Fast forward to the day I gave birth in the hospital: It was beautiful, my daughter was born, nurses asked me if I wanted to have skin to skin contact, I said yes. They asked me if I wanted to breastfeed, I said yes. She nursed for the first time minutes after I gave birth and I felt so good. The next couple of days in the hospital she continued to nurse but one nurse offered a bottle and said the doctor recommended it. No other explanation was given as to why or what doctor recommended it so I refused it and it just sat on a table in our room. Breastfeeding for some reason didn’t hurt while I was in the hospital, it could have been because I was on Motrin and Vicodin round the clock, or because nearly every time she latched there was a nurse present to help with positioning her mouth and body. At that point thought breastfeeding was going to be a breeze.
However the night I was discharged it started to be painful. Initially I thought I could endure the pain, and just switch breast each time, but the pain got worse, till one time I was crying asking for my husband to go to the store in the middle of the night and buy some formula. I didn’t know what to do. I desperately wanted the pain to go away but I didn’t want to give my daughter any artificial milk either. I tried to hand express some milk into a bottle and I was able to squirt out maybe half an ounce at most. She drank that but obviously it wasn’t enough. I began to supplement, but only for a while I thought.
That night I sent my husband to the store to buy a double electric pump and I began pumping almost exclusively. I was pumping every two hours and giving maybe one or two bottles of formula a day for about a week or so, then from there on out we were only using breastmilk. I would try to get her latched on at least once a day, then twice a day, till we were about half and half with pumping and nursing. I did the thing where you open the baby’s mouth so they can latch, I also had to pull my nipple out manually and sometimes with the latch assist so that she could feel the nipple. It took a lot of patience and repeated practice but eventually we got to a point where around 4 months we were exclusively nursing, with the exception of when the hubby and I had a date. Then at 5 1/2 months I returned to work and began pumping again.
Now here we are at 9 months and I feel blessed.