[I asked yet another friend of mine named Jessica to share her nursing story, because her journey truly inspires me. After a difficult pregnancy and childbirth, not a single person would have batted an eye if Jessica decided nursing was too difficult. But she didn’t. I honestly don’t know if I could have overcome everything she has with a firstborn and no experience. She is amazing!]
I knew nursing was going to be an uphill battle from the first time I tried to latch Hailey shortly after she was born. I imagined she would be one of those babies that wiggled their way to the breast and instinctively started sucking and we’d have this beautiful moment minutes after she was brought into this world. But nothing was happening. A nurse gave me a quick once over and declared I had flat nipples. Awesome. I was thrown a nipple shield and left to my own devices. Honestly, that shield got me through the first month of nursing, no doubt.
We’ve had countless issues since then; shallow latch (oh the pain!!!), thrush (thanks antibiotics for a kidney infection), blocked ducts, acid reflux and a milk protein allergy. The anticipation of not using the shield was worse than actually not using it. I just assumed that she would not latch without it. so after a little bit of pressure from the pediatrician around 6 weeks I decided to try and nurse her without it, and magically she latched. It was still a shallow latch and painful but she was eating. I don’t think a day passed the first 12 weeks when I did not want to quit. We both would cry out of frustration and I would practically throw her to my husband to be bottle fed pumped breast milk when he would get home from work. But we stuck with it and *finally* after 3 months, nursing is becoming an enjoyable experience.
Now my favorite moments with Hailey are when she is nursing. She will finish one side, roll back on the pillow and look up at me studying my face. Then she’ll give me the biggest smile, coo and laugh. Melts. My. Heart.
I’m so grateful we stuck it out. There’s no one in this world I would have endured all the pain, frustration and this ridiculously strict diet for besides her. And she’s worth it. All of it.