Jr. and I are back together. It was a rough few days, that's for sure. Yesterday he started to act more normal about nursing (i.e. not pushing my boob away like it's poison), and today we seem to be back on track, for the most part. My being home for a week is probably a huge help, so now I'm worried that with my on-one-week/off-one-week schedule we're going to go through this at the beginning of every "off" week when he's been away from me for a few days straight. There's always something to worry about, isn't there?
As I was telling Julie--whose kids are the exact same age as mine, the babies are one day apart and seem to be eerily similar in their newborn shenanigans--this week has been a Big Lesson for me. I think part of the issue I was having with Jr. was expecting him to be the same as J. This has been one of the bigger adjustments of having two kids, which I'm sure we'll deal with pretty much forever: Realizing that although they come from the same place, J and Jr. are not the same kid. As an identical twin, when I was growing up I got so sick of constantly being compared to my sister, good or bad. People always assumed that we'd either be exactly the same in everything, or complete polar opposites -- "Are you the smart one or the dumb one? Are you the loud one or the quiet one? Why don't you guys ever 'swap' and see if anyone notices?" It gets old constantly trying to prove that you are not the same as another person just because you have the same parents and you look alike. Yet here I am, making the same mistake, because it's hard not to, especially in these early stages when I don't "know" Jr. yet the way I do J.
J was very attached to the breast from the get-go, despite my own difficulties with cracked nipples and pumping. He was always comforted by nursing, especially when he was tired. It took us a long time to break the habit of nursing to sleep. If I was even in the same room as him, he wouldn't take a bottle. From me, or anyone else. As a matter of fact, when he was small I had the opposite problem--when I went back to work J started "reverse cycling," refusing to eat more than a few ounces from a bottle during the day and nursing all night long. He had a strong urge to suck, and we had to get him on the pacifier early because otherwise he would have been attached to me all day long (another habit that took over 2 years to break).
Jr. is just a different kid. He likes to nurse, but doesn't love it the way J did. If my letdown is too slow, he gets impatient and squeezes my boob or kicks me. When he's done eating, he turns his head away rather than falling asleep at the breast. As a matter of fact, he won't nurse when he's sleepy, if he's tired or cranky and I try to feed him--even when I know he's hungry--he gets more upset. He'd rather fall asleep on his own and wake up a mere 30 minutes later to eat than actually nurse to sleep. Which is a good thing in some ways, Jr. is so much better at getting himself to sleep without all the "crutches" of nursing/rocking/singing/bouncing like we had to use with J, who was a terrible napper. Something tells me that Jr. is going to get over breastfeeding long before I will, and not because of anything I'm doing--it just seems like that's his personality. I was hoping for a year, and now I'll be happy with 6 months. If for no other reason than to cover the cost of that fricking breast pump!
Practice makes perfect
7 years ago