Adventures in Nursing

HD, after watching me take a big drink from my MLH hospital mug: How does that water make you feel?
Me: Good!
HD: Does that water make you make more milk?
Me (totally surprised): Why, yes, actually. It does!
HD: Just like a factory!
Me (laughing now): Yep. You got it, Buddy. Just like a factory!

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Raegan is perhaps the slowest breakfast eater in the history of breakfast eaters in part because she typically eats so much. She loves to feed herself (which adds to the timeliness of the event) cereal and will have four-six bowls (toddler sized) on any given day. She even drinks the milk out of the bowl when she’s all done. But because she is feeding herself and the bowls are small and we don’t want to give her too much at a time in the likely event it ends up somewhere other than her mouth, it can take 40+ minutes to get through her first meal of the day. I guess it wasn’t too shocking to me the other day, then, when I had to grab the Boppy and bring it to the dining room table because I needed to nurse Lincoln at the same time I kept refilling her cereal bowl. LT actually nursed pretty well but it was quite the yoga routine for me!

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Raegan insists on hollering screaming “MILK!” whenever she sees me nursing. Just the sight of my chest, though, is often enough to make her holler scream it, too. We lead an interesting (and loud) life, I tell you!

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What is it with Lincoln’s fingernails? They are seriously attacking me, especially when he nurses! I’ve tried nibbling them and clipping them and filing them and nothing seems to help – he just keeps clawing his own face and my chest. Ouch!

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Thrush update. Still thrushy. At least, some days. Some days I really don’t notice much stinging. Others are pretty painful, at least when my milk lets down. I have this new organic product to try from MotherLove that works in a similar fashion to Newman’s Cream, so maybe that will help kick the thrush for good? I’m still taking a probiotic and using tea tree oil in our laundry, but I’m beginning to think stress/tiredness are key culprits. It seems like when I go a few nights with poor sleep, the pain is worse. Or maybe that just makes sense because when your body is exhausted, of course you feel physical sensations more acutely.

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Holy Frantic Nurser, Batman! Lincoln has been like this from Day One (maybe Two), but I don’t know if I’ve really chronicled it yet. Sometimes, when he’s super drowsy, he latches on and nurses just fine, and is totally calm. A lot of other times, he bobs and weaves and hovers and squawks and is all over the place. I can’t figure out what his deal is or why this happens, but he continues to sleep and continues to grow, so I’ve got to trust he’s getting enough and doing OK. It does mean he gulps a lot of air, though, so we do a lot of burping. Raegan gets a kick out of my pounding on LT’s back and comes over often to “help” me. She likes to climb up on my footstool, reach out with her hand and swat at us, all while grinning and saying, “Tap? Tap!”

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According the lactation consultants at my beloved Baby Weighs, breastfed babies 5-6 weeks old can go up to a week without pooping. Yes, a whole week! It seems Lincoln’s picked up on that message because he is now going 3-4 days between dirty diapers. And while it seems some nights that he really needs to do something to feel better, it doesn’t seem to bother him too much. What is bothersome is on that third or fourth day when he actually goes and then hello, mess! Unfortunately, today’s mess coincided with the big kids playing on the sun porch which I thought was a good thing (yea, they are occupied!) until I got done using my 20th wipe on LT and went to check on them. Not only had they drug a ton of toys on the porch, they had also dismantled my “nursing station” too. My rocking chair cushions, Boppy, foot stool and nursing pads were all on the porch, as well, which did not make me very happy. Even better/worse? Each of them had a nursing pad stuck to their proud/naughty tummies! Hooligans.

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Here at two and a half months, we have finally reached the age/stage where I don’t have to hold Lincoln in the cross cradle position to nurse all the time. By Baby No. 3 I’ve finally learned that the football hold is best in the beginning (helps them from being so overwhelmed by the combo of big milk plus tiny mouths) and that the cross cradle works well after that to teach them proper latching and positioning and all that. But now we’ve reached the point where I can settle in to my favorite nursing position, the good old cradle hold. It feels, by far, the most natural to me to have my babe’s head resting in the crook of my elbow with my hand free to rub his back or hip while he nurses. My other hand can then be free to guide his mouth if needed, but now we’re getting into the flow where I can usually rest it in front of his body and he grabs onto my thumb or fingers with his little fingers. I love, love, love feeling so connected with him in those moments (even if his darn little nails are too sharp).

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Posted in LT

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