so here i am, sitting at my desk while theodore naps beside me after getting a belly full of breastmilk thinking about how amazing it is that i sustain his little body with my own. my body made him and my body keeps him thriving. try not to let that power go to my head but us mamas, we're pretty darn awesome.
breastfeeding is pretty darn amazing and i wouldn't have it any other way (plus with the price of formula we'd probably have to move to a smaller house in a much less nicer area in order to afford it. cause, daaaang) but it's not without it's hiccups. i realize that my experience with breastfeeding is a very easy one compared to most. for example: i just recently came to the realization that not every breastfeeding mama has to use nursing pads for every feeding. every time. until we've totally weaned and we're off to cow's milk. what?! that must be nice.
but me, i'm a milk machine. always have been. when william was born i started pumping right away because, i'm not sure why really, but i think i just assumed i should for some reason? i mean, i had the pump might as well use it? so i had an excess of breastmilk all the time. i actually stopped nursing about a month before william stopped using my breastmilk. that's how much excess i had in the freezer saved up from pumping. charlotte went pretty much the same way.
with theodore, i haven't been pumping nearly as much because who has time for that?! so when i went to pump this weekend to start saving up some milk for when i attend wild hearts weekend in denver next month, i was shocked and a little scared when i barely got an ounce total. this from the mama who's used to filling up a bottle from each breast. that's 12oz, folks! i quickly realized that it's because i haven't been pumping nearly as much (hardly at all) with this guy and since breastmilk production is supply & demand, there just wasn't the demand. i'm relieved to see that just after a few days of pumping again, we're back up to about 3oz per breast which is awesome. still not totally comforting since i used to be a cow ... but still better than the scary thought of a diminishing supply.
it seems every mama i talk to has had a bad experience with breastfeeding. from low supply to bleeding nipples to problems latching; i've heard them all. and i try to empathize, i really do, but i don't have any of those problems. my supply scare was quickly fixed with just a couple days of pumping after a couple feeds. which just makes me even more in awe of my body and what it can do. often times i feel guilty about how easy i've had it with each of my littles. breastfeeding has come so naturally and easily to me that i can't hardly fathom any other way. the nurses sent us home from the hospital with a bottle of formula that's been in our basement for the past 10 weeks. but i can't bring myself to get rid of it because of all the horrible stories i've heard about problems breastfeeding. what if my milk suddenly goes away? what if he stops latching or loses interest? what then? it seems silly, but i worry quite a lot about that.
i love the ease and simplicity of breastfeeding. even though each session leaves both of us a little juicy from the spray when he drops off for a moment or soaking wet if i forget to wear a pad on the side i'm not using. but the fact that i can be walking down the street, wearing my baby and wiggle him over to nurse without skipping a beat is just too easy! (that part took some practice, trust me. and a good easy dress. i like this one from sonnet james) i hope i'll always remember the ease of breastfeeding my little ones and not the troubles. weaning william was an incredibly hard thing to do and when my milk came in with teddy it was horribly painful. but the day to day ease of breastfeeding erases all of that discomfort.