When Sklyar was 6 weeks old – in mid-September, things got much better nursing-wise. All the work I was doing, nursing whenever Skylar wanted, pumping two, three, sometimes four times a day, taking herbal supplements, staying away from caffeine, etc.was paying off and I was making a lot more milk. It tickled me pink when I would hear him sucking and swallowing at my breast and see him go into little milk comas. He stopped screaming so much after nursing and actually seemed satisfied (most of the time). The supplementing I had been doing went from two 3-ounce bottles a day down to one (and that was only if I didn't have time to pump).
I got more confident. I was also thrilled that his latch was much better and I wasn't as sore anymore. We had a lot of success in the mornings and afternoons. My favorite time was in the wee hours of the morning, when I would nurse him in bed. While I wasn't getting as much sleep as I'd like and I'd end up holding him most of the night, it was great to bond with him.
But I wasn't as confident getting out of the house with Skylar. It wasn't that I was concerned about nursing in public. It's my third child and I pretty much can always find a way to nurse that I'm comfortable with.
It was more that I wasn't able to get my act together and get out of the house at a reasonable hour. I'd nurse and get the baby ready, and then get my two-year-old daughter ready, complete with a few diaper changes, and I would have to take 20 minutes for myself - most of the time I had to choose between a shower and eating breakfast.
Suddenly it would be 11 am and we'd have just enough time to walk a few blocks with the stroller and then run home to make my daughter lunch and then get her down for a nap. Of course the baby was hungry by the time we'd get back – luckily he slept whenever he was in the stroller or car seat. Juggling making lunch and feeding a hungry baby was tough – someone was usually crying. Usually I didn't get to eat until much later. Once my two year old was asleep, Skylar and I could leisurely nurse in bed again for an hour or two. My son gets dropped off by the school bus 2:45 pm and if I was lucky, Skylar would nap or hang out in his bouncy seat so I could spend some time with Ben. If not, I'd hold him while sitting and assisting Ben with his homework. I'd nurse after that, make some dinner and nurse more. While I believe in nursing on demand, it's tough while trying to make dinner for my husband and my children (who all seemed to want different foods).
Add in Super Fussy Time from 5-8 and I felt like it was more than I could handle sometimes. Super Fussy Time killed all the fun! Skylar seemed so hungry at that time of the day and even if I sat down to nurse him, it felt like it wasn't enough. My husband and I would bicker whether or not he was hungry or fussy and I usually lost the argument. I would reluctantly hand over a bottle or two of pumped milk I had somehow managed to pump earlier day to feed my screaming child, who would gulp it down like he's never heard of food before. Some days were so crazy that I'd reluctantly have to use formula for that witching hour bottle, all the while telling myself that I would be exclusively breastfeeding soon.
Did we get there? Come back and find out in our next installment.