My first 3 children were not breastfed. I bottle/formula fed them. I wish I would have breastfed them. I wasn't educated on breastfeeding. I didn't have any friends who breastfed their babies. I was young! (Well I still am young.) Breastfeeding wasn't even an option for my firstborn! It never occured to me. I thought about it with my second, but didn't. I wanted to with my third, but didn't. I started to feel like I was missing something! Before I even got pregnant with my fourth, I knew I was going to breastfeed.
I read everything I could about breastfeeding. The book "The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding" published by the La Lache League became my guide! I read it and reread it! I knew every possible problem I could have and the solutions. I knew all the 'positions'; I knew all the benefits. I knew I didn't want any bottles at home. I knew I didn't want to take any formula home from the hospital 'just in case'. I checked out books from the library. I talked to my mom (who breastfed me and my sisters). I was excited! I knew there was no way I was going to fail! I knew what I wanted! I educated myself, and I am so glad I did.
When Silas was born, I knew to tell the nurses "No bottles or pacis". I knew to breastfeed him as soon as he was born. I knew how to latch him correctly (although it took a few clumsy tries...). I knew to let him nurse as long as he wanted, as opposed to a set time.
I remember the first time I put him to my breast, and the overwhelming feeling that washed over me. I remember thinking, "He's getting the best from me. I'm feeding him. I'm providing all the noursishment he needs. His survival depends on me!" It was an amazing feeling, and it still is. I remember just watching him eat, watching him nurse, being in awe of this totally amazing thing that God designed - BREASTFEEDING.
I remember the first day and a half, I experienced no pain. I remember thinking, "Wow, this is easier than I thought it would be!" I remember Silas would 'suck' for an hour each time he ate!
I remember when my milk came in. I remember wincing, gasping, even crying out in pain when he would latch on. I remember it only lasted a few seconds. I remember using lanolin each time I nursed! I remember using breastpads like they were going out of style. I remember using my Boppy those first few weeks. I remember feeding him all day long for a few weeks.
I remember the day I experienced no pain when he latched on. I remember the day I realized I wasn't feeding him every hour and a half. I remember crying tears of joy and amazement as I watched him eat. I remember the feeling of love I felt each time he ate. I remember the first time I felt my 'let down' and realized what it was. I remember the first time my milk sprayed out!
Breastfeeding has been a wonderful experience for me. I am thoroughly enjoying it, and not looking forward to the day he will wean. I can't imagine not breastfeeding him.
I am by no means an expert on breastfeeding, although sometimes I feel like I am! I have a desire to educate young mothers on breastfeeding, and maybe God will use me for that purpose one day. I do know that I have learned a few things from becoming a breastfeeding mom.