My sweet girl Iris was born earlier this year in January. I knew before I even got pregnant I wanted to breastfeed. I went to classes at my hospital with my fiancé, YouTubed a lot about breastfeeding latches, positioning, and products, and I read about it in pregnancy books. I was so determined to make it work.
When my daughter was one week old I scheduled a visit with a lactation consultant. And mid visit I broke down crying. I thought I was doing fine minus struggling with latching here and there, but the lactation consultant said she had lost over 8% of her birth weight and I’d need to either pump or supplement with formula. She gave me nipple shields, syringes, a bottle, etc. She also handed me a sheet of paper to record every single feeding and if I breastfed her or gave her expressed milk and how many oz if she was given the bottle. I was so overwhelmed, my body was going through a hormonal roller coaster and I felt like I was starving my innocent newborn. I went home that day and learned how to use the Medela breast pump in 5 minutes and began pumping away. Two days later I saw a second lactation consultant; she was much friendlier and warmer and could tell I’d been blaming myself. She wanted me to both pump and breastfeed in front of her. I did both, and she helped my daughter develop a better latch and was amazed at how much milk I was able to express. She half-joked that I could donate! That did wonders for my shot confidence. I went home feeling like a champ, when just two days prior I was inconsolable.
My daughter was combination breastfed and bottle fed expressed milk for a month (that’s when grandma ending leaving back home and no one would watch over Iris while I pumped). I looked at my girl and said to her “let’s try to figure this out together”. We had to work at it, she would often tire and fall asleep at the breast but I’d wake her up so she could finish. Her weight gain was rising and steady.
For the first 1-4 months we cluster fed on the sofa. There’d be days where I’d barely move off the couch! Now she is 8 months old and our breastfeeding journey continues... it is ever changing, but it is still what she wants. It is what I want. I’m not ready for it to end, because I realize I need it just as much as she does. I wouldn’t know where I’d be without the support of that second lactation consultant and Instagram sites like yours to calm my unsteady mind during some long nights. But now I’m confident in our journey and I’m so grateful I was able to receive the right support in time to fulfill my breastfeeding goals.
Kat + Iris 💜