One of the most difficult new baby adjustments is finding myself for weeks glued to the couch painfully breastfeeding. I included the term “painfully” because for me, nursing isn’t a “magical” experience. Without going into TMI-land, I am what you call… a milk factory.
Trust me, I realize how “lucky” I am to be able to nurse on demand and pump out obscene amounts of “liquid gold.” This however, comes at a great sacrifice… a lot of physical pain and time away from my other children. My husband assures me that I’ve complained of this before and just encourages me to “stick with it.”
If you know me personally, professionally or you’ve gotten to know me through this blog; you might have noticed that I don’t do well sitting still. I am on the go with my kids all the time; we go to the park, juggle after school activities, and you can find us traveling to the beach, California or Europe. For me, to spend eight to ten hours a day sitting down nursing is difficult to say the least. But I’m doing it!
Gabriel takes about 40 minutes to nurse and forever to burp. Then, let’s add the time to change him and get him settled and there went an hour. He sleeps for two hours and off to the couch again I go! All I can say is that he has found himself very comfortable in the softness of my bosoms (men, they figure this out at an early age!) and he likes to remain there as long as he can.
Then there is me, the one that can’t sit down for long and has two other kids to take care of and wants to do things with. So, with each breastfeeding session I grow more and more impatient of all the things that I could be doing; like taking a walk with Gabriel in his stroller or doing something with the other kids. I also envy some of my friends who never breast fed their kids, quit after a short time, or had an excuse to quit. For me, the guilt of wanting to provide what’s best for my babies has made me a slave to the breast pump and left me with more back pain.
I feel that as mothers we want to provide the best for our kids starting from the day they are born. We spend endless hours researching baby gear, diapers, bottles, bath products, slings… you name it we look into it… specially with our first child. However, by the time you get to your 3rd baby you realize that some things are no longer good (BPA in bottles) and others you no longer trust (like toxic chemicals in baby shampoo). Needless to say, having a third child five years after your first can feel like you are starting over.
There are so many joys of having children and I love every minute of being a mother. However, what I don’t love is the guilt of knowing what’s best and trying to decide what works for one’s family. With each child, it takes time to adjust what has worked in the past to what will work with the new addition to the family. It’s all about finding a balance.
Did you have breastfeeding issues? Did you find it difficult to be “tied down” as you had more kids?