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Finally! A kid that prefers boob to bottle

Looking for The Lactivist? She's retired. But you CAN still find Jen blogging. These days, she's runs A Flexible Life. Join her for life, recipes, projects and the occasional rant.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

The hardest thing I've had to do as a breastfeeding mother is let someone give Emmitt a bottle.

I know, sounds kinda funny, doesn't it? I mean I've gone weeks at a time without sleeping more than two hours straight, I've had my nipples crack open, I've had a latch so painful that I had to bite my lip while he nursed.

And yet the hardest thing, psychologically, was letting Emmitt have a bottle.

See, with Elnora, the bottle was the beginning of the end. In fact, once she got one, there was no going back. Bottle = good, Boobies = bad. It sucked. But it's life, we live and we learn.

So this time around it was really hard to get over that hurdle and to decide to give him a bottle. In reality, I knew that I'd have to do it eventually. My job, which gives me the amazing freedom to work from home, also requires that I occasionally travel. Now sure, I can take him with me. After all, I did haul him to Chicago with me when he was 10 weeks old. However, when I've got to do speaking gigs, there's a very real chance that he's going to get hungry while I'm unable to nurse him. (And don't think I didn't consider nursing him from the podium...I doubt anyone that knows me would have been surprised...)

That said, I kind of held off as long as possible. I think it was around week 8 or 9 that we first tried. He was NOT a fan. LOL.

He did ok in Chicago. He likely had two or three bottles in the 48 hours we were there. Still, when I'd come back, he was all about filling up direct from the tap.

Greg and I went out tonight. Our second date in six months. (To dinner with friends and then to an art gallery for a showing from Kevin Bickle who attends our church.) Greg's brother and sister-in-law came to babysit. I had left a bottle and some backup milk in the fridge (probably about 10 ounces) which was more than enough to keep him satisfied, plus I nursed him right before we left at 5:30.

At 9pm, as we're driving home, my cell rings. It's my sister-in-law. Emmitt is NOT a happy camper.

But here's where it gets funny.

My sister-in-law is built similar to me. (In other words, she too may be able to feed triplets if she decides to nurse.) Apparently Emmitt, in his baby wisdom recognizes that breasts = straight from the tap milky goodness. And if there are breasts nearby there is no way in heck that that little man is drinking from a rubber nipple.

They figured it out quick enough and my brother-in-law tried to feed him, but he was having none of that. He knew there were boobs in the room and he was pretty peeved that he was not being given access to them.

We pulled into the drive about ten minutes later and I could see my brother-in-law holding him through the picture window. I took him, settled him in and he proceeded to nurse like a starved man for a good 15 minutes on one side. He passed out. I went to move him and boy did he scream bloody murder. Yep, still hungry. So he proceeded to go to town on the other side.

About then, my brother-in-law and sister-in-law decided to head home.

I swear Emmitt gave my sister-in-law a dirty look as they were saying goodbye.

He nursed pretty much non-stop for another hour and is now passed out in his pack-n-play in our room.

You know what? I LOVE that. As much as part of me wanted to be able to leave him if I had to, I'm really happy to know that while he wouldn't starve while I was gone, he sure as heck prefers me to the bottle. It makes me feel special. That whole..."it's something only I can do" thing.

Greg says I'm crazy to think he'd prefer otherwise. As Greg puts it "who WOULDN'T rather snuggle up to a nice, warm, cozy breast." (Well...umm...Elnora for one.)

Funny how the little things, like realizing that your son is a "boob man," can really make your day.

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  1. Blogger nurturing notes | 6:38 AM |  

    My kids never took to a bottle either. My youngest is almost 6 months old. I figure she can drink from a cup now.
    Taking time out for a date is very important, and I'm glad you worked that into your life.

  2. Blogger heidi | 8:05 AM |  

    I am thrilled that Molly prefers the boob, too. She had bottles of formula after every nursing for two weeks as a newborn waiting for my delayed milk to come finally. Thank goodness it did and she decided that that was enough bottles for her. She'll nearly starve while I'm at work, though, until she allows her Dad to feed her.

    I wanted to show you this, and I'm sorry it'll take up so much room. You can delete this comment after you see it if you want:

    ----- Original Message -----
    Important! Breastfeeding legislation is coming up in this next session of the US House of Representatives, please help! From Florence Rotondo and the New Jersey Breastfeeding Task Force New Jersey Breast Feeding Task Force.

    Rep. Carolyn Maloney is going to reintroduce the Breastfeeding Promotion Act this coming session.

    The Breastfeeding Promotion Act would: amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to protect breastfeeding by new mothers; provide tax incentives for
    businesses that establish private lactation areas in the workplace; provide for a performance standard for breast pumps; and provide families with a tax deduction for breastfeeding equipment.

    GET INVOLVED: Let the incoming Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi become very aware that the Breastfeeding Promotion Act is important and that we desire and expect her support in January.

    * Go to a card store and purchase (or make a homemade) card that is a "Congratulations on the New Grand-baby" card. The Speaker and the press have made much of the fact that she is a grandmother first and that she was awaiting grand-baby number 6 right around Election Day. The baby is a boy named Paul.

    * Write in the card:
    1) all babies have the Right to Breastfeed anywhere that the mother has the right to be.
    2) their mothers' need policies in the law that support the government's Breastfeeding Awareness Campaign to educate employers and workers about mothers' rights.
    3) ask her to throw the full weight of her position behind getting the Breastfeeding Promotion Act PASSED this coming session.

    * Get all your friends to sign your card before you mail it to Speaker Pelosi. Or buy/make several cards and get them addressed/stamped and ready to go and collect signatures from supportive friends who you know have good intentions, but little time, and mail them out with your own.

    * And lastly, *send this email to every mother, friend, listserv, breastfeeding support group and parenting site you know so that others can also send a card*. The idea is to get hundreds if not thousands of signatures/cards sent to Nancy Pelosi's office - right now - so that, by the time the Breastfeeding Promotion Act is reintroduced in January, she and her staff will have it on their radar.

    The address to mail a card to Speaker Nancy Pelosi is:

    * Representative Nancy Pelosi
    2371 Rayburn HOB
    Washington, DC 20515

  3. Anonymous Sinead | 8:19 AM |  

    I know that whole feeling - my little boy will happily empty a bottle if I'm not available - but as soon as I am back he heads straight over and gulps contentedly for another ten minutes or so!
    Given a choice, he chooses boobs over bottle every time!

  4. Blogger Darlene | 4:37 PM |  

    I love that story! I went through about 2 months of feeling absolutely dead set against offering a bottle because...and I couldn't even admit it to myself at the time....I was so afraid my dauther would start rejecting me. What I felt when I was nursing her was something I could not explain but you said it...special. I knew that only I could do that for her and I just didn't want to share that. (obviously, I did begin substituting a bottle when I needed to leave her with Daddy or my Mom) but I had to fight the feeling that I really WANTED her to reject the bottle. Now, 32 years later, I try to convey to moms-to-be how absolutely thrilling it is when your nursing baby first locks onto your eyes and you KNOW..you really KNOW... that you are soooooo needed.

  5. Anonymous Nev | 12:38 PM |  

    Initially, my son preferred the bottle. (Long story...early hospitalization led to the need to measure my output--meaning he figured out the bottle was easier!) Fast forward three months, I'm back at work, and he's a daycare kid. I nurse him before we go and as soon as I pick him. The last couple of weeks, he's been declining the bottle occasionally at daycare--or even if I'm near! As soon as he sees me he wants to nurse nurse nurse. :) Especially when he's extra tired or doesn't feel so good, he'll be content to just suck away.

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