Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Good, The Bad and the Funny...

Sides to Breast Feeding

The Good
At the beginning of my first pregnancy, I swore I wouldn't breastfeed. I just didn't think it was for me (mostly because I know a lot of boob men and I didn't think of my breasts as a means of nutrition). As time went on, I started to warm up to the idea of nursing. I tried it and managed to nurse Little Man for a year.

When I got pregnant for the second time around, there was no question that I would nurse again. I was so much more relaxed this time around when Princess Pooper latched on for the first time just a few weeks ago. It was so easy for me and I didn't feel the need to seek the advice of a lactation consultant. Oh what a joy it was to not feel that awkwardness I felt with Little Man. To see her latch on right away was pure joy for me.

I know that I will be able to provide what she needs for the first few months of her life. Everything she needs comes from me, and I am the one responsible for her well being and growth. It's a powerful thing and what makes that special bond. (Please don't read into this as me being a breast feeding freak that thinks it's the only and best way to go - I don't think that at all. I think it's a very personal decision and one no one should feel pressured about by anyone.)

Breast feeding burns a ton of calories! Not to mention the severe cotton mouth you get and the desire to drink gallons of water each day - super weight loss aide!

The Bad
I remembered there would be pain involved, but I wasn't prepared for just how much the second time around. After a few days, I could swear blood was being sucked from my right side. Every time she latched on to that side my eyes would well up with tears and my face would contort in pain. I was sheer torture and had me questioning my desire to continue. Oh how easy it would have been to pop a top on the can of formula we have for just-in-case purposes. The only thing that kept me from quiting was the very real fact that formula is insanely expensive and we can't afford it. Truthfully, that is the only reason I stuck it out. Princess Pooper is just over 3 weeks old and the pain stopped a few days ago.

I, alone, can feed her. No one else can get up in the middle of the night and help me. It's just me and her at 2:38am. At 4 weeks she will get her first bottle, but then that begins the pumping and feeling quite like a cow hooked to a machine. I made the mistake of pumping in front of mirror in a hotel room with my last pregnancy - that vision will remain with me forever - it's not a pretty one.

The girls are enormous - like the size of large cantaloupes. Did you know there is a cup size out there bigger than DD? Yeah, me neither until now. The girls have upgraded to F! What the heck? There are no stylish nursing bras out there in that cup size. La Leche makes nursing bras now, and they are quite stylish. The problem, however, is that they don't go beyond D. For an organization so nutty about breast feeding, you'd think they would cater to women with breast of all sizes.

The Funny
The girls are large and require support, so I hold her with one hand and the boppy and I hold one girl with the other hand. If I didn't do this, I am afraid I would suffocate the princess. Anyway, I recently woke about 2:30 for a feeding. I started feeding her by the light of a ladybug night light online. I looked at the clock at about 2:35, then next thing I know it's 3:45. I looked down at her (mind you, with a severe kink in my neck, it was done with difficulty). There she is, mouth open a mere inch from my breast and sound asleep and there I am still clutching to my breast. What a picture it would have made!

The princess cries and I get let down. After several stained shirts, I learned to wear a bra and breast pads at all times. I can not go without - it's just not okay to have 2 large streaks of milk running down my shirt.

It's gonna be a long year of nursing. Will I stick it out???

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