I am Exclusively Breast Feeding Abraham. This experience is a big deal.
All of my time and thoughts and physical comforts are devoted to his nourishment. What a gift to be able to feed someone else and also what a lot of work.
When I say all of my time, I’m not really exaggerating. He nurses almost constantly. David doesn’t get to hold him as much as he’d like (or I’d like – they need to bond too!), but I get lots of time with the babe.
I went to the Farmer’s Market today with my friend from Childbirth Class. Abraham slept the whole time, but I was worried he’d wake up and cry to eat. I am not quite ready to feed him in such a public place.
My thoughts are almost all focused on my breasts. Not in a sexy way. When I get dressed, I choose my shirt based on its easy access. I have to make sure I’m drinking enough (I’m probably not…) and eating well. I have to keep an assortment of creams nearby to keeping the breasts happy between meals.
I feel like a 24 hour buffet. I love it and wouldn’t trade it for anything, but it is nice when he sleeps and takes a break. My poor nipples; I’m worried they will never be the same.
I was worried I wouldn’t be able to breastfeed at all; in 2003, I had a breast reduction. I had no idea, like other women in the same situation, if I would be able to breastfeed. When I was 22 and uncomfortable, I didn’t care so much about it; I wanted my back pain and the attention on my chest to stop. I always said the reduction was the best decision I ever made. But then I got pregnant and I started to worry that it wasn’t. I read about Breast Feeding after Reduction and tried to prepare for whatever was to come.
I’ve been feeding Abraham since he was born. It isn’t without difficulty, but I don’t want to complain. It turns out this experience is what I wanted most – more than a natural birth. I am amazed at my body’s ability and rehability every day, and I try to remember that when it hurts, when I’m exhausted, when I need a moment to myself.
I have been a huge advocate for breast reductions. I still am. If I had not been able to breastfeed would I still be? If something goes wrong and I have to stop, will I still be? How could I have known then what I would feel like now, what would be important to me? And if I have to stop feeding him, because of my past choices rather than a decision based on our current needs, how will I feel?
I try not to worry and just feel grateful that I have this time. That we have the time together.