from little things big things grow

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Milk machine and sucker fish

Breastfeeding continues to hold surprises for me. I'm impressed that bub and I have been doing this for 8 months now. At the same time it just feels normal. However it is anything but routine.

Initially bub enjoyed two hourly feeds with the occasional feedfest, or cluster feed as it is technically known. At that time I was happy to go with the flow, knowing eventually it would change. Her feeds were quick (about 2mins) so it wasn't like I was stuck on the recliner all day.

When it did change I was surprised to find myself grieving. I was sad that she wanted food instead of milk. The feeds would be closer to four hours apart. Instead of feeling liberated I felt like something was missing. Hormones are crazy things.

Then bub changed again and wanted to nurse all through the night. Instead of being upset over sleep disruptions I was thrilled that she was fiercely nursing again. Now she is sick with the flu and wants to sleep at night and feed-sleep through the day. Nothing is set in stone.

Because of all these changes my milk supply is yet to settle. It hasn't reduced greatly, so occasionally, like this morning, I wake up with a rock hard boob, and have to express some milk for comfort. And to avoid mastitis. Important.

Some of the other surprises have more to do with bub. Sometimes she wants to stand up while feeding. Other times her little hand seeks out my nose or ear. Sometimes it's necessary for her hand to be in my mouth while she feeds. Other times she wants me to hold her feet. Lately she has started to pinch me. If I sing while she feeds she will smile and let milk run down her face.

I call myself the milk machine. And she is the little sucker fish that attaches itself, and comes and goes at her whim.

For now.

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