Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda...

This week's Breastfeeding Blog Hop topic is Breastfeeding Guilt.

Breastfeeding and guilt. I don't know of a mom who breastfed that doesn't have some guilt about it. My guilt is from the first few days of E's life. We didn't have a smooth start to our nursing relationship. It was filled with issues that should have been apparent to me, even as a first time mom.

Long story short, E was very dehydrated due to latch issues not being diagnosed. He had brick dust in his diaper, was sleeping a lot, and barely having any soiled diapers. He lost almost a pound after birth. The hospital LC was not helpful and it was almost 4 days before we realized something was wrong. He probably should have gone to the hospital. We had a newborn photo session shortly before Christmas when he was about 2 weeks old. I can't even look at those pictures because they take me back to that time and he looks so tiny and thin. I feel sick to my stomach when I think that I could have done something to hurt my sweet baby. In fact, I'm pretty nauseous as I write this because of the feelings that are being dredged up.

So yeah, I have a lot of guilt regarding the start of our breastfeeding adventure together. We've obviously come past it and are still nursing 16 months later. He is a happy, healthy toddler who consistently hits his developmental milestones, but is a little on the thin side. His 15 month well child pediatrician visit was earlier today and his weight has come up about 2 pounds in 3 months. He is low on the percentile chart (I don't believe the pediatrician uses WHO growth charts for breastfed babies), but he is doing great on his own little curve that was plotted for us. The doctor doesn't seem concerned as long as he stays on his curve. I think I'll always be a little concerned. As I told the doctor earlier today, I'm his mother. He can be 30 years old and weigh 200 pounds, and I would still be worried about his weight.

The Certified Lactation Educator class I'm taking is teaching me so much that will carry over to subsequent pregnancies and breastfeeding future babies. When #2 comes around, I'll know to really monitor those wet and soiled diapers during the first days of life. I'll know that a baby should not go more than a few hours without eating. All I can do is learn from my experience, right?