Monday, August 28, 2006

Got (Lots of) Milk?

I'm not fully sure why, but I am producing a ton of milk with this baby. Egad! There's enough here to feed TWO babies, I'm sure of it. What's going on? The nurses on the maternity ward told me that it's not uncommon to make more milk, and to have it come in sooner (which also happened), with a second baby as compared to the first--something about the pump already primed, so to speak. But even so, it's a bit of a shock. Not a bad one, necessarily---what nursing mom wouldn't prefer an overabundance of milk versus not enough? The dreaded first-time-mom worries of, Is the baby getting enough milk?, all-consuming as they are when you're not yet used to the absence of ounce-markers on a bottle to reassure yourself that all is fine--well, I'm happy to go without them this time around.

But it still feels odd to already have a couple of recycled lid-less Cool Whip containers full of little upright bags of breast-milk in the freezer, fruits of the Medela double electric breast pump that I had to break out only days after Genevieve's birth. I envisioned not having to use the dreaded breast pump for weeks, maybe months--maybe not at all!--but baby Genevieve just doesn't eat enough to prevent me from maintaining full-to-bursting status at certain times of day. Ask her if she eats enough, though, and if she could, she'd tell you YES with a satisfied, milky yawn. She attacks the nipple at each feeding like a drunken frat boy downing a shot; she shakes her head back and forth like a puppy with a chew toy (ouch!). Milk streams over her cheeks and down her chin, she chugs like mad, and invariably she chokes herself and pops off the nipple to gasp (poor baby!). In ten minutes she's in a total milk coma, and I'm debating whether I need to go pump the extra milk to prevent plugged ducts or mastitis (I hardly dare speak its name!) or if I can skip it and hope she's ready for another trip through the (one-item) buffet fairly soon.

And then there's my wardrobe. Let's just say that I have a few camisoles and nursing tank tops that I wore day in and day out after Julia's birth that are just a wee bit TIGHT on me right now. Full to bursting, indeed!

Thank God nursing's going well this time, though. So far, no sign of any of the physical complications that made things so difficult and painful when Julia was a wee nursling. Once again, I'm praying it continues in this direction. As for Genevieve, her cheeks are chubbier already. She goes in for a second post-hospital weight check on Wednesday, and we'll see just how milky she really is.

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