Considering the Pros and Cons

I fluctuate so dramatically and rapidly with how I feel about our current feeding situation, at four months. One day I absolutely love it and am so so happy that we can do what we are doing, and the next day I am just over it. I suppose there will come a time in future where that 'just over it' feeling will dominate, and then we'll see where we go from there.


Pros:

  • I have never had to get out of bed at night to console a baby. We spend many hours in the night attached to each other and he gets what he needs both physically and emotionally from me. The difference between being able to do this and spending so many early hours trying to get a screaming first baby to sleep is just mind boggling. 
  • When he is sick or unsettled for any reason, I can bring him to my breast and he feels better. Again, no inconsolable screaming. 
  • I am experiencing such a special bond with my boy, him staring at me, me staring at him, stroking his hair as he falls asleep
  • He's getting my milk, but to be honest, it isn't really about that. That is what I am coming to understand. If there was some kind of feeding issue where I had to feed my boy only my expressed milk in a bottle (because in this imaginary world I'd be able to pump everything he needs), I would still be sad. It isn't about the milk, though that obviously plays a role. 
  • This sounds stupid, I realise, but I like the fact that I am feeding my boy in a way that women have fed children since humans have existed. In the same way that I like that my births were unmedicated and allowed me some kind of primal connection to all births that women have had to endure throughout time. 

Feeding is a team game sometimes!

Cons:

  • It still takes so long. Around 40 minutes, usually. Sometimes longer. Every 2-3 hours -- that is, from the start of one feed to the start of the next. My big boy is really good throughout it all, but of course that isn't always easy, and he can't always be a superstar toddler. 
  • I am always second guessing myself, never sure if he has had enough (but does this change if you bottle feed?). Sometimes I think he is done, and then half an hour or forty minutes later he is hungry again, which makes me a little lacking in confidence when it comes to going out or planning our day. I would love to avoid having to feed in the playground at minus two degrees.
  • The SNS bottle is fickle. Sometimes I want to throw it very hard against a wall and then jump on it repeatedly, but then I know that I wouldn't be able to breastfeed at all if it weren't for that. 


More pros than cons, still. I suppose, in the back of my brain, I had always thought that my supply would be continuing to increase. That is what the SNS is for. That is what the domperidone is for, and all the other things I am doing and taking. But I'm not pumping. I need a bit of a reality check and I need to accept that this is really it. This is as good as we will get. I won't ever be able to sustain this bubba on my milk alone. Though, wait! I did when he was sick! So there's a big tick!

In the hospital, the nurse who attempted to give him a bottle seemed astounded that I was using such a 'complicated' system to feed my boy, particularly as a second child. If he was the first, I'd have times and focus to be able to work at this... it made me reflect on how this has affected my first boy, and if this is somehow unfair on him. I really don't think so, I haven't been neglecting him through all this, but it has made me think.

My big boy gazing with love at his brother
Seems that my kiddliwinks are getting better, but I am not. To be boring, all the pain that is in my jaw, teeth, ear and face in general makes me presume I have a sinus infection. My toddler really wanted to dance this morning, so much that it was a bit of a dance-by-force scenario involving him throwing himself repeatedly at my body so that I would have no choice but to wiggle... And his ever-dancing daddy is away for work for a week, so he just has me. Bummer. So this post is probably a bit grumpy.

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