It’s just like the first time, as if I’m back to square one once again. Roarke and his teething pains, well, let’s just say is putting my commitment to breastfeed to the test once again.
I admit now that, at first, I chose to breastfeed for selfish reasons. I was after it’s promise to get you back to your pre-pregnancy weight in just a matter of weeks. Imagine!
So there I was, enjoying food to my heart’s content since it was the inevitable c-section for me. I watched what I ate, of course, knowing that there were certain kinds of food that could be harmful to the growing baby in utero – but I didn’t watch my weight. I was going to breastfeed after all, so I believed I was going to shed the pounds in no time
I bought all the props – breast pump, breast pads, nursing bras, sterilized milk bags, Lansinoh, nipple shell, nipple cover, nursing cover – the works!
What i forgot to prepare was – myself.
I thought breastfeeding was as natural as can be. I saw women all over do it and I never heard any one of them complain or at least say it was a challenge. I even saw my mom breastfeed my youngest sister and I certainly didn’t hear any complaints from her. So I thought breastfeeding was just easy-peasy. I was so under that delusion that every time I do my research on how best to take care of a baby, I always stopped reading when it comes to the breastfeeding part. I mean, what more do I need to know. You offer your breast to your baby when he’s hungry, he sucks on it till he fills up his little tummy and all is well and good. Easy-peasy.
How wrong I was!
I learned a little too late that in order to breastfeed successfully, you have to know how to correctly latch a baby. Then there’s the issue about low milk supply, building up milk supply, maintaining milk supply, forceful let-down and oversupply. And wait, there’s more. Deciphering nursing cues, nipple confusion, sore nipples, dry and cracked nipples, and worse yet, bleeding nipples barely covers it. I was scrambling for information, for solutions. Instead of taking advantage of Roarke’s nap time to sleep myself and have that much-needed rest, I was on the net researching until my eyes blur out or Roarke wakes up to feed again.
Breastfeeding is not easy-peasy!
But it could have been if I was just prepared, if i knew what to expect. Or I’d like to think so. I’ve read many times over that no matter how much you think you are prepared, you are never really prepared enough when the day comes. Still, I would not have been too surprised like I was or at a loss on what to do or how to cope when the challenges arose. I could kick myself for being so assuming. I certainly paid for it. Sleep or rest time was the precious commodity I had to pay.
Through it all I now have a new meaning for breastfeeding. Yes, it is the best food you could give your child with it being complete in nutrients etc. Yes, it definitely is liquid gold. But for me, it has become more than that. Breastfeeding is COMMITMENT and PERSEVERANCE.
Why I bothered? Love. And the desire to give the best to my baby. Also because only I can give it to him, so I did. Motherhood can change selfish persons to – martyrs? No. Motherhood simply changes you for the better. So I committed.
I struggled to learn, to be informed. I had to battle my insecurities about my milk supply in the midst of people telling me that maybe I don’t have enough, backtracking a little when I had too much. I dealt with the challenges of breastfeeding in public and catching up with a greedy baby boy. I persisted through sore, cracked and bleeding nipples, all in all feeling like a milking cow on call 24/7. But I persevered.
Was it worth it? Yes! A thousand times yes. No sacrifice is too great when you create that special bond between you and your baby. It’s priceless.
My weight, you might ask? Well, I wasn’t lucky enough to have shed it in just a few weeks. Though I’ve read too that others actually did. I actually forgot that I was putting on weight before I got pregnant so my supposed to be pre-pregnancy weight was actually on the heavy side. Hardy har har. I didn’t mind. Actually, I did. But as of now, ten months later, things are a little bit better.
Fast forward to today. With Roarke’s teething pains drawing blood every now and then – again – and intentionally or unintentionally made worse because of his nursing acrobatics, I just have to remember two things: commitment and perseverance.
Life is beautiful!
P.S. Here are some photos to tickle your fancy.
This is Roarke the day I brought him home from the hospital. Yep, that’s a regular-sized cloth diaper.
This is Roarke now, ten months later.
And nope, that’s not my legs.
Life is beautiful!