Trying to raise my kids the best I can

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Reflections on breastfeeding

The other night my one year old did the funniest thing!! I was laying down with him, trying to get him to sleep, breastfeeding him of course. I was watching TV so I didn't see this coming... totally out of the blue he whips out this harmonica and starts playing!!! It was hillarious!

Looking back on my breastfeeding experiences I have had the good, the bad and the ugly. Mostly the good though. When I was a new mother at 18 I didn't give much thought to how I would feed the baby. I just assumed I would breastfeed and that was that. I don't really understand why breastfeeders are in the minority when it seems like the obvious thing to do. I remember trying to give him a bottle when he was a few weeks old because "everyone else" supplements, so I should too. Boy oh boy, did he ever scream and cry! He would not take that bottle! I couldn't figure out how everyone else did it. Oh well, I didn't really need the bottle anyway. Breastfeeding was working out just fine.

When Brandon (my firstborn) was one he was snacking on an apple at the same time as he was snacking on me... very bad combination. He ended up biting a chunk out of my nipple. It was extremely painful. The timing of it was good though because I was about to leave on a three day trip by myself to see old friends. It was enough time to heal enough so I could continue breastfeeding.

When Brandon was one and a half he weaned himself instantly one day. I will never understand why. All I know is that I was very sad. I even called La Leche League to see how I could get him to start again. That was a funny conversation. She asked how old he was. I said 1 1/2... The lady said there wasn't much I could do.

I had no problems with Wolfie other than the weaning problem discussed in the last post. When he was a baby I was a struggling single mom with A LOT of stuff going on in my life. The sad part is that I have very few, very vague memories of him as a baby and toddler. It's like, my brain was SO overloaded with stuff it couldn't fit him into the memory bank. I like to look at pictures of us when he was a baby. It's like looking at it from the outside. I don't remember much from the inside. But it's nice to see that yes, I did enjoy my baby. We look happy.

I had the most breastfeeding problems with Dimitri. First off, I got a mega breast infection on day 10. It was a nightmare scenerio because I went to the ER with severe flu symptoms and the doctor couldn't figure out it was a breast infection and so told me it was the flu and sent me home. As soon as I got home I saw the bright red streaks going up my breast and I knew what the problem was. Unfortunately, I had to wait until the next day before a doctor would see me and prescribe medicine. It was horrible.

The other major problem was that Dimitri was overwhelmed with breastfeeding. He would struggle and thrash around while he fed. He couldn't seem to figure out how to coordinate breathing and drinking. He would hold his breath and then gasp. It was miserable. The main thing I did to help him was that I always breastfed him in bed with the covers up tight around us. Preferably with the lights out and no distractions. This way he was peaceful and could relax a little. Every time he fed I looked forward to his fourth month when I knew it would get better. I was right. Once he hit four months his need for large amounts of milk, plus the experience he had gained turned him into a steady peaceful breastfeeder. It isn't until your baby is old enough to empty a breast that you get to experience the peaceful euphoria of the endorphin rush from breastfeeding.

All mothers should get to experience that.



  • At 1:55 PM, Blogger Bruce said…

    That harmonica thing is hilarious.

    I remember hearing about a little boy who liked to run around with no clothes on, and he liked candy too. So one day he came running into where people were and said, look mommy and daddy, I'm naked with candy. The daddy reportedly thought that wasn't half a bad idea himself. :D


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