I am so happy and thankful that I, not only, get to acknowledge breastfeeding holidays, but now I actually also get to participate.
I formula fed my first to to lack of knowledge and pressure from the hospital nurses not to "starve" my baby. My heart hurt for so long and I felt so much guilt for giving up so easily and formula feeding my son.
Before I even got pregnant for the second time, I knew I was going to make breastfeeding happen unless I was given IMPOSSIBLE circumstances. I even bought a pump before I got pregnant because I learned that if you can't breastfeed, you may be able to exclusively pump.
My second son was born and I was in excruciating pain. I couldn't breastfeed. It hurt so bad. I was blistered and chapped after the first 24 hours. The second night I had 30 minutes of sleep in two 15-minute intervals. I couldn't continue like this.
My back-up system was ready. I have my pump and a couple of bottles that came with it. I even had a few bottles left from my first-born. I pumped through the pain. It was still hard, but I wasn't giving up. I continued to put him to the breast 1-4 times a day and it still hurt so bad. My nipples were taking forever to heal.
After about five weeks of pumping and healing, I decided this was it. Make it or break it. This is GOING to happen. I decided to switch the process around. Instead of having him to the breast 1-4 times a day, I would be on the pump 1-4 times a day.
The first time my son had a good latch, my husband was sitting the rocking chair in the corner of the room while the baby and I were on the bed. I looked at him and said, "We did it! He latched!" and I began to cry. I was so happy. After everything we'd been through, it was worth it to have this moment.
Beyond that point, the baby still had some trouble latching, but I knew it wasn't impossible, and he was learning and we were getting better. After about a week of weaning off of the pump and onto the baby, we did it. We finally made it! We met our goal! We arrived at our destination. He was exclusively breastfeeding!
What used to hurt and make me jealous now brings me joy. I can participate in International Day To Normalize Breastfeeding and World Breastfeeding Week. I can participate in Latch Ons and so on. It really makes me happy.