Warning: I'm giving you all fair heads-up, this post is all about breastfeeding. All you nursing mom's out there, this one is for you. Everyone else, I still love you but you may not find this post to be tweetable.
The past four weeks have been full of changes. Changes for Munch yes but I raise my white flag when I say that I am DONE with the changes that I have gone through. Terminado! Je suis fait!
As a precursor, I've been an advocate for breastfeeding for Munch's whole life. It just made sense to me. My ultimate goal was to nurse the kiddo for a full year. We were doing good. For a long while.
Munch dropped an afternoon feeding about one month ago. That's when the issues began. Clogged ducts are evil. Seriously, evil. I had been blessed with a fairly easy breastfeeding experience with the kiddo. Even after I headed back to work when Munch was 6 weeks old, the whole pumping experience, daycare workers and bottles, even though it was inconvenient for me, worked for us. The kid just loves food. It was at the 10-month mark that he was starting to devour food off of my plate and the whole nursing scene was becoming more of a circus act than "bonding" time.
After a few different clogged ducts had come, gone and come back again, I started to experience legitimate pain. What was somewhat subtle very quickly escalated to SHARP waves of pain that just would not go take away. Please note that I have a pretty high tolerance of pain. I was one of those non-medicated birth people. For me to say this pain was bad, you get the idea. I very quickly called the advice nurse who was AMAZING. I wanted to reach through the phone and hug her when she said that antibiotics could be prescribed over the phone without scheduling any appointment. The verdict: Mastitis. Evil.
One full week of antibiotics later, nursing Munch had gone from slightly uncomfortable to awful. Sounds backwards right? My thoughts exactly. I dug up every lactation consultant's phone number I could find and explained in quite a desperate fashion that I needed help. Something was wrong and I was miserable.
This time around, my doctor needed me to come in. Not a problem! Her thoughts: I had been misdiagnosed and I should try a different type of antibiotics for a yeast infection. Um, gross and most definitely EVIL!!!
"How long do you plan on breastfeeding?" she asked me. Even though I had run this question through my own head for a few weeks now, it still made me pause. This was more than just a question. This would mean a huge life change. Despite having a terrible month, the thought of calling it quits on something that has been my life everyday for 10 months and had been so special between me and my baby boy was a tough one to process. To acknowledge that Munch was growing up and that at this stage in the game, his main source of nutrition was now coming from real people food was a bit of a blow. Ready or not, we are transitioning into the world of toddlers. My baby is no longer a newborn. He's laughing, trying to talk, standing, clapping, playing peek-a-boo, cutting more and more teeth - all things that have escalated just in the past few weeks making his "baby" stage seem like so long ago.
But when the nostalgia settled down, reality crept in, I decided to start the process of weaning the boy. Thankfully the kid LOVES formula! He seriously downs an 8 oz. bottle in 5 minutes. No hesitation. Seriously you would not be able to tell that he's never had a drop of formula before this. 3 bottles a day until he's one and then we are switching to whole milk.
So one week later, I had finished up the drugs and had gone cold turkey with feeding. Even after the lovely engorgement had died down, the quick stabs of pain still lingered. And, here I am having paid my dues to Kaiser and visited their pharmacy 3 times - THREE TIMES in 4 weeks! Keep the prayers coming folks, I am not out of the dark yet.
I am now going through my third dose of antibiotics. The doctor said this was going to be a possibility but holy moly, my white flag is getting a little tattered from waving it so much.
Nursing moms, you are amazing. The commitment and sacrifice it takes to provide for your child is immeasurable. I feel so proud and at the same time blessed to have given Jackson what he needed for the first 10 months of his life. I'll keep those special moments we shared forever.
And this little face is what makes my day brighter...
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