breastfeeding: crunchy granola

About a month ago when I went to a play group with a local mom’s group, I met a mom who had a little girl a few days younger than Kellan.

She, by the way, was the only other person who had that young of a child. Everyone else was walking…I digress…

We got to talking and turns out she went 100% natural, so I automatically assumed in my head that she was a crunchy granola mom and must also be breastfeeding.

Wrong.

She quit at five weeks because it was too hard…it just wasn’t working out.

I was kind of shocked, honestly. I mean, breastfeeding IS really hard…but a few days later I learned she wasn’t a morning person and wanted to go for a stroller walk at noon (I think I mentioned this already?).

NOON.

That pretty much ended any kind of potential friendship…even though she did text me a few days later to tell me she’d have to try to get out early and meet me one day because noon was too hot.

Umm….no duh. Hello, baby heat stroke.

Anyhow, I digress, again.

I had a really hard time with breastfeeding at first. I mean REALLY HARD.

Kellan wouldn’t latch. I didn’t know how to get him to latch. I didn’t have a single clue as to what I was doing or should be doing. All I knew was that it was my job to keep him alive and how could I do that when he wasn’t latching???

(insert crying, blubbering, hormonal meltdown)

With the help of my mom (thank God she was here the first week), I figured out that I needed to let Kellan guide me as to how he’d like to latch.

Turned out it was the exact wrong way per the Lactation Consultant at the hospital. Kellan wanted to lay flat of his back, with his head turned to my boob – and only is head.

For weeks I would have to have one hand under his head/cheek and the other holding my boob for him. Once he latched, I didn’t want to move for fear of breaking it and then having to start all over again.

Starting all over again was a long, arduous process. It would sometimes take 15 minutes or so before he figured out how to re-latch. So, breaking the latch wasn’t an option. Instead, once successful contact was made, I would sit there with him on the My Brest Friend and be uncomfortable or starving or both. It was both a lot of the time.

On too of that, my poor nipples hurt like a mother. They, obviously, were not accustomed to being utilized so frequently, and every time he *did* latch it would hurt SO BAD for a few seconds. I cringed every time, waiting on the pain…pain I knew was coming and there was nothing I could do about it but bear it.

The shower stung my nipples, too. It’s like my boobs were taking the one respite I had left and denying me relaxation. Instead of a nice, hot, ahhhhhhhh shower, my internal dialogue was more like, “Ow…ow…ow…don’t face front…ow…or sideways…owwww!”

Fortunately, that all went away after a few weeks…showers and I (me?) are BFF 4 EVAH.

Anyhow, point is, breastfeeding didn’t come naturally. In fact, it probably wouldn’t have happened at all had my mom not been there to – literally and figuratively – help me and my boob figure it all out. Before Kellan was born, I was bound and determined to breastfeed. That was 500 extra calories a day I’d burn and I’d be damned if I was missed out on that gravy train.

So, I stuck with it…through the frustration and pain and hours and hours of having a child attached to me. Tim said the other day we may as well hook up a direct line, since all Kellan wants to do right now is nurse. He’s awake? Nee! It’s time for a nap? Nee! Bedtime? Nee! Middle of the night? Nee!

Nee is the word for booby/I want to eat right now, in case you hadn’t figured the part out.

Somewhere along the breastfeeding path I decided I wanted to do so, exclusively, for six months.

Apparently, I’m in the minority when it comes to that idea. Most people throw in the bottle waaay before then…and I’m not against a bottle…we just haven’t had the need for one, yet. Others go straight from womb to formula and that’s cool if that’s your choice. Babies survive just fine on formula. That just wasn’t my choice. That wasn’t my plan.

When I make a plan, I stick to it come hell or high water, hello graduating with a four-year degree in three years.

So, I’m breastfeeding until this child hits six months…unless he gets teeth and starts to bite me. Then I’ll pump and bottle feed him. I’d like to preserve the nipplage. I haven’t asked him but I’m pretty sure Tim would prefer that, too.

After six months, we’ll start supplementing with people food (Yay! Can’t wait!). I have a feeling I’ll be in the minority with that, too, because I’m almost 100% positive I will not be starting with rice cereal or any other kind of cereal for that matter.

But more on that another day…I just got back from the pediatrician to learn that Kellan caught his first cold. He’s had gross boogers, a cough and green poo for a few days so I figured I’d rather be safe than sorry….

I feel like a bad mother…I knew it would happen eventually but, still. He has a cold! SAD FACE.

Anyhow, remind me to chat you up about the rice cereal thing and co-sleeping because I’ll probably forget otherwise and oh yes, Kellan has been sleeping next to me since birth.

I guess I’m crunchy granola like that.

I didn’t plan it that way…it just sort of happened. My mom and Tim’s mom were crunchy granola in their own way when it came to raising their children. Maybe that’s where it came from?

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13 Responses to “breastfeeding: crunchy granola”


  1. 2 hellesbelles86 May 16, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Rock on! I plan to do extended breastfeeding, cosleep, use baby-led weaning, and I’m even doing cloth diapers and I think other moms that do any of those things are awesome!! You are doing what is best for your little man and its awesome that you are.

    • 3 Jessica May 17, 2012 at 10:20 am

      Thank you!! How are you feeling, mama?

      PS: if it is hard at first, just know it’ll get easier/more rewarding soon!

      • 4 hellesbelles86 May 17, 2012 at 2:40 pm

        I’m feeling pretty good- haven’t reached the way too big stage (altho I’m nearly there) and the morning sickness is gone mostly *grins*

        I really enjoy following along with your adventures with the little man- he’s adorable and its nice to have someone who’s so open about all of everything going just before me. Thank you for that πŸ™‚

  2. 5 Shannon May 16, 2012 at 9:04 pm

    To start with, there has been a ton of talk lately on breastfeeding and attachment parenting, etc. I’m fucking sick of it personally. They all claim to say they are just stating an opinion but in fact all I hear is yelling about how perfect they are at being mothers. This is the first thing I have read where I felt the exact opposite. Well done Jessica! You are a great Mom! You just wrote how it works for you and how you have worked hard at it for you and Kellan. Not for the rest of the world. Thank you for that. I have no idea what I will choose when I have a baby yet. Bottle, breast, both. But this is the first thing I have read where I didn’t feel like whatever choice I would make I would be fucking up.

    • 6 Evelyn May 17, 2012 at 10:12 am

      According to my mohter, who had six children, the “rule” about babies is that there are no rules. Babies have their own agenda, and Mommies need to listen to their babies, not the media or other mothers, or even doctors. Jessica you keep on doing what you’re doing – it’s working.

    • 8 Jessica May 17, 2012 at 10:18 am

      Yay! Whatever choice you make will be the right choice for you. Screw what anyone else says.

  3. 9 Angelia Sims May 17, 2012 at 10:23 am

    Co-slept with Sydney the first 6 mos. Laid down with her to get her to sleep ages 3-4. I breast fed her until she was 9 mos old. I went back to work when she was 6 weeks old. That means I pumped most of the time. It was worth it. She was very healthy and now? She is grown! I did it. I raised a child that is fine. Do what YOU want. In the end, it’s about how much you love and care for them, not what THEY say or a book says. Truth.

  4. 11 Jeanette Lawrence Ghioto May 17, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    YOU are doing great! Breast fed my first til he was 12 months old – 2nd 6 months and the third 3 months (only because I had to go to work)supplemented as the pediatrician recommended mainly due to the potential for allergies and then being able to isolate the culprit… my youngest was the sickest 😦

  5. 12 ErikaMC May 18, 2012 at 11:25 am

    I guess I’m “crunchy granola” too. I said I would also breastfeed for 6 months – it’s been 9 and I still am! Now I am hoping to do it for a year. Yes, when he got his first tooth he bit a couple of time (I just pinched his cheek – he’d yell at me and then continue eating. This only lasted maybe a week.) He now has 6 teeth and hasn’t biten me since after the first tooth. I also did not start “solids” until he was 8 1/2 months old.

  6. 13 sarah May 19, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    Are you really in the minority? All the crunchy granola stuff – breastfeeding, natural birth, cloth diapering – seems to be making a MAJOR comeback.

    I plan to exclusively breastfeed my seven-week-old for at least six months. (She’s already bitten me a few times. Bah.) For me, the hardest part was standing up to all the older-generation Asian moms who constantly questioned whether I had enough milk. I don’t know if it’s a Chinese thing to assume low milk supply, but it’s NOT FACTUAL. Grr.


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