Thursday, October 20, 2011

BREASTfeeding pt. 2

When I mentioned that I had a lot of thoughts about nursing floating around, I wasn't joking.  I started putting those thoughts on "paper" here and I'm going to try and wrap them up, for now, this time around.  I think this topic must have been a long time coming. 

In the Y.B.S.  (that's Years Before Scout, if you were wondering), I was very much in favor of breastfeeding.  But I never thought about it.  I noticed when people were breastfeeding and it didn't bother me.  Most people I knew used a nursing cover, so I hadn't really ever SEEN someone nurse their baby (with the exception of my mom and sister on occasion).  Despite my ignorance, I paid attention and read enough to know that breastfeeding is both amazingly natural and an incredible amount of work. 

Don't believe me?

Amazingly natural:
  • Your body adjusts your milk supply to what your baby needs.  They consume all of your milk?  Your body starts to make more.
  • Your body makes more for the periods when your baby eats more.  My body makes more in the morning because Scout eats like she is a bear waking up from hibernation in the morning.  And well, after sleeping for 12 hours without food, she probably feels like one.
  • The make-up of your breastmilk changes as your baby grows and needs different nutrients.
  • Immunities in my body go right to Scout.  Which means I can help keep her healthier.
  • I'm not going to keep going on, although there are way more crazy things, because that's not what I want to talk about.  And I'm the one writing this.
Incredible amount of work:
  • Every two hours?  From start time to start time?  And it can take 45 minutes at first?  That means you nurse from 2 to 245, get a break until 4, nurse until 445, get a break until 6, repeat incessantly.  That alone is an incredible commitment.
  • Newborn babies don't do anything very well.  Except look cute.  They can't find the nipple, they can get it in their mouth good, they fall asleep, they get frustrated and jerk their head around and won't focus.  Long story short, it's work to keep your boob in their mouth with them sucking and getting food.
  • You actually have to think about relaxing and letting your milk down.  Isn't that crazy?
I committed to the work.  And we made it through the rough time where we were both figuring out how to make our bodily processes function.  We were lucky because it was easier than I expected.  I talked a lot to my husband, my mom, my sister, my sister in-law, anyone I could find that would help me process what was happening, think of solutions, and encourage me.  Andrew would sit by me and talk to me, bring me food, water, whatever I forgot before I sat down.  Despite the encouragement, it was still work.  I spent a lot of time thinking about how to make nursing smoother and less frustrating for both of us.  I spent a lot of time worrying about my milk supply, the noises she made, all of it.  And she was an easier nurser...I can't imagine what some moms are going through with some of the stories I hear.

After a few weeks, Scout and I settled into a routine where nursing didn't feel like as much work, more of an annoyance to me that I would have to stop and sit for so long.  I'm kind of an "on-the-go" person.  I tried to just enjoy the time to relax and be with my Scout, but it was a mind game that I had to constantly play.

 In the past two weeks though, I've noticed that I really ENJOY nursing.  It might be because I'm at work most of the day, so I really appreciate when I get the chance to have that moment with Scout.  I don't even care when I nurse 3 times between 330 and 600.  Or when she wants to eat and play and eat and play and can't settle down to either.  Just recently she has started to want to hang on to my shirt or hold my hand while she is eating.  She does like to stare at me still while she is eating, VERY intently I might add.  Whatever the reason, nursing doesn't feel like work anymore.  It's comfortable and neither of us have to think about it, we can just enjoy being together.  And I'm glad.

Guess what?  It's time for bed and I'm STILL not done with all of my thoughts.  I guess I have a lot of thoughts on the topic since it consumes such a large part of my life?  So someday soon you will get to read BREASTfeeding pt. 3.  Aren't you excited?

1 comment:

Cheris said...

Haha I love this post!!! Very true on all of it. Nursing is hell on week one but it does get better. I understand when people decide not to do it through. Especially when they've really tried and found that it just doesn't work for them. I'm so glad you're finally into that enjoying stage. It's wonderful when you get there!!!