Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sharing Lactation, Part I

Either Sunday or Monday, I am finally going to take the plunge and begin nursing Ira. At this point, I'm pumping about 10-13 ounces a day, or a little over 2 ounces each time I pump (5x daily). This isn't enough to be the sole milk supplier, but it is enough to feed half of a baby perfectly well. My supply is still increasing, but it is likely that I will need to supplement with pumped milk during days that I am home with Ira alone in the fall.

We're going to start the ball rolling by having me nurse once a day; Lyn will pump to keep up her supply. We are thankful that supply isn't much of an issue for her -- if anything she has a little too much -- but we still need to safeguard her milk. My first nursing sessions will be during the day, but if that goes well, we'll probably quickly transition to having me take over the second nighttime feeding (around 4 or 5am). In this feeding he nurses a little less actively and it should be relatively easy for Lyn to hold off on pumping until she wakes up (so that she'll actually see a sleep benefit from having me nurse).

I'm feeling a combination of excitement and anxiety. As I pumped myself dry earlier today, I told Lyn, "I feel like I'm cramming for an exam!" Really, it feels a bit like going out on a first date with someone who has been a friend for a while but who you are hoping will be a little more. What if he doesn't like my milk? What if he won't latch on?

Nervousness aside, I can't wait to get my hands on him (or, rather, my boobs). I wonder if Lyn felt this same way as we got close to doing Leigh's first bottle feeding, or if this feeling is different because it involves my body. I suspect it is a very similar feeling. Lyn and Ira get to spend so much time together, and Lyn gets to provide for his most important physical need in a way that I have not been able to. I'm ready to start providing for my baby, and I'm hoping that both Lyn and Ira are ready as well.

(Interested in hearing Lyn's feelings as we move forward: Sharing Lactation, Part II)


Anonymous said...

I can't wait to hear how this goes - I'm following your lactation inducing adventure closely because it's something we've thought a lot about. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Good luck, you two! Your adventure has even inspired my M to consider it, which would be a godsend. Will be thinking good thoughts for all.

Lex said...

I can't wait to hear how it goes too! As the birth of our baby draws near, I am feeling much more anxious about what my role will be, or rather, how it will feel to NOT be the sole provider of our baby's nutritional needs. I can imagine that it would/will feel really amazing to still get to nurse him every so often (which is our loose plan, but we're waiting to see how things go).

How does Lyn feel about your nursing the baby now that it's real and happening and not just theoretical? Is she as excited as you are? I feel like maybe my wife is feeling a little more protective of her relationship with the baby the closer she gets to birthing him. Which I completely understand, 100%. But it does make me feel a little worried. I don't want her to feel like she HAS to let me nurse the baby, and I really hope that it ends up being her idea, not mine.

I am also just wondering more about how things are going for you guys in first time/second time world. Does it feel different to be on the other side, post-birth? Is there any sadness in that? I find myself worrying that our new baby will be more dw's baby than mine, which is a worry that I've had all along, in a way that I don't think you guys have. I do anticipate that I will feel somewhat left out, but am trying to prepare myself so that I can remain a fully supportive partner regardless of what I'm feeling. Maybe all of my worrying is for nothing, and things will feel perfect once the baby is actually here. But I'm guessing that there will be an adjustment of some size or another.

Hoping your babymoon is going wonderfully!

Lyn said...

Lex -- All good questions, and the short answer is yes, it feels different to look at sharing nursing with Gail now than it did before Ira's arrival, and as always, we find this fascinating. Details to follow in the next post.

nutella said...

good luck, very interested to hear the details of your success.