Hoover Baby

11Jul07

OK. So. Went to the lactation consultant today. I fed Evan about two hours before we had to leave so that he’d be hungry when we got there, as per our instructions. During that last feeding B.L.C. (Before Lactation Consultation), I asked Evan please not to be on his best behavior. “Be bad, please Evan,” I pleaded. “Hurt mommy like you do at home, okay kiddo?” The request was as bizarre sounding to me as it would be to an outsider, but I was so afraid that we’d get there and Evan would be an angel: nothing would hurt and nothing would be gained from the consultation.

But we never even really got to the point where Evan displayed his nipple noshing behavior. Immediately upon arrival, our lovely consultant Bonnie confirmed what I merely suspected: this kid can suck. Not only that, he’s damned good at it. In fact, she seemed amazed by how strong his suck is. She gushed about it like Marsha meeting Davy Jones on The Brady Bunch. She actually said to us, “Other moms will say, ‘oh, my baby is a strong sucker, too,’ but they have no idea.” She called him a Hoover.

I’ll leave out all the steps in between – the parts where Evan and I practiced getting my nipple all the way back into his throat, the parts where I had to stick my finger in his mouth to get him off of me, the parts where Lactation Consultant went on about my damaged nipples and said she’s seen women less sore than me give up entirely before this point – and skip to the end. I actually left there feeling pretty good about everything. I felt I had learned some good techniques, but I’d also gotten the OK to pump, so that Brian can relieve me by giving Evan a few bottles a day until I heal and probably even after, and the OK (even the encouragement) to give Evan a pacifier. He still won’t take a pacifier, but we’re supposed to keep trying. He’s got a very strong urge to suck but relies on me to satisfy that need. She said we need to find ways to allow him to satisfy his suck without “taking advantage of me,” as she put it. Best of all, she also said that we don’t have to wake him in the night to feed. He’ll wake up if he’s hungry, but we don’t need to keep getting him up every three hours at night. Alleluia.

Anyway, I haven’t cried yet today about breastfeeding, which is an improvement already. I’ve only fed Evan once since the consultation, and it was OK but not perfect, but I’m hoping that the coming days will bring both relief and an improved outlook.

But I’ll vow right now: if I do get converted to the Church of the Holy Boob, I will reassure friends only if they ask me to and I’ll try hard not to preach the gospel of the breast. That’s some pressure I just don’t want to exert on anyone else.

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One Response to “Hoover Baby”

  1. 1 a. pinkroom

    Church of the Holy Boob, huh? That might be a religion I could follow.


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