Strike! Strike! Strike!

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.

What type of obstacles have you faced while breastfeeding? How did you get through it?

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For more breastfeeding stories, visit Zena’s Suitcase by clicking below.

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