Breast is best. I think that is the very first thing I was told by my midwife, after she told me I was pregnant that is. I being the millennium hippie type that I am had already decided that I was going to definitely nurse my child. I had these romanticized vision of my new bundle of joy suckling at my breast. Me looking down at her, her looking up at me being grateful for the nourishment I was giving her. I read the books. I was surprised at the mention of “some mild discomfort”. I figured how much discomfort can it be, the kid is all gums right? Wrong! An hour after Lailah was born I put her to a boob and she looked at me and gave me look that clearly meant “and what and the heck do you want me to do with this?” She than went to sleep. The nurse/lactation specialist told me to take her clothes off to wake her up. I did and tried to nurse her again. She would not latch on. I held her while the nurse/lactation specialist tried to shove me into her mouth. That did not work. After about 45 minutes she finally took the thing, for two minutes and went to sleep. I felt so rejected. I wanted to give up. It was on the tip of my tongue to ask for a bottle of formula but I figured I should just give it some more time. At her next feeding she latched on great. Than that “mild discomfort” kicked in. If by mild discomfort they meant extreme pain than yeah it was mild. It was like she was trying to suck out my soul through my nipple.
I couldn’t figure out why woman in all the pictures looked so happy and content. This mess hurt!! I still held out that lingering hope that maybe, just maybe the pain would subside. The first day home from the hospital she would not nurse at all. I rushed to our local Wal-Mart and brought a breast pump. I hoped that perhaps a bottle would be easier for her but she would still get the nourishing breast milk. No, no, no. Turns out she is a little scared of bottles. She cried and cried. After pumping for an hour and only getting out 2 ounces I tried nursing again. Remember that scene in alien where the beast from outer space opens its mouth to the size of the person’s head? That was Lailah. She nursed for two hours. I know that after about an hour nursing is pointless because there is nothing coming out but she was quiet and seemed happy. Breast feeding releases a hormone called oxytocin that makes you extremely sleepy. That’s why nursing new mommies in real life all look like walking zombies. That is also why I had to catch myself from falling of the bed because I had slumped over and fallen asleep nursing. Note to self: don’t nurse past 45 minutes. It is 4 months later and yes I am still breast feeding. My nipples have healed and I have even gotten over having to whip out a boob in public. Lailah is a nice hefty 14 pounds at 4 months old and loving the Mommy milk.