Monday, September 18, 2006

Babies and Bottles

Yesterday Genevieve had a big day: she took her first bottle. We'd been planning on introducing the bottle (of pumped breastmilk) at four weeks, when we were sure breastfeeding was firmly established, as we did with Julia. Only, with Julia, we did so because I was preparing to go back to work at my private practice two evenings a week. This time, doing the bottle thing felt kind of strange, like why are we doing this, anyway?, especially since I recalled how baby Julia cried as she drank her entire first bottle, so sad was she that it wasn't a breast. But. Then I remind myself that if I ever want to get my hair cut, or go to the dentist or the eye doctor, or, you know, ever do anything outside the house just for myself for an hour or two without trying to figure out how to get it done and get back before the baby wants to nurse again, that, well, a bottle of pumped milk will be necessary. And the baby will have to know how to drink from it, and accept it.

So Julia and I set off yesterday morning for Target, a.k.a. our second home. Yes, I know I was just at Target, but we haven't quite re-familiarized ourselves yet with how fast one goes through size one diapers with a newborn in the house. Christopher gave Genevieve a bottle, and apparently she barely blinked. Sucked it down in her usual passionate manner, and conked out for a long nap. I came home and of course I had to pump to compensate for the missed feeding, which is kind of a pain and sort of takes away from the whole be-free-of-a-feeding idea of having someone else give your baby a bottle. I mean, if you still have to pump in place of the nursing, it's not all THAT liberating. But oh well. The only hassle of introducing the bottle is that you kind of have to make sure you keep up with it, giving the baby a bottle on a regular basis so she stays used to it, from that point on. Since I don't have work to make that a built-in requirement, it may be a bit tricky to remember to do that consistently. Or maybe I'll just have to schedule lots of "me-time" for myself, spa treatments and workouts and the like, that don't involve babies, just to keep up with the bottle-thing. Don't you think?

Also yesterday, the whole family went for a long, slow walk in the fall-like afternoon. Though our pace was extremely leisurely and we thus didn't cover many miles, we ended up being outside with both babies and the double stroller (Julia alternately riding and walking/running/hopping/dawdling) for an hour. Since I had not done anything physical in almost six weeks--and oh yeah, had also had major surgery in the interim--, this ended up being, oh, a bit EXCESSIVE for my poor body. It felt good, but the rest of the night I was as sore as when I trained for the Chicago Half-Marathon back in the old (young?) days. My thigh muscles and hip joints and feet felt as if I'd just done a long run down the Lake Michigan lakefront. Whew! Who knew?! Bless her heart, Genevieve actually went four hours between feedings at one point overnight, and three hours another time, so I actually got to rest my aching muscles more than usual! But sheesh, talk about a lesson learned! Apparently I have to start working out in a more gradual manner, even if a slow stroll around the neighborhood for an hour with the girls felt very gradual when I was doing it.

It's fall, people. I love it, and I look forward to many more stroller walks before the snow flies in November. Maybe even a short run or two by myself in the evening dusk if I can work up to it slowly and if my feet will carry me. We'll see. The seasons are changing and it's time to start again.


Anonymous said...

Great post! I remember trying to juggle breastfeeding and the bottle. I felt guilty at first but, I agree with you...If I wanted to get out of the house by myself, I had to cut the to speak. I just wanted to be able to have time to go shopping and take time to actually look at all the cute baby clothes without having to run home to feed the baby and feeling bad about it.

Shan said...

Thanks! Yes, exactly....I actually felt kind of sad after that first bottle feeding yesterday. It just doesn't feel right, her eating without me! But I agree with you completely---we nursing moms need a LITTLE freedom!

Donna said...

So glad to hear Genna Rose is continuing to spread out those feedings! Here's to sleep! :) And ditto on the 'freedom' from a bottle, but not from the pump! Sometimes I think it's more hassle to do the bottle thing (at least for now, until I go back to work). Count your blessings Genna is taking the bottle so nicely. Baby is not taking the bottle well and my son never liked it - he barely put up with it!