Disclaimer: Male readers may want to skip over this one...
As many of my friends and family already know, I have had a lot of trouble nursing Eli. And by "a lot of trouble", I mean that he has refused to nurse. Period. Everything I read confirmed that this was perfectly normal given that he was in the hospital for a month after birth where he became accustomed to the bottle.(for those who don't know this story, please refer to my sis-in-law's blog starting on May 19th). Plus, given that he was almost 8 weeks early and just over 2 lbs at birth, he was too small and weak to develop a good latch. This was very upsetting to me. I'm not sure if I can fully explain why, but I guess it just made me feel like a failure as a mother (yes, I know this is irrational...). I assumed that it would be this natural instinctive thing, and it just wasn't happening.
So, I've had to exclusively pump and give him breast milk by bottle. Double feeding duty.... Ugh. I've been thankful that I've had the option to do that, because it's pretty important that preemies get breast milk to help boost their little immune systems. But let me tell you, I am about ready to take a baseball bat to the dang pump (you know, like they did to the printer in Office Space). I hate it, hate it, hate it, and have been counting down the days until Eli is six months old, at which time I had decided that I would cut him off and put him on formula.
I tried to transition him to nursing for weeks after he first came home from the hospital, and it was probably one of the most frustrating experiences of my life. So, about a month ago I let it go and quit trying. Then, on a whim the other day, I decided to try it one more time, and HALLELUJAH it worked! And he's doing pretty well! Aside from my paranoia that he's not getting enough milk (since you really have no way to measure how much they drink), and some serious soreness, I couldn't be more happy. I'm free from the pump!
Thanks for bearing with me through this post. This is just sooo exciting for me! I'll spare you pictures for this one :).