Tara’s Breastfeeding Story

By Guest Blogger Tara

Tara with newborn

I found out I was pregnant on thanksgiving day of 2012. My Fiancé and I were so excited! I always knew that I wanted to breastfeed and did my research on it throughout the pregnancy. I also knew I wanted a natural birth, mostly because I already have a high pain tolerance and I’m very sensitive to medications. EVERYONE I knew (family, coworkers, strangers, etc.) told me breastfeeding was painful, awkward, difficult, etc. they also told me once I was in labor I’d be begging for pain medicine like they all were. Their lack of confidence in my decisions only made me more determined to stick to my plans!

Tara's newborn

When the time came, I was 37 weeks 2 days and my water broke at 1:30am. I had lost my mucus plug over the past two days and was 2cm dilated, so I had a feeling it was coming soon. My Fiancé and I got our things ready and went to the hospital and they immediately tried to give me Pitocin as my contractions were just beginning and not strong yet. I told them I’d rather walk to speed them up. So after an hour of walking they sped up on their own to the point where I was getting nauseous with each one. I took a warm shower to help the pain (which helped a ton!). After that I was about 5cm  dilated and started throwing up and shaking violently with each contraction so I ended up allowing them to give me an IV  medication to calm my body down (no pain relief with it though). It helped me stay focused on my breathing and before I knew it it was time to push!

Tara and her baby

I stayed calm and collected, no screaming or any drama like they show in the movies. The nurses were so impressed, as this was my first baby, and I gather most first time moms are nervous wrecks and getting every pain reliever they offer! I gave birth to my son (who was quite small at 5lbs 9oz being born 3 weeks early) after about 30 minutes of pushing and had only one small tear on the inside requiring 2 stitches. After I held him and they got us both all set they took him to the nursery to have a bath while I napped. The next two days was spent with lactation consults and nurses coming in and out of my room constantly showing me, my Fiancé and our son what to do and how to nurse. They got a Medela breast pump for me covered entirely by my insurance and by the time I left I felt confident that my son and I could really do this! I ended up having to exclusively pump for the first 8 weeks because my son was too small to nurse on his own. It was long hard days living around the pump, pumping every 2 hours to keep up my supply and keep his belly full. I did have to supplement with formula because I couldn’t pump enough.

Tara's baby growing on breast milk.

After 8 weeks he had gained enough weight and size to nurse independently and I haven’t needed the pump since! He is now a healthy, happy and very smart 6 month old boy who only has formula mixed with his oatmeal cereal =). No one in my fiancé’s family (he is one of 8 children!) breastfed their babies or had natural births and they are all amazed with my determination to do so! I’m very proud to have stuck with my decisions and to have shown everyone that labor without pain medication and breastfeeding despite the initial obstacles can be done!!

Sincerely proud mommy,

Tara

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