I’ve wanted to write a blog about breastfeeding for a while now. Overall, I’m really enjoying the experience. My favorite time of day is now when I’m nursing Henry before he goes to bed. He’s usually tired and cuddly at this point and just snuggles into me and nurses until he falls asleep. Bedtime is the only time I let him nurse to sleep. We generally follow the “eat, play, sleep” routine, but I’m getting off topic.
Henry and I never had an major nursing issues. I never got sore, cracked or bleeding nipples. I made sure that we had the basics of nursing down before I would leave the hospital. The biggest problem we had in the beginning was waking Henry up to eat. I’d pick him up, and try gently to wake him, and that wouldn’t work, then I’d move on to baby sit ups and blowing raspberries on his tummy – and he’d stir, but then go right back to sleep. Almost always I had to give him to J who would irritate him enough to make him cry – and then he’d be awake enough to eat.
The first 6 weeks of nursing were the hardest. Henry, like all babies went through a gazillion growth spurts and it felt like he was constantly attached to me and that I never had a break. I remember times when Henry would have just finished nursing, and I’d hand him to J and get up to go and get a drink, and by the time I got back Henry would be vigorously sucking on J’s finger and giving us his hunger cues again. So, I’d have to postpone the gin and tonic that I had been soo longing for all day, and hook the baby back up to the boob. But, after the 6 week growth spurt, things settled way down and we got into a really nice rhythm.
We have had some issues pop up along the way. What with nursing strikes, refusing a breast, and pulling off to cry in the middle of a nursing session, plugged ducts, nipple blebs and probably more that I can’t think of. But, we’re getting better, and I’m coming to realize that this is always a work in progress. And sometimes it does seem that once I have breastfeeding figured out that another issue pops up and I have to figure out how to conquer that one, and then the cycle repeats itself. Breastfeeding is hard. Don’t let anyone tell you differently. It’s a lot of work, and sometimes I don’t like it at all and I think repeatedly that it would just be so much easier to give him a bottle. And, it probably would be. But then I would miss those snuggle moments while he’s nursing, and I don’t get the same feeling when I bottle feed him.
That bonding feeling that people tell you they feel when they breastfeed is real. It’s a connection that only Henry and I have together, and he won’t share that with anyone else. And I feel a good amount of pride when I think about that. However, that warm and fuzzy feeling I get while breastfeeding took a while to get. It definitely wasn’t around in the first 6 weeks of nursing. It came later, when I was calm and relaxed while nursing him. I don’t know how long we’re going to nurse for. I want to go at least a year, more if we’re able. Despite how hard it is, I really do enjoy it and I know that Henry does too.
Here are some pictures that I’ve taken of Henry while he’s nursing. I don’t know if the convey the warm and fuzzy that we’re both feeling, but I think they do.