Saturday, October 9, 2010

Breastfeeding Update

I just need to whine a little today and tell you that while I know breastfeeding can be challenging for anyone, really, it's way easier for most of you than for me (and others who are using a supplementer). Let me explain. Here's how it works for most of you at night - baby starts fussing, you whip out the girls, stick baby on, lay down, and nurse right along while blissfully drifting in and out of sleep. Baby finishes in 20 or 30 minutes, you lay him/her back down and back to sleep everyone is. 2hrs later, the whole thing repeats. What? That's not exactly how it works? At least the potential for it to happen exists, and I bet it does at least sometimes.

Well, here's how it goes at my house. Baby starts fussing, I get up, go to the fridge, fill up the supplementer, strap it on, and then the fun starts. Baby E doesn't seem to like the little tubes the formula comes out of at night. Or maybe it's that I have less patience. Whichever, it often involves frustration, on both my and E's part. So, after we finally get latched, which may take 30 seconds or 5 minutes, we have to see whether the freaking tube is even in his mouth in such a way that the formula will come out of it (if it's not in there just right, there isn't enough suction to draw it out). Often, especially at night, it's not. So, then the really super fun part starts - trying to stick the little tube in his mouth in just the right place without him getting irritated and unlatching. This sometimes leads us both to tears. Finally, once we get everything in just the right place, we can start nursing for real. This whole process can take anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour, depending on how lucky we are. Also, did I forget to mention that I can't nurse laying down, because of the supplementer? Yeah, that's fun, too.

I'm sure you're thinking, well, if it's so bad, quit already. And while, at 3:30am, the thought has certainly crossed my mind, baby E and I are going to figure this out, by God. I used to tell clients all the time that the 1st 6 weeks of nursing is the hardest, in fact, it's harder than bottle feeding. But, after that 1st grueling 6 weeks, nursing is by far the easier of the two. While I know that our hybrid form of breastfeeding will never be as easy as the original, I know it will get easier. And it's worth it. I love that I can soothe baby E in a way no one else can. I love that he calms as soon as he hears my voice. I love that even though I will never have most of the experiences of a biological mom, this one thing I can have. Baby E and I can have together.

Also, I know he's actually getting a lot of breastmilk - the proof is in the diapers. It's also in the fact that he's taking LESS formula from the supplementer than he was a week ago. And, at his pediatrician appointment Thursday, he was up a half pound (that means he's a half pound up from birth weight, at less than 2 weeks after birth - and that, my friends, iss pretty darn good!). Not knowing exactly how much he's getting scares me a little, though. Many of you breastfeedin' mommas can relate - sometimes it's a little scary not knowing exactly how much your baby is eating (especially when I've become accustomed to knowing). I know many a new momma who's given up breastfeeding because this was too stress for her. But it's also exciting, because it means that all the medication, the pumping, the hormones, the preparation, it's all been worth it. It means baby E really is getting, as the kid calls it "Momma milk".

Today's lesson - the Moby Wrap is the best thing ever!!!!!!!! If you have a baby, have a friend with a baby, are expecting a baby, etc... you should totally make sure the new mommy has a Moby. It's awesome. Baby E will sleep in it pretty much as long as he's in it. And I have 2 free hands to do laundry, get the kid's hands out of the toilet (and assist him in washing them), eat lunch, or just blog. Plus, there are all those benefits of baby wearing, which is a post for another day. Seriously, you (or your friend, or sister, or neighbor) totally need a Moby.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

I am totally looking into getting a Moby! Ive heard such good things about them and since I'll have to work most of my post natal time, It'll definitely come in handy! I just wish I had known about Moby wraps with the first two! :)

I love reading about your adventures now that I have found your blog. I know it was hard at first and I kept praying and hoping for the best because you and your family are such great people. You definitely give inspiration to those who are in the same situation. <3