Tuesday, November 29, 2011

The one about breastfeeding.

When I was pregnant with London, I decided very early on that I was going to breastfeed. It has tons of added health benefits for both the mother and child. Not to mention it sure beats the heck out of expensive formula. Why wouldn't I do it? London was a CHAMP! He was the freaking Muhammad Ali of breastfeeding. The best of the very best. He latched right away and never had any problems. Which was awesome considering I had NO IDEA what the hell I was supposed to be doing. He refused to take a bottle, so it wasn't until he was 8 months when my milk started to dry up because he was sleeping 13 hours each night that he ever even tasted a drop of formula. I felt like super mom. I swore to all my friends how EASY breastfeeding was, and I will be honest I could not understand the women who stopped breastfeeding because it was too hard, or whatever "excuse" they had.

Yeah, um, Karma is a bitch.

Holden is was the freaking Celebrity Boxing of the breastfeeding world. TRAIN WRECK!! He wouldn't latch for the first 36 hours after he was born, and this time I actually knew what I was doing. I had a seriously crazy lactation consultant who I swear looked and sounded just like the old lady from the Poltergist movies.

She had me milking my own breast (by hand) into a spoon, so that we could suck it up into a syringe to feed him after he had gone 12 hours without latching.

Talk about a whole new level of comfort in your marriage. In less than 12 hours Mike witnessed me pushing a human out of my lady parts for the second time AND milking myself like I was an old timey farmer.
anyway...I'm starting to ramble.

For the first 3 weeks Holden was HORRIBLE at breastfeeding. He was a biter. Thank goodness he wasn't one of those babies that are born with teeth. I decided to keep going and endure the pain. The painful latch usually only lasts about a week, but as we entered week four I was still cursing every time. I was at a loss and can not tell you how many times I wanted to quit.

All of those free formula samples were sitting in the pantry just staring at me. At 3 weeks I had a phone conversation with a different lactation consultant and she told me it sounded like he has a small mouth and tongue. We tried the nipple shield, but yeah, that was a big old FALIURE! He wouldn't latch at all. So after a few hours of screaming I gave up and just endured the pain once again.

Luckily by the end of week 4 he had gotten much much better. It was like over night he magically figured it out. It's all smooth sailing now, but this time couldn't have been more different than the last.

A friend of mine posted this on her blog today and can I please just tell you how true it really is. I'm not posting this to prevent anyone from breastfeeding. I'm not going to bore you all with how important it is and why it is so awesome. Trust me you will get all of that in the hospital. But, I'm also not going to sit here and preach to you that you are a failure if you don't breastfeed. Just like almost everything else in life, it is NOT for everyone and it's completely your decision.

Forget that old advice about "gently rubbing your nipples with a towel." If you really want to feel ready to nurse, here's what to do.

Day 1
Gently rub your nipples with sandpaper.
Day 2
At bedtime set your alarm clock to go off every two hours. Each time it rings, spend 20 minutes sitting in a rocking chair with your nipples clamped by a pair of chip clips.
Day 3
Draw branching lines all over your chest with a blue-green marker, then stand in front of your bathroom mirror and sing "I Feel Pretty."
Day 4 
Open your already-crowded freezer and make room for five dozen plastic milk bags.
Day 5
Fit the hose of a vacuum cleaner over one breast and set on "medium pile." Turn off vacuum when nipple is three inches long. Switch breasts.
Day 6
Obtain "DO NOT CROSS" tape from your local police station, then wrap firmly around your chest. When your spouse asks about it, say, "Get used to it."
Day 7
Tape a water balloon to each breast and squeeze into a maternity bra. Repeatedly hook and unhook the nursing flaps with one hand while using the other to balance a sack of squirming puppies.
Day 8
Dine in the fanciest, snootiest restaurant you can afford, making sure to arrive with a big wet spot directly over each nipple.
Day 9
Record your mother proclaiming, "Just give the baby some cereal like God intended, and she'll sleep right through the night." Play in an endless loop at 1 a.m., 3 a.m., and 5 a.m.
Day 10
Slather your breasts with peanut butter, top with birdseed and stand very still in your backyard.
Day 11
Go someplace public -- a museum, a courthouse, the steps of your office building -- and stuff a lifelike baby doll under your shirt. Use the doll's arm to suddenly hike the shirt up past your collar bone. Lower shirt. Feign nonchalant smile.
Day 12
Suckle a wolverine.
Congratulations! You are now ready to nurse a baby. Maybe


Heather said...

Thanks for sharing that. Since I quit breastfeeding I've felt like a failure as a mother because "I couldn't handle how hard it is." Truly, breastfeeding is a challenge and although it is wonderful and I believe in all the benefits whole heartedly, it just didn't work for Aiden and I. Glad it's working for you guys though!

Les said...


I don't know if you remember but B didn't breastfeed well for 3 weeks either. I almost gave up SO MANY times. But we got over that hump and I was so glad we stuck with it.

Aubrey said...

Non-Mommy here, but friend to many Mommies.

WHY do these crazy lactation consultants and other judgmental Mommies make new Moms feel like failures or incredibly guilty if they can't breastfeed? It just doesn't WORK for some people, and that's life. And there are health benefits to breastmilk (and weight loss/etc.!), but I turned out healthy and with above-average intelligence without breastmilk. It's not the end of the world.

I just feel so incredibly bad for my friends who feel they suck at motherhood/have meltdowns because they can't produce or their baby doesn't take to breastfeeding. They are AWESOME Moms, and they shouldn't be judged, or made to feel so terrible. :(

Erin said...

Both my babies have been champion nursers and even then sometimes I want to quit. Between the initial pain, thrush last time, mastitis this time, plus this whole hanging on to the last 10 lbs so you have fat to make milk thing is for the birds. I keep doing it but have stopped judging people for quitting!

cathyds1 said...

Thanks for the laugh. My youngest child is 27 years old and you had me laughing so hard I was crying. So true, every word. :)

Kakunaa said...

OMG. I just nearly peed my pants. Can I repost this you think?

Unknown said...

Kakunaa of course you can repost. I stole it from a FB friend of mine. Click on the title link "Suck it!" and it will take you to the original article. Happy Posting! :)

Anonymous said...

I am glad you got it figured out!

btw, cannot believe he's 1 month old already!!!

The Swann's said...

LOL Only laughing as a "been there, done that" mother... Though thankfully, mine has been pretty "easy" minus the initial get the hang of it time frame. ;-) Glad all things have worked out for you this go around too!

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