I’m so conflicted… As I mentioned in my post yesterday, we tried breastfeeding for the first time yesterday afternoon, and surprisingly Nora did really well. I mean, all things considered. I don’t think she actually got any milk, but she got the idea, she knew to open her mouth and she did suck a bit. Our plan is to try again today at her feeding at 2pm.
I have so many thoughts on this I’m not sure where to start… I guess I should first say that the most important thing to me is that Nora gets my milk. How she gets it though seems less important, to me anyway. But I’ll admit, I know very little about breastfeeding, which is where my confusion comes in.
Nora is still being fed through her feeding tube, as even though we are trying breastfeeding again today, they don’t expect her to actually get any milk just yet. Apparently she is practicing, working on learning how to breastfeed. That said, I assume this process takes time, although how much, I have no idea. Anything that takes time extends our stay in the NICU, which is what got me thinking this morning… If we were bottle feeding Nora my milk, would we be further along in this process of her learning to eat without her feeding tube, and therefore closer to going home?
Here are more of my thoughts, and not necessarily in any particular order 🙂
- I know very little after breastfeeding. Perhaps not even enough at this point to be able to say I don’t care if I don’t nurse Nora. Maybe I don’t understand the bond that can be formed… Maybe I don’t know what I’d be giving up if I decide to bottle feed her instead.
- I finally figured out pumping. And yes, it’s a pain in the butt and there is a ton of clean up. But I’m producing about 36 oz a day, so more than she can eat, and if I keep freezing the additional each day, I could stop pumping before a year but have enough for her to have breast milk for a year… which is ultimately my goal.
- Bottle feeding would eliminate a lot of stress from this NICU experience, for me, and maybe for her too. That has to count for something, right?
- Bottle feeding adds even more clean up…
- I’m a numbers person, I make lists, I like things to be exact. Bottle feeding strikes me as easier from the standpoint of knowing how much milk Nora would be eating. Breastfeeding seems to be a drop in the hat on guessing how much babies are eating. Something about that bothers me… I know, I’m weird!
- If we bottle feed, Eric, and others, could take part in her care on a greater level. Not that Eric has any time to feed her, but lets say, in theory, he does! Bottles would also be necessary for daycare, but then again, the wait list was 2+ years.
- If we bottle feed, I still have to pump, and how does one pump and feed a baby? Does that mean getting up twice as often at night? Anyone have experience with this?
- Would there be any possibility that if we bottle feed now, she could/would breastfeed in the future? Maybe not exclusively, but do babies ever learn to do both if they were bottle fed first?
- Am I being selfish by wanting to bottle feed her now, as really, my main incentive is getting out of the NICU ASAP?