A dark moment

Aside

It’s suddenly hit me how hard what I’m doing is. Out in town with George and I really need to pump, it’s been 5 hours, there’s no milk for him and he’s already had one carton of formula because there was no milk ready and he’s going to have to have a second one. None of the baby feeding rooms have room for us – normally it’s just a chair and a curtain, just cosy enough for a mummy and baby, but no space for me, the pump, our bags, George and his pram, which he has to stay in because I can’t hold him and pump at the same time. I don’t feel comfortable pumping in public so cafes, restaurants and park benches  are out. My only options are a disabled toilet (which I don’t want to pump in because someone might need to use it), public, or not at all. He’s crying and I’m crying. This is too hard.

Soothing snuggles

Just a short one today – after a good 15 minutes of overtired fussy screaming baby with nothing soothing him, I offered him my breast to snuggle up to – instant calm! He didn’t want it in his mouth as he wanted his dummy, but use buried his face in it. I was finally able to put him straight in his little bed, after about 5 failed attempts – Magic Boob strikes again!

Sleepy cuddles

Another sleepy milky cuddle tonight – I used my breast to settle George once he had eaten a bit from his bottle – he dropped his dummy so I offered him my breast instead and he snuggled up next to it. I tried to encourage him to suck but he kept pulling away, preferring just to snuggle. That’s fine by me, I love cuddles with my boy, especially as it means he will settle peacefully without his dummy!

Slow progress

 

We’ve been making very slow progress recently, George has been having a lot of problems with his teeth and a lot of grizzly days. I’ve not been pushing too much with the breastfeeding as I don’t want him to end up with another aversion to the breast, so I’ve just been focusing on playing with him and comforting him. I took him to bed with me a few days ago and offered him the breast, and he didn’t latch but he did a lot of smiling, licking and pushing the nipple around his mouth. I felt really good about this as its the first positive response I’ve had for a while. That night I tried him last thing at night, when he’d been asleep for a few hours. He fussed and got quite aggravated, so I gave him his bottle and offered him the breast afterwards. He didn’t seem soothed by it and started fussing again so I gave him his dummy and he fell asleep. Once his breathing had evened, I gently took the dummy out and replaced it with my nipple. He didn’t seem to mind and actually seemed quite soothed. I cradled him for a while like this and he stayed fast asleep. Eventually I gently put him in his bed and he didn’t stir at all. He didn’t need his dummy that night! We’ve done it a few times since and this seems to be when he likes the breast most. I’ve decided if we can just manage to do this regularly I’m happy. 
 
I decided on the off chance to try latching him after his nap – he has his first cold and is feeling rotten but I thought it might comfort him. I laid him on the bed next to me and just gently offered him the breast, talking and singing to him. He smiled a lot and tried very hard to latch, rooting a lot and happily chewing away for about 10 minutes before getting upset. I offered him the breast each time he pulled off and he took it, looking for it quite forcefully! He did seem to be a bit confused on what to do, as its a different texture to the bottle teat and a lot squishier! I noticed he had managed to get my nipple under his tongue a few times, so I tried to re-latch him. He seemed much more comfortable laying next to me rather than being held. It also controlled the squirming! So hopefully we are getting back on track a bit. 

Link

Phoebe’s Story – teaching a toddler to breastfeed

This story has given me so much hope and perspective. So many people have told me that it’s not possible to start breastfeeding later in your baby’s life. This lady taught her adoptive toddler daughter to breastfeed at 19 months, and is still going at age 3. It’s shown me just how much time and patience it’s going to take, 9 months in this case. It’s reassured me that just because it isn’t happening overnight, doesn’t mean it will never happen. 

One step forward…

Things seem to be a bit rocky for us at the moment, and it feels like we’ve taken one step forward and two steps backwards. George is having a humongous growth spurt and is sleeping all the time, and he doesn’t seem very interested in the breast at all. I’m kicking myself for becoming so complacent after his first couple of feeds. I assumed that because he had done it consistently he had learnt how to do it, and I just expected it would keep happening. He couldn’t obviously feel my frustration when he didn’t, even though I tried so hard to stay cheerful. So now it seems we are back to square one. I’m going to wait until he’s back to normal after his growth spurt, in case he’s temporarily forgotten how to latch, and just spend the time having fun with him.  I don’t want to wake up one day and realise my boy has grown up and I missed it!