I have done some wild crap in my life. I have worked very hard to achieve certain goals. Imagine my own surprise to discover that one of my greatest senses of accomplishment these days would come from filling a 6-ounce container with pumped breastmilk!
I tried to nurse my oldest son. It did not work for us, and I gave up within 10 minutes post-c-section. So here I am, fresh on the heels of the delivery of my youngest son. I know he is to be the last child for us, and so I am determined to experience all motherhood has to offer. This means I will be able to breastfeed him, damnit!
I must admit that I had my doubts about my ability to do this, especially in the hospital. After Zach came back from an observation period in the NICU, within minutes, a lactation consultant was in my room. She was talking about him being a preemie, even though he was almost full-term. And he is little. So she actually wanted me to supplement with formula, and asked what kind I wanted them to bring me. Huh? Aren't these lactation consultants supposed to be all one-with-mother-nature, denim-skirt-and-Birkenstock-wearing Formula Haters? They wanted me to supplement? Seriously? But yeah, they did.
They came up with this routine for me: nurse Zach until he gets his fill, follow up with 1 to 2 ounces of formula, then pump the remaining milk I have. So we did it. And when he had trouble latching on, they brought me this bizarre contraption they called and "SNS" which is basically a thin tube that goes into his mouth along with my nipple, so he gets the formula and breastmilk at the same time. Hmmm. Weird. My poor husband just stared at it. But through all of this, I was wanting to give up. This was just too much when all I could really have to do is pop a nipple on a ready-made bottle of formula, all nicely measured out in 2-ounce increments. Something in me made me keep with it, though.
And now? Zach is 6 days old, and I am a milk machine. I feel like a giant pair of boobs with legs. I nurse, then hand Baby Boy to the hubster, who bottle-feeds him his small amount of formula while I pump. And gradually, over the past few days of being home, my milk has come in and I think I may actually be producing too much milk, if that is even possible. And it is everywhere: in the fridge, the freezer. Breastpump parts strewn about randomly.
I feel like a damned cow! And my poor husband will never look at my boobs the same as he did before my days of being a Milk Maid. But I learned something about myself. I can do this. I can barely handle pregnancy, am geared more toward career and education than motherhood at times, and seem "unnatural". But this natural thing? My body actually works! And the crap they tell you about bonding with baby better? It's actually true. Huh! Imagine that!