Her little mouth pops open and she lies back, a satisfied look on her face. A tiny bubble of milk bursts at the corner of her mouth. The sight of the milk covering her chin and the blissful way her mouth hangs open warms my heart. Every time I plugged in my hated hospital grade pump to coax out the few ounces I managed to produce for C, I hoped against hope that things would be different the second time around. I searched the Internet endlessly for hope. I quizzed each and every mom nursing her second child. I scrutinized my nipples in the shower for signs that they were reverting to their natural flat state.
When Little L was placed in my arms in the recovery room she latched on within minutes and my heart swelled, this was my sign, things could be different. She continued to latch on with no problems and until the jaundice hit I thought we were golden. Then doubt started to creep in and I asked the nurses to supplement with formula. It was just an ounce two or three times over a few days, but it was enough.
Now that we are home I’m nursing Little L as often as she wants, but we are still having to resort to formula once or twice a day. She’s fine for most feedings but towards the end of the night and the end of the day she has periods where she’s just insatiable and after letting her nurse for well over an hour I cave and let M give her a bottle. It’s breaking my heart and I just don’t know why.
We always planned to supplement. I wanted M to be able to feed the baby and I knew that I was heading back to work and that I wouldn’t be able to pump enough milk to keep up. Now that we’re here I just don’t know why I can’t cope. I’m frustrated and I can’t find the words to express what I’m feeling. M wants to help, but he doesn’t understand either. I just wish I were choosing to supplement rather than feeling like I have to because my body won’t cooperate. I wish I knew why my baby needs to nurse for an hour each time when some other children are satiated in ten or twenty minutes. I wish… I wish… I wish I knew why this was so important to me.