Hooray, I finally started feeding my baby.
I have a wonderful friend who is a board-certified lactation consultant and works in a hospital, where she sees lots of c-sections mamas recovering and tries to help them breastfeed. She came over to help me. While Porcelain napped, we discussed a million things: my breast-reduction surgery in 1995, my nursing experiences with my first four children, my weight loss surgery, my vitamin regime post weight loss surgery, and of course Porcelain. Her nursing, her sleeping, her peeing and pooping, her general health.
My friend, we’ll call her My Lovely Linda, was certain there was something wrong with Porcelain, maybe a posterior tongue-tie or low tone or a palate issue.
Then Porcelain woke up. We weighed her on a scale My Lovely Linda loaned me, a breastfeeding scale that goes down to grams. I nursed her. My Lovely Linda said that she had a great latch, her tongue was doing whatever it was supposed to be doing, and she nursed perfectly. Then we weighed her. She’d taken two ounces. I tried to nurse her more but she refused.
And with that, we realized it wasn’t Porcelain’s problem but mine.
Porcelain does a fine job getting milk in — she’s a little distract-able but she’s also four months old. However, she should be taking in more than two ounces at a time. The problem is I only make about two ounces at a time. Furthermore, Porcelain has gotten accustomed to my two ounces at a time, and that’s all it takes for her to feel full. Which means–
OHMYGAWD MY BABY IS ANOREXIC!!!!!
(Dear parents who put laxatives in your baby’s bottle, aren’t you jealous of me????)
I’ve spent the last week nursing her, then offering her a bottle, so her intake is up to six ounces per feeding. At first it was hell: she refused the bottle even though I knew she was hungry; she had a cold and was all snarfly and refusing to nurse at all; I cried.
Then slowly she got a little better with the bottle, and now she takes four ounces after at least three feedings a day.
And yes, she’s… happier. I hesitate to say happier because she was always smiling and cute, but she has become more content. She sleeps easier, she doesn’t need me to have her in my arms 24/7, she poops like crazy, and she just seems more at peace.
Giving bottles sucks, but at least it’s breastmilk she’s receiving, and not powdered chemical substitute for breastmilk, also known as formula. Again, props to my wonderful lactating Jugs: Nice-Nice, Mary F. Poppins, The Happy Mathlete, and Lady Beaver of Syllables. They make tons of milk — and more importantly, they’re willing to pump for me. Those are friends. Pumping is a pain! I’m grateful to all of them for helping my baby grow and thrive.
Hopefully as she starts eating solids, I can do less donor milk and more of just nursing, because she still loves her num-nums. I love giving her num-nums.