It’s National Breastfeeding week and Liam and I have been celebrating all week long. And into the wee hours of the morning as well. Six months later and I am still amazed by the perfect cycle of boob to mouth to tummy to perfect chubby thighs (baby’s, not mine). I do not take that for granted after nursing 101 the first time! I had wonderful plans of football holding and nursing 2 babies while bottle feeding the third and I had watched enough hours of the hospital newborn channel I was sure I’d get it down. Then I had preemies: a girl without an esophagus, 2 girls with cleft palates and a little boy that just wasn’t that into the whole boob thing and who took weeks to learn to latch and only politely took an appetizer before his bottle came. So I pumped and pumped and took fenugreek and herbal teas and Reglan and felt like I was running a turnip juice farm. Anyone that says not to cry over spilled milk has not knocked over a 2oz bottle of fresh breast milk intended for 3 babies. Sigh. Had I had been able to be hooked to a backpack pump, maybe supply would’ve been better. I packed that pump all over and Every. Single. Time I flew with it to Boston I had my entire suitcase unpacked as 2-3 TSA agents would pull it out and examine it as I would explain over and over it was a breast pump. I pumped at airports during layovers after I found an electrical outlet, waiting rooms, at their bedside and everywhere in between. I was never all that jealous if other’s size as we all want more or less than we have but I was super jealous of those lactation supreme mommas that would actually have freezers full of milk and then some. I did have one dear supreme milking friend who gave me extra as her freezer was full and her sweet cherub was rolling in his own fat rolls. It was a beautiful gift that felt like a winning lottery ticket. It lasted 9 months. I was hoping for longer but ran out of steam. And juice.
Then there was this little guy.
After birth he army crawled up my chest and went to town like he was starving and hadn’t had a good meal for 9 months.
It was great until it felt like attaching electric clamps to myself every 2 hours. I never thought I’d say MotherF- out loud in front of the baby, but that was some toe curling pain in the beginning. I got some helpful advice that it does get better and thanks to an order of Mother’s Helper balm, it did. Now if you dare utter an F bomb (formula) in front of a leche league nursing martyr you will surely get the stink eye. But, I credit the occasional 2oz bottle of formula for helping my sanity out in the beginning and possibly saving my nips from actually falling off.
Now this little fellow is 6 months and we’re still going strong. It’s his preferred meal and it’s nice to have one child not complain about their dinner. It’s so much easier than worrying about packing bottles and we can nurse here and there. I can feed this kid everywhere! I’ve been asked how long I plan to nurse and I have no plan although upper teeth may be cause for a reevaluation. Clay says I have to cut him off when he can ask for it in full sentences. Unless he’s just really verbal, then definitely by preschool. It’s a perk to being the youngest. So I’ll end up having the look of a retired breeding dog, but that’s what push up bras are for.
My little feeding barnacle has given the opportunity for several educational moments with W&A. Wyatt's first concern was if he was biting
me. He then learned he could not nurse his brother.
Ava asked Grandma why she couldn't feed him when hungry and said "but Grandma, you have breasts don't you?" She informed Clay that Liam didn't get excited by his nipples because they were too tiny. Mammary education started early in our house.
WARNING: PHOTO OF A NURSING MOTHER AHEAD.
STOP NOW IF THIS MAKES YOU UNEASY.
YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.