My son is six months old. We’ve been fighting low weight gain and feeding issues almost since his first week of life. We’ve nursed, pumped and bottle fed with my milk and milk from generous mamas including my sister. (Some of you may remember, that we’ve been here before). For a while I pumped after every nursing around the clock, every three hours during the day and every four at night. He’s had his tongue and lip frenulem lasered by a pediatric dentist in Philadelphia who specializes in working with breastfed babies and mamas. (Who knew such amazing professionals existed? We drove over an hour to see him, but there were patients there who came even further. He saw us on his lunch break. That says a lot).
I cater to this little one’s strange whims, like giving some milk by bottle, to prime the pump as it were, before nursing, guessing when he’s hungry because once he starts crying, it’s too late and so many more. I take thrice daily herbal supplements. My hospital grade breast pump has been a constant presence in my living room since then and I rarely leave for an all day outing without my Medela backup pump. At least until recently.
Because he is six months old now. He is finally on the charts at the 10th percentile. He rolls, vocalizes and, Lord have mercy, is trying to maneuver around and get ready to crawl. He eats solid food three times a day and loves it. He still wakes in the night to nurse sometimes, but when I do sleep, I don’t feel like I’m choosing my sleep (and in most cases, sanity) over his health. I only pump three times a day now, sometimes less if I really need the break. The hospital grade pump is going back this month. I don’t fear every stuffy nose and cold will result in lack of weight gain.
I know there is a still a long way and many sleepless nights to go. But I feel like I may be starting to see a light at the end of the tunnel. Where I can enjoy my son, this most likely to be final baby, and wonder at the way his little hand holds mine while we nurse. To let him nap in my arms, even when I know there is so much work to do. I’m really enjoying him.