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Saturday, January 13, 2007The 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.