Thursday, August 9, 2012

Time for Gratitude - Breastfeeding My Kiddos

When I first found out I was pregnant with Vienna, I went through what most first-time moms go through, I suppose. Extreme excitement, overwhelming overwhelmed-ness (if that's even a word), worries of nutrition for myself, praying to God that I was able to carry the baby full-term, etc, etc.

One thing I never once pondered or doubted, though, was that I would breastfeed. Honestly there really wasn't any doubt or thought about it at all. I seriously never even knew that some moms didn't or didn't want to, or whatever, because I just thought that's what you did when you had a baby. My mom nursed us until she went back to work, any friends that had had babies nursed, and I didn't really realize that there was anything else that mamas would opt to do. Yes, obviously, I knew there was formula. Like I said, my mom nursed us all until she went back to work, so only a few months. After that, we had formula, and since my youngest brother is 14 years younger than I am, I made my fair share of formula bottles in my day.

I guess I was just really under-informed on the issue. I truly thought that everyone would at least breastfeed for awhile, because, I mean, why wouldn't you?? I had NO true idea of the real nutrition offered through breastmilk. I had NO true idea that some mamas really struggle to nurse. I had NO true idea that there is such a stigma in some areas about nursing, and nursing in public in particular. I had NO true idea that some mamas just wouldn't want to. And I definitely had NO true idea that there are so many "Booby Traps" in our hospitals and culture in general.

I was very ignorant.

Honestly, I was so ignorant, that the *only* reason I wanted to nurse past a year was to save money and not have to purchase formula.


Seriously, though - I'm SO grateful that my husband and I had a frugal nature so that I would want to nurse, if only for that reason, for at least a year. I'm also SO grateful that Vienna was such a good nurser and our nursing relationship was "easy" from the beginning...I really had no issues whatsoever nursing her.

Me nursing Porter on his first birthday - Christmas Morning :)

Now, if Porter had been the first baby, I think it wouldn't have gone so smoothly...we struggled for the first couple months because of thrush, engorgement, etc. It turned out fine, and he was a really good nurser...but if I didn't know what I knew about the benefits (or at least some of them) at that point, it would have been really easy to give up.

So, basically, I'm really just super grateful that things worked out the way they did, and that both my babies got the benefits of nursing beyond a year...even if it was almost "by accident" that we were so successful!


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