These have become my friends in the last ten days.
Just like when I gave birth to Mischa five years ago, I was again faced with the daunting task of breastfeeding. I remember back then that it was one of the worst feelings that accompanied my childbirth. When I should be celebrating the coming of my eldest, I was frustrated and helpless, and no one seemed to be able to do anything for a first-time mom with a flat left nipple and a grossly inverted right one. They were pinched, pushed and left to bleed to no avail. They both retracted back the instant we managed to get them out. Both baby and I were harrassed and stressed to the highest levels. But I pushed on-getting a manual pump that helped me expressed my milk while giving me sweet relief from the engorgement. Did this for two months and then work happened.
Enter 2014. I still hoped and carried a torch that I would be able to do breastfeeding this time. Armed with experience and fresh knowledge off the Internet, I primed my arsenal. I upgraded my pump to an electric and brought paraphernalia which I thought would open doors of ease for me and the new baby, i.e., nipple shields and latch assist accessories. It also helped a great deal that the hospital now has lactation nurses and consultants. Whee! They were heaven-sent when my milk was coming in, and engorging my breasts. I learned a lot about massaging the right way so that milk doesn’t clog in the pores. Hot compress likewise helped. We tried letting Maxine latch but it was just difficult. She’d rather sleep than work my boobies. She wasn’t a ravenous eater as Ate Mischa and would give up halfway when she couldn’t suck the milk out. We cup fed her during our stay in the hospital just to give it a chance and she wouldn’t suffer from nipple confusion. But it was just too much trouble augmenting my expressed milk with formula then having to mix the latter, transferring to a cup small enough for her tiny mouth and finally feeding her.
So here we are now, a little better off than we were in 2009 but am now able to give myself more. I pump about twice a day, about 20-30 minutes per boob. I wish I could do it more often but meeting the needs of two kids under five just wouldn’t cut it.
It gives me immense satisfaction everytime I see my daughter take in my precious milk, more so becauuse I know I worked hard to produce them. It feels good that you get to give whatever you could, no matter how little you are able to. I wish I had a nanny so I don’t have to do all the washing and sometimes the cooking. The husband also sadly went back to work today (frankly, I got a little clingy and managed to wangle one more day with us at home). I am happy that my eldest is taking all these gracefully and doesn’t seem to resent the attention given to the new baby. Thank you Lord.