My breastfeeding Journey, part II

I have mentioned before that my firstborn, who was also exclusively breastfed for first 13 months of her life, is never sick. If she has fever, it’s usually low grade and never lasts more than couple of days (why am I thinking “don’t jinx is” as I’m typing this, eek). So, when I ended up being pregnant again, it was a no brainer for me – I can’t be selfish, I have to breastfeed him too!

I was also lied to (not on purpose) by other mothers who nursed multiple kids when they told me it’s easier with second kid. They told me some sh** about breast-memory, nipples are now tough, blah blah blah. If all of it is applicable for them, it is so not true for me. I am not going to sugar code it, it was hell.

I was in so much pain fir months. During first week, we went to our appointment with lactation consultant and she told us he has both lip and tongue tied. She then told me that if we “fix” it with laser, it will be minimal discomfort for him (and for vey short time), it should help him in the long run, and it should immensely help me. That’s when I started crying, in front of a complete stranger. To fast forward that episode, we did cut (released) them, and his mouth healed in a week or so. He was nursing normally and progressing super fast. All in all, I think that was a good call.

However, I don’t know how much it helped me. I was in so much pain for months. I was using everything over the counter that I could. I had to put wet cloth before each breastfeeding to (1) clean all the products that I was applying and to (2) soften my nipples so it would hurt less. Did anything help? Not really. Time (in time, it did become easier), air, keeping area clean and my baby’s belly full are the things that helped. I know that for someone going through this experience this doesn’t help, but that was the reality  at least.

I survived for a little over 12 months. He is super healthy and in 99% for both height and weight (for reference, I am 5 ft 8, so not like I’m tiny). But with all the bugs our older is bringing from school, he is sick all the time. I guess if my milk was magical with our firstborn, magic was out of stock for the second. I still don’t regret it. That gave me this precious bonding time that I needed so much after going back to work. I feel like I still have this left over guilt that will eat me for a while.

To piggy back off of this, returning to work after 12 weeks was a huge stress for me. HUGE. I was so not ready. I was beyond stressed that week, that I ended up with clogged milk duct and mastitis. I was told that I am mostly feeling that way because I had a great privilege to stay with my firstborn for almost a year. But, I disagree. I think if I had this experience with my firstborn, I would probably never had the second. And I think I am not the only one. But women don’t talk about this nearly enough. They are not loud about it. I plan to dedicate an entire post to this topic, because I am super passionate about this.

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