Family Friday - My Little Breastfeeding Journey

Before Scout was born, I had every intention of breastfeeding. I knew that formula was an option, but being the stubborn person that I am, I didn't want to go down that route unless I had to.
The day he was born, my body went through a lot. Giving birth is hard on the body anyway, but losing insane amounts of blood and a three hour theatre trip just adds to the fun. Because of this, my body didn't quite react the way it should have. It was almost as if it was in shock and didn't even realise I had given birth.
My first ever breastfeeding experience was horrible, to say the least. As a first time mum, I had no idea what I was doing, and as I was completely out of it on pain meds, I didn't even realise I should have been trying to feed Scout. Luckily, he had had some formula whilst I was in theatre, but I'd say it took a good five hours after waking up from surgery before the midwife even asked about feeding Scout.
I tried, he wouldn't latch and it was all in all a really bad, emotional experience. It ended up with me being told that I had to hand express my colostrum (again something I didn't know how to do,) and the midwife was going to'catch it' in a syringe. I couldn't do it at all, and she ended up having a go. There is nothing more soul destroying than having a woman squeezing your breasts whilst you cry in pain.

Luckily, within the next couple of days, he started to latch and became the cluster feeder that he was. I was exhausted and had many moments where I was in floods of tears, trying to take on the words of wisdom from midwives left right and centre. We were in the hospital for four days before we got to go home, and it took another three days on top of that before I had any sign of my milk coming in.

Of course, that hit me like a ton of bricks.
To put it simply, I hated breastfeeding at the beginning. Scout fed every hour, I couldn't move from the sofa, and it hurt. I cried every day and I certainly didn't feel the loving bond that everyone tells you about. Which in turn, made me feel even worse. Like I was a bad Mum for not feeling love for my son.
A couple of months in,  I had finally gotten used to it. I was still stuck on the couch many hours a day, but I was slowly learning this new routine. That was until Scout decided to go on a bit of a strike and only ever latched onto my right breast. This resulted in good old lefty drying up, and this is the way it stayed until the end. During this strike we decided to start supplementing with formula. It broke my heart and I really felt like I was failing. I'm sure all new Mums feel the pressure of 'breast is best.' What phooey that is.
Scout thrived more with the formula than he ever had with breastfeeding, but because I'm a stubborn mare, I continued until I couldn't any more. We fell into a routine of giving him more bottles, which of course meant that my milk supply dipped, and kept on dipping.
We got to seven months before we finally decided to wean him off the boob completely. Which, if I'm entirely honest, I was really happy with. I didn't even think I'd reach seven weeks, let alone months. For a few weeks I only did the night feed and he would have bottles during the day. We then dropped those and went completely cold turkey. Luckily, I wasn't producing enough to be in insane agony whilst doing it, and I only had to pump a couple of ounces for two days to relieve the pressure. I wore a tight bra for about a week straight and poor Liam couldn't touch me without his head being bitten off, but it was ok. I do sometimes think if it would have been harder, had I had two milk producing boobies though.

We're now a couple of months past that point. Scout's still doing really well on the formula along side the baby led weaning, and that's the main thing.  Considering how much I despised breastfeeding in the beginning, I really miss it some days. The 'bond' did grow everntually, and I think that's what I miss the most. The closeness that it gave us.
Looking back, I don't think I would say no to ever doing it again. I'm definitely up for breastfeeding when we decide to have another baby, but I'm seriously hoping that it will be a little easier next time round. I'll know what to expect, and with my fingers very tightly crossed, my labour will be a whole ton easier too.

If there's one thing I don't miss though, it's having lopsided boobies.
That was not pretty.

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