Mental: So Brian and I have been faithfully attending our Bradley Method birthing classes. Five down, seven to go. It’s been so interesting learning more about my body, my body’s capabilities, how my mind affects my body’s capabilities, etc. I also finished the book Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. Holy cow. It was AMAZING. First of all, being that I’ve got plenty of opportunities to hear about horrible, difficult or disappointing childbirth experiences, in the first half of this book is page after page after page of positive (not perfect, but positive) natural childbirth experiences. (I figure, for every scary story that I hear, I also need an encouraging, you-can-do-it story to balance that out.) In the second half, Ina May Gaskin just kicks butt regarding some natural childbirth stats, comparisons and general, informative physiology.
Now I’m moving on to reading The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding. This one isn’t getting me as excited. I just don’t care for the tone in which it’s written. So can I please have a show of hands of women who have been successful in breastfeeding and feel particularly compelled to help other women who could possibly struggle with it? I might be calling on some friends and family for some support and guidance if I’m not a natural at this. Brian and I want to give breastfeeding an honest, determined try because we discovered that hidden in the countless benefits of breastfeeding is the fact that women who breastfeed have a significantly reduced chance of developing breast cancer. And you don’t know this, but one of my grandmothers died of breast cancer; so I’d like to reduce my odds.
Spiritual: The Lord has been good in granting me rest last weekend. It was incredibly rejuvenating.
Additionally, our church has moved from Sterling Middle School to Park View High School. (Man, those chairs are a lot more comfortable!) I really look forward to bringing Bennett to church and helping him learn, as I learned, all the stories of the Bible that make up THE story of the Bible.
Physical: Various websites say that Bennett is over a pound, if not a pound and a half, by now. I’m told that he’s the size of a standard letter envelope, an ear of corn or a cantaloupe (???). While his face is already formed, that and his body are still waiting to get filled out with huggable, squeezable chubbiness. Additionally, his skin is still making the transition from translucent to opaque.
And as far as I go, I believe that I just spotted the first hint of linea nigra, which is a mysterious dark line that runs up the center of your belly and fades after pregnancy. Honestly, I had to spend a little while debating whether it was darkened peach fuzz or my actual skin itself (I considered a belly shave – not that I’m hairy – just to be sure). Jury rules: skin, but the line is still incredibly faint.
Emotional: While I’m feeling content, I should mention that Brian wishes that Bennett was “already here.” He’s so anxious to meet our son and to see what he’s like! It’s sweet and reminds me of his impatience towards all things exciting.
Did you hear of the underwater birthing method? Momma is in a tub of water with only her head above water. Baby pops out and swims to the surface. Whoa!
Yeah, I’ve heard. 😉 Considered it myself, too. I’ll bet Bennett will be a better swimmer than I was.
I think we ALL have impatience when it comes to “all things exciting.” 🙂
Imma gonna raise my hand on the breastfeeding. Even if you can only do one week, it will make a difference. But, will be praying for that nurturing bond not to be a difficult or impossible thing.
Can’t wait to see the next ultrasound. 🙂
I’m really hoping breast feeding works for me, my mom did it. But from what I hear neither the mother it the baby is a natural at it, so its a learning experience 🙂 yay! I’m just hoping they don’t bottle feed in the hospital because that causes nipple confusion and UGH. My vote is.. You’ll get the hang of it and so Wil Bennett, just takes patience. Which you have.
Aw Suzy! I love how excited both you and Brian are for Bennett’s arrival. This blessed child has no idea how fortunate he is to be joining a family that is so full of love. You have prepared in ways some people never even think to…that must be your square piece coming out, and I love every bit of it! XOXO
I struggled with breastfeeding. It HURT. badly. for six weeks. I finally hired a lactation consultant who came to my house and she analyzed our situation and made suggestions that made a HUGE difference. She even checked out the structure of Helena’s mouth. It turned out that the roof of her mouth was really high and because of that I needed to use a different position to hold her.
If it doesn’t come easily for you please know that having a lactation consultant come to your house is well worth what ever amount of money it costs! 🙂
Just so you know, in no book, anywhere, is listed the possibility that you might not make milk… breastfeeding aside. I did not make milk and struggled greatly with my own guilt and put upon guilt by those who did not know WHY I was not breastfeeding. For the life of my baby, I gave up breastfeeding, despite indifference from lactation consultants who told me to tell my OB to “give me a shot” to my my milk come in. However, my wonderful husband and a very kind pediatrician told me my body had already done the hard part (building a baby) and science was wonderful to develop excellent formulas and God was good regardless of my imperfection! All of which are true! So do what you can, and let the rest go….
It has been a constant prayer for others and myself that breastfeeding goes well. It did not work last time. But this time I really hope it works. Just know it will all work out even if you have to pump or use formula. Other moms are such a blessing! I love the women at our church for caring and loving on us and being such a huge source of encouragment!
I have breastfed/am breastfeeding both my kids and I really like it! I breastfeed mainly because one, it’s free (formula is so dang expensive!) and two, it feels good knowing that they are getting food and nutrients in the best possible way. Plus, I hate being awake in the middle of the night so the thought of having to warm up a bottle AND having to feed the baby did not appeal to me at all!
I’m not going to lie, the first week or so is a beast. I remember sitting in the hospital trying not to cry when Laura nursed because my nipples hurt SO bad. And then after your milk comes in it takes a little bit to “regulate” itself so you aren’t spraying milk everywhere. You have to be patient and willing to work through the first few weeks because it gets easier the longer you do it. If you do choose to breastfeed, my advice would be not to stress out about it and let it just happen. Most, if not all, problems work themselves out in time. The hospitals in my area (and I would imagine in most places) all have lactation consultants that visit you in your room and help you if you are having problems/questions. Plus there are other organizations like the leleche league that offer support after the hospital if you need it.
Also, get a good breast pump. It’s helpful if you want to get out for a few hours without the baby or if someone else wants to feed the baby, like Brian. I only pump every now and then so I use the Harmony manual pump by Medela but if you plan on pumping more you might want to get an automatic one (you can rent them from the hospital, so I’ve heard).
Oh, and I want to mention I stay at home all the time with my kids so breastfeeding is pretty easy. I would imagine it would be more difficult, though by no means impossible, to breastfeed when you go back to work (if that’s what you’re doing, not sure!). It will just take a little bit more planning and thought. I know many women just nurse until they return to work and then switch to formula, and that works too.
Anyway, hope that helps, at least a little bit. 🙂 Can’t wait to see pictures of your sweet baby in a few months! I love reading your blog…it reminds me of the long bus rides we had on the music fest team and how we would all sit around listening to you tell stories. 🙂
Aww, Jessica, I love that you have that memory of our trip and my story telling! I DO love a good story. Thanks for all the thoughtful breastfeeding tips, too.
It may be too soon to read the LLL book. Honestly I read a couple breastfeeding books before hand but none of them really made sense til I was actually doing it. Then LLL’s book was my lifesaver. Well that book and my sister who’s a new mom too. But I also didn’t like Ina May’s book very much. So we may just differ.
I absolutely love breastfeeding! I was so lucky to get to hold Amelie the second she was born and she took to eating quite naturally, though it did take over an hour to understand the latching thing. But Bennett will get a hold of it. Plus there should be a free lactation consultant at your birthing place so totally take advantage of that. I thought we were doing ok so I didn’t see her till the last day in the hospital and I found out I was doing it all wrong…blisters happened…just saying. But then you’ll get the swing of it and it’ll be so great. Call me for anything. You know I’ll be super honest. We could even skype hahahahahaha.
I totally agree with all that your friend Jessica said. I had those toe curling painful days in the first couple weeks but they seem a distant memory now even though Amelie is only 4 months. I think that is all part of God’s gift of forgetfulness 🙂
Yeah for 1 lb Bennett! So awesome. You look fabulous too by the way.
Love you always!
Wait… what? About the book thing… we might not have something in common?!
Suzy, i have no doubt that you can breastfeed successfully. You are a pretty committed and determined person. I breastfed both of mine (and still am with Darcy) and it has been an overwhelmingly positive experience for all of us. I am always willing to field questions or concerns or help coach, but my biggest bit of advice would be to not give up. The first 2 weeks were extremely painful for me everytime they latched on, but if you persevere you will enjoy an intimacy like no other and the health benefits for both you and Bennett are literally endless. I didn’t know about this with Ross, but I had a crack in my nipple with Darcy that i couldnt get to heal and i used a nipple shield for a couple if days until it got better…AMAZING! I definitely encourage you to have one on hand. Only $8 at target.
I’ll try to remember that about the shield, thanks!
Nursing my babies took a brief period of adjustment. With the first child, it took a bit longer, since neither one of us had any experience. But I enthusiastically encourage you to commit to at 2 months unless your doctor sees Bennett isn’t doing well with it. Surround yourself with moms who have been successful nursing. And find a lactation consultant to help you in the first week or two when you need guidance and maybe help with any difficulties or discomforts you might face. There is nothing more precious than the utter adoration in the eyes of your baby as only you can meet this need. If you really find it too difficult, allow yourself to switch to formula without guilt. But go ahead now and research formulas and find the very best. I can’t wait for Bennett to be born, too, and you and I only know each other because of your mom.
Thanks, Janice. All good advice.
Well, I’ve nursed for well over 6 total years of my life at this point, and I truly hope that if you have problems, you will think of me and call! I am always more than willing to talk about stuff relating to babies, and I’ve had a lot of experience!
I will say that when I had Nathan 15 years ago, I had done a lot of reading, plus my mom breast-fed me back in the 70’s (which was fairly rare), so I thought I was all set. But Nathan didn’t get that memo, and I had a very frustrating first few weeks with him!! Eventually, though, we worked through it, and I went on to nurse him for quite awhile. I remember the tears though (and Bob saying, not so helpfully, “This is what you’re doing wrong”, as he attempted to screw Nathan onto my boob in some different way . . . I can laugh now, but newly post-partum and hormonal Claire was NOT amused!). I kept in mind advice I got at a nursing class–when it’s bad, tell yourself you’ll quit after 48 more hours. Usually by then, things have improved.
But overall I would say nursing your first child is not as natural and intuitive as you might think! DON’T be embarrassed or afraid to ask for help!!
Breastfeeding is a bonus for you and baby Bennett. I was able to breast feed with both kids. Grant was good at it, Wesley not so much. Had a lactation consultant, like Lynnea, made all the difference in the world. I was working full time with both kids, so it can be done. Grant was a growing boy that my production could not keep up with after 5 months, Wesley I nursed for a full year. Be patient with yourself and Bennett. You’ll be fine.
I had great difficulty with my first as she was very small and weaker at birth. She was overdone and weighed 5 lbs 6 oz. The staff put her in an incubator and would not allow me to breast feed at the beginning because I’d had a C-Section and developed an infection. I tried and tried, when she came home, but she wasn’t getting enough nourishment, so I switched to the bottle. She turned out to be allergic to milk, so I then switched to a soy-based type and all went fine. I did consult with LaLeche, who I loved, but if I remember correctly, we both felt her health was the most important.
My second was a breeze. Breast fed until I decided to stop (I think it was nine months) and all went splendidly.
I would say tenseness on my part probably played a part. I was very worried about Lisa because she was so, so thin (dropped to 5#1oz and was 21″ long!) and not concerned with Joy’s weight at all who was 8#6oz. I had C-Section with both, by the way, so the procedure was not an issue with milk coming in well.
So, my advice is to relax and play it by ear.
Wow! An allergy to milk. Bet no one saw that coming. Yes, I plan on trying to go with the flow and not be too uptight and tense.