This past week Lavinia has been expressing breast milk and that allows me, and her mother, to feed Jack when she is out or taking a nap. The process was a little intimidating. Actually everything you hear about breast feeding is that way. I think there is a lot of pressure on women to do this and that stress doesn't help. My comments are of course very "male" and I recognize that I have no way of knowing anything truly about it. That disclaimer stated, everything we've read up to this point can add to that stress. There seem to be more stories of failure in the literature than success, not very encouraging.
So it was trepidation that Lavinia and I tried this out. Now to Lavinia's credit she did read up the subject, talked to friends and generally educated herself. On top of that our first times were together, we were relaxed and rested and we tried to set the table for a success. After figuring out our pump machine (Avent IQ24 Duo) we gave it a try.
Well, like in all things that Lavinia has done with this pregnancy, birth and baby it worked really well. We were so thankful. Lavinia was able to express enough, and easily, that I could take the next feeding.
Nilsa and Lavinia went to run an errand. Now, I've been helping and watching Lavinia feed but a lot goes in to it. You have to prep your seating area, you have to prep your swaddle blanket for afterwards, you have to get the bottle warmed up (no easy thing to do quickly), you have to change the diaper and all that while he is letting you know he is hungry. Oh, he does that by crying which is so charming. After that you have to get him in position, get the bottle, support the head, tilt the bottle in, get him to latch right with out sucking down air, make sure he's not spitting up....
I got so caught up in the details I forgot to stop and just enjoy myself. After about 10 minutes of checking my technique like a neurotic gymnast on the high horse I finally realized, "I'm feeding my son." Wow, it was great. I will not, and have not, hide that I can get a little emotional from time to time and this moment was just beautiful. No tears, but a great sense of joy and bonding.
I said "Hey, Jack. How's that bottle?" I swear he stopped sucking, turned his eyes towards my voice and recognized it was not Mom feeding him. He gave that "what you talking about Willis" look as if things were not right in his world. I just about slopped milk down his chest I was giggling so hard.
Since then I've fed him a few more times. Each time Lavinia has either been able to rest or run errands out of the house. For her it is quite nice because she can escape the feeling of being trapped in the house.
Jack drinks down a bottle like a Frat boy in a beer chugging contest. I swear I've seen his little hand reach up and tap the bottom of the bottle to get the last drop out. All in all, he's been as big of a Champ as his Mommy. I'm not sure what I did to be so lucky.
Jack seems to like his bottle too.