I tell you what... I'm so thankful for all I've learned over the years, and for the internet, and for my midwife...
To start off... When I was 19, I had my first daughter. I was a single mom, and I only knew one person who'd ever breastfed. There were no Lactation Consultants in the hospital, and they were shoving bottles down her mouth anyway. I was too young and ignorant, and thought I just didn't have any milk. I mean, I never even became engorged when she stopped nursing (if you want to call it that... I was supplementing from the start). Still, I'd watch programs talking about how much better breastmilk was for babies... And I'd feel guilty... (Still do, but what can you do???)
Well, I got pregnant w/#2, and knew I didn't want my birth experience to be like my first, and heck... I didn't have insurance anyway, and doctors would've been so expensive. I found an awesome midwife (CPM), and she taught me a lot about breastfeeding. That I probably was able to feed my firstborn. They helped me a lot with my 2nd daughter, and gave me tons of advice. Well, when she was 7 weeks old, my mom died... I had to travel to Houston, and I believe the stress did a number on my supply... THEN, I had to go back to work right afterward. I am NOT one of those women who can pump like a milk cow (Oh, do I wish I could). I would cry every time I had to supplement. Then I got pregnant again when she was 3 months old. CRAP. (For my supply, not for the baby...) We made it to 6 months, but she was turning the breast away. I know it's because of the bottle... *sigh*
It was a blessing, but soon after I got pregnant, I was laid off. We finally found a way for me to stay home with my baby, as that's what we wanted anyway. FF to the present, and my son is now 13.5 months old, and we're still going strong. I just wish I'd known about all of this from the start. I feel such a sense of accomplishment and pride knowing that I have (for the most part) nourished my boy, and have helped him grow into the healthy little guy that he is.
I will start working nights soon, so one less feeding, but we still have our naptime. I know I'll miss the nights that I can't nurse him to sleep (and he will go to sleep fine without, or else I wouldn't have taken the job), but I'm still proud that we've made it this far.