Tuesday, June 26, 2012

KMG's First Two Weeks on the Boob

Breastfeeding is hard. I'm sure there are some moms out there who enjoyed breastfeeding from day one, but I was not one of them. Two weeks in and we seem to have gotten in the groove. I did everything I could to prepare myself for this "beautiful" experience. I read books, I attended breastfeeding classes, I bought comfortable nursing clothes, I was ready! What I wasn't ready for was pain worse than anything I had experienced in my pregnancy (other than labor, but we'll save that story for another time).

Kitty latched on fifteen minutes after she was born. She seemed to have the hang of it right away and I was extremely grateful for this, I had heard several stories about babies showing little interest in nursing or having difficulty latching on. She did not have this problem, at all. That first day all she wanted to do was nurse, but since she never seemed to stop, I was convinced she wasn't getting anything. I called my midwife certain something was wrong, there was nothing wrong. By the second night of her life she was nursing up to three hours straight, I felt like someone was rubbing sandpaper on my nipples. I sat on my couch and sobbed while Kitty continued to nurse contentedly. At two in the morning I called one of the midwives, she told me her latch must be off, it wasn't. I had done everything I was taught to do, baby led breastfeeding, changing positions, checking to see if her mouth was in the right position. Everything was right, but after two days straight, anyones nipples would be hurting, At my midwifes suggestion, I ended up sticking a finger in Kitty's mouth and we both fell asleep. She was using me as a pacifier as much as anything else. The next day my milk came in, it was a full day and a half earlier than I was told to expect it. I am convinced it was all that overtime work my insatiable daughter put in.

In all honesty, now that I am not sobbing at the thought of her latching on, it is rather beautiful. I love looking down at her sweet little face while she nurses and stares back up at me. She still clusterfeeds and I can look forward to at least one three hour marathon feeding every twenty four hours, but now it is a mere annoyance rather than a torture sentence.

I'm sharing this story because I am really saddened by how many people I hear have given up on breastfeeding in the first couple of weeks. I don't know if they aren't getting the information they need or if after ten long months of pregnancy added to a crying newborn with a heaping pile of crazy hormones on top, the struggle of breastfeeding is just too much. But this is how I look at it. You just spent ten (although probably closer to nine unless you knew the minute you got pregnant) months making bodily sacrifices for this baby. You gave up alcohol, you gained a ton of weight, you had backaches and crappy sleep. What's a couple more weeks of discomfort for the health of your baby?

The biggest thing I think new moms need to be aware of is, it gets easier, less frustrating and much less painful after a week or two. Please don't give up! There are so many resources out there, take advantage of them, even if it means calling someone at two in the morning. Everyone told me how painful labor was going to be, but nobody warned me about breastfeeding. I was already bound and determined to EBF for at least six months no matter what, but I can see how someone who wasn't quite so gung ho would give up after such a difficult start. Be stubborn! Stick it out because it does get better and formula just can't compare to natures perfect food for your little one. I'm not going to get into the BF vs. FF debate right now, just wanted to share my experience of these first couple of weeks while it's fresh in my mind and to really encourage new moms to stick it out. Babies were born to be breastfed!

Why I Created this Blog

Granola was a food I lived off of while doing Weight Watchers in high school. Every day my lunch was a cup of non-fat yogurt & a handful of granola. To this day, I do not enjoy granola. It wasn't until my junior year of college that I was informed granola had another meaning. Specifically, a guy that I had a crush on said I wasn't "granola" enough for his liking. In truth, I was quite granola, I just happen to rarely look the part. Up until my pregnancy I had been vegetarian as well as on again off again vegan for over twelve years. I believe in living a sustainable and green lifestyle. I consume mostly organic foods and try to buy locaally as often as possible. I am conscious of what I put in my body and conscious of what I put out into the world. The fact that I shower and shave daily as well as dress more or less like someone in a teen clothing store advertisement (which I should probably outgrow one of these days...) seems to overshadow how I live the rest of my life. Which is why I wanted to create this blog.

The name Perfectly Crunchy is how I live my life, which in my opinion is just crunchy enough (for me). The new granola mom speaks to the fact that I am a new mom, but also that there might be another type of granola mom out there. The type of mom that many of my friends are. We cloth diaper, breastfeed, co-sleep and love our little granola babies, but we don't necessarily believe this means we have to sacrifice looking good and enjoying a bag of doritos once in a blue moon!

I don't feel that it's my place to tell other moms how to raise thier children nor do I believe that in my two whole weeks of motherhood do I have all the answers. Far from it! I wanted to create a space to share the things I learn along the way (like why I'm currently in love with my diapering method!) and also for other moms to chime in on what has or has not worked for them.

I hope you enjoy sharing in my journey and take something postive from it!