Thursday, August 30, 2012

On Breastfeeding

I guess I'm in a swing and want to share some of my adventures with you. Yesterday, it was cloth diapering. Today, it's breastfeeding. Tomorrow, I'll probably talk about crunchy mothering taking over the world. Okay, no. I will not do that. Promise. Here's the thing: Other than praying for a healthy baby when I was pregnant with Bean, I prayed for a baby who would breastfeed. And I prayed that I would have enough milk and that I could get through the challenges and make it work. You see, I didn't breastfeed Little S. I tried so hard, but lacked knowledge and support, so ended up quitting after about 3 weeks. BUT, I pumped for the entire first year! We did have to supplement a little bit each day (2-4 ounces of formula per day, depending on how old she was). I was really proud of myself for diligently pumping for the entire year so Little S could get all of the benefits of breast milk. But I really felt like I missed out on "that bond" everyone talks about with breastfeeding your baby. Don't get me wrong, I'm SUPER close to my big girl. But I just didn't get to experience that skin-to-skin, baby looking in my eyes while I'm doing something for her that no one else can do feeling. And as much as I tried to enjoy the bottle feedings, knowing she was getting my milk, it was hard to be calm and relax because I knew I'd have to go pump as soon as she was done.
With Bean, I've been so blessed. The beginning was very, very difficult. She nursed around the clock. I mean, if she wasn't velcroed to my boob, she would scream. I don't know if she was working hard to get back up to her birth weight after we came home or if she was needing comfort. She wouldn't sleep unless she was in my arms and I literally thought I wasn't going to make it because I couldn't get a moment to myself. Poor Little S was needing my attention and I cried all the time because I missed her. After all, it'd been a year of me having her 24/7 and then... BOOM. It wasn't just me and her, anymore. She has adjusted well. After Bean turned about 8 weeks old, she started being a tiny bit more independent. She's not had a bottle or pacifier (a blessing and a curse), yet and is almost 11 weeks old. I still can't leave her because she hasn't had a bottle, won't take a pacifier and nurses on demand (I feed her when she's hungry, not on a set schedule). So, I tote an infant with me, everywhere. I have an extra 6-7 ounces of milk to pump after each morning feeding, so I have a great stockpile for emergencies or for when I start feeding her cereal. I'm so thankful to be able to nurse and wish I was more comfortable to do so in public. I'm fine with a wrap or cover, but I wish I was one of those supermoms who just didn't care and could flop my boob out anywhere for the sake of my child's hunger. I usually hide in the air conditioned car.
Bean is now measuring in the 83rd percentile, so she's getting plenty of milk and her night time feedings are becoming few and far between. We shall go forth and conquer!
What challenges and successes have you come across while nursing? 

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Just like Ke$ha (minus the craziness and whatnot), YOUR LOVE is my drug!