So I imagine that nursing for me is a lot like being in the MTC is like for Mark, my brother in law. The MTC is the Missionary Training Center for LDS missionaries. They go to the MTC to learn how to teach the lessons, as well as to get an intro to whatever language they will be speaking. Mark is going to California, where he will teach Spanish-speakers. He describes the MTC as being very routine, but that he's also super pumped to be there, especially when he gets a chance to actually teach real people. Missionaries in the MTC answer the phones when you call the number on the LDS church's commercials. He had a chance to teach a few people already, and he says it's great. Reading between the lines, I think the routine-ness of the MTC must be really tedious at times, as well as emotionally and physically challenging. Yet also super rewarding and fun.

So here I am as a new mom, with my little baby, and I find myself spending hours and hours and hours and hours and hours nursing. There's lots of benefits to breastfeeding, including the antibodies, the bonding, the cost - I don't know what made me decide to nurse Jane. I always assumed I would do this. I never really thought much about nursing, before, actually. Even when I was pregnant. I read in lots of places that nursing can be really frustrating, and that people who can't nurse for whatever reason can have a really hard time dealing with that on lots of different levels. I was always like, "yeah, yeah," in my mind. Now I'm like, "OHHHHHhhhhhhh I get it better now." There is a TON of pressure to breastfeed. Basically the message is something along the lines of: "You are a crappy mom if you can't breastfeed." Total baloney. Lots of people can't breastfeed their kids, but they are still good moms. The point is, being a good mom has a lot more to do with other things than just whether or not they choose to nurse. I like Becky's attitude towards this - basically, she said to try to ignore all of that pressure and do it however I feel would be best. She said that with that attitude she ended up nursing for longer, actually.

There's got to be lots of pressure to go on a mission, too. People who don't go have a really hard time dealing with that on lots of different levels. I think that in Mormon culture there is sometimes a message that, "You are a crappy person if you can't serve a mission." That is also total baloney. Lots of people can't serve missions but are still good people. The point is, being a good person has a lot more to do with other things than just whether or not they choose to go on a mission.

This analogy may be stretching it a little far because young LDS men who are eligible to serve missions are commanded to go, while nobody is commanding anybody to nurse. I guess the commandment is to take care of your kid - to make sure they get enough to eat.

Anyway, ways that I feel like I may be experiencing similar things to my brother in law are that he has a super predictable routine that can sometimes be very challenging, and that he is super excited for the future. My routine is basically: nurse - do something else - nurse - do something else - nurse - do something else...this baby has to eat every 3-4 hours. Someday I'd like to meet whoever it was who decided breastmilk should digest this quickly.

Jane is not an "all-business" eater, either. She usually takes between 30-40 minutes to finish eating. I've been reading in lots of different places to try to see if this is normal. I finally decided that I should follow my instincts. Yes it is normal. She's wetting/dirtying enough diapers, and gaining weight, and she doesn't always fall asleep right after eating. But whenever I see written that all babies will naturally "latch off" I just have to laugh. Jane does NOT do that. She will stay attached to me for as long as possible, even when I know she's not hungry anymore. I asked my pediatrician about this, and he asked if she was just "playing". I told him that I guess she is, but the truth is that it's really REALLY hard to tell. My brother said that having a little baby to take care of is like having my own live tamaguchi. Yeah, except with one really REALLY huge difference - Jane doesn't come with a little monitor telling you when she's hungry or full, or what's wrong when she cries. Oh yeah, and tamaguchis don't poop or pee. And Jane is way, WAY cuter.

The other way I feel like I'm experiencing a lot of things like Mark is that I am super happy to be a mom, and super excited for Jane to grow up. I bet I get a lot of responses from already-moms telling me to enjoy this time with her as a newborn, that it passes so quickly, and that I will be really sad when it's over. Yes, and no. It will be nice when she can finally smile. Becky said it exactly how I feel: "It's nice when they can smile because it's like, 'oh! You don't hate me!'" It will be nice when she will be able to talk and tell me what she needs. It will also be nice when I can figure out what to say to her! So far, after I say, "Jane, you're so beautiful!" I draw a huge blank.

Anyway, you may wonder why I'm posting this at 2 am. I needed something to do while Jane fell asleep on my lap. We're dumb new parents who have kept the cradle in our bedroom for these first two weeks, which means both Danny and I jump a mile when she coughs. I fed her at 1, and I don't want to wake Danny up when I bring her back. Now she's asleep and I'm supposed to "sleep when the baby sleeps" so goodnight.

1 comment:

  1. I think its great that you decided to nurse jane...it is an amazing time to bond with her and you are giving her the nutrition heavenly father made for her! I had forgotten how hard it is to have a newborn nursing schedule...I have been half-asleep these past couple weeks! Except my milk-maniacs (brigs was the same way) nurse every two hours *yawn* One thing I learned from the first time around is that constant latch or "playing" you were talking about...Briggy was the same way...the best way to tell if its "non-nutritive" sucking is how their little mouths are clamped on and how its moving....you'll see the mouth really extended down low and moving frequently. thats when you know they're actually getting milk. (Im sure you were told this...but just in case...) And if they arent and its been awhile, just stick your pinky finger in the side of their mouth and pull out....with briggy it was fine because it was just me and him all day and I just sat with him on my lap for months and months...but now I've got two monkeys so I've had to spread my time around a little differently :)
    --I ended up having an epidural this time....amazing!! I was in labor at the hospital for about 8 hours before I "gave in" and got it---It was wonderful...no pain! I'm glad you had such a beautiful birth experience...at first I thought jane looked like you in the brand-new baby pics..but of these last pics you've posted I see SOOOOO much of your husband in her!!
    Hope all is well!


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