My sweet, little [most of the time] angel is almost three months old, and I don’t know where the time has gone. I had shared my reality of the breastfeeding experience with you before, and am back to share an update with our progress.
At around 6 weeks, it all seemed to come together. The breastfeeding part, anyway. It was like the clouds finally cleared and the sun came out. More like the thunderstorm of the f-king century blew over and the glorious sun shined down upon my boobs. That metaphor is a lot more accurate. The latch, milk let down, nursing—pretty much every part of breastfeeding—no longer hurt. I was nursing a baby, not a viper, which was a delightful change. I was in a breastfeeding honeymoon phase. I still wasn’t wild about the physical feedings, but I loved the bonding it brought for us and the exclusivity of just me and baby time. He needed me, and I needed him. The cutest yin and yang ever.
Now that we are turning the corner of three months, the non-stop feedings and the protein intolerance diet elimination trials—a whole other mess for a whole other post—leaves me with the resentful feeling that I am kind of over breastfeeding. Maybe it was just because this past weekend Baby T didn’t sleep well, so neither did anyone else, or maybe it is because I feel chained to feeding or pumping. My whole schedule rotates around when T last ate or if my husband has enough pumped milk so that I can see a movie and get lunch with a friend. I’m in a wedding soon, and trying to figure out the ratio of pumped milk needed for hours gone and the logistics of finding a private space so that I can hike up my bridesmaid dress to my chest to feed is a little stressful, to say the least.
We don’t live in our happy bubble at home anymore, where I can whip out a boob at my little guy’s demand and not worry about onlookers. Venturing into the world with a new baby feels scary, and breastfeeding only complicates it further. I’m practicing outings to get used to being a mama on the go, and it is getting a little easier. I’ve come to realize how unfriendly the US is to breastfeeding moms; it’s hard to find a place to get myself set up and feed my baby without feeling extremely exposed! That and the fear that some stranger will reprimand my natural nudity. Even Carter’s, the baby and child store, doesn’t have a dressing room or mother’s room. Seriously? Of all the places you’d think would have one…
I didn’t give up on breastfeeding at the beginning and I was damn sure I’m not going to give up on it now. I’m aiming for 6 months, and I’m halfway there! Just in time to drink for the holidays. Just when you think you have your shit together, motherhood throws you another curve ball. This past Sunday T figured out that the can chomp down while breastfeeding. Who knew that tiny little gums could be so cruel. Since then he has performed his new trick at almost every session. I’m so exasperated I don’t even know what to do. This might be the final straw to weaning him to bottles. It’s a very difficult decision since I have worked so hard for three months to make breastfeeding work. How do you get a baby to stop a behavior? Yell “No” and de-latch? The honeymoon is definitely over. I will have a major decision to make this week. Until next time, mama.