When Georgie was born and we were pumping, bottle feeding and nursing, I thought that no kid of mine could be more of a pain in the arse to feed.
God heard me. And, thus, God laughed. Long. And hard. Because when you say, "It can't be worse than THIS!" God takes that as a CHANLLENGE. God being God, His challenges are few and far between, so methinks He looks forward to them.
And God sent me Cole.
Now I am 99 per cent EP'ing (exclusivly pumping). Yup, you read that right- EXCLUSIVE. That means Cole does NOT nurse from the breast.
Oh, he tries. We both try. He latches on and sucks a bit and at night when he wants to suck and cluster feed, he will latch on and try. He suck is weak and not a proper suck for a breastfeeding baby. It feels like he is biting me, a classic sign of a tounge-tie. I'm employing alot of the tricks mothers use in the NICU to get babies used to the breast and to relize that it is a happy place to be, complete with FOOD: non-nutrive sucking, nursing but not expecting full feeds, skin to skin contact, kangroo care and so on.
How do I pump with four children, you ask? I try. I have at least one session a day cut short by someone crying or needing something NOW. I am constantly asking them to NOT play with the pump parts and tubing while I pump. Joseph thinks the milk coming out is just the most interesting thing EVER. I think I would like him to stop staring at me while I pump. I explain to him how "they" work but, seriously kid, I just want to zone out and forget that I am hooked up to the mechanical baby.
Am I exhausted? Yes. If you want to see Cole awake, come by between 9 pm and midnight. He likes to play, eat and be carried around. Adam and I want to sleep. I have f our loads of laundry to be folded. Georgie figured out how to get out of bed and destroyed the bathroom while I napped. That is, he got into the cupboard where we keep the toliet paper and now I have paper to clean up. Normal kid behavior is grating on my nerves.
I am thankful Adam is so supportive and keeps telling me that my number one job is to make milk for Cole and get him back to breast- in addition to caring for the children. I am glad I respond to the pump and can make enough milk to give him breastmilk 99 per cent of the time. I am thankful I have friends who brought us meals, help with the kids and school pick up.
My baby came home with me and he is healthy- that was my number one prority and goal. But I still want to breastfeed my child from my breast. Isn't that how it always is? We say we want something and then we go, "Well, hey, that was awesome and I got my wish but I still want MORE!" I am so, so thankful Cole is healthy, term and home with me, sleeping in the sling. I am glad we are marching at the March For Babies for only one child, not two. I am glad all my kids are healthy.
Something in me says to not stop pumping yet, even though my house is a mess, I am exhausted and all I want is a few solid hours of sleep. I really, really hope the ENT agrees with us that he has a Type 4 tounge tie and we can get it clipped ASAP.
And I hope my kid figures out his nights and days SOON!