my nursing journey


May I speak freely about breastfeeding here today? If you’re not interested in the subject, you may want to scroll right along to the next post. If you’re a judgey mommy looking to compare I’ll say the same to you: move on, pleaseadnthankyou. My breastfeeding journey lasted about 6 months which was the perfect amount of time for my son and I. When I was pregnant I always expected that I would breastfeed for at least a year, that was the goal that I set for myself. I’m familiar with all of the mumbo jumbo about the benefits and the bonding and the pumping, etc, etc. I’d done my research. Now that I’m on the other side of it I have quite a lot to say on the matter. Firstly, I didn’t love it. I know that there are a lot of moms out there that really get a lot out of breastfeeding their babies but I’m just not one of them. There were appreciative moments, peaceful moments, fulfilling moments but I never sat there nursing at 4am and thought to myself “I could do this forever (or even a year!).” Nah. Jude took to breastfeeding easily when I used a nipple shield and I always felt like he got plenty to eat. You wanna know something naughty? I never stopped using my shield. He latched onto it so easily and I never got any clogged ducts or cracks or anything. I accredit that to using a shield consistently for the 6 months that I nursed. Yes, I’d been chided by a few lactation consultants to keep practicing without it. But I was tired, and stressed, and it worked. Time continued to tick-tock by and I just kept using it. Eventually I just kinda said “fuck it.” Was it an inconvenience to shuffle around in the dark at night to find the shield? Yes. Was it a pain to keep them sterilized and easily accessible, sure. But it worked for me and I have no regrets.

Secondly, I loathed nursing in public. If you don’t know the word “loathe” it means that you feel intense dislike or disgust for <insert thing here>. That’s a strong word, and in this case it fits. When presented with the idea of having to nurse in public I felt nervous energy rocket through my body and I would sweat. I felt supremely uncomfortable. I was anxious. Why? Does it really matter why? I did it when I had to but I also did what I could to avoid it. The fumbling inconvenience of it all. Just, no. Not for me. Which leads me to the third thing…

I wish we would’ve added formula to the equation a lot sooner. My wife fought me on this when I decided that I needed to feel less tethered to JJ’s feedings. Nursing him around the clock for those first few months was a beast. I tried pumping extra so that I could catch a break and somebody else could feed him. But I just couldn’t pump enough. Also, pumping is time consuming and cumbersome in case nobody done told ya. Even though it took some time to pin down the right formula for Judah it was so worth it once we did. It gave me the freedom and the extra shut-eye that I desperately needed.

When I felt ready to wean JJ off of the breast he simultaneously became very noticeably interested in our food. Impeccable timing, this kid. Since he was already on formula half of the time the weaning period was inconsequential. He’s been an amazingly adventurous eater ever since. Yes, it really was that simple weaning this kid. I got lucky.

Lastly, here I am…haven’t breastfed in about two month and I s t i l l.  h a v e.  m i l k. Why?? I’m so ready for these babies to return to their former glory. Can somebody please tell me when it’ll go away? You’ve done your job, girls! You can come on home now. I’ve missed the old yous.

And you, momma readers? How was your journey?

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