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I decided long ago that I was gonna be a loving, responsive, natural mama. You know: a natural-birth-giving, Moby-wrap-wearing, breastfeeding mama. I had no idea how difficult it is to be “natural”. Let me tell, you: natural does not mean easy (look at my hair, lol). Breastfeeding Christian requires tons of patience and tough skin. When the lactation consultant first showed me how to breastfeed, it seemed easy. Probably because SHE physically latched him on. Boy was that misleading.
First of all, when my milk finally “got in”, I became engorged. If you don’t know what that means, it means I went from having largish-but-still-normal breasts (44DD) to ridiculously-huge-bazoongas. I swear, I fell asleep Tiffany and woke up a few hours later like Pamela Anderson. Only I didn’t feel sexy. At all. They were red. They hurt, And they leaked like crazy. Worse yet, they had swollen soooo much that my nipples were flat and Christian couldn’t latch on at all. We ended up having to supplement his diet with formula, which made me sad. So… I had to go back to the lactation consultant and use a super expensive pump to express the milk. That was so awkward. Having a woman looking at and feeling your breast. Pinching your now non-existent nipples. In front of your boyfriend. Awkwaaaaard. But it definitely helped. As did the various tricks that she has since taught me to help make breast feeding easier (such as nipple shields and syringes).
Trying to get him to latch on by myself was an entirely different story. CHRISTIAN IS IMPATIENT. I guess I should have figured that out while he was still hanging out in my belly. I remember when I was pregnant I would go from having absolutely no appetite to “If I do not have something en route to my belly NOW, I swear I will die” in a matter of nanoseconds. That’s EXACTLY how Christian is. I’ll present my breast to him and he will latch on briefly, but he’ll be so excited that he unlatches (I don’t know if that’s the right term, but it’s my blog and I’m gonna use it). This results in a freakout of epic proportions in which Christians claws at my boobehs (ha) with his razor sharp baby claws, trying to get it back in his mouth, while I try to simultaneously loosen his death grip from my skin and get him to latch on. The entire time I’m talking to him (with an occasional cry of pain from either his claws or his latching): “It’s right there Christian” Calm down, Christian” “Good job, Christian”. Thanks to practice, patience, and my lactation consultant (Ms Marsha), breastfeeding is much easier (though not easy). I have mastered several positions (including feeding while standing up) and don’t get frustrated when Christian doesn’t latch on right away (there was nothing worse for me as a brand new mom to not be able to provide natural nourishment for my child; it was heartbreaking to say the least).
Now Christian seems to be going through a growth spurt because he eats SO MUCH. He will breastfeed for an hour and still put away a couple of ounces of formula after my nipples yell at me : “ENOUGH!” Anyways, breastfeeding has been a lot more challenging than I expected. They make it seem so much easier on the Discovery Channel. 😐 But, I love it. I love bonding with Christian in that way. I love the feeling of being able to provide for him something that no one else can. I will suffer through the 4am feeding sessions, the nail-gouging, and the perpetually sore nipples (you try having an overeager baby devouring your nipples for several hours a day), because I am providing Christian with something that will nourish him now and later. Yay me!
P.S. I have also enjoyed the moments when Christian has attempted to breastfeed from Tyrell. The look of sheer panic on Tyrell’s face is priceless. Lol!
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