Monday, November 12, 2007

Backs and Bottles

So I did something nasty to my back. I'm not sure how, but the result has been what I'm assuming are back spasms. And guess what? Breastfeeding means no painkillers for me. Beautiful.

Speaking of breastfeeding, Christy was nice enough to feign interest in my boob problems. I'm happy to report that although my body totally and completely freaked out from coming off the pill mid-cycle, the end result was a back-to-normal milk supply.

You know, it's been over three months and I never thought I'd breastfeed this long. I hear of lots of women who stop breastfeeding when they return to work. I realize this might be because returning to work involves pumping. And the pumping? It is not fun. But I think the reason it hasn't occurred to me to stop breastfeeding is that I've been pumping all along, since day one. I'm posting this because for all the research on breastfeeding I've done, there isn't much on pumping exclusively. So maybe someone will google "breastfeeding" and "pumping" and get to this site.

Now I don't know, maybe I can never find anything on exclusively pumping because I'm the only person crazy enough to do it. But I find that hard to believe. If you read this site regularly you know that my kid, he didn't so much want to do the sucking in the beginning. Now I thought sucking was a natural instinct in babies, but I suppose there is the chance that my kid is going to be in the slow class, because he did NOT get the sucking thing. He wouldn't latch on, but eventually after some distasterous cup-feeding, he started taking a bottle. And eventually after that, about two weeks after he was born, after lots of practice (HOURS of tortuous practice) he finally latched on. But then, he turned out to me a "rester", a baby who would nurse for 10 minutes, fall asleep, wake up a half hour later and want to eat again. It was an endless cycle, but for some reason, he would take a bottle all in one shot. So I started giving him just a bottle and then just nursing him once a day when I had a lot of time to kill. Finally, when he was about 6 weeks old, under the advice of his doctor, we added cereal to his bottle to counteract his acid reflux. So it was all bottle, all the time from that point on.

So you, if you're out there and really want your child to have breastmilk but for one reason or another can't actually nurse him, you can pump exclusively. It does take a lot of planning your schedule. It does take a lot of time. But I like to think it's worth the effort. And I'm not one of those crazy breastfeeding nazis. I think formula is just fine. I never thought I'd breastfeed. But given my husband's family history of allergies, as well as our combined gene mutations, I thought it would be best to at least try breastfeeding. And strangely, as Rolo struggled with catching on to this concept, the more I wanted to do it. I could very easily have given up when he didn't latch on. No one would have blamed me. I could have very easily stopped breastfeeding to go on the pill and end the seemingly endless bleeding (which seems to have subsided, knock on wood). I could stop breastfeeding right now so that I could take a freakin' muscle relaxer.

I had set out on this breastfeeding adventure committed to doing it for one month. I did not pressure myself to do it any longer than that. Now, since I've come this far, I'd like to try to continue to do it until Rolo is 6 months old, which seems to be the general recommendation from doctors. I'm trying not to pressure myself, but I think I might be disappointed if I don't make it to that 6 month mark. I don't think I'll go any longer than that, because you know what? It would be nice to get a full night's sleep without having to pump.

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