Like labour, which I thought I had a handle on at first, breastfeeding proved deceptively simple at first.
A few hours after I delivered The Nut (temporary nickname), the nurses brought him to my bed and placed him in there with me. He latched on and sucked away happily. And immediately a huge bond was born. I wondered why any woman would not breastfeed, when the connection with the child is so amazing.
That was the easy part.
Once I was able to get out of bed, I was herded into the nursery for Breastfeeding and Diaper Changing 101. Diaper changing is the easiest thing in the world – though I did manage to break off the sticker on his very first diaper.
Then we sat around trying to get the baby to latch on. And that’s where it got tricky. The Nut would latch on in an extremely painful way. He refused to open his mouth wide enough. Finally, I got tired of trying and let him get on with it. The result – extremely sore boobs that got more and more sore as time went by.
Also, because of his inefficient latching on, he was probably not getting enough milk. He would suck away for two hours and not be done…while I exhausted and sore would get increasingly stressed out. Finally, the nurses would take him away and cup feed him formula. Unlike other babies, he wasn’t peeing six times a day, another reason they decided to occasionally go the formula route. This started me on my obsession with pee and poo and my glee at every dirty diaper.
I was completely stressed out about the ride home from hospital, because if he didn’t fall asleep by the time it was time to take him home, he’d be wailing throughout the taxi ride. But my mom came and managed to expertly put him to sleep and after that he slept right through. I too found myself much less stressed out after we came home, with V and my mum around to take over.
Maybe it was the coming home, or simply that my milk came in (the first few days the baby feeds on this interim substance called colostrum) but he was peaceful after that. Peeing and pooing regularly. Feeding somewhat regularly. Latching on properly.
It took me a couple of days to get used to waking up every couple of hours at night but as his feeding stabalised, I began to find it manageable. After a week, I breathed a sigh of relief.
And then, he started throwing up. After every odd feed, he strains and cries and eventually throws up. On Saturday we took him to the doc who said that it’s not too serious but prescribed a medication. It’s heartbreaking to see your child throw up and even though, as V points out, it’s not that bad because he’s peeing and pooing fine and seems healthy, the last time he threw up I found myself in tears.
It amazes me how I have turned into the cliche of the mother, tearing up over her son. While V remains calm, I am scouring the Internet for solutions and trying different things. Right now, as I sit by his bassinet which I’ve elevated at one end, I’m playing a waiting game on whether he will keep down his last feed or not. Fingers crossed.