Okay, here comes another disclaimer. If conversations of breasts and breastfeeding and nipples and milk leakage makes you uncomfortable, grow up. I mean don't continue reading. But then, grow up. Ha.
I can't believe I've been a mama this long and haven't posted about breastfeeding. I'm just going to say this: breastfeeding is my life.
I am a huge fan of the breastfeeding. I love it. I'm not here to be controversial, I don't care to argue if you're a formula-feeder, and I won't fascinate you with facts about the unbelievable and uncountable benefits of breastfeeding. [Ahem. Click the link. You know you want to.] I know that breastfeeding is just not possible for some people or lifestyles. I'll just share my experience, and allow you to draw your own conclusions.
I have a bumper sticker on my fridge that says "Babies were born to be breastfed." I'm just saying.
I read this book while I was pregnant, and was dying to breastfeed my little one as soon as I started. It's a hysterical, lighthearted, amazingly informative book. If you want to breastfeed, have ever breastfed, or at one time was a baby, read it right away.
While I was pregnant, I had dreams alternating every night. One night, I would be breastfeeding and would say "She latched on!" and was overjoyed. The next night, was my recurring nightmare, that my baby was born and alive for like 6 hours, and I forgot to feed her. My actual experience was much closer to dream #1.
Breastfeeding is instinct. My little Rei Rei fell out, stayed under her little warmer because she was a tiny little beanie, and then got to be held by her mama. And she opened her mouth and started eating right away. I mean, I thought she was a genius. Which she is. But the instinct was unreal to me. She knew what to do, even more than her mama did!
I just saw on Kourtney and Kloe Take Miami that they have little strips to test your pumped milk for alcohol content, so you know when to save and when to dump. I'm investing. Leave me alone, I like margaritas. And wine. Did I ever tell you that? But Rei doesn't need it yet. Hence, these strips are a wonderous invention for the present-day mama.
I love the connection Reilly and I have from breastfeeding. When Hubby started giving her bottles of my milk, I sat there next to him staring. And making little comments like "Oh, careful. Don't tilt it too much. Oh, she's spitting a little. Oh, she just coughed." I wasn't being annoying at all. But it was just so hard for me for someone else to feed her! I was solely responsible for her nourishment, and it was something that her and I did together close to 12 times a day. Her life depends on me and my body, and that's an unbelievable feeling.
Update: Hubby now gives her 1 bottle a day, at around 2 am. Thus giving me a solid 6 hours of sleep per night. I am no longer melancholy about the bottle feeding. The Hubby-bottle situation makes me the happiest woman alive. Hubby, I love you. The end.
Before all the Breast Milk: Teeny little chickpea banana.
After all the Breast Milk: Chunky little peanut banana!
I'm currently way too comfortable breastfeeding in front of my family. My sister's boyfriend said that he is going to have to remember dollar bills for the next time he sees me, due to all the boobage. Ahem. Oops. It's just so natural, I forget to be embarrassed! Sorry, America.
The contentment and the peace that baby feels when they're feeding is so powerful. So powerful, that it makes mama feel just as content. It really does. I find that she is feeding and relaxed and falling asleep in my arms, and seeing her so content in my arms makes me instantly so happy.
Purity. I'm a huge fan of all things pure. I love all-natural foods and cleaning products, and I love cooking using the purest of ingredients I can find. I was thinking recently, what is more pure than milk that my own body makes? God decides what goes in it, not me. God is essentially feeding my baby. As a mama, you are constantly second-guessing yourself, wondering if you are doing the "right thing", if baby is healthy and happy. I don't have to worry about her food - God takes care of it for me. Nothing is better than that.
[Fun fact: The name "Kate" actually means pure!]
Actual conversation that occurred recently:
[Background knowledge necessary to understand conversation: Poop of breastfed babies is yellow and looks like mustard, and doesn't smell ever.]
My mama: [While changing Reilly] Huh...her stool is bright green...
Me: [Running over and gasping] Oh my God! She's sick! What' wrong with her! Mom what does that mean!
mama: Why do you automatically go there? She is not sick. What have you eaten recently?
Me: Nothing!! I mean nothing abnormal! Everything the same always!
Mama: You haven't eaten anything different?
Me: [thinking] No! Yesterday I had cereal for breakfast, then a piece of toast, and then for lunch I had a big bowl of broccoli.
Mama: .....[stares at me]
Me: OH MY GOD! THAT'S INSANE! HONEY, COME LOOK AT HER POOP!!
I guess those are all my factoids for now. Comment if you have any questions, because my baby is a little feeding pro, and we have learned so much together in the past 6 weeks. I'm not an expert, but it's all I do every day and night. Let's just say, I've had some good practice. Talk to me in a year, and I'll claim to be a pro. Today, I'm a minor-leaguer. Now Reilly baby, she's a little pro!
Love and Happy Suckling,
Dirt Road Mama