Breastfeeding my first born was never an easy task. We hit a few major roadblocks before we finally came to terms with our breastfeeding future. And by “we,” I mean me, and by “terms,” I mean hers.
I had never heard of a nursing strike until I was in the midst of dealing with one. From birth, my daughter would switch from boob, to bottle, to pacifier with no problem. So I thought it would be no big deal if I went to a four day conference for work. Besides, I would be home at night and I could nurse her then. She was two and a half months old. After that conference, she nursed a total of three times.
Every time I would try to feed her, she would turn her head away and scream. I tried all the tricks. I did skin to skin. I took a bath with her. I wore her. I tried the bottle that’s like a breast so the muscles to use it were the same as if she were nursing. I met with a lactation consultant. All to no avail. It was so frustrating and hurtful.
She obviously still needed to eat, so I would just end up giving her the bottle. My favorite moment in the midst of this confusion happened one morning at 4 am. My daughter woke up because she was hungry. She was refusing the breast and screaming her head off. My husband took her from me to try to calm her down because I was bawling my eyes out. And our golden retriever was having a grand mal seizure at his feet.
That was when I started to come to accept our nursing future. Or rather, our non-nursing future.
I became an expert at pumping. It became my life. Aside from my little girl of course.
I wore out two pumps, then used an extremely painful one for a bit. Finally, I got a nice one that lasted nine months with my daughter and I am currently using it for my son.
I was pumping 6-8 times daily and I was producing a ton of extra milk. I didn’t want it to go to waste, so I found a milk sharing site on FB.
I found a mama in need for her daughter. Her little girl just happened to be the same age and have the same name as my little one.
Thus began a wonderful friendship. She started to come over weekly for a play date, some milk, and some very much needed adult interaction. I credit this amazing mama for pulling me out of the “Baby Blues”-who knew I simply needed another new mama to talk to?
So, if it weren’t for the strike, we wouldn’t have met these friends. I guess there’s always a silver lining, even if we have to be patient to see it.
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