Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Power of Prayer and the Lactating Mom....

 Breastfeeding. You'd think it would be a natural thing. And maybe it is for many people, but for a lot of women it's anything but. For six months I pumped milk for Kidd-O. I produced around 2 1/2 gallons of milk per week and I did that because nursing just wasn't in the cards for me for a number of reasons: poor latching, nipple confusion, and, frankly, I just wasn't willing to commit myself to it 100%  and that's what it takes--100%. Plus some. I knew after those six months of pumping was up and I had battled 3 bouts of infection, I was NOT going to pump again. I would either nurse or formula feed and that was that!
 I decided to write this post hoping that other women could relate to the same journey that I am currently on and that it might be an encouragement to them. And it is because of other women's stories and encouragement that I have gotten to the place that I am at today...that, and through the power of prayer. So here is my story and it's the honest to goodness truth.
Like everything else when it comes to pregnancy, babies and parenting, everyone has opinions and their 2 cents worth of advice to put in when it comes to nursing. A lot of women have told me that breastfeeding is the hardest thing you'll ever do, but it's the most rewarding thing if you can stick it out.They are right. It took only a day for me to realize that it was going to be difficult. I have learned that breastfeeding is NOT for the faint of heart.
I began praying about my decision to nurse since I got pregnant but it wasn't until I got home from the hospital that I was brought to my knees in prayer every other hour, with every single feeding. Lactation ladies will tell you that you're not supposed to feel any pain. I have decided that they are either big fat liars, or they have terrible memories from their past breast feeding experiences. Because for some women it hurts. Actually, "hurt" isn't even the right word to use here. It kills. It is the worst pain I have ever experienced in my life and if anyone other than my child was inflicting that pain upon me, I might just slap the fool out of them.
  With every passing hour for over 2 weeks, I dreaded feeding time. I literally would find anything to do that would help me avoid having to go through the pain of the baby latching on, not to mention having a letdown of milk into my already ginormous, freak show boobs. To make a long and truly gory story short, the last few weeks have been a cracked, bloody ,blistered, torn, engorged, shirt soaking MESS. I have cried in almost every corner of my house and to anyone who will listen. And you may be asking yourself why? Why would you put yourself thought that? And frankly, I've asked myself that a lot too!
The best answer I can give is that my girl is a GREAT eater! She has a perfect latch and is doing everything she's supposed to be doing, so I have feel I owe it to her to give it my best shot. I'm now entering my 4th week of nursing and I can see the light at the end. I no longer need to grip the arm of the couch and bite down on a pillow for fear of yelling expletives, and I'm no longer a human sprinkler who could feed anyone who walks by within a 3ft. radius.It is getting better.
I say ALL of this to say that I would NOT have made it 4 weeks if it weren't for the support of the women who have been through the same thing promising that it would get better, for my friends and family who have been encourager's and for the Lord's faithfulness and goodness in answering the prayers I have prayed in the shower, in my bed, in my kitchen, and with every single feeding. Never in a million years would I have thought that this situation would be what brought me closer to my Lord. And while I am still waiting on all the "rewards" and the warm fuzzy feelings that people say come with nursing, I am thankful for the experience because it has been a true testament to the power of prayer, trusting in the Lord and knowing that I can truly take any concern to Him. 
I hope that this post can be an encouragement to others who might be in the same boat and can serve as a reminder to me years from now of this time in my life. It does hurt, it will get better, God is good. Amen. Thanks for stopping by and I apologize to anyone who learned waaay more about me than they wanted to!


  1. Hey! I just wanted you to know I had a similar experience. Except that I only made it 3 months pumping with my first, Finn. Plugged ducts, mastitis, etc - it was awful! But the second time around, I wanted to really give it my best shot. I really used the lactation dept a ton at the hospital. And here I am almost 10 moths later....still nursing! Yay!

    Everyone said its better after 8-12 weeks. For me it wasn't until month 5. I overproduce so it took a lot longer to regulate. Pumping made things worse for me so I could only nurse. I praise God because Selah was a great nurser from the beginning. But it hurt for atleast 3 months. It does take a 200% commitment. In the last 10 months I've dealt with pain, biting, nursing strikes, a lot of leaking, and dropped feedings. But I have to say, it's making me sad knowing the end is near in nursing my sweet Selah. Nursing has caused me to pray all the time. Nursing has caused me to sit often. It's really bonded me with my girl. I love that she falls asleep in my arms almost every night. It is true what others say - it is awesome. But it's still a big commitment. And for me it wasn't awesome until month 5 :) I hope this encourages you to know someone else went through the same thing! And sorry this is so long. I love your blog. Been reading for a while but just had to comment today :)

    If you need any advice-email, text, or call! It wasn't long ago that I was at the beginning and I did learn a lot.

    1. Thanks Rachael! Yes, I used lactation as much as I could while in the hospital and it helped a ton! I really appreciate the encouragement and I look forward to the day that I can truly enjoy feeding time! Thanks again for stopping by and leaving such a thoughtful comment.

  2. Um.... You forgot to mention back pain. Don't know if you have that too.??? But tensing up and having to sit or lay in nursing positions for 6 hours a day has really done a number on my back. I'm sure some other women experience this too, but something I didn't think about before. But it IS completely worth it. 10 weeks and I do still dread/love feeding time. It has gotten better though :)

    1. Yes! Back pain and I don't know about you, but my wrists are killing me too from holding the back of her neck just so! Miss you and love you guys!

  3. I wish I could have read this four years ago. I tried to nurse my daughter and it was painful! I was told it wasn't supposed to be, I must be doing something wrong. I felt like I couldn't get any support and I resorted to pumping for awhile before switching to formula. I wish I had tried longer, or had better information, so a big thank you to you for putting out honest information that maybe goes against the grain a little bit :)

  4. Yeah..."it doesn't hurt." They LIE.

    I'm so glad it is getting better for you! I had to use a nursing shield for the first 8 weeks with all four of mine, and even then I wondered if they were getting anything but blood. But looking back on the nursing years, it was worth it. :)


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