With Addison I had an extremely difficult time right from birth.
First off, hours had gone by before I tried nursing her after she was born. At that point, she would latch, but not well. We spent two nights in the hospital awake every hour with her wanting to nurse. I watched the clock spin. I was exhausted. When it was time to go home the nurse said we had not documented if she peed and we would have to wait until she did. Hours went by, nothing. It was frustrating. We were packed and ready. The nurse then proceeded to push formula our way so she may pee sooner. At home we were still up all nights, and she nursed around the clock. She wasn't getting enough. I would break down and give her formula here and there. It was an extremely tough three weeks. She never slept and was never content for very long. I tried pumping, I tried just letting her nurse for HOURS- one night I was so hell bent I stayed up with her on me for 6 hours straight. I did not want to give up so quickly. I had set a short three month goal and I wanted to make it there. But nothing was working. I went to my post check up and cried to my doctor. At this point I was honestly leading into a depressed state. I felt like a failure. He advised me that Addison needed a happy mommy, and THAT was most important. Soon after I fully switched her to formula. Still it wasn't smooth sailing- she fought bottles, we went through 6 different formulas, and she was colic. But I was able to handle it a little better- because I at least knew she was well fed and I wasn't exhausting my body trying to feed her. If that makes sense.
Before Harper was born I had a plan. I wanted to nurse as soon as she was cleaned up and handed to me. And I wanted everyone to wait to meet her until she was finished. I knew I needed that time with her. I also said I was NOT going to give myself a hard time if it wasn't working like I did with Addison. I did just this. I told the nurse during labor about my wishes. When she handed me Harper she told my few family members there politely to leave the room. She helped with the first latching. It. was. awesome. Harper latched perfectly. She would nurse every three hours and sleep in between! I was in Heaven. I actually got some sleep!
In the beginning I constantly counted the weeks and days I had left to get to 6 months. But around 9 weeks I finally felt normal! Meaning, my boobs never hurt anymore, I didn't get those hard uncomfortable lumps, everything seemed to even out... I also think (now) I'll be a little sad when we are done! Never thought I would have that feeling.
So there it is. My experiences so far. Maybe this could help someone try again if they had a hard time with the first, or help someone relate to the struggles. Although we all have been drilled that 'breast is best', I hate the pressure that is put on new moms. I truly feel that a happy mom and baby is best. And if it doesn't work for one reason or another, don't be so hard on yourself. They will be just fine!
Thankfully, society is slowing opening up to normalizing breastfeeding. The more support and knowledge every mom has, the more likely she is to at least give it a good chance!