I'm always curious about other people's stories. I don't know any EPers IRL, just me. I love that there are so many others out there.
For me, it was a couple things. The main thing being that Alyssa had a poor latch, or when she did latch, she didn't have a good suck. She was either killing my nipples or she was flutter sucking which tickled in a really uncomfortable way. She also was lazy when it came to eating. She would lay there w/ my nipple in her mouth and just not suck. Or she would, but she get frustrated with the fact that she had to work for her milk. And then she would start screaming. (And my milk also came in on day 7!! So I don't think Alyssa was getting much of anything, which I am sure contributed to her unhappiness)
I felt like SUCH a huge failure. I cried a lot. I was so upset. I knew bfing wasn't easy but I also didn't think it was hell on earth, either. Before I even left the hospital (I had a c-section, so I was there five days), I was introduced to the pump. Prior to being pregnant, I had no clue what a pump even was. Had heard of it but paid no mind. This seemed like the solution. I knew I would keep trying and trying to nurse, which I did for two weeks, but I finally decided I couldn't stand seeing my daughter hungry anymore. When she would get the bottle, she would gobble the milk down like it was going to be her last. That broke my heart to see. So I started pumping as much as I needed to and resolved within myself that if this was how my child was going to get my milk, so be it. My goal was October. I'm still pumping. I have a ginormous amount of frozen in a deep freeze.
Interestingly enough, when Alyssa was about a month old, she was screaming for her bottle. We were warming it up and my husband suggested, just to see, trying to get her to latch. She latched perfectly and ate for 45 minutes from one side, and 30 minutes from the other. I couldn't believe it. I was in tears from happiness. My daughter was nursing. Amazing.
I continued to pump so I wouldn't mess things up but I also kept nursing her. I ended up with clogged ducts, a feeling of still being full after she ate, and a sense of doubt with regard to how much she'd eaten and when she would need or want to eat next. After about a week, I decided that pumping was what had become how I feed my daughter, I'd made my peace with it, and I should stick with it. I do not regret my decision.
Will I try to nurse a second child, should we have one? Absolutely. Will I fall back on pumping if I have to? Sigh. Probably. But it's hard and it's time consuming and frankly, it's not fun.
But hey, that twenty minutes, several times a day, I was doing, gave me lots of time to read!! I've read more in the last 8 months that I have in the last two years!!