I have a bone to pick with Mother Nature. It's about breastfeeding so if you are a man and don't want to read this post, this is your warning.
Let's see, let's start with delivery. After delivery in which most people have labored for an extended period of time, the uterus has been contracting. And the new mommy has been in pain with these contractions. So, she finally delivers and puts baby to the breast. If the baby is positioned CORRECTLY, her uterus will start contracting again. Wait, what???!!! Why does this happen? I mean, don't get me wrong, I want my flabby tummy to go away but the pain, holy cow! Haven't we just been through enough? And now, we don't have that handy dandy epidural in place!
Okay, then trying to get this little person postioned correctly. Whew, this is a workout if you ask me. The baby is hungry and starts sucking on it's hand so you put baby to the breast but instead of gently latching on, CHOMP! Right on your tender nipple. So, that is not correct and you must start over. You keep starting over until the baby is so hungry and screaming that you can't think and your arm muscles are sore from supporting this child's head. Oh, which if you are like me and have carpel tunnel, supporting a head just aggravates that a little bit more! Once baby is on correctly a sense of relief washes over you...until...the baby is not getting the milk as fast as it wants it. Because you know, it takes a minute for the milk to let down. So, rather than taking the baby off the breast you make sure baby stays on as he/she is thrashing his/her head around and pulling on your breast. That feels great too, let me tell you!
If you've ever breast fed you also know that it makes your neck, shoulders, and back so sore. Personally, every time I finally get my child latched on I have to make a conscious effort to RELAX my shoulders because they are up by my ears! Then, I want to see my sweet baby's face so I keep looking down at her only to discover this is killing my neck! I need a round the clock massuese.
The next three things are just time consumers if you ask me and as a new mother, especially if you have other children, you just don't have time to do these things. Breastfeeding makes you...
1. THIRSTY-I mean I could chug a 24oz drink every time I either nurse or pump. So, everywhere you go in the house you need a cup of water. Maybe I should invest in one of those beer helmets to wear around and then I can fill it with water. That way, I will always have something with me and I won't have to worry about Brice spilling my water!!!!
2. HUNGRY-I do not eat a lot for those of you who know me well. Breastfeeding however makes my stomach so hungry I could eat an IHOP Grand Slam breakfast in the middle of the night! But who has time to make healthy snacks during the day when you are nursing a baby, and trying to feed another child? Not me, that's for sure. But, if I don't eat, I won't make the amount of milk I need to. Catch 22, here, people.
3. SLEEPY-While the baby is nursing, whatever that hormone is, (relaxin, I think) is released and oh my gosh, I could just drop the child and fall off to sleep. It is like having narcolepsy, seriously! I read somewhere this is to ensure that the mother get plenty of rest while nursing her child. What?! Rest?! Are you kidding? I do NOT have time to sleep every time she nurses. Give me a break! I am already tired from pregnancy, delivery, and then all the other shinanigans. (For me, it was Christmas and then Anna's hospitalization, but we each have our own lives). Plus, I could never get the whole laying down while nursing thing. Half the time my one arm falls asleep and if the baby can't get comfortable, it's just a positioning nightmare. This is all just my personal experience though.
So, all that said, I just wasn't sure about this whole breastfeeding thing. I questioned my supply and quality of milk with Brice and now I'm back to the same thing with Anna. Yesterday at the pediatrician she only weighed 7lbs. 13oz which puts her in the 3rd percentile. Now, we are not sure if this is due to her VSD that is burning extra calories or if she is just one of those kids who isn't going to be "on the charts". So, we are now alternating each feeding with some formula. And guess what, I hate it. I want to be one of those mothers who has fattening breast milk and their babies have rolls from their milk. Not to mention, I've realized that I've enjoyed nursing Anna now that it has been taken away from me. Well, half way I guess. I know that formula isn't the end of the world and whatever Anna needs, she's going to get. How was I supposed to know I have only been making "skim milk" instead of "whole"??? Another thing you don't know when you are breastfeeding, as well as how much the baby is receiving? All that said though, I am praying that it is my milk supply/quality and that all we need to do is give her some formula. Because if it is her VSD, I am and already have been an emotional mess.
I hope you all enjoyed this post. I started it prior to Anna's visit with the intent of being sarcastic but it turned into more. I almost didn't finish it because I've been so upset about everything. I know there is probably an easy answer either way but my momma-bear self is in high gear. One thing is for sure though, my love and prayers for my sweet girl are "whole milk", fattening and nourishing! I'll let you know how the weight check next week goes!