Before I entered motherhood breastfeeding was the fear of the unknown. Something that I always wanted to experience but something that I knew nothing about! That’s why I was pleasantly surprised when it came to me so naturally when I had Ellis.
One of my most memorable moments was the birth of my sweet boy Ellis Owen. I was lucky enough to have a very quick 4-hour natural labor and birth, which was the turning point in my life – Making me a mother – The best gift of life! In my birth plan I made sure I included that I wanted skin-to-skin contact straight away, and this is where my breastfeeding journey began…
As he was placed on my chest and opened his eyes for the first time his wet precious pink lips started to pout and I lifted him to my breast and magically he latched on straight away! I was so amazed at this and how natural it felt. I was in love! I could tell right at that moment that this was going to be a great bonding experience for us.
The first 6 months of breastfeeding was a breeze, I was feeding on demand, co-sleeping (which makes it SO much easier for those night feeds), and he would feed anywhere – in a sling, laying beside me, and, even sitting in his car seat with me leaning over him awkwardly haha. But at the 7th month of breastfeeding I have to admit I struggled.
I had such a big supply of milk that I would need to express a few times a day as well as breastfeeding Ellis to avoid soreness, which eventually resulted in mastitis. And can I just say it is HORRIBLE! My breasts looked like they had a thousand little rocks inside and were covered in red blotches, I couldn’t even wear a bra because it would make them sore – They were unbelievably tender! And I couldn’t keep my temperature down for days!
I tried everything before putting antibiotics into my body, as I was so scared that I would then be feeding it to my baby. At that point I remember sitting on the couch with wet cabbage leaves on my breasts balling my eyes out, shaking from having a temperature and dreading the next time I had to feed my baby that my partner turned to me and said – Please go to the doctors, you need to be well for you and Ellis. So I did.
It took a few days to kick in but I was so glad I had the antibiotics in the end! But unbeknown to me I would have it again in just 3 weeks! Luckily this time I managed to catch it before it got really bad and got rid of it through expressing, lots of water, and cabbage leaves!
After the mastitis struggle it was back to normal and things were going great up until my cheeky little man started to bite me – And I don’t mean little bites – It was like he was playing tug of war with my nipple! After all he had 2 teeth at only 4 months and grew one each month after that! I was so adamant that I would continue to breastfeed, even when he drew blood.
Unfortunately this continued for a while until I stopped breastfeeding. If I could have I would have breastfed him until 2 but unfortunately my milk supply started to drop off and I couldn’t keep up with his feeds so by 9 months I slowly weaned him off the breast – which again had it’s problems but with the help of Daddy and family we got through it and he took to the bottle in the end.
As much as I wished to breastfeed him for longer I realize that I am extremely lucky to have had this bonding experience with him, something that only I could experience with him, it was our special time.
Website: www.thebestgiftoflife.com J