Saturday, September 13, 2014

Yup, Two Breastfeeding Posts in a Row

You may notice that I went and changed the previous post's title. I glanced at the original title when I opened the blog just now and it made me cringe a little. I think it may have sounded negative. (Toddler Night Nursing and Why I'm Over It) {cringe again}.

The truth is that I've always enjoyed breastfeeding my babies and have felt blessed to be able to do so. Breastfeeding my first born, Colin, was so ridiculously easy that I hadn't a clue what people meant when they talked about painful latches and/or difficulty nursing. Colin latched about a minute or so after he was born and that was that. No issues, no pain, not ever.

When the triplets were born I was determined to exclusively breastfeed them all and thought it would be entirely possible given my experience with Colin. However, any doctor or nurse I told this to said, "You won't be able to do it," which only made me more determined. Then the triplets were born and turns out they were right. I never produced enough milk to feed them all. We had to supplement from the start, day 1 in the NICU. It's okay.... I know..... I know it's okay. But it still hurts my heart a little. I'm grateful to have been able to breastfeed each of them, though never exclusively, for about six months. At the time, I wasn't co-sleeping with them, I wasn't nursing on demand, I wasn't pumping through the night and my body just couldn't keep up.

One of the things I was most looking forward to when we found out we were having another baby, was that I could nurse him on demand and it would be easy, just like it was with Colin. Only it was the opposite of that. From the moment he tried to latch, there was horrible pain that only got worse. It was worse than labor, in my opinion. I'll spare you the details but suffice to say that I finally understood what people meant when they said that they tried to nurse but gave up because it hurt too much or was too hard. There were moments in the weeks after Owen's birth that I wanted to quit. Only I really didn't want to quit. But it was a battle. It was a hard fought battle that Owen and I finally won together. And 16 months later here we are still going strong. Please don't misinterpret my previous sarcastic rant about toddler night nursing and the need to make a change, as purely complaining. I am complaining a bit, I know it, mostly because I want some sleep! But first and foremost, I am beyond grateful that we've gotten this far, because it sure wasn't easy initially.

This whole week, we stuck with our plan of Chris going in to comfort Owen when he cries, instead of having him come into our bed and nurse. Each night continues to get easier and the amount of straight sleep Owen is experiencing keeps increasing too. Last night he sleep all night long, from 8 p.m until 7 a.m! It felt like a small miracle! Most importantly, this step and approach feels right, which lets us know we're on the right track. I'm waking up more rested and so excited to see Owen in the morning, cuddle with him on the couch and let him nurse to his hearts content (instead of feeling exhausted and a little resentful that he's kept me up all night, which is how I was beginning to feel some days).

Lastly, if you happen to be struggling with breastfeeding, I am proof that it can get easier. You might want to consider finding a lactation consultant who's super nice and supportive and helpful. That can make a world of difference.

Also, the next post will not be about breastfeeding for those of you not. at. all interested.

Speaking of my littlest guy, here he is, once again imitating whatever he sees his big brothers doing. This time, I turned to see him suddenly on top of the table, adjusting the umbrella. Just as Carter had done about 5 minutes before :-) He thinks it's hilarious when I catch him in these moments of big boy action.

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