My first experience breastfeeding was short-lived, due to a breast milk shortage and postpartum depression. But when I was trying to nurse, you bet your ass I was giving it my all. Sure, I didn't know what the hell I was doing, and I was afraid I was doing it wrong, but I wanted to do the one thing I was told I "had to do" as a new mom. I think that's why I spent so much of my time afraid, and why there were things I was actually terrified to ask for while breastfeeding. Looking back, I wish I had spoken up and voiced my needs and cared less about what people may or may not have thought about me needing help. Who knows, maybe that would have made the difference between continuing to breastfeed and switching to formula.
Admittedly, I was pretty excited to go on a breastfeeding journey with my daughter. After everything I'd heard about nursing from friends and family, I had such high hopes about the entire situation. I just knew I was going to experience the similar bond my friends were enjoying with their babies. I mean, when they breastfed they made it look so easy; so effortless; so inevitable. So you can imagine how deceived I felt when I tried, and tried, and tried some more, only to feel like a new-mom failure.
I kept at the breastfeeding thing for as long as I could and despite the disappointing, daily results, but it only took a few weeks of pain and depression to realize that I had to let it go and start using formula. I couldn't seem to get it right, and I felt so alone and isolated in my efforts. Sure, my partner understood when I started pumping, but there's a lot of things I should've asked for well before my breastfeeding journey came to an end. Things like, well, this: