Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Breastfeeding: Graham, Nearly There

When my doctor pulled Graham out of me, I heard his screams and immediately felt full.  So much love in those itty bitty cries before I ever even laid eyes on him.  When she came around the curtain to show me him, I flashed back to visions of the same process with Addie.  Graham was Addie's twin at just minutes old.  The team cleaned him off and began working on me.  After what felt like 30 minutes, Rick finally walked over with Graham and showed him to me.  Graham had settled down and had his tongue hanging out of his mouth.
About 90 minutes after I walked into the OR, I was settled into recovery and had Graham wrapped up in my arms.  I was holding him so tightly and wanted to inspect him, cuddle him, and kiss him.  The nurse asked if I was going to nurse and I said yes so she told me to take down my gown and try it.  There was Graham again with his tongue hanging out of his mouth, completely ready.  I positioned him and immediately he latched. The kid was born to nurse it seemed.

With Addie, those first few days were brutal.  It was painful, frustrating and a little damaging.  After a couple weeks I didn't know how I'd make it running on empty, never getting more than 3 hours sleep.  Having a nasty infection from my c-section during week two causing me to pump and dump after I had just got my milk in.  Finally, we got into a rhythm and it was easy for us.

With Graham, things were different.  There wasn't pain or frustration in the process. I knew what I was doing and he knew what he was doing.  It made the world of difference.  He loved nursing so much that he'd pass out almost instantly after he began.  It was his soothing mechanism.  To this day, he still doesn't care of a pacifier but if I stop and nurse him, he calms immediately.  It's amazing.

I won't lie to you and say that during those first few months things weren't difficult.  He was nursing every 3 hours without fail through the day and night.  I wasn't getting a break and oftentimes he'd pass out and I'd have to wake him several times in the process.

After more than 7 months of nursing, he now takes 10 minutes tops to nurse.  He's fast but he's easily distracted.  Really, no one can make a sound or he stops nursing and bends over backwards to check it out.  He thrashes around while he nurses, kicking and flailing his arms.  He tries to grab my hair, he squeezes my boobs, he grunts.  I do a lot of wrestling in these sessions to keep him focused but he's amazing at it.

I'm so glad I've made it past 6 months.  My goal this time around was a year again which I won't be hitting.  Rick and I have plans to travel to California in September for a week and I honestly don't want to deal with pumping every 4 hours, storing that milk and then transporting it all back to Ohio.  Graham will be a couple weeks shy of 1 at that point so I'm more comfortable knowing how close we'll have made it.

This means I have about 4 months left of nursing so each day I'm cherishing those moments I spend wrestling Graham.  Enjoying when he's finished nursing and he pops off with milk running from his mouth as he smiles up at me.


Read about breastfeeding with Addie here and a couple months in with Graham here.

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