Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Does Experience Count?

Over the past months, when discussing the looming prospect of having TWO children to contend with, my husband confidently observes "At least this time, we know what to do." And thus far, I've managed to not laugh in his face. I decided to just let him keep smoking his pipe packed with whatever goodie it is that lets him think that we truly have it "all figured out". One advantage to a 2nd pregnancy, is that at least I have been less anxious. With my 1st pregnancy, I would lay awake late into the night pondering if I could do it and wondering what I had signed up for. Now, I know that yes - I can do this motherhood thing. It won't be easy in the beginning, but I'll just to put my nose to the grindstone and bear through. And while I won't have the answers, since I keep hearing children are human beings with different personalities (WTH? REALLY?), I do feel a little better knowing that with Kid #2, I am going in armed with ideas.

Regarding breastfeeding, there are a few things that make me feel a little easier about those first few weeks....

1. Potions- I know the Soothies gel pads work for me and have stocked up on them. But again, I don't know it all and even just recently, got the great advice from Leah to use the Soothies between breastfeeding sessions and to use the lanolin cream during the breastfeeding session.

2. Pump - I had NO clue how to use my pump. All the advice given was to wait to open the thing to see if you were actually going to breastfeed or not - then if you didn't, you could just return it. Sadly, I needed that damned thing desperately to relieve engorgement. 3am is NOT the time to figure it out. NOT THE TIME. So, the pump is freshly cleaned and already packed to take to the hospital. According to my lactation consultant, the chances are that my milk will come in while I am still there since I recently weaned and I want to be prepared.

3. Places - I had such a hard time breastfeeding in chairs - the arms always seemed to be in the way of the Boppy AND the baby. For me, nursing while sitting Indian style on a bed was the best place.

4. Positions - All those great breastfeeding pamphlets with nursing positions should be considered a "starting" point. For example, I had to totally experiment with the lying down position. For me, I couldn't get the hang of the traditionally demonstrated method.

5. Perspective - When you are a brand-spankin' new mother it is difficult to keep Perspective. I'll never forget in my early 20s watching a friend struggle with breastfeeding. With her FOURTH child. But, my friend was very calm about it and stated matter-of-factly that it was always like that in the very beginning. I've never forgotten that and it's been over 10 years ago. However, knowing that tidbit helped me immensely in soldiering forward - realizing that it was normal to struggle a bit made all the different.

So, no. I still don't have all the answers. The 5 Points above are merely the answers from my FIRST child. I suspect my second child will not only present new answers, but also new questions. And that's okay, too because otherwise, motherhood might get a little boring. And we wouldn't want that, now would we?

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