Breastfeeding: Why it was a Love/Hate Relationship for Me

It doesn't get any better.
Milk coma. Major breastfeeding pro.

I wanted to breastfeed my son, but I didn’t want it to rule my life. There I said it. I wanted to give my son the best possible nourishment, but I also wanted to keep my sanity. Plenty of my friends experienced the highs and lows while breastfeeding their child and it was enough to make me question it myself.  I wouldn’t classify myself a granola mom or an anti-granola mom, so breastfeeding was just an option, not a non-negotiable.  So I did what I could to breastfeed him for as long as I could and guess what? Everything turned out A-OK and I managed to keep it together the entire time.

As previously mentioned, I never felt like l was one of those moms that HAD to breastfeed.  In fact, I was prepared both mentally and physically for it not to work. I had a full stock of formula waiting for me that first night just in case I wasn’t producing and Andrew was crying uncontrollably.  But much to my surprise Andrew latched immediately and my supply was plentiful.

However, breastfeeding is not always rainbows and sunshine.  My fellow IMB contributors have written several stories before me about their love or frustration with breastfeeding.   So in an attempt to keep it real for all those mommas that just aren’t sure, I’m laying out the five times I almost stopped breastfeeding and the five reasons I didn’t.  Enjoy!

He did great with a bottle too!
When I couldn’t nurse, he did great with a bottle too!

Five times I almost stopped breastfeeding:

  1. When I put on my sexy nursing bra and used nipple pads for the first time.  Invest in the nice Nordstrom nursing bra ladies…#worthit
  2. When my son kept choking on my let down.  It killed me and Ihated the feeling that he wasn’t able to drink easily while breastfeeding.
  3. When my milk came in and I was immediately engorged.  No joke, I had breast tissue in my armpit and developed a golf ball size milk duct under my right arm that hurt like hell. #truth
  4. The pumping. I don’t know about everyone else, but I could have breastfed forever regardless of the aforementioned pitfalls if it wasn’t for the pumping.  As a working mom, it was definitely the pumping that killed it.
  5. When I woke up in the middle of the night and felt like I’d been hit by a bus.  Instead I had mastitis. Forget childbirth this was the a pain that took it to another level. 

But at the end of every dark tunnel there is a ray of sunshine.  So here are the five reasons I didn’t stop breastfeeding through it all:

Sometimes breastfeeding just clicks!
Sometimes breastfeeding just clicks!
  1. The tiny moments where your little one grabs your shirt and looks up at you and grins.  Or the moments they fall asleep on your chest and you just rock them for a bit.  You will never forget those.
  2. The laughs.  If you can’t laugh at your boobs leaking through your shirt in public, what can you laugh at?
  3. The weight loss. Look, I’m no size 4, but it can’t be a deterrent that’s for sure. 
  4. The liberating feeling you get when you nurse in public for the first time. I never felt like I would be that kind of girl, but I always loved the challenge.  I always covered up, but used my rights as a woman to feed my kiddo when he needed it.
  5. The bond.  Even now, I miss the time that my son and I had while I was nursing him.  Selfishly, I knew it was the only thing I could give my son that no one else could.  And that is the best feeling in the world.