Thursday, June 28, 2012

Exactly Where I Want to Be

So.. you all know about my breastfeeding challenges with Rosemary, and how determined I am to breastfeed Poppy. Three weeks have gone by since we brought her home from the NICU, her due date passed by last Friday, and I keep asking myself, "Are we there?"

I haven't wanted to give myself an answer yet. Some days are great. Other days, not so great. But the trend is heading upward, and I am glad. Yes, I am so glad and happy at how she eats: most times with a nipple shield, occasionally without, and sometimes with a bottle when she's too tired or frustrated to nurse. But the bottle feedings are becoming less and less.

I struggled earlier this week with not being able to find the right time to pump. It always seemed like the moment I finished pumping my breasts dry would be the moment she would wake up hungry. I eventually had to stop and ask myself what I was doing: if I wanted her to get the milk from my nipples, why was I pumping it out? I had to let go of the notion of "pumping to maintain a supply." Let go of the fear and jump in headfirst; let Poppy create the demand for the supply. She hasn't let me (or my boobs) down. She's gaining weight and getting stronger every day. I change lots of wet diapers. What is there to still be afraid of?

Don't get me wrong, I still pump. I'm not making the same mistake I made with Rosemary when I stopped pumping completely. When I'm too engorged for Poppy to effectively nurse I will pump for 5 minutes prior to feeding. If I still feel pretty full after she's done, I'll pump 5 minutes after. If she downs a whole bottle instead of nursing, I'll pump a full 15-20 minute session. All of this equates to about three times a day.

I've stopped watching the clock; she tells me when she's hungry. Our clothes are soaked, we both smell of warm, spoiled milk and spit-up, and I know right where we are: exactly where I want to be. Even though there's a part of me that's too afraid to give voice to the answer of, "Are we there?" I feel it. It radiates from my heart.




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