Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Breastfeeding is hard, guys

I spent so much time researching pregnancy and delivery and comparing the size of Hamburglar to different foods, I never really thought about breastfeeding.  I just assumed it would be super easy and super natural.  But it wasn't.  It was hard, guys.  Now, 5 weeks in, it's finally getting a little easier.  There are fewer tears on both our parts when trying to latch and I am getting him latched on the first try more than 80% of the time now.

I think, until recently, the easiest time I had feeding McCloud was in the hospital, right after he was born.  The hospital I delivered at has lactation consultants on staff and I met with two different ones and enlisted the nurses for help trying to get a good position and good latch.  One of the nurses was kind of creepy and kept talking about how soft my areolas were.  It was really awkward.

That first night, I tried so hard to get him latched on and I was so tired...  I had a bad a latch and I knew it, but I didn't care because dude was finally eating.  I paid for it for the next week with a sore, cracked nipple.  I think the first couple days were probably the hardest.  My second night home, I was trying to get him to latch and it wasn't working and I was so tired...  He was crying and I was crying and I had to lay him down and walk away so I could get my shit together and try again.  I've had feeding sessions where it has taken me 30 minutes to an hour to get him latched, with him crying the whole time and both of us just getting more frustrated.

Our first visit to the pediatrician (we went with the one who has the impressive moustache.  I couldn't take a doctor with a soul patch seriously) was 72 hours after Hamburglar was born.  Since he's my first and we left the hospital after 24 hours, they wanted us to come in and do a weight check and all that fun stuff.  He was down to 8 pounds at the first visit and the Doc asked if my milk had come in yet, which it hadn't.  He said if my milk wasn't in by that night or, at the latest, the following morning, I should supplement with formula.  Now, I'm really susceptible to peer pressure and easily influenced by others, so maybe it was him saying this, but my milk was in by that night.  I read somewhere that women who supplement in the first two weeks are more likely to give up breastfeeding all together.

Now, I'm not one of those assholes that thinks people who exclusively breastfeed are better than people who exclusively formula feed, I'm just stubborn and don't want to buy food for McCloud when my body makes it for free.  Plus, all that money I'm saving not buying formula can go to fund the breast lift I am planning to buy myself for my 35th birthday.

I feel like I went off on a tangent somewhere...

Anyway, my milk came in and, slowly, we have been getting more successful with breastfeeding.  I've started pumping, too, so we can give dude a bottle or two a week to get him used to them for when I go back to work.  I was worried that he may prefer the bottle over the boob or refuse the bottle all together, but he doesn't give a shit.  Little man is HUNGRY.  He tries to latch on to the dogs faces when they get to close to him.  It is hilarious.  And gross.  (Don't worry.  I stop him before he actually puts his mouth on the dog).

We went back to the pediatrician again after a week because Dr. Moustache wanted to make sure Hamburglar was gaining weight okay.  He was ten days old and had gained 6 ounces since our visit the week before.  Dr. M. told me not to worry about waking him up to feed him any more (even though I wasn't doing that at night.) and yeah.  Dude has been getting heavier and giant-er since.

And I found this video of a latch trick that works really well.  I just found it last week, but I wish someone had suggested it in the beginning.  I've had other poor latches since that first one and I think this could have helped.

Anyway, dude is waking up and he is very unhappy about this.  I just wanted to say that breastfeeding is hard.  And maybe warn people who hadn't thought about it.  But I read that it gets way easier between 6 and 8 weeks.  So, to anyone struggling with breastfeeding, hang in there.  It does get easier.  I'm at week 5 now and those first nights that we struggled so hard are becoming a distant memory.

That is all.

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