Thursday, November 05, 2009

The Milky Way

When I found out that my mom wasn't able to breastfeed me, I half-joked that that was the reason why my hay fever and asthma were so bad. I always knew that when I became a mom, I wanted to do all I could to make it work for baby and me. That's not to say that there's anything wrong with formula, nor do I judge any parent who goes that route.

Breastfeeding was just my personal goal.

Brent and I took a breastfeeding class, which he tried to get out of, but I wouldn't let him skip it. Not only was every dad in attendance, but he also retained a lot of the information and reminded me during those first few weeks when things were a little rough.

Before Em's arrival, I read "So That's What They're For." I highly recommend it for any new nursing mother.

The night Em arrived, I somehow remembered that I had wanted to try to get her to nurse within the hour of her birth. Although I can't recall the exact reasoning, I think it had something to do with her and I bonding, as well as our potential for nursing success. Whatever it was, I remember how strange it felt asking our labor nurse if I could try to nurse Em when Brent brought her back from her first bath. She gave Em to me, and despite everything I had read and prepared for, a large part of me just assumed that Em would latch on with ease.

Totally not the case.

The nurse helped me get her on properly, but I think it was quite a few weeks before latching on came naturally to Em. I had to request assistance from nurses or the lactation consultant our entire hospital stay.

Shortly after we brought Em home, I discovered the local resource called The Pump Station. It's a boutique run by two lactation consultants, offering consultations and groups for new moms -- both of which I found so invaluable. The new mom groups led by lactation consultants and offered throughout the week, were sooo reassuring. I even went sometimes not because I was having any nursing issues but just because I was stir-crazy at home with a newborn and wanted a place to go.

Em and I eventually overcame our latching issues, but I had a few other hiccups along the way. First I had an oversupply (who knew you could have TOO MUCH milk?), then a big dip in supply. Luckily I had built up two-weeks' worth of a stash in the freezer, which helped us overcome that.

Despite all of that, living my life in 3-hour increments (the amount of time in between feedings), and the many, many, many, MANY mid-night feedings, I enjoyed the time spent nursing Em. She often nodded off while nursing, leaving me an opportunity to soak her up.
Too cute to move

I was so proud to see her grow and thrive -- all because of ME! Yes, that chubby FAT baby was largely due to my dedication...and BOOBS.

I met my goal, and then some. Em's never had an ounce of formula, and that's what I was striving for.

Can ya tell I'm proud?

I always said that I would stop when she turned 1. Shortly before her birthday I slowly began the weaning process, dropping a session every couple days. It eventually got down to just morning and bedtime sessions. We dropped the bedtime session, and I had thought I'd continue for a few more weeks -- keeping the cold/flu season in mind. But Em's gotten more and more distracted during that session, stopping to see the leaf she thought she heard fall from the tree ACROSS THE STREET. Plus, I don't know that I'm actually giving her much of anything during that session anyway.

The last couple of days she was the definition of bored, and I finally succumbed to the realization that that kind of time together is over.

That's not to say that we're done bonding. No, no, no. Far from it.

I may not be her source of nourishment anymore, but I'm still helping her grow.

Muppet invasion

"There's no secret about success. Did you ever know a successful man who didn't tell you about it?" - Kin Hubbard

7 comments:

  1. I love this post - it'll definitely be useful when my baby days come.

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  2. I'm proud of you, Nanette. :)

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  3. Great post. Love and hugs to you.

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  4. congrats on successfully nursing so long. It is a great feeling isn't it, to know you have accomplished a goal you set for yourself.

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  5. good job & thanks for sharing! i'm going to go into this phase of life real soon so i'm glad to know you were able to successfully meet your goal. i only hope we'll have the same luck!

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  6. What a sweet post. Much love to you and Em.

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  7. i think you know how much i can relate. weaning was hard for me - and i ended up waiting almost twice as long as i'd intended to!

    glad it was a much easier time for you :)

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