Breastfeeding is supposed to be the most natural thing in the world. And if you look around at the rest of the animal kingdom, the process does seem to be pretty simple.
Puppies do it. And kittens. And even baby warthogs. They climb their way over their 8 or 9 siblings, find a teat, latch on and suck for all they’re worth! And people? Most are born blind!
So why can’t a human baby – with all the advantages our species supposedly has over the rest of the natural world – figure it out?
I’m trying to breastfeed my daughter. “Trying” being the operative word. And she’s getting a little better every day – or at least, that’s what I tell myself when I’m not in the thick of it.
The problem? She’s too sleepy most of the time to want to wake up and eat. And even when she does latch on, she doesn’t seem to like to suck. She’s still waiting for the 24-hour feeding tube to be reactivated, I think.
Most of the time, I do manage to get her to nurse for a while. But, in another Catch 22, I’m so worried about her not eating that I get stressed, and then I can’t seem to make enough milk. So then we have to supplement with formula, or pumped milk. But we’re not supposed to bottle feed, so we have to do it with a syringe.
And that just breaks my heart. I mean, what kind of mom am I, to allow my baby to be force fed with a cold, sterile piece of medical equipment?
Then, I attach some suction cups to my boobs and allow another piece of machinery to milk me like a freaking cow – or at least, I try to. More often than not, I get so little, it’s not even worth the effort.
By the time the process is finished, an hour and a half has gone by. And I have to gear up to do it all again in another hour and a half.
And more prone to hysterical sobbing fits than I care to admit.
I want to give up, but I promised myself I’d give it the full two week trial run before making any rash decisions. Which means I have at least another five days left.
It’s going to be a long week, people. Wish me luck.