Thursday, December 18, 2014

Nursing Jenna

Breastfeeding started out rough with all three of my babies. I experienced the usual physical pains and mental worries, as well as mastitis and clogged ducts with both boys. But after the first few weeks or months, nursing my babies turned into something wonderful and very rewarding. I nursed both boys until they were around 18 months and I am so happy that I was able to do this. I have been hoping to do the same with Jenna.
However, I am beginning to wonder if nursing her is going to be a realistic option this time. I am feeling really frustrated and sad because I am not able to sit and feed her like she needs and deserves. Every time I sit down to breastfeed, the boys need me. And I'm not just talking about needing a cup of water or a diaper change. I'm talking about fighting and blood and timeouts and hitting and biting and screaming and the fact that they require constant supervision and discipline.

Sitting down to nurse Jenna leaves me really vulnerable. My shirt is up, she is comfy on my lap, and once she is latched on, it's impractical for me to quickly put her down and jump up to break up a fight. But unfortunately this is what I'm doing....constantly.

For example, this morning I sent the boys into the garage to ride bikes at 7am so I could nurse Jenna. She was very hungry because she had gone many hours at night without nursing. But Ryan crashed Lucas into the go-kart and I had to stop nursing to make sure he was okay and discipline Ryan. After two more fights between the boys I sat down again but the boys started swatting each other with their hotwheels tracks and screaming. The tracks were confiscated and I put the boys in separate rooms to play. I settled down with poor little Jenna again, but after a while I realized our house was strangely quiet. Once again I stopped nursing, only to discover both boys had snuck candy canes into the playroom. They were a hyper sticky mess.

By now Jenna was quite mad, and I don't blame her. I'm sure it isn't good for her feedings to be interrupted so much. After one more timeout for Lucas hitting his brother's head with the remote control, and a very stern talk with Ryan about talking back to me (oh my goodness his little attitude is out of control), I finished nursing Jenna on one side by about 8:15.

I'm wondering if feeding her a bottle would be any better. We would still be interrupted, although it would be easier to jump up and continue feeding her a bottle than it would be to nurse her. I don't know....I really want to breastfeed. I know it's better for her. But long gone are the days where I can quietly sit and feed my baby without interruptions. I have two other children constantly trying to kill each other. I'm incredibly frustrated with the boys' behavior. And I'm feeling sad about the possibility of weaning Jenna earlier than she deserves. How do Moms with lots of little kids breastfeed their babies?

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