Hi, everyone. I'm new on here and have a 13-month-old fabulous daughter. My husband and I are thinking about having a second, but truly one of my worst fears is reliving the agony of my attempts at breastfeeding. So I'd like some help/advice, preferably from moms who've struggled with breastfeeding before, because if you got it right the first time, more power to you, but it's probably (?) hard to relate to my story. So here goes...I was going to bf for at least a year. Period. I was bf'd for well over a year, despite my mom having a really horrible C-section with infected stitches and complications when I was born. I thought, hey, if she can do it with all those problems, then so will I. I had read all the benefits of bf'ing and there wasn't even a question in my mind. That's how it was going to be. I read books and articles, bought a nice pump for back-up, got my nursing bras and nursing pads, took a class on bf'ing, talked with moms who bf and lined up support, you get the picture. Well, my beautiful daughter had other plans. She arrived May '07 by vag. birth, issues but I've heard many worse birth stories, so I thought bf'ing would go fine. I knew that it is very normal for many women to have pain or issues for weeks, maybe even a few months when first establishing bf'ing. I was ready for that. What I was not ready for was a baby who would not suck. That's right, my baby would not suck for several months. I got her latched on (with help from lact. consultants and nurses and, unfortunately, a nipple shield). She sort of chewed on my breast in the hospital, but I didn't yet realize there was a problem. I knew until my milk came in there wouldn't be softening of the breast and that the volume she was getting was very small. I had problems getting her to latch on, but knew this was common and had confidence we could overcome that with time, patience, and help. I was educated on this. Also, the only position I could use and get her to latch at all was the football hold, often with assistance from my husband (bless him). It was very difficult to get hold her head in place with one hand and position my breast and nipple with the other, and often even when she was latched on, she would often not move her mouth at all. I had to constantly wake her up, but even when she was alert, she'd just sit there and not suck, even with my nipple positioned correctly in her mouth. So the lact. consultant taught us about using her arm as a "pump" and my husband would come and pump her arm up and down, which caused her mouth to move open and closed. I didn't have the extra hand to football hold, manage the nipple shield, move my breast/nipple into position, as well as operate the pump. Still, I kept the faith, knowing this was not going to be easy. So we went home from the hospital, happy and excited, thinking this bf'ing would work in the end. However, when my milk came in (and I do mean, came in big-time) on day 3, I realized we had a new problem. My daughter, even when everything appeared as it should, did not suck. When her mouth was moving up and down, even when latch was perfect and everything as it should be, my husband operating her little arm as a pump, her mouth moving in a biting, up and down motion. No pull-back feeling, no actually sucking. Despite being a dumb first-timer, I knew that if I couldn't feel her suck and my breast was still hard as a rock after 1 1/2 hours of this, something was wrong. I knew she wasn't getting enough, if anything. But I also knew she could probably get better at this with time, and that there were supplemental nursing systems to keep me from having to give her a bottle and ruin it all. Well, I really wanted to preserve milk supply and knew if she wasn't getting milk out, my supply would dwindle. So from the very first time my milk came in on day 3, I pumped fully empty on both sides after she had a chance to eat. And I made tons of milk. I got 5 1/2 ounces after she ate the very fist time I pumped 3 days postpartum. Supply was never a problem. We went to the pediatrician within a day or so after that, and they had me weigh her, feed her, and then weigh her again. She ate about one ounce. They became worried about her weight as well, as she had lost over 10% of her birth weight. And I fed her almost constantly. Approx. 12-14 times a day, for as long as 1 1/2 hours at a time. And EVERY SINGLE TIME she ate, I pumped fully afterward and froze the milk. Well, I knew she would have to catch on to this bf'ing soon so she could gain weight. We went to bf support group a day or 2 later and we did the weigh, eat, weight again and she ate about 1/2 ounce in that time. Something had to be done to get some milk into her. I spoke with the lact. consultant at the group and she gave me a syringe feeder and told me to place it under the nipple shield (my daughter NEVER latched without that shield; washing it 14 times a day became a nightmare in its own right). I sobbed throughout the lact. group meeting because it was full of moms with 6 month old babies who bf beautifully and I felt horrible that it wasn't working. My daughter was 5 days old and dropping weight fast. So we went home, this time with the syringe feeder (one more thing to wash 14 times a day, but I was NOT giving up). We would bf for a year come h@ll or high water. Well, what the lact. consultant didn't tell me is that for a nipple shield to work properly, it has to be sort of suctioned to the breast, so it really can't be used with a syringe feeder, as the tubing on the feeder breaks the suction. So that night, again my daughter fought latching on and cried like crazy but this was par for the course and a hurdle we could get over. She continued to not suck but the sort of bite/chew up down up down. No suck (try chewing up down on a straw and see if you get anything). Well with the syringe feeder/nipple shield combo., the shield would not stay on and the feeder leaked my precious hard-won, pumped breast milk and I just lost it (remember, too, that my daughter would only feed in football hold, and generally only move her mouth at all with her arm being pumped -- and now with the new equipment, even with my husband's help, things were supremely awkward). I had shed so many tears over the situation up to that point I couldn't count them. And the guilt was completely overwhelming. Why couldn't I bf? What was wrong with me? And why was I holding onto my bf dream while my daughter dropped weight and I had tons of pumped milk in the freezer? At that point I decided I was being selfish and broke down and gave my daughter my pumped milk in a bottle. Which of course caused a whirlwind of new guilt, because now I had given her the dreaded bottle nipple and ruined bf forever. I cried. And cried. And cried. And I'm sobbing about it writing this now, a year + later. Well, with the bottle, too, things were still very difficult. The very first bottle of my milk I gave her was through a nipple made to simulate the breast.