Northeast Ohio friends! — Make sure you enter my giveaway of 2 General Admission tickets to
Red & White on Thursday Night!
Before having Ari, I knew I wanted to breastfeed. I knew it was a) healthier than formula; and b) cheaper than formula. To me, it was a no brainer.
It was apparent soon after he was born that he was tongue-tied. While not completely impossible, it did make for a frustrating nursing situation. He refused to latch on properly and he would scream because he was hungry. Meanwhile, the pain from an improper latch caused me to scream and cry.
And the Ear, Nose & Throat doctor couldn’t see him to fix the tongue tie for two weeks.
I was torturing myself by saying that this was what I was ‘supposed’ to do as a new mom. It was part of my new-mom duty. Right?
I visited a lactation consultant and basically found out that I needed to support his head with one hand, hold him with the other, and then shove my boob into his mouth with another hand. Counting? That’s three hands. Yep.
By the end of the first week, I was ready to throw in the towel completely. Chad kept asking me “do you want to just feed him some formula?” and through tears I would tell him No.
I had been advised not to use a bottle or pacifier for 6 weeks, for fear he would get ‘nipple confusion.’ But I couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn’t take the screaming baby who wanted food; I couldn’t take the pain from an improper latch.
And so I broke out the pump for the first time.
And fed my baby a bottle.
And he was satisfied!
Once I started seeing my baby eat, I was hesitant to nurse him again. Even after his tongue tie was fixed, it was nice to have someone else feed the baby while I showered or did laundry.
I tried nursing him again. I really did. But he wasn’t interested. And, to be honest, neither was I.
Much to the dismay of many who told me to “keep trying.” I just didn’t want to.
Am I missing out on essential bonding time with my baby? I would argue no. I still hold him and feed him and look into his eyes; I still see my baby smile when he has a full belly.
And Chad was able to bond with Ari a bit more, too. By splitting up the feedings, he was able to share that perspective. And having witnessed that bonding, I wouldn’t want to ever take that away from him.
Ari is happy. He is healthy. And I’m still giving my baby the essential nutrients that he needs to stay as happy and healthy as possible. All of the natural immunities and proven benefits of giving a baby breast milk are still being received. Just from a rubber nipple instead of mine.
And guess what? When I went back to work, he didn’t freak out. He had been used to taking a bottle from me, Chad, my parents, and pretty much anyone who wanted to give it to him. What a relief! For both me and the sitter!
Is it a bit of a pain to have to plan around pumping? It sure is. But we’ve endured lots of changes during this time of transition with a new baby. Now planning around pumping is just part of my daily routine.
We adapted to the situation we found ourselves in. And ya know what? I’m quickly learning that that is what parenting is all about — adapting.