It's been a year since my little guy, Gabriel, graced us with his presence and it's been a year since I began the journey (and I don't say that lightly) of breastfeeding.
Nursing my children was always something I'd dreamed of doing. From several classes and studies, I knew that it was the best nutrition for infants and it was an incredible way to bond with my baby. What I was not prepared for was how much work it was going to be. I did not have the typical nursing experience. It was hard and didn't come naturally at all. The first several months of Gabriel's life, I was constantly worried that he wasn't getting enough to eat. The doctor, as well as other moms, suggested that I supplement with formula. But I really didn't want to go down that route. Primarily because of the cost and also the concern that if I started him on formula, he wouldn't want to nurse anymore. That was an experience I didn't want to cut short.
But after many tears, long days/nights and the help of metoclopramide (Reglan), I can say that I've done it! Here I am a year later and I've been nursing Gabriel the whole time. We made it through our rough patches and he's a happy, healthy little boy. Now, before any of you get your panties in a bunch, I don't think there is ANYTHING WRONG with using formula. For some mommies, it's the only option. It was almost a reality for us. But I do think that if you can breastfeed, you should. For those mommies who are struggling, there is support out there!! Don't give up!! Persistence, medication and utilizing a ton of resources saved my breastfeeding experience. And it's been worth ever amount of frustration and ever tear that's been shed.
Now that journey is coming to an end. I'm in the process of weening Gabriel, which is proving to be hard, physically and emotionally. I think what's going to be the hardest to let go of is the last feeding of the night, where I get to nurse him off to dreamland. I'll miss the closeness that we have shared, having him fall asleep in my arms. But he's growing up fast, becoming more independent and it's time. I'm proud of myself that I made it a year. I think the American Academy of Pediatrics would be proud too.
If you have a second, say a prayer for me. Say a prayer for him. And say a prayer that we don't have to put chocolate in the cow's milk to get it to go down his throat!!!
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