I nurse my baby around the clock and I can honestly say that it is wonderful. The first three days of breastfeeding were painful. I am not going to sugar-coat it. And the next several weeks were tough because I had to pump and bottle feed after marathon nursing sessions to make sure that she was gaining weight. Apparently early babies are not quite ready to nurse vigorously, but we stuck with it and now, six months in, it is so EASY. Going back to work and pumping to provide milk for when we are apart is NOT easy, but I am very proud our accomplishment in making it this far. The achievement is shared with my Mom and husband. I could not have managed without them. I wish new Moms starting out could get a glimpse of nursing half a year later, because so many struggle and stop. Breastfeeding rates in this country are astounding low and there are many barriers to success. I know, because I have been rallying against them from day one. For example, why on Earth am I getting emails from formula companies? I sent back a very STRONGLY worded reply when I saw that I was enrolled in some bogus program designed by the company. That is sabotage and not even my own inbox is safe from it. On a separate note, whenever I see breast cancer awareness campaigns these days I feel like shouting, "Encourage breastfeeding!" out the car window.
Am I becoming a nut?
Maybe, but the truth is that breastfeeding is normal and should be the norm. I see this now and it frustrates me. I like to think it is passion rather than craziness, and I believe that is also what is keeping me going with Harley.
I am nursing him a lot these days, too. Daily medication is never easy with an animal. I know this from having cared for my beloved Rascal cat years ago. The commitment is even more taxing when your animal is not on your property and more difficult still when you have a baby in tow.
|His weight looks ever better than here. This picture is over a month old.|
|Rascal. My smudge cat.|
Harley is a very good patient. I keep worrying that he is going start recenting me for jabbing him with needles and squirting syrup down his throat, but he is ever kind and willing. I am determined, but utterly exhausted. We just need to get past this coughing spell.
After years of lamenting about Harley's weight, I almost failed to mention how good he looks this fall. The haystretcher pellets are doing great things for him and his grain was successfully reduced. Score! At least something is going well for him.