Ok this is going to be a bit delicate for some of you, but I’m positive you’ll see the punch line by the time you’re done reading. Here goes.
Tracy has breast fed both Frank and Anne Marie. I have had an up close a personal view of both experiences and probably learned a lot more than I wanted to. You’ll have to buy my soon to be released book to read about my experiences in Le Leche League breast feeding class.
As I type this I can’t really think of one aspect of the breast feeding that was the same for both kids. Tracy had a hard time producing for Frank. She produced the day after Anne Marie was born. That’s three and a half months prior to the due date. So in other words five and half months into the pregnancy she was producing. It was slight at first but it was more than enough for a 1lb 12oz baby.
When Anne Marie finally fed at the breast, she was all business. She latched on and started going at it. Frank was a lazy SOB. He just wanted to hang out, relax, etc… At 2am he was the only one relaxing, trust me on that. Once he did latch he took his good ole time.
Tracy went five months with Anne Marie. We only got to six weeks with Frank. Ultimately it came down to need in my opinion. Frank didn’t need it. Six weeks was enough to boost his immune system. After that it was nothing more then a water cooler visit for him. He moved on to formula and then rice cereal and solid food pretty quick. He was dropping puree’ed squash around 10 or 12 months. After that he was dusting off egg rolls and chalupas with regularity.
Anne Marie needed it so Tracy produced it. Simple as that. There are a lot of reasons Anne Marie is alive and thriving so far. Not the least of which is the breast milk she was getting daily from Tracy. The baby is alive in part because of Tracy’s efforts. That’s one experience I’ll never get. I was a bystander for the whole NICU experience really. Tracy was in the trenches with the staff fighting it out the whole time. My connection to the whole thing was being the guy who said stop when the docs asked if they should continue with the extreme measures on Linda Claire.
In the NICU it seemed like Tracy and even her mom were bonding with AM. She would look at them, feed from a bottle for them. Outside of falling asleep with me a few times I wasn’t feeling the connection.
Well I got my connection the other night.
The other big difference between Frank at that age and AM is snuggling. She is a snuggler. Frank was not. AM will find the crook of your arm, stick her face into your neck or even the crease of your armpit. When she sleeps on me she likes the crook of my arm just below the armpit. Two things to keep in mind before I move forward.
1. I quit, cold turkey, my 4 liter a day diet coke habit 2 months ago and have subsequently dropped 22 pounds. Still have about 35 to go but I’m making good progress, apparently just not enough. This will become clear in a second.
2. Remember what I said about Anne Marie and breast feeding, she ‘s all business. She latches quick and gets to work.
Keeping all that in mind it may come as no surprise to you that whilst she was snuggling into the crook of my arm and sleeping, or so I thought, she found, through my shirt, what she must have felt was a teat open for business. It, of course, was not. No matter, before I realized what was going on she latched on “to my left one” as my sister Carol would say, and got to work.
The pain was surprisingly intense. The horror was worse. Tracy always said it was calming and meaningful when she breast fed. No meaning or calm here. Just straight up pain and freaking terror. How Tracy and Frank slept through my school girl type screams is beyond me. But they did. I eventually got her off there with a little flick on the nose. Yeah she wasn’t letting go. She apparently was positive there was milk in them thar hills.
Sorry kid, these are just for show.
My resulting counseling will take up too much time for me to blog about everything so here’s a gratuitous but completely unrelated picture of Frank’s first day of school today, with new haircut and everything.