What's your story?

A reader of mine shared this on her blog and was kind enough to let me share it on here. I should have shared it awhile ago, but you know how life is. It gets busy.

These are her words:

The past few days has brought some attention to a particular interview with new mother, known for her modelling career. (She also has a shoe range, used to date Leo Di Caprio and her name rhymes withFisele Fundchen)

You can find the article on the net but one part I read was she only breastfed for 3 weeks and thought she perhaps could have pursued it a bit longer. Hmm... well, why didn't you?

Anyway, these are my personal thoughts and experiences with breastfeeding. I have been wanting to share them and now seems like the perfect time.

My own mother did not breastfeed me. She tried for two weeks and had issues so switched to the bottle. My younger sibling was bottle fed from the start.
My maternal grandmother did not breastfeed her five children.
I don't recall anyone in my extended family or acquaintances breastfeeding or talking about it openly.
I was told that my aunty breastfed her three children, so I went to her for help two weeks after I had started breastfeeding my first child. 
I had a very painful experience... I almost quit on several occasions.

During my pregnancy I knew I wanted to breastfeed. I made that decision because I believe it is the best thing for my children. I was under the assumption that it was a natural, beautiful thing to do.... I don't recall anyone mentioning anything about pain or learning how to breastfeed... I thought it just happened. 

I mean c'mon, all you hear about is how painful labour and childbirth is.... geez, that is nothing compared to learning how to breastfeed! At least you know the labour will end.... this breastfeeding thing can be painful for weeks!

From the start I had no idea what I was doing. Yes that was my fault for not learning. She attached incorrectly, gave me blister upon blister and I cried and curled my toes up in pain. The thought of feeding her made me cringe. I would count down the minutes to the next feed.... in fear of more pain.

The midwives in the hospital all tried to help and offer assistance but it didn't change a thing. 
Pumping was worse. The part that really hurt was the thought of failing. 
I wanted to break the cycle and actually breastfeed my daughter. It was hard not being able to go to my own mother and ask for help when I needed her. It made me sad to know that my grandmother didn't breastfeed her daughter either. I set my mind to do this and I wanted to succeed. 

It took about 2 - 3 weeks before the pain subsided and I could start to enjoy my newborn and stop feeling the pain. I am glad I pushed through it and was able to nurse her for ten months. 

Those moments were amazing. 

Now with my second daughter, I made sure I reviewed and re-learnt how to breastfeed again before she was born. This time I prayed not only for a healthy baby and a safe delivery, but for a good breastfeeding experience. From the first feed, she latched on correctly and although initially painful, I knew it was nothing compared to the first time round.

A few days ago as I was feeding, I looked down at my 5 month old and realised that all of her little life was due to me. I have been the only one keeping her alive, healthy and growing every day. It was such a satisfying moment. I felt amazing!

I want to be a positive role model for my daughters.

My two year old came to me today asking "milkies?" 
She had her toy Ducky with her. 
I thought she was referring to her sister who had just finished a feed. 

She stood holding Ducky and lifted up her top. Ducky was given a 'feed.' Then burped.

I was the proudest mother. 

We learn by watching others. 

I'm glad my daughters are watching me and learning.

I thought this was a beautiful, real experience of breastfeeding. It made me stop and examine my own "Breastfeeding Story." I'm going to post mine in a few days. Until then, I thought I'd ask...what's YOUR story? Was it easy for you to breastfeed? Was it challenging? If you stuck with it, how did you make it through? How has breastfeeding changed your life? What motivated you to breastfeed your baby?