Breasts, pumping, truck drivers and bitten.

smp-8530Not so much traveling RV related but completely mommy blogger worthy. I received an email that my “successful” breastfeeding story is going to be published in a book! Not sure on all the exact details as to when the book will be released but it should be out in a few months. The book is a resource for moms looking for an online community for support. When I struggled with breastfeeding my daughter, I turned to the online community, friends and Le Leche League.

Sneak peek below…

As I sit here, with a glass of wine and write my “successful” breastfeeding story, I can only hope that I am not alone when I tell my story. One hand is typing while the other hand is on my right breast, trying to stop the bleeding. See…..I have a daughter who is considered a “biter.” She has been biting my poor nipples since she was 4 months old. Maybe other moms would have stopped after the first couple of times, however I am determined to continue as long as she needs mommy’s milk. We usually have two weeks of a blissful breastfeeding relationship and then as soon as she starts cutting teeth, she is back to biting. See I didn’t know it was going to be this hard, always thought it would come natural to me, just as natural as holding my daughter. Lets start from the beginning….

My background of breastfeeding before having my daughter was limited. I grew up knowing my younger brother was breastfed, however I found out, while pregnant, that I was also breastfed. I do not remember growing up around nursing, heck I don’t even remember my mother talking about it either. My mother breastfed me until I was 9 months old and my brother until he was 14 months old. Her only resource was her older sister who was always doing the “hippie” thing in the 1970s. My mother has said that if it weren’t for her sister, she would have never breastfed, she had a positive role model for nursing.

Fast forward 30 years and here I am pregnant and I have no idea where to start “learning” how to breastfeed. So I went to the internet….starting with the only thing I had ever heard of “what to expect while expecting” website and then turned to babycenter.com. After reading a few forums on these websites, I knew this was not the type of parenting
resources I was going to rely on.

During my pregnancy I started to subscribe to various gentle parenting groups, pro breastfeeding facebook groups, looking for new moms on meetup.com and signed up for a new mom Le Leche League breastfeeding class. I always knew that I was going to breastfeed, I honestly never thought of the alternative.( I understand that this line of thinking might have set me up for failure in the beginning, if we had not had such a great start)

The first thing I knew that would help me with a successful breastfeeding relationship was to have an all natural, drug free birth. After all the research I done online, to me, this was the first step in successful breastfeeding. I gave birth at a hospital with an OBGYN who also had a drug free birth and nursed her children into the self weaning ages. This is the whole reason why I chose her as an OBGYN. I had some other high risks health issues during my pregnancy that made sense to give birth in a hospital. I had the birth that I wanted and no real complications. My daughter was given to me immediately for skin to skin contact and I nursed her with 15 minutes of her birth. During my stay at the hospital, I never put her down, she was held every moment by me, she slept in my arms and I basically kept her at my breast at all times. She used me to pacify the time, not a pacifier. I requested a lactation consultant at the hospital and she taught me a few new positions, such as the football hold, my daughter was congested and this helped her nurse better.

Early on, I had an easy breastfeeding relationship with my daughter, but like any relationship you have many highs and lows. I turned to my online groups right before I went back to work after being off for 10 weeks. Like many mothers returning to work your anxiety level is so high. I was obsessed with building up a stash before I returned to work. I found everything from “how to store breastmilk” videos on youtube, online checklists for returning to work and an evening LLL league meeting for working moms. I am a full time working mom whose work situation is a little different, in that fact that I am in sales and my “office” is my car. So returning to work was twofold for me; learning how to pump and pumping on the road in my car. Once again I turned to online groups and resources to try and come up with a mobile pumping system.

After a year plus of pumping on the road, I only had a few incidents that made me break down and start crying. I will always tell this story of the day I was parked at a gas station in the middle of No Where, Texas. I pulled into the back corner of the gas station to set up to pump, much like any other day. I was about an hour overdue to pump, so I was quite engorged and leaking. I still had one more appointment left for the day but had to take a break to pump. I set everything up on the pump, got all situated, and thats when the motor on my pump quit working. I looked at my boobs, and thought “well I guess I am doing this manually”. I pulled the right one out, started manual breast compressions and right than a truck driver walks up to my car. He pulled back so quickly and said he was sorry with embarrassment. I never found out why he was walking up to my car, but I bet I gave him a sight full!

All the places I have pumped while on the road: Gas stations, airports, carwashes, many of my customers’ companies mothers rooms, car, parks, grocery store, courthouse and pumping while driving(while I never wanted to do this, it did happen a few times) pumpingwhiledriving should have been my blog name!

My advice to all new moms is have a drug free birth, skin to skin contact as soon as baby is born, put baby to your breast in the first 15 minutes of birth and feed on demand. Heck, let that baby have the breast all day for the first couple of days/week. I never removed my daughter from my breast and I really believe that is why I never had supply issues.

The biting is what has been the worst part of nursing and I have tried everything I can find online to stop the biting and am still trying new ideas that I receive from the online support groups. Every time she bites and draws blood, I think of weaning. My new research lately has been how to wean my daughter. Still just researching, not sure if we are ready to stop.

Connecting online with other mothers who are going through the exact same thing you are going through helps tremendously. I feel like online moms are way more honest with what is going on with their children. Often times you get a group of mothers together for a playdate and they tend to over exaggerate how well things are going with their children. Online mom groups tend to be more real and they usually seek out the group for some type of support.

My daughter is now 17 months old and our breastfeeding relationship is still strong. I promise to stop saying how old she is in months when she turns 2! I never thought I would be breastfeeding a toddler, but than again I never thought I would be co-sleeping, cloth diapering, drug-free birth or baby wear. I have no end date in sight, I will let my daughter choose that and instead sit back and relax with these good reasons for nursing a toddler.

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4 thoughts on “Breasts, pumping, truck drivers and bitten.

  1. Andrea says:

    Congrats! On having your story published. I wish more new mamas were told that breast feeding will be challenging and to seek a “tribe” for support either in person or virtual. I too will be nursing my toddler until he is ready to be done. He’ll be two in just a few months 🙂

  2. Michelle says:

    Yay, Monica! I nursed Cole for 2 years, and am so glad I did, even though it was a huge pain to pump all the time (at the office, in the car, in the middle of the night :). I’m so glad I saw your blog. It’s awesome! Miss you guys!

    • roadmaptonomad says:

      Congrats Michelle on nursing for 2 years all while working. I do have to admit that I am getting to a point where I would like to night wean. She will be 2 in October and maybe that is in our future. Thanks for reading the blog and when we get back to Austin we should hang out!

      • Michelle says:

        The bedtime feeding was the hardest to stop for us! 🙂 Yes, definitely, let’s get together! Cole loves younger women.

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