Sunday, July 14, 2013
Magic Boobs, Poop and Milk
It has been two weeks since we became a family of four. Four humans that is, not to offend our cats (offended cats can cause a lot of troubles). Or to be even more precise, two humans, one little caveman (he would argue he's a dragon) and one yet mostly unidentifiable tiny creature.
I am still getting used to having a daughter. I refer to her as "him" fairly often. Kai does also, or he says things like "I want she to be quiet" or "I'd like to give she a pacifier". She sleeps a lot. It brings on a whole range of emotions, especially after having one child that did not sleep at all. At first I was in awe and could not believe my luck. This baby sleeps! All the time! Then I reluctantly admitted to myself I should probably be worried that something might be wrong with her. Mostly I felt guilty that I wasn't as worried as I thought I should have been. I mean - I got a newborn that can sleep through the night! Isn't that the same as winning the lottery? Why do you want me to worry about lottery winning, you mean pediatrician?
The (mean) pediatrician worried because Fiona kept losing weight and was not pooping. When you are a baby, all that matters is food and poop. There is a whole science dedicated to baby pooping, or at least that's how it seems to me. I assume it's called poopology (with the most famous publication "Crap! I did it again.") Fiona sleeps so much she refuses to eat. Well, that's not exactly true. She does not refuse. There is no arguing or rejecting, she just falls asleep before she can as much as finish one gulp. It is as if one look at my boobs knocks her unconscious. I am not quite sure what to make out of it, and I am slightly concerned about what am I to do if they will have the same effect on my husband. I don't dare to try. With that said, I still don't know if I worried at first more about her health or about potentially creating a non sleeping monster again, by forcefully waking her every two hours to bottle feed her, since the bottle does not seem to cast the same magic spell that my boobs do.
I have never experienced breastfeeding being easy. We went to hell and back with Kai before we finally figured it out. With Fiona I thought I got it all covered. Not only did I breastfeed one child successfully for a year, I also had to troubleshoot. I knew all the tricks. I knew everything - other than a sleepy baby. So here we are. My day schedule looks like this - I put Fiona to my breast in hopes she'll stay awake this time. She glances at it, latches, gulps once or twice and checks out. I pour a bottle of pre-pumped milk in her throat. I consider if this is the beginning of her future unhealthy eating habits and potential overeating. Then I remind myself of the poop, or the lack of it. Feeling like half idiot, half jerk, I proceed to trying to wake her so I can force feed her some more. Then I pump. Then it's time to start all over again. I am a milk factory. I am a Mom and a wife and a writer and very many other things, but right now, all that matters is that I am a milk factory.
This experience made me realize two things - I truly don't know how working breastfeeding mothers do it (you are heroes, ladies, for real), and I feel deep sympathy for women who want to breastfeed but can't. I had no idea how emotionally challenging it can be. Now I get it. So cheers to milk and off I go try to wake this baby once again.
Posted by Andrea Chmelik