How feeding looks at three months

So we have reached three months! And one day. I have been breastfeeding for over three months! Those first three months were the months that scared me shitless, and we have made it through. I even managed to suck up those little froggy feet moments and the times when he would curl up onto me in a ball, exactly the way he was in my tummy but with his head up. I enjoyed my new little boy's first months of life, which is pretty huge considering how absolutely petrified I was about it while I was still pregnant.
Three months of those squishy cheeks that just get squishier!


Being able to feed a three month old baby is something entirely new to me. I have changed! I remember being so scared of using the SNS in public, and now if I see a pregnant woman, I wish I could give her a pamphlet and ensure that she knows this is an option! I don't purposefully hide it anymore, though it is often hidden out of habit. So I'm feeding in public with pride, not fear, hoping that somebody sees and questions either myself, the internet or their midwife / lactation consultant about this. Maybe I will change just one woman's life. 
Feeding at a cafe with the SNS (though no-one would know it)
and my new beads for him to cling on to/
We are having some issues that I now know are typical three month old feeding issues (thanks to my wonderful Zurich mothers facebook group for educating me on the normalcy of this!). He latched on, takes a few sucks, and immediately pulls away. Again and again and again, for the entire duration of the feed. If I had heard someone say this earlier, I would have assumed they had an overactive letdown, where milk was shooting out too fast and their bubba was pulling away from it, but that's definitely not the case with me. He is rarely distressed when he is pulling off, and often he just looks up at me and smiles, then goes back on again. It seems like he has gained an awareness of everything around him, though it doesn't even seem that distractability is to blame, as he isn't scanning the room at the time, or showing obvious signs of this.

Always trying to get away! Always trying to pull out that tube!
Normally this would not be an issue at all, but I need to reposition the SNS tube correctly every time he latches on again. Both hands, therefore, are absolutely occupied full time, so I am unable to build Lego aeroplanes while I sit on the couch, unable to turn pages of a book, unable to stroke my big boy's hair, etc. So things are getting tough.

Here is how our feeds are going at the moment. Not every time, but a lot.
  • Little boy cries with hunger. His cries are usually very quiet and squeaky, unless he has just awoken from a huge sleep.
  • Big boy cries because little boy is crying, little boy cries harder because of the noise.
  • I say, "Don't worry, he is just crying to tell us something, remember?" and while getting the SNS bottle ready to go, with two screaming kids in the background, I calmly go through all the potential reasons that the baby is crying. "Why do you think he is crying? What is he trying to tell us?" Cue older child burying his head into a pillow and sobbing. "Maybe he is tired? Or hungry? or needs a new nappy? What do you think?"
  • SNS bottle is ready -- those ten seconds felt like ten minutes -- along with my big boy's dummy and his back-up bottle in case he decides he needs those during that feed and I don't have the energy to argue. I make sure those are hidden, though, as I don't want to give them to him unless he desperately wants them.
  • I sit with my little baby on the couch and latch him on. Hopefully he will feed for ten seconds straight without pulling off, enough for my older boy to calm down. I have started to latch him on with the SNS tube right from the start now, trying to reduce the probabilitythat he will pull away crying again, which sets my big boy off again. 
  • Little bubba latches on and off every 5-10 seconds, aggravating the new big milk blister I have.
  • Big boy is calm but wants me. I get him to pick a book and 'Skooch in' next to us so we can read it together. He almost whacks his brother on the head as he opens the first page. He wants me to turn the pages, and normally I can but with all this relatching lately I have no free hands, so he gets upset again that he has to do it himself. 
  • Little baby is pulling at the tubes, pulling them out of his mouth, and milk is running down my shirt and all over his face. I try to get his fingers to cling onto the new breastfeeding necklace I have instead, which gives him something to play with, and try to ensure that the tubes don't get tangled up in it. I put my hand repeatedly in the way of his hand and we battle each other for each relatch, though sometimes we just end up holding hands. Relatching is sometimes working, but sometimes the tube is under his tongue or not in far enough or in too far, and he ends up not being able to suck any milk out of the tube and gets grumpy again, which gets my big bubba grumpy again too.
  • I suck in those little moments where little bubba looks at me and smiles so perfectly. 
  • When pull-offs are happening every two seconds, I swap sides, but always warn my big boy. "You know that he always cries when we turn over. He is still hungry and he thinks that all the food is gone! But there is more coming." 
  • Switch sides. Sometimes big boy cries when little baby cries, but mostly he is now calm enough to say, "It's okay, darling, there is more coming", which is just a little bit of magic. More hand battling, tube pulling, milk not flowing, etc. 
  • Little baby shows he is finished by either getting annoyed at me relatching him, or falling asleep. Then it is burp, clean up spit-up, and play.
Phew!

So yes, things would be easier if I bottle fed. But hey, despite all that, I still love it.

Blurry shot for obvious reasons... It's a team affair in this house!



 

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