I thought breastfeeding was supposed to be the most natural thing in the world. I assumed it would come easy and that it would be something I could control and that would end on my terms. Like most other things, I quickly learned that breastfeeding worked best when I just went with it and followed Emily’s lead. To say it was challenging at first is an understatement. In the hospital the nurses threatened that Emily wouldn’t be able to come home with us if she lost any more weight. Born at 7lbs 5oz she got down to 6lbs 9oz so we supplemented with formula until her and I could figure it out. To say it was emotional is an understatement but I learned how to pump and used a syringe to feed her the colostrum aka liquid gold. It took going to the Lactation Clinic at South Shore Hospital to figure out what our problem was and with the help of a breast shield the clouds lifted and I finally was able to nurse exclusively.
Growth spurts and cluster feedings had me doubting myself again but we pushed through, continued to go to the lactation group, and before I knew it she was ready to try “solids”. We still nurse at naptime, bedtime, and middle of the night wake ups and the random occasion when she needs to mellow out – breasts are nature’s pacifier after all! Over time (or maybe all at once) she will wean and someday she will be done but until then I will continue to go with it and follow Emily’s lead.