Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Academomia's Guide to Feeding Your Baby

1. Be sure to re-up your Vicodin at least thirty minutes, but no more than one hour, before feeding time.

2. Have husband change your already-hungry baby's diaper. This will get him good and mad and ready to go.

3. Grasp baby's head firmly in your hand, being careful not to fold his ears in half with your fingers or leave permanent marks. Hold the baby's body close to your body with the elbow of the same arm. Do the Hokey Pokey and You Turn Yourself Around, clap clap cla-clap clap clap.

4. Using your other hand, grab the boob with four fingers underneath and your thumb on top. The exact configuration will make perfect sense when the lactation consultant is standing next to your bed arranging your fingers for you, but will elude you every single time you feed the baby after you leave the hospital.

5. Take slow deep breaths and go to your happy place for a moment while you wait for the baby to stop opening and closing his mouth like the clown at a miniature golf course.

6. Get a towel and dry off all the milk that dripped onto the baby's face while you were waiting that he is now licking off in lieu of doing the hard work of sucking.

7. Repeat Steps 3 and 4

8. Lose patience and try to force him to latch on, whereupon he will bite the hell out of you and resume the miniature golf clown mouth routine. Clench your teeth and try not to scream "HOLY SHITBALLS" loud enough for your in-laws to hear from downstairs.

9. Fondly remember the days when they sent mothers home from the hospital with a big bag of formula samples.

10. Repeat Steps 3 and 4. Indefinitely.

11. If you wait long enough, the baby will tire of toying with you and open his mouth nice and wide. This is your signal to DEPLOY! DEPLOY! DEPLOY!

12. While simultaneously doing something very important with the boob hand that I can't remember for the life of me and holding the baby's bottom close to your body with your elbow, use the other hand to fling the baby's head towards you in such a way that his mouth lands in the correct position on the nipple. This will take some practice, as you will have about four-tenths of a second to complete the maneuver before the baby clamps his hungry little mouth closed again. It will help if you have previous training as a sniper for the CIA. Or a ninja. Repeat until the baby relaxes and begins swallowing milk. Or until he begins frantically gulping it down because he is starving after the twenty-minute delay caused by Steps 2-11.

13. Evaluate pain level. In the words of the LC, "Stabbing ice pick nipple pain means there's a problem with your latch." If you are experiencing "stabbing ice pick nipple pain," begin again with Step 2. If you are experiencing only "dull old bruise ache," then you are on the right track. Note that it will hurt either way. Feel free to complain to your spouse. Then ask for a glass of water and a cookie, pretty please.

14. Repeat every three hours around the clock for several months.


Alyssa said...

ROFL!!! This is absolutely DEAD on! I sometimes am thankful that breastfeeding never worked out for us and I am exclusively pumping (but most of the time still wish I could breastfeed).

Rija said...

Oh, man. I just had a total flashback and it was NOT PRETTY! I hope the little dude figures it out soon. BFing problems can really get a person down.

RIMA said...

Uh, that was me just now. RIMA.

sarah said...

GAH! The ice pick pain!!! I remember! We had SUCH a hard time with breastfeeding in the beginning--it was agonizing for both of us (or, I should say "all of us", since I complained profusely to Husband). I hope it gets easier soon!!!

Sarah said...

Oh no! That sounds terrible! I remember bursting into tears after the LC left my hospital room when I had Jack because she arranged the most complex and ridiculous tower of folded towels to get the baby in the right spot, and I KNEW I could never do that at home.

Amy said...

Oh Becca, I feel your pain. This just made me absentmindedly reach for the nipple cream I used to keep on the nightstand and I am not even nursing!

The four-tenths of a second is spot on. You need the ability to freeze time and then maneuver yourself and the nipple into the correct position and then unfreeze it.

Kyla said...

Oh gosh, this brings back memories. When BubTar was a newborn, I stole one of his pacifiers to bite down on to get me through the ice pick pain. Ahhh, memories.

Anonymous said...

Fun stuff, this breastfeeding. I remember the ice-pick days...heck, if it makes you feel any better, Hadley wouldn't even TRY the left breast until she was a week old! The lopsided look just really accentuated the "I-haven't-slept-for-more-than-thirty-minutes-at-a-stretch" look I had going on...I'm crossing my fingers for you! Heather

lonek8 said...

you got Vicodin?! I am so writing my OB to complain. I got nuthin!

best of luck - I've never been so glad to be a total failure at producing milk and being able to breastfeed as when I am reminded of the "stabbing ice pick nipple pain." Yikes!

Chiconky said...

If you add in blisters and freezing cold, sticky gel packs you just perfectly described Syd's first two weeks of nursing. Especially the "HOLY SHITBALLS!" Now we're such pros I can't even tell when she's done and my boob's hanging out for all to see. That doesn't paint me in a very flattering light, does it?

Candy said...

OMG George! This had me snickering but also cringing in vicarious discomfort. Glad to know the bonding with your little miracle is going so well. Holy Shitballs indeed!

Anonymous said...

OMG! I had to de-lurk because this totally is where I'm at! I'm also a scientist and now new mom, so your blog kind of speaks to me. My daughter was born the week before your little guy, and, yeah, holy hell, breastfeeding...sucks. The first time the LC came in and set me up in the hospital a half hour after birth, I literally passed out from the pain. Literally. Not figuratively. I lost consciousness. And I am no wimp for pain- I did get an epidural, but I asked for it late in the game, and I actually found the whole giving birth, and recovery thereafter MUCH less painful than learning to breastfeed. I am now at the point where the old-bruise ache is just sort of a constant thing, whether the baby is at my breast or not. My wee one is a biter- if she's not concentrating on her latch, she slips and just starts CHEWING- so I'm alternating breastfeeding with pumping and bottle feeding so the swelling has a chance to go down. Seriously, I hate those lying liars at Public Health who said breastfeeding might be a "little bit" difficult and uncomfortable at first.