Rachel - posted on 02/09/2011 ( 8 moms have responded )
My husband is currently deployed to Afghanistan for 6 months. I'm happy that he is coming home soon, but I'm afraid my world is going to be a tumbled mess then. So I should start at the beginning...
My mom is a midwife. She is amazing! I have been apprenticing with her and love the opportunity to share such a beautiful thing with these new moms. My mom breastfed my sisters and I. My husbands mom breastfed all of her kids. Including my husband...
So while I was pregnant, my husband and I had a few fights about breastfeeding. He has a daughter from a previous relationship and feels like he missed out on so many things with her. I get that. He says that the mother gets the baby the first 9 months (in the womb), so the father should get the baby the next 9 months (from 0 to 9 months). I disagree. I believe a baby needs its' mother for those months, and way beyond. So back to the breastfeeding issues. We fought a few times before our baby was born, about bonding, feeding, loving our baby. I believe that God made our bodies to make milk so we could feed and nurture our babies. I believe that every woman who is able to should breastfeed.
After our babe was born, she had trouble latching on. She came out a bit crooked, so nursing hurt her. We took her to get adjusted at the chiropractor and that helped IMMENSELY. After that, she still had trouble latching on. My milk supply dropped. She was sleepy. My husband was not very supportive. She started losing weight. I started getting depressed. I just zoned out. I sat most days with a barely nursing baby, staring out the window while my husband worked on his computer. He who wanted so badly to bond with this beautiful baby just ignored us. Thinking back on it now still makes me cry. I needed him. I needed him to say "Yes, you can do this." I found out recently that he was giving bottles while I was still sleeping. I felt like I was a failure. I could make enough milk. And he asked why I blamed him for everything going wrong.
So we struggled through supplementing, which made my supply dip lower, pumping, etc. We moved a few months after our babe was born, which added more stress on the situation. We fought, we gave each other the silent treatment, but we kept on trying to nurse. Bottles of the supplement, as well as my pumped milk only made things worse.
After a while... it got better. I pumped, she nursed, my supply started coming back up. She gained weight again. We stopped supplementing.
So last August, we got the news that my husband, who is with the Air National Guard, was going to be going to Afghanistan for 6 months. And I was relieved. Slightly happy, even. My baby would be mine. I could nurse her all I wanted and know that everyone around me actually supported what I was doing.
He left, after training, the first part of November. He will be home in May.
Even though we have talked about everything, I don't know what will happen when he gets home. Will he be ok with us nursing? How should I respond if he's not? How do I explain how important this is to me? I love my baby. I love breastfeeding. I am happy not to share her, or be the one shared.
I love my husband and will be glad to have him home. And I know he loves us and wants us to be happy. I don't know what to do. I don't want to keep talking about this, but it feels unresolved still. And I don't know how things will be when my husband gets home. I WILL keep nursing my baby. Until SHE is ready to stop.