Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Pump and Sucking-stance

It may be a little too soon to celebrate but I think we've graduated from the nipple shield. Rachel's just growing up. She is getting to the stage where she wants to try new things. She watches as we eat with verifiable interest, her mouth opening and closing in sync with ours as we bring each bite to our mouths. She took a bottle. She doesn't fight the pacifier as much anymore. And just tonight I tried not using the nipple shield and she nursed for a good half hour without any fussing at all. In fact, she's already in bed, sound asleep.

The nipple shield was incredibly helpful. Without it I wouldn't have been able to feed Rachel for the last 3 months and 2 days. But I was so worried that she'd never be weaned from it. Instead of taking her teddy bear with her to sleep overs, I was afraid she'd have to take the nipple shield. My worries of an ever present oral fixation are waning now.

Don't get me wrong, I was very appreciative of the nipple shield. Rachel and I had our share of problems when we were starting out. Andrew was pretty nervous about it. In our prenatal class we had discussed how it was best if the baby nursed within an hour of being born. Andrew's mind translated this into "the baby must eat within one hour of birth or it with never desire to eat ever again and will shrivel up into a raisin-like creature."

He watched the clock like a hawk and since they were stitching me up for nearly an hour, we didn't even attempt to breast feed until that critical hour was almost up. Andrew was convinced that Rachel was going to turn into a raisin.

As it turned out, though, Rachel was more than willing to try eating. She tried and she tried and she tried, and I did likewise. In the end though, we needed a few crutches to get us to make any sort of connection.

I didn't mind at first. The nurses and pediatrician said that she would be off the shield in two weeks, no problem. Well, those two weeks came and went and people started telling me that the shield would deplenish my milk supply (yeah, right...not so lucky in my case). I was so worried that I would dry up like a raisin.

So, neither Rachel or I turned into raisins. We had nothing to worry about all along. Except for the million times I misplaced the nipple shield. That thing is like a contact lens--if you drop it, you'll be on your hands and knees for quite a while searching blindly, meanwhile hoping that the baby doesn't get hungry.

I don't think we've seen the end of the shield; that last feeding was one battle won but the war is far from over. At least we're now doing a combination of bottles, soothers, and shield on/shield off. That way if I lose the nipple shield long enough for Rachel to get hungry I still have a method or two of placating her.


  1. yay! For mom and Rachel! That is so exciting. I love the picture of Andrew feeding Rachel, he looks so happy and she looks content!

  2. How funny...Grace just started taking a bottle as well. She is so lazy about it though. She just wants to sit there and have us hold it up for her. Hello baby you are ten months old. You walk, you hang off the monkey bars, I think you can hold your own bottle! No luck yet though.

  3. That's funny that she won't hold her own bottle. Maybe she's just super great at gross motor skills and just needs more practice on fine motor skills?

    Rachel will grab at your fingers while you give her a bottle...which is only necessary because she thinks she still should eat every 2 hours. I thought that kids started spreading out their eating times--not Rachel. I can't do anything without her wanting to eat in the middle of it. I drag her to all the meetings I go to (5 hours of church, etc) because she can't be left with Andrew...because she'd starve.

    I'm hoping she gets more and more comfortable with the bottle and with not using the nipple shield and everything...that would be nice. :)

  4. I love the picture, too. Mom :o)

  5. I wish I could say that was true but her fine motor skills are just fine. Today she was feeding herself lentils, one little lentil at a time times a 1/4 cup of lentils. She also will pick through her snacks to eat the goldfish first. She just is so used to breast feeding that she thinks all milk meals should just be dumped into her...laziness :)