Nursing my babies has been such a joy for me. It is a time set aside, several times a day, that is just for me and baby. The more children you have the less of those individual moments you have.
Nursing forces you to slow down. Its the interruption of your day that is the gift. That reminder to snuggle your baby even if the laundry is piled high or the dog hair is floating around like hay stacks in the wind.
It has not always been easy. This is my third round and I feel like a breastfeeding guru now. But when I think back to nursing my first born it seemed like a hopeless feat. He was 4 weeks early by emergency c-section, I was very sick with pre-eclampsia and pneumonia and he was very sick in the NICU. They had me pumping every 20 minutes and nothing was coming out. In the meantime he was getting formula. Thank God for formula. When we left the hospital a week later I was determined to nurse. My mother nursed all six of her kids so for me there was no other way. At first we alternated formula bottles and nursing and I would pump when he drank formula. It. Was. Insanity. It was not at all glamorous. My nipples were so sore I slept with frozen peas in my bra. There were sores and scabs and bleeding. I was a battle of sorts. I just kept going. And by 3 months old Timmy was exclusively breastfed and all the way until his first birthday.
My second experience wasn’t nearly as traumatic. Grace was born a pro. She was nursing 30 minutes after my c-section. They brought her in recovery and she just knew what to do. My nipples were not spared tho. Same thing all over again with frozen peas as my savior and lanolin. That stuff is a life saver. Grace nursed until 19 months. She preferred nursing to eating real food. The girl never took a bottle. That means I never could leave her with a sitter. She would starve herself before she would put her mouth on a bottle nipple. That was beneath her. I should have know then she was a born diva!
Lydia has been my easiest. I am a different mom now though and I think that makes all the difference. I’m not consulting a book or webmd at every cry. I feel confident in my “momming” and I think that calmness makes for happier babies. I don’t have a breastfeeding journal like I did with Timmy, I don’t worry about how much time she feeds and what side I used last like I did with Grace. We go with the flow. A very smart nurse once told me that the first breast is the entree and second side is dessert. So don’t count minutes. A happy full baby will either fall asleep or pull away when they’re done. You can’t over nurse a baby. So Lydia nurses for as long as she wants & I try to soak it all in because in a very short time this season of my life will come to an end.