Caution: if you are easily offended by the breastfeeding topic, please do not continue!!! :)
That's right, ladies and gents, Avery and I have reached our goal of breastfeeding for 8 months! Many of you know that in the beginning I really was not sure we would ever reach my goal. During the weeks and months leading up to Avery's birth I had set a personal goal to breastfeed her for 8 months. Then she was born and everything changed. When my milk came in she immediately stopped nursing from both sides during one feeding... I guess she was just full after the first side. I couldn't stand to feel so lopsided, so I began my long journey of pumping. Nursing did not come naturally to Avery and I literally threatened to quit nursing every single day. Needless to say, my goal of 8 months seemed impossible and I quickly set a new goal of 2 months. It was torture! I suffered through the pain for the first 9-10 weeks until Avery finally learned how to latch on and suck properly. We then had good nursing periods and bad. The majority of the time she would only nurse from one side and then was full, but on occassion she would actually nurse from both sides during a single feeding! My goal then became a monthly goal.... hoping I could make it to 6 months. By this time it was no longer hurting, I was just having to deal with my own frustrations of trying to get my child to eat and eat well. I finally made it to 6 months and was so happy. Once I made it to 6 months I knew that I could easily meet my original goal of 8 months. WOO HOO! Over the past two months I have given up on pumping the second side and am a little more used to being lopsided. Pumping is just a very frustrating process and it is so time consuming. I was pumping up to 3 or 4 times a day for a while and that was AFTER I nursed Avery. It was just too much and now I only pump before I go to bed at night or if I need to have a bottle ready for Avery. It has made such a huge difference. Avery is still not a fantastic eater-- or maybe she is just a very efficient eater??-- I'm not really sure. Sometimes she will nurse for 10 minutes, other times I can only get her to nurse for about 4 minutes and that drives me crazy! I know she will eat if she is hungry, but it has been so hard for me, the provider of her nutritional intake, to not know if she is getting enough. I also have to nurse in complete silence. No T.V., no phone calls, no sitting there and talking to my husband... nothing! The girl is so easily distracted and so very social that I have to be sure no one disturbs us while we are feeding. I just know that she will be my child that sits down at the dinner table and takes two bites of food and then asks if she can go play. I see that in her already!
I am so proud of myself for persevering and reaching my goal of 8 months! I couldn't have done it without the love and support of my wonderful and amazing husband who has been on the receiving side of my venting moments and even the moments when I just couldn't take it anymore and just cried and cried. Chris, you helped me make it to my goal and I thank you so much for your support! Thank you to all of my dedicated readers for your encouragement, especially in the beginning... you know who you are! :) Your personal stories, prayers and encouraging words really helped me through those first 9 weeks. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!