Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Raine's Here, My Feet Are Back and Other Tales -- Part Two

My First Experience in Being a Cow
The first night home, my mom had to wake me up when Raine cried. Either I was dead tired, still too doped up or just not attuned to the baby yet. I'm so glad my mom was around. I had no breast milk yet, or at least not much. So Raine wasn't getting much and it made her cranky and fussy. So we were up most of the night, my mom and I.

But I'm really adamant that Raine be fully breastfed as long as possible. And, praise God, by Monday, my breasts were so engorged it hurt. Even my left armpit was so swollen--and I could feel the drag in my pit whenever Raine sucked! I've also been leaking milk like crazy. So thank you, Lord. He's answered my prayers for an abundance of breast milk.

It takes getting used to though, I guess it really takes time to adjust, both me and Raine. Things got better as the days went on, and my mom didn't have to get up every time Raine and I did. And the past nights, The Hubby gets up to do diaper duty, letting me sleep until it's time to feed.

I've also gotten used to whipping out a breast with no qualms, whether there are people around or not. Raine does not take any delay in her food lightly. What I still have to get used to though is Raine's enthusiastic feeding style--she can suck like we haven't fed her in days, and we have no intention of feeding her in days to come. Oww! I am so not looking forward to when she starts teething.

Funny thing Raine, she sometimes has this little ritual before she will actually start feeding. She opens her mouth wide, then shakes her head from side to side, before forcefully latching on. The Hubby says she looks like a little gremlin coming in for the kill. Sometimes, she will pause and seemingly contemplate my breast, as if thinking, "Hmmm...what shall I have today? Milk? Or maybe more milk? Then she'll daintily latch on, all wide-eyed and innocent looking--then she closes her eyes and makes like a vacuum cleaner. Other times, she uses my other boob as a personal footrest while she's feeding; or she uses either breast as a pillow as she falls asleep. It's amazing how I never realized how multi-purpose breasts can be.

The Hubby has been after me to start pumping and storing breast milk, so I can at least hand over feeding responsibilities once in awhile. But I'm sort of torn between wanting the freedom, and being sad that I won't be her sole source of nourishment anymore. Besides, I still have to psych myself up for another pumping session after my traumatic first experience, which my mom insists is my fault for not reading the pump instructions completely.

A friend of The Hubby lent us a pump, which I confess I didn't have much faith in. After all, how effective would you think a tiny battery operated pump with a brand name of "Chu Chu" will be? So the first half of the instructions said attach the bottle, turn on the pump and apply to the breast. Dutifully, I attached the newly sterilized 2oz bottle and switched on the thing. I tried sticking it on my palm to test the suction, but didn't feel a thing. So overflowing with cynicism that something named Chu Chu could really suck, I plunked the suction part on my poor unsuspecting nipple. And promptly screamed in pain, disbelief and shock as I watched my nipple elongate and get sucked down the tube. It took me a few seconds before I had the sense to turn the darn thing off--and I still couldn't get my nipple out. "Press the button," said my mom. "See --if you read the instructions from start to end..." Fine, fine. Mea culpa. The good thing was, I was quickly able to come up with 1oz per breast--which according to my sources, is a very good start for a first time pumper.

When The Hubby tried to give Raine the bottle though, it was like she was at war with it. She hated the thing. Though she managed a little more than an ounce, she cried every few sucks, poor thing. It almost broke my heart to see her cry like that, knowing that I could just lift my shirt and put her out of her misery. We finally gave up and did just that. But I know I have to pump soon, and teach her how to drink from the bottle. We're trying softer teats next time. I'm just worried that she'd start preferring the bottle. Oh well.


Chelle_Gray said...

She is indeed a very pretty baby

Pare you can use orthodontic nipples since for the babies it feels like his/her mummy's nipples. Plus at least when you go out grocery thing or mall you don't have to breastfeed in public. Aside from that if you're tired you have to discard the first 2
ounces since not good daw yun for the baby

Maryanne Moll said...

I can sooo relate to all that. I used to complain that the breast pains were more painful than the labor pains!

Congrats on the cutest little baby! Enjoy being a mommy!

Leah said...

Hi ree! congratulations on your new baby. :)

me, i'm sooo lazy to pump. kaya tuloy i can't delegate feeding to my hubby or my mom. That's why I don't get enough sleep. :( Good luck in trying to feed her using the bottle. at some point, she's got to do it.

Toni said...

You're very lucky you can breastfeed! I have several friends who are so frustrated because they can't produce milk. They've noticed their babies aren't as healthy-looking as breastfed ones. I'm not sure if that's true, scientifically, but from observation I could also see how plump breastfed infants are.