breastfeeding. 

by chelseakyaw

if you’re reading and boobs feeding a baby offend you, then here’s your warning. otherwise, read on! this post has been in the makins for a while and being posted on our one year because all along, my goal has been to breast feed Forest for one year. why? because food before one is just for fun and breast milk provides the baby the absolute nutrition it needs for the first year. that was my main reason, and then you slowly learn that actually making it to a year is kinda hard and special, so it became a challenge for myself. there were times where i was convinced i wouldn’t make it. especially at the beginning when we struggled to even begin the journey. so here we are at a year.

why did i choose to breastfeed? because, truly, breast milk is the best option for your baby. most of the time. it’s made from momma and perfectly customized to do what your baby needs at the time. it’s magical. i wanted to breastfeed because i wanted to do right by my baby and provide him the best nutrition. before i even gave birth, my plan was to do this. i also wanted to nurse my baby because hello… free food. formula is expensive. i also honestly hoped that i would lose a little weight by nursing (which was not the case for me) and i would have a two-for. i thankfully have a supportive husband and father to my baby who is pro-nursing. it’s natural and what they’re made for and he had no issue. not that it would matter ;)

the support i received from Arnold is a lot of the reason why i managed to make it to a year. there were days at the beginning when i had to work my ass off to build my supply, which meant nursing forest and then pumping to tell my body i needed more. i was literally a dairy cow for the first 12 weeks of Forest’s life. all of my time was revolved around producing milk. i did have to use formula *sparingly* at the beginning due to latch issues and whatnot, but i pushed and demanded that my body be the one to feed my baby. and honestly, i was lucky. i worked damned hard at it and i count my blessings every day that i was able to make it this far because some women don’t get to even though they want to. i definitely considered breastfeeding as a factor in becoming a stay at home momma because i did return to work for about two months and for you pumping and full time working mommas? holy shit. that was hard. i think that if i would have had a 40+ hour work week away from my baby like that, making it this far would not have happened.

there are days (and nights) when nursing Forest took everything from me. feeling ‘touched out’ is a thing and it’s stressful. it affects intimacy with your partner and it can make you depressed. once i got to about 8 months, i was actually getting annoyed with nursing. but i told myself to do it and push and make it to a year because i’m only having one baby and i’ll never get this time back. thankfully, forest doesn’t have any teeth yet, and if he did – aaaayyyyyyyy. haha. i would have complained more, probably. i’ve created a monster who loves me and needs milk from me and is comforted by the exchange. his first communication with us was basically the hand sign for “milk” so i’m sure you can gather the importance to him. while i often think ahead for my nursing-free days – like when i can sleep and not have my arm fall asleep or i can take any medicine or… oh the possibilities – i’m going to enjoy every last moment of this. in fact, knowing that i’ve nursed a completely healthy baby and kept disease and sickness from him is the best part. yeah, he’s never been sick. maybe a few more boogers and a couple of sneezes but he’s so healthy. knock on wood that it stays that way.

if you click the read on link below, you will see some of the personal nursing photos i took of me and Forest. it’s really something that you won’t understand how important they are until you are a nursing momma. it’s work and it’s love and it’s achievement and it’s special. i’m going to convince arnold to take some nice ones of me and forest with my big girl camera and those will be tucked away special for me. no, i don’t plan on showing forest because ew. who wants to see photos of that ;) especially of you and your mom ;) haha. i get it. there’s a weird stigma of breastfeeding and that’s sad. while i don’t care if others breast feed around others or in public, i personally didn’t. i always nursed my baby in a private room or in the car or away from others. that’s my preference and what kept me comfortable. i do, however, share photos on social media because the breastfeeding community is a strong and tight one.

you guys. i’m nursing a one year old now – with no end in sight – and i’m not quite sure how i feel about it. i’ve stopped pumping at work and he’s eating mostly big boy foods and i sure hope that our journey can go on for as long as he needs.