My son Cooper was born the day before my 25th birthday. He was induced 2 days prior to due date, Christmas Day.
I will never forget that feeling when he was put on my chest and I got to hold him for the first time. He looked like an alien yet so perfect. He latched straight away and we spent one night at the hospital together. He was alternating sleeping on my chest and nursing. I couldn’t put him down, it felt wrong having him alone in that hospital plastic-box bassinet.
The first days when we were out of hospital and the nurses visited they kept telling me how I was a natural talent. I just smiled and thought, cool, thanks.
I didn’t know anything about breastfeeding. I had done no breastfeeding classes or educated myself during pregnancy. I only had those brochures from the midwife. I was born under traumatic circumstances 2 months too early and my mother had to be resuscitated. I was fed about 100 ml of breastmilk each day until 6 months. My family around me with kids never breastfed, my partner and his siblings were brought up with mainly formula. Everywhere I heard stories about failed attempts to breastfeed (which I know understand was due to lack of knowledge and support).
When my son was little I used to hear comments like “he’s looking for his milk”, or “he only wants you for his milk”, and even “he only loves you for his breastmilk”. Which really hurt my feelings and it took some time for me to deal with these people and realise we were better off without them.
I never had any real issues breastfeeding my son. He would choke on my fast flow and he would guzzle and gulp a lot. I didn’t think much of it back then but I know why it happened now. I never experienced any pain with him, no nipple damage, nothing. But I felt self conscious feeding in public because I got so stressed every time he would choke on the milk. I fed with a cover or in parents rooms, but I always felt it was difficult getting out because of this, I felt a bit trapped.
I always felt he should decide when to wean himself. When he was about 22 months old we found out I was expecting his little sister. He was mainly only feeding from one side at this point and my milk turned into colostrum on the less favoured side pretty much instantly but the one he fed from turned at around 30 weeks. I cried on the day I realised it had changed. Because I thought this was the day he was gonna wean, and I wasn’t “prepared”. Did we even have any breastfeeding pictures with him being older? Did I even cuddle him last time he nursed? I had all these thoughts going around in my head and felt so sad.
He loves his “titty” as he calls breastfeeding. He even says good bye when he is finished and kisses the nipple. “Bye bye titty dodge”.
It turned out that he wasn’t bothered by it and nursed throughout the pregnancy and when his little sister was born 4 months ago we had our first tandem feeding. It was pretty amazing laying in the hospital bed with both of them, cuddling, high on oxytocin.
Since having my 2nd child I have had blisters, cracks and thrush. My journey this time is very different and I’m glad this is my second time so that I know that breastfeeding can be super easy and not as hard as some might make you believe it is. I know have so much knowledge regarding breastfeeding and I’m so passionate about it trying to support other mums and normalise it as much as I possibly can. I would say I’m a breastfeeding advocate. I would love if I could work helping mums and babies with breastfeeding in the future.
Sometimes I have moments when I feel touched out and I rather feed my kids one at a time. But I still enjoy it.
Our journey is still ongoing (3 years now) and I love the special bond my kids have.
I know my boy will wean one day, but until then I’m gonna treasure every moment I get to smell his hair and hold his hand while he’s having his “titty dodges”.