A summary of my breastfeeding experience so far wouldn’t be complete without talking about how my baby’s personality played a role. Thinking back over these past nine months, it’s really quite amazing how much our breastfeeding relationship has evolved as Bo has gotten older.
Aside from the pesky tongue tie issue (and subsequent bleeding nipples), Bo actually latched on right away after he was born. I remember making D take a photo of us because I was so amazed that my brand new baby was actually feeding the way he was supposed to. It was so different from the first few days of Littleman’s life.
As we got into the swing of things during the first few weeks of Bo’s life, I remember struggling a bit to get him to latch on when he was hungry. He would straighten his arms against me so that I couldn’t get him close enough to my breast. It was frustrating because he was obviously ready to eat, but wouldn’t allow me to position him properly.
After that phase passed, we moved into the assault and battery phase of breastfeeding. Around five months or so, Bo took to hitting, pinching, slapping or punching me while he ate. It was mainly my chest or my face that was on the receiving end of his abuse. Fortunately for me, it didn’t last long.
Of course that brought us to the distraction phase. By seven months, I could no longer feed Bo anywhere and everywhere. All of a sudden, he was aware of his surroundings and would forget to eat. Gone were the days of being able to feed him in the living room while chatting with a friend or playing with Littleman. Now, I have to feed him in his room – the darker and the quieter, the better.
Something I’ve always found quite amazing is Bo’s ability to communicate his hunger. Pretty early on, he developed a sort of laugh/cough/pant that he does to tell me that he wants to eat. If I don’t respond quickly, he can get quite frantic with it. Lately, he’s started smacking his lips before I feed him, too.
One thing that has pretty much remained the same the entire time is the speed at which Bo eats. He’s pretty quick. Most feeds are five minutes or less these days, with a longer feed right before bedtime. Even as a newborn, when he ate more frequently, I remember being amazed that most of his feeds were only about 7 minutes long. His older brother could eat for 30 minutes, sometimes from each breast! It felt like I was feeding all day long.
Yesterday, we took Bo to the pediatrician for his nine month check up. He’s doing great and growing well (21lbs 14oz!) so I know that what we’ve been doing is working. The doctor told us that Bo can start drinking cow’s milk anytime now, which made me realize that our breastfeeding days are nearing the end. I nursed Littleman for 14 months and hope to do something similar with Bo. I know that we probably have a few more months to go, but I’m also seeing how quickly he’s growing up and realizing that he isn’t going to be my baby much longer. Regardless, I’m so happy that I had the chance to breastfeed this baby and to share this experience together.