Being a mom is definitely a learning experience. While I never thought I knew everything about it, part of why I bought and borrowed so many books on parenting before I gave birth, I did think I knew quite a lot about the breastfeeding journey and what mine would look like. This picture is a modified Tree of Life made for me using a photo of from a nursing session in the hospital, emphasizing how important breast milk is. It turns out many things I thought I knew were wrong for me and my son.
I didn’t necessarily think breastfeeding would be easy, but I thought it would be something we’d both catch on to rather quickly. As I’d attended so many classes, I thought things like getting him to latch and stay latched would be almost instinctive. In the hospital I learned a few more holds, yet none seemed like a way that would work every time easily.
I thought I’d make tons of milk for my child, with no evidence to back it up other than I was leaking before giving birth and many moms in online groups I was in who had done so made lots of milk. Of course, the majority of these women were younger, in some cases two decades younger than me. I know it’s not all age related, but it does play a part.
I knew of course that as a mom with a job outside the home he’s have to take milk from bottles a lot, yet I though so many of them would be filled with my breast milk, and more often it’s formula.
A friend had said there would be good days for our child and bad. This is also true of breastfeeding and pumping. I’ve had days where it was easier to pump than others and days when he had a good latch.
Some days I’d be lucky and there would be some extra milk made a few ounces here and there to be a good start for the next day. Yet, unlike a lot of moms I ended up depleting the extra ones in the fridge and only have a few ounces extra at daycare for bad pumping days. I like that the storage bottles have a cheerful yellow top, it makes it somewhat more fun to fill them.
I’ve had to breastfeed out and about and found William hates a scarf. I’ve had to pump in Mother’s Rooms, and even in a supply room which is really a glorified closet.
Though I do take my breastmilk in a storage container with a freezable ice pack to keep it cold, whenever possible, I also put the milk directly in a fridge. This is the smallest fridge I’ve had to use, inside the supply room from above.
I’ve also noticed a drop in supply and while I’m not ready to quit nursing or pumping, it’s hard to see what little I’ve made go down. However, I’m still not ready to quit and if at all possible, he will get some milk from me each day till he is one years old.