New Moms Series| Breastfeeding feat. Carly Gulino May 

Friends, I’m so excited about the the series this week. Last week Jen Frick shared about her hospital experience & birthing experience… a phenomenal must read. This week is all about breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is a topic all new moms, for the most part, want to know more about. As a new mom the more experiences I heard, the more normal I felt. Sometimes breastfeeding is a breeze, other times it’s very difficult. I’m so excited to introduce you to my longest and one of my closet friends, of 19 years, Carly Gulino May. 

 Hi all of you moms and moms to be! I am so excited to be a part of this ‘New Moms Series’! I love getting to encourage people, so what better way to do that then to share your story of something you went through. Ruthie asked me to share about my journey with breastfeeding and pumping. And what the journey it was! 

Ruthie Ridley blog

On August 21st, 2015 my dream to become a mom was fulfilled after 25hrs of labor with the arrival of my little girl, Sienna Haven May. My life forever changed in that moment and was met by a love that I had never known. Sienna was the perfect little baby. The post-partum nurses couldn’t believe what an angel she was. While we listened to other babies cry all night in the post-partum hall our sweet baby just slept peacefully. She made such an impact on the nurses that in the congratulations card we received in the mail from them they mentioned what an amazing temperament she had.

New moms series

I took Sienna home and was greeted with a lot of broken sleep like every mom experiences. Three days later we took her to her follow up appointment to find out that she had lost weight. That put us on a road that I was in no way prepared for. My milk wasn’t coming in and Sienna was not able to nurse. Now for those who are not moms yet maybe it doesn’t sound that horrible. I probably wouldn’t have understand the fulness of how that would feel until I was a mom. I felt like I couldn’t provide for my daughter. Why wasn’t my milk coming in? What was wrong with me? I was doing what everyone said, eat and drink a lot. My stress levels went off the charts. And all I kept hearing from people was, don’t stress because that will effect your milk supply. Ok, you tell me how I am supposed to not stress when my milk isn’t coming in, my baby is crying all the time, and she keeps loosing weight at every dr/lactation appointment I show up to. It was awful. We started on the “nurse, pump, feed back the residual to her”, routine. Seth (my husband) was doing what they call “finger feeding her”. He had a little dropper with a tube that he would tape on his finger to teach her how to latch and suck. We were doing this routine every two hours around the clock. I would nurse, when I was done I would go pump for 15mins while he would finger feed her. I know some of you reading this are saying, why not just give her formula and move on? You’re right, that is always an option, but for me, it wasn’t until we had exhausted every other option. I had a desire to nurse. I wanted that for Sienna, I wanted her to get all the health benefits that I knew were so important for her and I wanted to have that special bond with her. I know if I gave her formula that wouldn’t make me a bad mom. I don’t judge any moms who do formula. But for me, I was going to try everything I could before doing formula.

Breast feeding

Right before I was going to have to start formula a mom I had never met reached out to me and told me she had a freezer full of her breastmilk that she wanted to give to me.* Insert tears*. She gave me 550oz of milk to be able to give Sienna while I figured out why she couldn’t nurse. I was still pumping and nursing her, now using a nipple shield. (if you have ever used one you know how annoying those dang things are!) But she still couldn’t transfer enough milk, and I was barely pumping 2oz every time. I was completely exhausted emotionally and physically. By now I knew, something was not right. Sienna should be able to nurse. I should have enough milk. God created nursing, it’s a natural thing for a mom and baby to be able to do. So why can’t we?? That’s what drove me to look into what could be going on. Well meaning friends and family would tell me, “it’s okay to stop trying. You aren’t a failure. Maybe nursing just isn’t for you guys.” I knew they were just trying to help. But you see, there really is mom intuition. Listen to it. I knew that I knew something wasn’t right. She should be able to nurse and latch onto a pacifier. I needed to keep pressing in. Giving up was now not an option for me.

Thankfully I had an amazing husband in my corner who never once, no not once, said to me let’s just stop all of of this and do formula. And this was effecting him. He was up through out the night every two hours helping me. He was listening to me crying, he was my punching bag, the one I yelled at, got short with, told him I was going to quit, that I was done. Seth would wrap his arms around me, wipe away my tears and tell me that I can do this. We were going to get through this and Sienna would be nursing perfectly and put on weight.
I still remember one night I was sitting at the table pumping, Sienna was screaming her lungs out and Seth was knocking down a wall in our kitchen (yeah, he’s crazy)….and I broke. I took off the pump that was filled with barely an ounce of milk (which once you are a mom you know that breastmilk is liquid gold) threw it on the table and ran outside into the dark and began to sob. I didn’t know what to do. I would look at other moms nursing their babies with no problem and cry. I hated the nipple shield. I hated that every time I finished a nursing session with Sienna she would be screaming and I would have to offer a bottle. I HATED pumping with a passion. I walked back into the house after my sob fest outside and was thinking I would find a very angry husband who was going to tell me how out of line I was to leave the house crying like that at night, leaving him with our screaming daughter. But instead I was met by love. Seth had gotten Sienna to sleep and was sitting on the couch in the dark. He patted the couch inviting me to come sit next to him. I sat down, he wrapped his arms around me and told me how amazing I was doing. He reminded me that I am so strong. That I am such a good mom and fighting so hard for Sienna. He told me we were going to get on the other side of this and then he prayed. 
I now was on a mission to figure out what was really going on. I spent hours reading up on tongue and lip ties in babies. I began texting my friends that I knew who had babies that had had them. We decided to take Sienna to a lip and tongue tie specialist about two hours away from us and see what he said. I was trying to not get my hopes up after watching videos online of babies who were immediately able to latch after having the revision. I was preparing myself that after she had the procedure she still might not be able to latch, or it could take her some time to be able to get it.
Seth went back into the room with her to have the laser procedure done. I was so emotionally exhausted that I couldn’t bear to watch her in any sort of discomfort so I stayed in the waiting area with my nursing cover on ready to scoop her up into me the minute Seth brought her out. When they came out I immediately placed her on me to nurse and I felt something I never felt before, she latched with no nipple shield and began to nurse. There were no words. I was overwhelmed. I couldn’t believe that after 9 weeks we got to experience the bond that I so longed for. Tears ran down my face with the biggest smile ever.
Here we are at almost 14 months old and Sienna is still nursing! She hasn’t weaned at all, and honestly, I am so happy about that! We both fought so hard for this that I am just fine with still nursing her 🙂 
Nursing isn’t as easy as all we pre-moms think it is. It can be very difficult, and very emotional. But sometimes the best things in life come out of a struggle and a fight. As hard as those 9 weeks were they were met with such joy and fulfillment that we persevered. 
Now onto a fun giveaway! Ruthie and I have teamed up with Turbans for Tots! I get all of Sienna’s headbands, turbans, and I just loaded up on scarfs for her, from them! Head on over to Instagram (@carlygulinomay or @ruthieridley) to find out how you can win a $50 gift card for your little one! 

Carly blogs over at
Thank you for stopping by the blog!!

Much love, 

Ruthie xo

  • Comments ( 37 )

  • avatar

    Ugh no one told me how hard it would be but I ended up exclusively pumping for 6 months because of latch issues. Love this mommy series!

  • avatar

    Thank you for sharing your experiences.


  • avatar

    Breastfeeding is the hardest thing I’ve done. Thank you for sharing your story! Gorgeous mama and baby!!

  • avatar

    I can’t imagine how hard that would be, I’m so happy Carly was able to resolve the issue and has been able to breastfeed Sienna!

    xo Brie

  • avatar

    Such a beautiful story! Good for you for sticking to your guns and following your intuition!

  • avatar
    linda spiker

    I stuggled with my first. Once we got the hang of it all was well and the following five nursed like pros.

  • avatar
    Jessica Sheppard

    Ruthie, what an awesome series! Carly, what an amazing testimony of determination and perserverance! I’m not married and don’t have children but am so very inspired by people who don’t give up when it’s tough and WIN! You have inspired me today to keep fighting!

  • avatar

    I felt like I was reading my own story! With my firstborn, she was not able to latch and we went to lactation consultants, tried finger feeding, pumping, everything and I remember that feeling of devastation and guilt like there was something wrong with me. I was finally told about the nipple shield and then weaned her from that but by that time my supply was drying out and I never recovered. With my son, he was able to latch right away without any problems and it’s been the most rewarding experience. I’m glad you guys figured it out!

  • avatar
    Naya @ Lactivist in Louboutins

    What a fantastic series, Ruthie! I’m training to be a lactation consultant. Many of the moms I’ve met with say that they didn’t realize just how difficult breastfeeding could be. For something that’s so natural, it doesn’t come naturally to some women. Congratulations to Carly and Sienna for sticking with it and making it 14 months!!

  • avatar
    Linda Quinones

    Such a great series! Although I’m not a mama myself, I love hearing stories from other blogging mamas out there and I love how your guests are covering different topics. I love Jen from last week!!

  • avatar

    What an awesome series! I love reading these real stories!

  • avatar

    Thanks for sharing Carley

  • avatar

    What a great series!

  • avatar

    Ruthie, this is a great series! Carly, thanks for sharing your story! I can only imagine how difficult that process must’ve been, but you stuck to it and I’m sure Siena would thank you if she could haha! Beautiful.
    xo Steph

  • avatar
    Lee Anne

    I love this new series Ruthie, can’t wait to read more! And Carly what a great post, thank you for sharing!

    Lee Anne

  • avatar

    My daughter was able to help a mother with a preemie with her freezer full of breast milk. Wonder feeling to help.

  • avatar
    Nicole Leffew

    I don’t have kids yet but I know when I do I want to breastfeed! Great post babe!

  • avatar
    Ashley Carrington

    I’m not a mom, and still this was such an amazing, beautiful read! Loved this post!

  • avatar

    Such a beautiful story! I’ve been a breastfeeding mom for ten years (almost nonstop) and I know just how special that bond is. Your story is inspiring and your husband is amazing. A supportive spouse is exactly what it takes to make breastfeeding a success. I am so glad you shared this to inspire others.

  • avatar

    Wow, love! You are an inspiration! I really struggled to breastfeed my first so I found so much of this to be very relatable. Love having stories like these out there to encourage other new moms through some of the toughest parts of new motherhood. What a great series!

  • avatar

    You are absolutely is your baby! 🙂

  • avatar
    Jaime Cittadino

    Ruthie, I’m loving this series by the way!! And it’s amazing to hear stories like this because so many women experience the same or similar thing! I struggled a bit with low milk supply and it puts so much stress on you which is the LAST thing we need after giving birth to a human!! We got by though and eventually I had to supplement with formula, but next time around, I am not going to make myself crazy if I can’t produce enough naturally!!

  • avatar

    So beautiful! This series is amazing – pretty insightful for mom’s to be 🙂 XX, Donna

  • avatar

    So excited for these mommy series seeing that I will be having my first baby in a few months!! Such a great post and I feel like people don’t talk about breastfeeding that much and how challenging it can actually be so it’s nice to hear different stories and tips on breastfeeding.


  • avatar

    I’m no mom but I’m sure it’s so aggravating when something you feel like you should be able to do easily isn’t easy. But nothing in life is ever as easy as it should be! My mom simply couldn’t have kids for about 12 years and no one could figure out why. Then I was born! Unfortunately, I may not be able to have kids either but it’s always so awesome to know how much my parents wanted me and sometimes things just take longer than you think! God always has a plan!

  • avatar

    Ruthie, awesome series, and very helpful to new moms! Carly I’m sure it is so hard!

  • avatar
    April Kusewicz

    my kids didn’t nurse at me so long and if i wanna turn back the time, sometimes i wish i would have fought more. I don’t care for how long they will nurse. It’s a beautiful bonding with mom and child.

  • avatar
    Anna Baun

    Oh my goodness, she is so precious! LOVE this series! XO

    Anna ||

  • avatar

    This is such a great series. I’ll have to share it with my sister!

  • avatar

    what a cute baby! great post!


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    Life With Emily

    Great series- I am no where near being a mommy yet, but I’m bookmarking for when that time comes!

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    Love this new series! Perfect for new moms 🙂 will have to bookmark this for the future! xo

  • avatar

    What a beautiful story!! Tears!! Love the support and encouragement that her husband gave her during an emotional, hard time.


  • avatar

    Such a good read! Thanks for sharing your experiences!

  • avatar
    Nina – the HSS feed

    This is such a great series! I always enjoy reading about what other moms have to say about their experiences and it’s so nice to be able to relate!

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