I Did It: Now It's Time To Pay It Forward
Posted By: Jennifer Johnson
I didn't grow up around breastfeeding moms. In fact, I grew up making formula bottles for my little sisters.
Eight months ago if you had asked me if I thought I’d still be breastfeeding today I would have said “I hope so, but I doubt it.” Eight months ago I said I would try to breastfeed, that my goal was to make it through maternity leave. I didn’t expect to last much longer. Eight months ago I thought formula was a fine substitute for breast milk and had no problem using it if I didn’t pump enough. I thought I’d never want to nurse in public, and that I’d wean my daughter by the time she got teeth.
9:00am on Monday April 4
Now here I am. My daughter will be eight months old in a less than a week, and I never imagined things would be going this well. I haven’t touched an ounce of formula since my she was born and don’t plan to. Even though there are times I have 60-hour work weeks, and sometimes wasn’t in the office the entire day, I still managed to pump every work day, and miraculously still have at least half of the freezer stash I started with left over. My breast pump broke and I was so grateful I had that on reserve, and quickly built my supply back up once my new pump arrived.
I don’t have any problem nursing in public even though at her age now she is more interested in things around us than eating, so I feel more comfortable with some sort of cover.
She has two teeth but luckily she hasn’t bitten me with her pearly whites but once (and hopefully that’s it). Instead of planning to wean her, I’m dreading stopping. I’m more than half way to my year goal and for the first time I’m thinking I don’t have a problem extending breastfeeding. I don’t plan to keep pumping after a year but the bond we get through breastfeeding when I get home is irreplaceable.
I’m not sure I can say things would have been as successful as they’ve been had I not been blogging here for Bravado’s Breastfeeding Diaries. You know how they say when you make a goal you should share it? Well sharing my goal with all of you really made me think about breastfeeding more, and the more I thought about it, the more I fell in love.
Reading the diaries of the other Bravado bloggers made me realize I’m not alone. I laughed and cried with them, and sent and received virtual hugs through my computer to theirs. This has made me realize how important breastfeeding support is.
Over the months I’ve used fenugreek, lots of water, eaten tons of oatmeal, and power pumped. But my biggest help to keep me going was support. Support from my husband who would bring her to me in the middle of the night. Support from my friends who have been there and done that. Support from the women I met at Le Leche League, and online support, where people like you have left words of encouragement for me, and good advice.
As I graduate on from the Breastfeeding Diaries I want to offer the same support to other women who are starting where I was eight months ago. Women who may not be sure if they even want to breastfeed, or for how long. I want to tell her it can be done, and cheer her on. Because I truly believe if I can do it, you can too.
I’ll be continuing my breastfeeding journey from eight months and beyond on my personal blog at http://babymakingmachine.blogspot.com/. Feel free to follow along to see how it’s going. And if you’re ever in a breastfeeding rough patch, need a pep talk or someone to vent to, know I’m all ears and here for you. Because now it’s time to pay it forward.