Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Nursing: The Long Story

Tommy is playing at Grandma's, Josh is at school (hopefully not failing his test on reading EKGs), Little John is snoozing and although I was up most of the night with him I'm sick of being in bed so I'm blogging instead of joining him for nap time.

Since breastfeeding with Tommy was an epic fail, I was nervous about even trying with John. Can my heart take another beating like that? But I reminded myself a thousand times that we'd try and if it worked great. But if not that would be OK. There are loads of advantages to formula. LOADS.

So in the hospital I told every nurse who asked how he was nursing that he was great, but that I was concerned about keeping up with him. I met with the new Lactation Lady and she recommended lots of the same things as last time. Herbs (Fenugreek & Blessed Thistle), pills (Reglan), nursing-on-demand (around the clock) and supplementing with formula when necessary. As an added bonus she told me she always recommends a breastfeeding stay-cation to moms who have had trouble in the past. She said if there was any way to swing it, spending all day in bed enjoying some skin-to-skin time (and a stack of great movies) and nursing anytime he wanted to would only help my cause.

I think she was joking since she knows I have a 2-year-old and that simply isn't possible, but I'm doing it today anyway.

John started off nursing in the hospital beautifully, usually for an hour at a time. The nurses were impressed with his natural knack for latching on and sucking his guts out. He's tapered off a bit since then - usually getting bored in 20 minutes or so. But in the evenings he eats nearly every hour.

So the truth is that breastfeeding is awesome. And I love it. And I'm so so SO thankful that I get to do it this time around (so far). There is nothing like his milk-drunk face when he's done. And feeding him a bottle of my milk might be the most satisfying meal I've ever made for anyone. Ever.


Oh. My. Gosh. Being attached to a child 24/7 is ridiculous.
My personal body parts have never been so abused. and I just gave birth.
However great nursing is, pumping is it's equal opposite. The arch nemesis. The evil horrible Jekyl to the Hyde.
Being the only person who can get up in the middle of the night bites.
Staying awake because "he'll probably wake up in the next XX minutes to eat anyway" makes for really long nights.

So I'm thankful and I love it - but it's certainly not all sunshine and unicorns - nor is bottle feeding.

Just one more experience to remind me that the opposite of something that breaks your heart can be hard. Difficult. Painful. Challenging. Even heartbreaking.


  1. Thank you for this post. That is all I am going to say.

    Oh! And I really want to come visit sometime soon! (ok, now I am really done)

  2. The round-the-clock feedings are why I liked to sleep with my little ones right by my bed...or even in my bed. That way I didn't even have to get out of bed to feed them. Because, honestly, being the only one getting up with the baby in the night is so, so hard.

    Best of luck! :D

  3. I've slept with all my babies for about 3 months because I don't do getting up every two hours and I don't pump.

    This is the first time, I've had a bottle baby, and I did not make that official until about 3 weeks ago. I really like the bottle benefits. Both have pros and cons. I have just done whatever the baby wants keeping in mind that breatfeeding saves us money.

  4. I have to say that hands-down the hardest part for me was being the only one to get up with/feed/always be with the baby.

    It gets better, I promise. :) Soon you'll be grateful that it's cheap and easy and 100% portable.

  5. Hang in there. It is beautiful and has it's benefits and you put all of the hard stuff very well, but it gets better and easier and the pain does go away. And I do agree about pumping, not my favorite sport.
    I am thrilled that John is a good little sucker and that you are producing milk and things are working out. I am excited to hear the updates! Way to go, Mom!

  6. You know what's great? As hard as it is now, it gets SO MUCH BETTER! I'm so happy that it's working for you this time around!

  7. Thanks for posting this. I feel like I'll be in your shoes in just a few months. Nursing Michael was the worst 6 weeks of my life. It just didn't work. So for this new baby coming in March I have the same idea: I want to nurse and really figure it out this time, but if it doesn't go great, formula always will and I'm not afraid to use it. Michael has been perfectly healthy. Good luck! I'm anxious and nervous to be in your nursing situation soon.

  8. Hi. I love reading your blog. Also, you can post as much about breast feeding as you want. :) With Jordyn I tried it and HATED it. I couldn't tell how much she was eating. I was attached to her ALL the time. I didn't like sharing my boobs...With Tessa, I didn't even try because I hated it so bad the first time. So that made me the WORST patient ever. Each nurse change brought the question, "Oh, so you're NOT breastfeeding?" Ugh! This time, money is tighter and also...I don't know. Part of me wants to try and part of me wants to just stick with the bottles.

  9. amen to everything you said.
    i'm so glad you are both successfully doing your parts (him eating, you having the supply) this time around! i sure hope i can have that luck next time around.
    also... this is probably tmi for a blog but i hear ya on the abused body parts, when i was pumping for max (for 14 mos), pieces of my "body parts" literally FELL OFF into the bathroom sink. did you just grimace?? cause i did.
    happy nursing amy!!


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