January 4, 2013 by Heather
I have been breastfeeding for 222 days, which translates to somewhere around 1,776 nursing sessions, for a total of about 44,400 minutes spent with my suckling babe. Otherwise known as 1,032 episodes of Mad Men.
Not that I’m counting or anything. That would be weird.
Since my milk factory has started to kind of slow down its (their?) pace of production, I have been thinking a lot lately about my breastfeeding experience and how far we’ve come. It was kind of a (or, rather, one helluva) rough start, to say the least. In the beginning, Parker nursed constantly and my nipples came dangerously close to falling off of my chest. I yelled curse words when he latched on and drenched his baby head with tears cried out in excruciating pain. I didn’t wear a shirt for two months. I would literally nurse him every night from 8pm until midnight. As a breastfeeding rookie, I made the mistake of not giving equal sucking time to each side and ended up with a major cup size difference that was hilarious and depressing all at the same time. Only now are they starting to even out. Sort of. Don’t stare at them for too long, let’s just leave it at that.
It sucked,literally, for quite a while. And then out of no where it got way better.
Around four or five months he began eating much more quickly and efficiently. Nursing did not take near as long, which was a huge relief. Introducing cereal to his diet might’ve helped, who knows. My nipples had been to war and back and lived to tell the tale. No longer did they hurt. In fact, they didn’t really feel anything at all. I have a vivid memory of feeding Parker one time in a back bedroom at my dad’s house and thinking, Wow, I have nourished this baby for four whole months with just what my body produced. It was a proud moment, one that fueled my motivation to keep on keepin’ on.
When he started eating solids around six months, his nursing schedule kind of changed some. I breastfed him at every “meal” (three times a day) and then also before bed and once during the night, so around 4-5 times a day.
Just in the last month or so, a few things have happened that affected the milky way: 1) Parker’s appetite has become like that of a pro football player, 2) He gets incredibly distracted while nursing, making it almost impossible for him to do the job fully, and 3) I have started eating a little bit less and exercising more in order to
effing shed this baby weight, thus resulting in somewhat of a drop in my milk supply.
I don’t know much, but I do know that until babies are one year old, their main source of nutrition and sustenance is supposed to come from milk and not solid foods, be it breast milk or formula.
So instead of feeding him extra peas and bananas to make up for the shortage of breast milk, we are giving him 1-2 bottles of formula a day, depending on how hungry is. I am nursing 3 good times a day, usually with another attempt at it thrown in there where he gets frustrated or sees a speck of dust flying through the air and is no longer interested in what I have to offer.
Sure, I could take various vitamins and pump pump pump and try to work up some more milk, but to be honest, I’m not interested in doing that. There’s no point in forcing my body to work overtime at something that seems to be naturally running its course. I’ll let it continue to do its thing, and I will be forever grateful for what it was and is capable of doing.
And so that is where we are, currently. It makes me a little sad to think about not breastfeeding anymore, whenever that day comes. Because even though it has been somewhat of a struggle, it has been nothing short of precious. The way he looks, smells, and sounds while nursing is something that I want to remember for forever. Previously, I’d surf the interwebs on my phone while I nursed, but now I spend it watching Parker and taking lots of mental pictures.
And after all, the most important thing is that Mr. Parker Peach is healthy and happy.
So far, so good. And I give all the glory to God for that! We are very blessed.
In other news, look at how stinking cute these tiny running shoes are:
HAPPY WEEKEND, ERRBODY.