Nursing didn't go so well with Olivia and me, so I worked myself into a panic in anticipation of nursing Bowen. All I could think about was the pain, even though I know many people don't encounter the cracking and bleeding and shooting pain in their armpits and plugged ducts and whatnot. Not to mention the loneliness of being the sole provider during the graveyard shift and the social awkwardness of anything boob-related in public. But I was determined to give it my best, if only for the antibodies. I read up on breastfeeding before Bowen was born, and Amalah/AlphaMom's pages like this, this, and this were really helpful. Things like knowing that babies are born to suck but have to be taught how to latch properly, and ways to boost supply. Good stuff.
Bowen was born on a Friday, so the lactation consultant (LC) stopped by before her weekend, while I was still hopped up on morphine and blubbering through tears when sharing my nursing fears with my nurse (Hi, Jennifer Pifer, you are awesome). When it was time for Bowen to nurse I was all thumbs and he was this sleepy, flopsy thing who couldn't care less if he ate. The LC helped me position him properly, although I had to wonder if I really needed three pillows every time he nursed. But we had all weekend to practice and on Monday morning the LC came back, things looked good, and we got discharged (read: sent home to go it alone). Steve went to the local compounding pharmacy to get APNO after getting quizzical looks when I asked for a Rx from three different doctors, and I really think the ointment was helpful. I took Fenugreek and Blessed Thistle to boost my supply when my milk came in (and felt super crunchy taking herbals, but "Blessed Thistle!" is my new swear word so it's okay.) And even when I am super tired in the middle of the night I make sure we have a good (as best I could tell) latch. And at the risk of jinxing things, I'm here to tell you it's possible to nurse without scabs. Praise God! It's still lonely being the only one who can feed Bowen (and he's still so sleepy it takes 45 minutes each time because I have to mess with him to keep him awake), but I dislike pumping even more. The pediatrician said a good time to introduce a bottle is around 2-3 weeks of age, so our plan is to try supplementing with formula sometime in there. In the meantime Steve gets up during the night to hold Bowen if he cries and it hasn't been very long since the previous feeding. Super helpul is my man!
this tutorial, but I lined it and put the D-rings on the other strap so the tail goes down. Why did I wait until after Bowen was born to do this? Procrastination, mainly (I'm not a nester), plus I wanted to make sure nursing would "take" before putting the effort into sewing something. I decided to make it from fabric that I liked instead of "boy baby" fabric. It's the little things that help make this nursing thing more fun, and I love purple, pink, and orange together.