My midwife gave me some antibiotics and informed me that I had to feed the baby in different positions, each feeding.  Now, not only did I have to keep time on when I fed Marcus, but how.  The best thing about that experience was learning that feeding while lying down was amazing and I didn’t know why I didn’t try it before!!  I chose not to have Marcus co-sleep with us, so I had never had a reason to think “hmmm maybe lying down would be the best position.”  I have found though, even to this day, that it calms Marcus and we both love the extra snuggling J

Before I knew it we were happily into our third month of breastfeeding and I was soon going back to work.  Thank goodness my mother was watching my son so it made the ache I felt more bearable.  I was lucky enough to start a new position where I was not the first person to pump in the work place and also shared an office with another woman, so I was able to use this area without having to find an available conference room.  Pumping while at work and producing enough milk was very important to me for the first year of Marcus’s life, because I chose to not have him vaccinated.  Marcus was still eating every two hours, but he would only feed on one side then be done.  This feeding schedule made it so I was able to pump once every 4 hours.

Some days I was happy to pump, knowing I was providing what some mothers can’t for their child, and other times I would be counting the days until this is over.  To me the hardest part about pumping at work was not understanding how some days he would have his normal 4 bottles while I was gone and other days it was a lot more.  This was frustrating on my end trying to explain to my mother that he cannot eat more than I produce, when I know my milk was not lacking.  I wish I could go back to my old self and say “it will all be okay, you have a small milk stash in your freezer, do not stress yourself out.”  After many conversations with my mom about Marcus not really wanting more milk, usually, to fall asleep she needed to find a way to comfort and sooth him since obviously she did not have the breastfeeding capabilities like I did.  Marcus stopped using his pacifier on his own at about 2 ½ months, so when it came to sleep he liked using me as his human pacifier instead. 

The more time that passed the more of a routine they, my mother and Marcus, had.  It was still a struggle at times, but I kept on pumping and freezing any little bit I could! When Marcus turned 11 months old my supply wasn’t as much as before and to ensure I didn’t get any surprise decreases in supply I started pumping for 10 minutes, instead of 15, every 2 ½ hours.  This increased it slightly, but even an ounce a day makes a difference!  His year was getting closer and I was surprised that I was not yet sure if I wanted to give up pumping.  I knew for sure I wanted to still breastfeeding him when I was not working.  I thought by that time I would be singing my feelings of joy and thinking of places I could store my pump!  I guess you can say it was a very bittersweet moment.  My little man was growing and not so little any more. 

I decided to stop pumping at work the day after he turned one and while I am at work, my milk of choice for Marcus is almond milk.  We are two weeks past his first birthday and I am so proud of this accomplishment.  Before I thought it was just something mothers just do and now I see that it is not easy and to have come this far with complications and work I do pat myself on the back.  

I am normally very humble, however, in this regard I love telling people I am still breastfeeding with a giant smile on my face.  I think in an age where people are looking for the easiest possibilities and do not take the time to fight harder for something so beneficial that we should applaud all moms who are able to provide this for their child, who do not quit when times get hard and who bring awareness to others.  I understand that some, unfortunately, cannot provide for their little one in this way, so I am so grateful I was/am able to give this precious gift to my most precious gift.

Please leave us a comment - it will be moderated and posted. 

Disclaimer: 

The material included on this site is for informational purposes only.
It is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. The reader should always consult her or his healthcare provider to determine the appropriateness of the information for their own situation.  Krystyna and Bruss Bowman and Bowman House, LLC accept no liability for the content of this site, or for the consequences of any actions taken on the basis of the information provided.  This blog contains information about our classes available in Chandler, AZ and Payson, AZ and is not the official website of The Bradley Method®. The views contained on this blog do not necessarily reflect those of The Bradley Method® or the American Academy of Husband-Coached Childbirth®.


We are now enrolling for our Fall 2013 Series
The Bradley Method® for New Parents:
September 6, 2013 through November 22, 2013
Classes meet at 6:30 pm

Bradley™ “Next” – full series plus focus on sibling preparation
September 7, 2013 through November 23, 2013
Classes meet at 2:00 pm

For more information or to register, please call us at 602-684-6567 or email us at krystyna@sweetpeabirths.com.  You can also fill out a form on our "contact us" page - which ever is easier for you :)

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