When my first son was born, I knew I was going to breastfeed him. I was lucky because it came very easy to both of us. We were happily nursing and then I got a HUGE surprise when I found out I was pregnant again when he was just 7 months old. I guess my milk must have changed or dry up because he abruptly weaned himself just a couple of months later.
My second son was born just 15.5 months after my first and I was ready to start another breastfeeding relationship. Once again, he took to it immediately with no problems at all. He LOVED nursing and continued into toddlerhood.
When my third son was born, I had assumed that it would be easy again and we would have no problems. As I learned, that was not the case. Camden didn't have any problems with latching and appeared to be nursing like a champ, but when he was just a couple months old, he stopped gaining weight. I tried to nurse him even more, but nothing seemed to be helping. After several trips to the pediatrician and even a hospitalization, it was decided that my milk somehow wasn't enough for him and I had to supplement him with formula at every feeding. I was devastated. I couldn't understand what I was doing wrong. Why had my body suddenly failed me and failed my sweet baby?? I couldn't help but feel kind of ripped off and incredibly frustrated because it just didn't make any sense that suddenly with my third baby my milk was somehow not sufficient for him. I was sad, but I was determined! I continued to nurse him in addition to feeding him formula at every feeding until he was 10 months old and started to refuse the breast. It was a labor of love and I'm sure people thought I was crazy for even bothering to nurse him, but it was important to me and I am so glad I did it.
When I was pregnant with my 4th son, I was terrified of repeating what had happened with Camden. I spent so many hours worrying about it and researching steps I could take to establish and maintain a healthy milk supply for him. Griffin was born and I was so happy that he immediately latched on and had no apparent issues. But I could not shake the feeling that the day would come when he would stop gaining weight, I really did not want this to fail! I did everything I could think of to facilitate our breastfeeding relationship and an abundant milk supply for him. We nursed on demand, we co slept and nursed multiple times at night. I very rarely left him or had him take a bottle of expressed milk from anyone else. I refused to diet or even start exercising too soon because I absolutely would not jeopardize my milk supply. I pumped in the mornings every day for months (and was actually able to donate a LOT of milk to other mamas in need, which was amazing for me because I had actually never really responded to a pump with any of the other boys. I was so happy to be able to help other babies and mothers who were struggling for whatever reason to breastfeed because I absolutely knew how they felt.) I am happy to report that Griffin is now 17 months old and still nursing like a champ with no signs of stopping. It took me a very long time to be able to shake the feeling that maybe something was going to happen to suddenly end our breastfeeding journey. I am so grateful for this experience with all of my babies and especially with Griffin.