Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Not my Breast Friend

While waiting for Kate's arrival, we read a bunch of information about all kinds of things regarding babies. One thing I didn't focus too much on was breastfeeding because I knew a lot depended on Kate and me figuring things out together. That was all well and good, but once she actually arrived and we had to start the process, things were toe-tally different than I imagined. Let me narrow it down for you and say that breastfeeding is neither innate nor easy. Sure, Kate has an innate sucking reflex but that doesn't mean whatever is being sucked on is up for the challenge (especially 8-10 times a day for about 1/2 an hour). Jon has been a huge help--in the early days, he was finger feeding Kate through a syringe while I pumped to get the milk to come in. He also sat with me (through tears and victories) as we figured out those first painful weeks until Kate could latch on and actually get milk from me, though my poor nipples will never be the same.

So while this is a successful operation now, by no means did it come easily. You should have seen the look on the face of the lactation consultant in the hospital while we tried to get Kate to latch on and I yelped and hollered in pain. Another consultant told me that because Kate was born early, she had a small mouth and couldn't do the best job of sucking. Yet another mentioned fair-skinned and redheaded people (sadly, I am the former, not the latter) are naturally more senstitive and it takes longer for everything to toughen up. Well. Suffice to say breastfeeding is certainly an art, as one book states, and even the best artists don't get it right the first or second time. Or third...or tenth....
Posted by Picasa

5 comments:

Christina said...

Good for you Jen. I had a rough go the first few weeks with Cole, but once we got the hang of it--smooth sailing. I think if you have a second child, you will find that it goes smoother with them since you know what you are doing. It isn't always easy, but it is truly what is best for them and so you plow forward even though it hurts or is hard. Yay you Jen for being a trooper and loving Kate enough to make it work.

Shelly said...

Very well said, Jen. Breastfeeding is so much more difficult yet more rewarding than I had thought it might be (all at the same time, I would add).

If I've ever wondered why God made things work the way He did, it's now! Who else could have come up with such a system for feeding babies? Certainly not me...not even on a really creative day!

Hang in there, Jen. It's only gotten easier for me, and I'm sure it will be the same for you. The amount of time it takes her to consume anything will decrease soon. It may feel like forever, but it won't be long until both of you are old pros!

scarlet said...

glad to see you finally put some clothing on that girl! and a purple onesie at that. shocking.

Erin said...

Oh Jen breastfeeding IS hard and it does take work. It is admirable to keep it up and as a mother of three who was unable to breastfeed her first-born, had a great experience with her 2nd born and then could only breast-feed her 3rd baby for six weeks, I am here to tell you that it IS hard, and if you want to chat about it, I would love to offer any advice I could. (Only asked for advice - ha!) Love, Erin

Caitlin L said...

I'm right there now!! Thank you for posting it, it is encouraging knowing I'm not alone and that there is hope for the future. I'm just waiting...waiting for week 2 or 3 when maybe it will get easier...