My little Munchkin was born July 3, 2015. I knew while still pregnant (before, even) that I wanted to breastfeed if at all possible. When Munchkin was born, the nurses put her on my chest for skin-to-skin and said we would try latching when she was a little more awake, as I had an inducement and epidural for delivery. Needless to say, we were all surprised when she went immediately for my breast. So my breastfeeding journey began about 20 minutes after my daughter was born.
At first nursing was sweet and special, and I was so grateful that I made my husband TR go to the breastfeeding clads with me. Even though Munchkin latched easily, I had trouble positioning her alone and TR’s help was invaluable.
The next day, however, was freaking brutal. I must have used half the lanolin in the hospital. I had done enough research before Munchkin was born to worry that she had a tongue or lip tie because her latch was so shallow. When the lactation nurse finally got in to see me, she assured me that Munckin’s mouth was fine and I just needed to make sure she had a deep latch (gee, thanks). Munchkin was nursing almost constantly — like, every other hour. Any time she acted even remotely hungry, she was at the breast. You can imagine the condition of my nipples. Ouch.
By the time it was time to leave on Sunday, I begged my husband to bring me the soothie gels I had ordered ahead of time because even showering was painful. Thank god I had listened to the mommy bloggers and brought my own towel from home to shower with. When I put those soothies on for the first time I almost cried with relief.
The next two weeks were a semi-exhausted blur of cracked, leaky, bloody, sore, scabby nipples; almost constant nursing; and lots and lots of tears. I was definitely ready to quit nursing but kept going because we had agreed that I would breastfeed. I resented my husband, I resented my baby, I resented stupid social pressures that “breast is best.” I only got breastmilk for about two months as a child and I think I’m pretty damn awesome, so why was I so worries about breastfeeding Munchkin?
I’m returning to work when Munchkin is 10 weeks, so I’ve known from the beginning that I would need to pump. Well, let me tell you, pumping SUCKS. I hated pumping more than I hated nursing, which left me feeling trapped. How would I feed my baby? In the midst of my turmoil, I had an epiphany: mother-freaking formula. I decided that Munchkin would have formula while at daycare and I would nurse when we are together.
So now it’s time to introduce formula. Let me say that this has been an incredibly emotional process for me because it means that my time at home with Munchkin is coming to a close.
Yesterday was her first full bottle. I may or may not have cried the whole time she drank it…