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Updating this for [livejournal.com profile] adopt_a_momapplication.

7/25/06
Alex was born 5/2 via c-section after 24 hours of labor and many drugs. He latched in the recovery room and a couple times the next day but refused after that. The hospital LC hooked me up with formula and an SNS. I was exhausted enough and scared enough that I figured LC = good advice. We got home on 5/4 and my milk came in the following day. I got fully engorged and he refused to latch even with the SNS. I went out that day and bought a pump and feed him EBM via bottles thinking that EBM is better than formula and it wouldn't be that hard to get him back to the breast with a little work. I continued to offer the breast, we had lots of skin to skin contact, he continued to refuse. I went to an LLL meeting, got some more tips and he began latching occasionally. This entire time I am pumping 6-7 times a day and offer the breast first at each feeding. 

I don't think I really ever stopped to think how hard it would be to transition him from a bottle to a breast.  I simply wasn't as knowledegable as I thought I was at the time. I was so frustrated and things not going as planned.  I was so tired from the whole birthing experience.  I was also so scared of my son not having enough to eat that I did the first thing I could think of.

Around 6 weeks he started latching about 30% of the time. We just kept practicing. Around 9 weeks he got the hang of side lying nursing, life became better because I was getting more sleep. I should mention he has also had a nasty bout of colic, thrush and I have had to eliminate soy and dairy from my diet.

He is 12 weeks old today and we are celebrating a week of being bottle free when he and I are together.

At 10 weeks 5 days, he was 24.5 inches and 11 lbs 13 oz up from 21.5 and 7 lb 10 oz at birth. Its been a very long journey, one I naively thought I would be exempted from. Thank you everyone in this community for all the advice, encouragement and support. If I hadn't gotten the information and become a "boob-nazi", I surely would have given up long ago.

9/28/06
Its been 2 months since I wrote the information above. Alex is still 100% breastfed despite recommendations from his doctor and our friends that he be starting solids by now. I have gone back to work since then, working full time. I also cannot remember the last time I held a bottle to feed my son. At his 4 month checkup, he weighed 13lbs 8oz and measured in at 26.5 inches long. It is amazing to me that I was able to nourish that growth in him.

I went back to work when Alex was 13 weeks old. I was very afraid that the stress of going back, the lack of sleep and the time away from him would diminish my supply. I made lactation cookies the weekend before I went back, stocked up on Mother's Milk tea and Fenugreek. So far I haven't had a reason to use any of those. I am able to pump before I leave in the morning and twice while I am at work. The separation is still hard for me though. I miss my son dearly while I am gone. My favorite part of the day is coming home to him and our snuggle time. When I pick him up from daycare, he rubs his face on my shirt, pats my breasts and snuffles into them. Almost like he is as happy to see them as he is to see me! Once we are home, we lay on the couch together and snuggle while he nurses. I holds my shirt in one hand and strokes my arm with his other. I hear deep sighs of contentment and get sleepy drunk baby smiles out of him the entire time. This from a child that arched his back, screamed and yelled in frustration at being offered the breast and not a bottle.

Its been almost 5 months since Alex was born. Our bond is huge and he is firmly attached to me. Like any relationship that comes to and then overcomes great hurdles, we are strong in our attachment. He is had only 2 ounces of formula and I am so proud of that fact. I am proud that I was able to overcome our difficulties, that he was able to overcome them. I got a lot of flak from my friends for pushing the issue of breastfeeding so hard. I used a lot of tears of frustration on our latch issues. Yet, I wouldn't change it for the world. Not for one second. I think because of the issues we have had, my breastfeeding relationship with Alex is that much more important to me. We had to work hard to get where we are and I won't let anything stand in the way of it flourishing.

When I found out I was pregnant, I knew I wanted to breastfed although I also thought "If it doesn't work out, formula is fine too". Then I started doing some research and decided that I would do it for the first 3 months. Then it became 6 months. I was paired with an [livejournal.com profile] adopt_a_mommentor and my goal became a year. Now after having my son, learning more about the amazing effects of breastmilk, Alex will get to determine the length of our breastfeeding relationship. This relationship is for him, his health and our bond. I think that he should be the one to say "when" on the length of it.

2/1/07
Alex will be 9 months old tomorrow.  It has gone by way too fast.  He is a 100% breastfeed happy baby.  He loves to nurse.  It is our bonding time together when I get home from work.  Its a fast way to pick up where we left of in the morning.  He started on solids around 6 months and loves them.  So far the only thing he has full out rejected is peas.  He loves mashed potatoes, pears and sweet potatoes.  He loves table food and enjoys eating in general.  I have been bleesed with my son. 

The nursing relationship I have with him is one I will always cherish.  Granted it started out hard but it has been so worth it.  All the struggles we went through in the early months paid off and he and I are bonded even more so because of it.  My desire to nurse until he self weans is as fierce as ever. I cannot imagine how hard it will be for me when he is done.

5/11/07
Its been an amazing year.  It went by way too fast.   In hidsight,  my original short term goals of making it to 6 months and then a year are amusing to me now.  I cannot imagine denying my son breastmilk.  As long as he chooses to nurse, I am commited to doing so.  

Alex us a child that my body grew and then bore and has now nourished his entire life.  He does enjoy table food but it has been a huge source of bonding for us to be able to nurse at bedtime.  It is rare that our evenings end with him falling asleep any other way. 

I could never have gotten this far without the support of the breastfeeding communities, LLL meetings and friends.

7/28/07
Its been almost 15 months and we are still going strong.  Alex has yet to have cows milk and I am grateful my supply has maintained his thirst, albeit with a little help from Domperidone.  I am so grateful I persisted through those hard first few months.  They were all worth it for one nursing session now. 

2/4/08
Its been 21 months and Alex is showing no sign of losing interest in his NumNums.  He still nurses before bed and naps and usually once or twice a night.  I am so thankful we got cosleeping and sidelying nursing down.  I am sure it has saved me countless hours of sleep by now.  My little baby is turning into a little boy and I am in awe that my body nutured his so wholly.  

6/4/08
It is amazing to me that 2 years ago, I was going to my first LLL meeting.  I was a scared, uninformed, frustrated mom. And yet, look at us now!  Alex is still nursing, most of the time its only for a few minutes before bed and nap, I know in my heart this is out of comfort more than anything.

He and I are so bonded, so attached and he is so comfortable with me.  I love that aspect that breastfeeding has given us. Somedays I feel touched out, tired of nursing, wondering if he will ever stop.  I have to remind myself on those days that I will soon look back and wonder where the time went, how he got so old and miss the days we have now.

3/12/09
Alex has definitely weaned.  Its been a good 6 weeks since he has asked to nurse.  He refers to them as being for babies and he is a "big boy".  I am relieved that we are done, sad to lose the nursing relationship and yet proud of what we accomplished.  He had well over 2 years worth of breastmilk longer than my initial goal.  I have confidence in myself because I stuck it out and pride for the fact that we did it.  Through all the struggles and heartache, we succeeded

(no subject)

Date: 2006-09-28 01:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gurgi.livejournal.com
Just don't become that mother/son duo from Little Britian... :)

(no subject)

Date: 2006-09-28 01:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] said-by-me.livejournal.com
? I have no idea what you are talking about

(no subject)

Date: 2006-09-28 01:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] gurgi.livejournal.com
It's a British sketch-comedy show... One of the bits is a son of about mid-30's, his fiance, and the guy's parents...

Miidle of a conversation, he'll look at his mother and go "Biddy...", and will say it repeatedly and louder each time until she breastfeeds him...

Don't be that, and I don't think breast feeding a lil longer is any issue... :)

(no subject)

Date: 2006-09-28 02:45 pm (UTC)

(no subject)

Date: 2006-09-28 02:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chatongris.livejournal.com
i think it looks good and you will be a great mentor :)

(no subject)

Date: 2006-09-28 02:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chatongris.livejournal.com
ps. you wrote the first one on my bday :P

(no subject)

Date: 2006-09-28 08:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] running5k2day.livejournal.com
Shannon~you def. have experienced some up's and downs and can share much of that to newbies. You can be their rock when times get rough during troubles. You've come so far with your little guy. I'm so glad that you did stick to your guns on breastfeeding. So many are easily convinced by parents, family and friends that it's just much easier to just give them formula. I hope that you can breastfeed Alex for as long as you can, and for as long as he wants it.

(no subject)

Date: 2006-09-28 11:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] applesauce55.livejournal.com
Amazing!! Major kudos to you and your precious boy!

(no subject)

Date: 2007-02-01 06:54 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] diamondroses.livejournal.com
This was really amazing to read. I commend you for never giving up and pushing on to do what you knew was best for your son.

I'm going to add you if you don't mind :)

(no subject)

Date: 2007-02-01 07:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] said-by-me.livejournal.com
thanks! I need to write more on that entry too! We've made 9 months (well on Friday) and I want at least 9 more!

(no subject)

Date: 2007-02-01 09:30 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] diamondroses.livejournal.com
I can't wait to start breastfeeding my daughter (although she's got to come out first!). Knowing that only you can provide your child with that nourishment must be such an incredible feeling!

(no subject)

Date: 2007-02-02 06:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] popchex.livejournal.com
Congrats! You have done an awesome job. I cherish feeding Ben too - he won't let me hold him much anymore - too much to see and roll to. lol

And what is it with peas? Ben hates them too. hah
How do you do the pears? I want to try them out next week when we get back. Do you steam them same as veggies? Or just blend them raw?

(no subject)

Date: 2007-02-02 02:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] iguthrie.livejournal.com
Great job for going for 9 months! Eddie will be 9 months tomorrow (and also 100% breastfed :), I can't believe it. Where did the time go? I've been planning to write down a nursing story since he was about 4 months old, but just never got around to it.
Your story has many similarities to mine :) Glad that everything worked out for you guys!
I'm going to add you to my FL, if that's OK :)

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-13 04:07 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nemawei.livejournal.com
Thanks for sharing your story! You've done an amazing job. I liked the realization that you wouldn't wean him on your schedule, but would let him self-wean. I just started thinking about that. Like you, my original "goal" was 3 months. After reading a few books on breastfeeding (while I was pregnant) I changed it to 6 months. Now that Ella is here, I can't imagine not letting her nurse if she wanted to.

On a side note, we visited family today so they could meet Ella. (She's 5 weeks old and has not met that many people yet). I had two different relatives ask me when I was going to start giving her solids. SOLIDS? SHE'S 5 WEEKS OLD! ARE YOU KIDDING? I don't know where they got their information from but one of them said I should give her Cream of Wheat before bed and she will sleep through the night in no time. I guess they weren't paying attention when I said that she sleeps two 4 hours stints and it's not bad at all. Give Cream of Wheat to a 5 week old baby? Umm, no. Breastmilk seems to be doing her just fine...since birth she's gained 2.3 pounds and grown an inch and half.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-04-13 05:16 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] said-by-me.livejournal.com
Wow at 5 weeks old? I can only imagine this whole pressure to give solids will intesify by the time she is 4 months old.

(no subject)

Date: 2008-07-02 06:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jstrapz.livejournal.com
What a cute child!
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