Nov 4, 2011  •  In Aerin, Baby, Motherhood, Personal

Life with Aerin: Day Four

As a testament to how uncomfortable I was in the weeks leading up to the birth of my second child, I felt as light as a feather and wanted to do cartwheels down the maternity ward just hours after delivery.

Even day two, when I felt my worst, was far better than my last month of pregnancy.

This is not to say that I’m feeling wonderful at the moment. I am still bleeding profusely, I have Shrek feet, and it hurts to get up and down and walk around. But this recovery seems to be a lot easier than the one I experienced with Claire.

Aerin, on the other hand…

Now, don’t get me wrong. She is perfectly healthy and we can’t help but be amazed whenever we stare at her little face and body. But if these first few days are any indication of things to come, we are in for one hell of a ride.

After my breastfeeding experience with Claire, I had been hoping and praying that Aerin would be a good nurser. Well, I should have been careful what I wished for, because not only is Aerin an excellent nurser (she latched on right away and has a very strong suck…I can’t remember Claire ever sucking this hard), she wants to nurse ALL THE TIME.

Like, every hour since she was born.

It’s not that I’m not producing enough breastmilk either — my milk came in on day 3 from our marathon nursing sessions.

Aerin is just a very hungry baby. Even the night nurse at our hospital got annoyed, because I overheard her telling another nurse as they switched shifts, “And this baby literally wants to eat every hour on the hour!”

I know that breastfeeding is not supposed to hurt if done correctly. But having a baby suck on your nipples for up to 45 minutes at a time, only to start again after a short 15 minute break, is leaving my nipples raw and sore, and this mommy simply worn out…I am patiently waiting for the day when my body will get adjusted to this new regimen.

Aerin also seems to be a poor sleeper. From the moment of birth, the longest stretch of sleep she has gotten is 30 minutes. And she will not sleep by herself either — she has to be held in order to sleep.

Additionally, my little girl is still at the point where she is most comforted by the smell and sounds of her mother. As such, no one else can calm her down — only I can.

Needless to say, I am exhausted. :-( I can only pray that things will get better soon.

I hope this post doesn’t come off as whiny; it is intended to give you an update on our new life. And an explanation as to why I may be MIA for the next days/weeks/months.

30 Responses to “Life with Aerin: Day Four”

  1. I’m glad you’re feeling well.

    Do you think Aerin is actually getting milk for the whole 45min or just sucking for comfort?

    Early on with my daughter she used to nurse FOREVER. I eventually realized that if I did 10min on each boob and then slipped a pacifier in her mouth, she was perfectly happy.

    I think she just really wanted to suck- not necessarily nurse- and would be happy with the boob or a pacifier.

    Maybe it will get you more than a 15min break?

    • I know that a part of it is comfort nursing, but we’ve tried various pacifiers and she hates all of them. She’ll suck vigorously for a few seconds, make a face and spit it out and cry, as if to say “What’s the point of sucking if nothing comes out?” Maybe she’ll take a liking to them in the future?

      • wen:

        Give her the finger if possible, some babies like the finger better than a binky (not sure why? The temperature? Because it still feels human/has mommy’s flavor and smell?) Pick a finger that is most close in size to your nipple, file it way down, and make sure when she sucks that the nail side is down/towards her tongue.

        If she’s nursing that often and has been gaining weight, you need to cut back on the nursing sessions for your own boobs and sanity! The docs ususally say that babies should nurse for no more than 20-25 min every 90min or so–if they are demanding to nurse more often than that (esp with a good latch and good milk, so you know they aren’t REALLY hungry) then they are comfort nursing.

  2. Christine:

    She is so beautiful! My son was also ravenous every hour and my nipples became raw and sooo sore. I used the lanolin constantly and after a week, they finally “toughened” up. I think it’s so wonderful Aerin has such a good suck and latch from the beginning. Best of luck in the coming months. I don’t think you sound whinny at all!

  3. Sunny:

    I also don’t think you sound whiny!
    You’ve got yourself a beautiful little girl there, how’s Claire taking it?

  4. oh you must be exhausted! she is precious though. i hope her schedule settles down soon into something more manageable (i mean, as hectic as it will be, hopefully just not as hectic as this)!

  5. Meredith:

    I think there are plastic things you can put over your nipple to ease the pain while nursing. They might be called nipple guards, but I don’t know.

    She’s beautiful by the way!

    • Are you talking about nipple shields? If so, I have them, but I’m reluctant to use them unless it’s for poor latch problems because babies can get too used to them. Thanks for the tip though!

  6. Doesn’t come off as whiney at all, in fact, I’ve always appreciate your raw honesty… one of the reasons I love your blog so much. Aerin is absolutely adorable and I hope you get some rest soon. :)

  7. She is so precious! I’m so sorry that you’re exhausted though. That is so hard. I’m hoping that she’ll give you a breather soon.

  8. Kit:

    Do you read EVERY COMMENT? If so listen (read) my lips: my daughter is THE SAME
    EXACT WAY. Personally i think its a temperament thing.

    So my daughter LOVES THE BOOB. Loves it. Since the day she was born she just wanted nothing else but to be drunk off me. Which was a huge mental shift for me! Nursing a newborn- look up AskMoxie.org and do a search under clusterfeeding. My baby clusterfed for what seemed like the first 4 months of life. Put up your feet, get a snack basket and water bottle next to you and park it girl because if your daughter is like mine she will be one healthy chubbalub 4 month old breast fed baby you will ever meet! :-) which is a good thing!

    Basically- i recommend getting medelas hydro gel pads. They will SAVE YOUR NIPPLES. Mine were raw too. Lansinoh… Nipple creams- nothing was more comforting than the hydro gel pads and for a good solid two wks it worked like a charm.

    Next: baby wearing. Get the sleepy weap or moby or whatever you like. Learnto wear your baby and learn how to nurse your baby in the wrap. Find a local la leche league group and i am sure another momma can give you pointers. But every mom i know who breast feeds and has two kids? They wear their baby while chasing/caring for the other baby and swear it saved their life.

    If you want to learn more about me and my babys first few months feel free to email me. Your new baby sounds EXACTLY LIKE MY DAUGHTER.

    And no i dOnt think you are being whiney. I think its always a huge cultural shift going from single girl to new momma of one then to new momma of two! You are being honest and expressing outloud how what you thought vs what actually is were totally different!

    Congrats! Give yourself grace, adopt the mantra “this too shall pass”. It’ll all be a blur. You will survive this early time in your young kids life! :-) ((hugs)) relax. Rest between nursing sessions as best you can.

  9. Hi! I am not going to bother reading the above comments. My son was the exact same way! He sucked so hard my nipples bled, and he did it every 45 minutes for 30 minutes at a time. Sometimes he went on like this for hours and hours. It sucked balls. It did get better, but like weeks later. The truth is, a newborn baby is SUPPOSED to nurse non-stop the first few months. It helps to establish your milk supply. It’s totally exhausting, sort of painful (although give it 14 days and I promise that will go away), and definitely annoying especially if you’re feeling like cartwheeling down the halls right now. But it’s worth it! It DOES get better. Eventually I gave my son a pacifier, because he wouldn’t do anything but nurse and it drove me bonkers. You could do that, but don’t even think about it for 8 weeks because it screws up breastfeeding, especially when it’s overused. Congrats on your beauty! You can email me if you have any questions. I am sure a ton of people are offering this. I had this EXACT same nurser though, so if you need help, hit me up. Try to rest as much as possible. Enjoy (lol)!

  10. MrsW:

    Ooh, I second opinions on learning to feed in a moby or sleepywrap. I did NOT take advantage of that and my daughter was also a nurse forever, don’t put me down baby. It would have totally saved my bacon if I hadn’t been too sleep deprived to try something new. Also, nursing in the wrap = instant cover so you can set up in the bedroom, then walk out in front of the inlaws.
    Here are a couple of videos from one of my (other) favorite blogs about nursing in the Moby: http://www.kitchenstewardship.com/2011/10/13/i-heart-my-moby-wrap-how-to-videos/

    I also think the pacifier idea, if you’re into that, is a great one! Babies do need to suck for hours and hours a day but if you don’t want her to it doesn’t necessarily need to be on you.

  11. She’s beautiful! I hope you settle into a routine with her soon and the sleeping gets better!!

  12. Just sending you happy new mama thoughts!! Hope life settles in asap and you start to get a break.

  13. She’s too cute. She just wants to be close to Mom (says the non-Mom of course :)). I’m glad to hear that she is healthy and doing well. Relief will come soon.

  14. Liz:

    My baby was the exact same way! Honestly the first month was a blur and I don’t know how I survived on so little sleep.

  15. Kim:

    You don’t sound whiny! Your baby is beautiful! Things will get better. I hope Claire is adjusting too! Take it easy.

  16. You do NOT sound whiny at all! You have a four day old baby and you are managing to actually blog, which I personally think is quite impressive! I think that the babywearing while nursing suggestions are great. If you didn’t like the long wrap, maybe try a sling? They are quite easy to put on.

  17. Wendy:

    My daughter was the same way too!!! She loved sucking on my nipples and did not like the pacifier. Have you tried your finger? That was the next best thing for her. She could get her to sleep if I wore in my Ergo with the infant insert. If it continues to hurt past 2 weeks, please see a lactation consultant. I kept nursing in pain for 6 weeks(!!) until I finally saw one. She saved my life and my boobies.

  18. Cyndi:

    If Aerin is anything like her cousin then this will unfortunately last for months! Ainsley clusterfed for the first 3-4 months of her life..She refused bottles till she was about 8 months old.

    Just a heads up, Ainsley got worse when we had new company over or we went somewhere unfamiliar..She nursed out of comfort..I sometimes would dread if friends/family were coming to visit b/c i knew i would spend most of their visit nursing.

  19. Ah! I remember those marathon nursing sessions! But she will get so much more efficient, even by six weeks, and breastfeeding will start to feel good, I promise! Anyway, Lanolin is your friend. Also, wet black tea bags on your nipples. It feels really nice (and something about the properties of the tea helps with tenderness). Congratulations on the birth of your beautiful baby girl!

  20. JustAng:

    My daughter is exactly the same. She’s BF on demand….and demanding, she is! She’s 6 months old, starting solids, and STILL feeds off me every hour and a half. Mercifully, the sessions have become shorter now. 15-20 minutes at a time. She also will not nap (unless on me) and wakes 7-8 times a night, despite repeated efforts at sleep training. I’ve finally just resigned myself to the fact that every baby is different and her insane stamina will serve her well later in life!! :) You can get through this!!

  21. JustAng:

    OH, and another vote for the lanolin…esp if you need to pump (not that there’s any time to!)

  22. m@7.7.11:

    first of all, congrats! she is a doll and i love her name.
    second, i just wanted to comment: while fully realizing “the grass is always greener”, i would have begged, borrowed and killed to be able to exclusively breastfeed my daughter. we have been at least partly (now fully) formula fed since day 1 due to my lack of milk production. and although i fully understand and sympathize with how having sore, bleeding nips is definitely not on the “fun list”, count this mommy in as one who is pretty envious of your hardworkin’ boobies!

  23. My son is now 10-weeks-old. For the first 2 weeks, I must have said “Why didn’t anyone tell me how hard this is?” a million times per day. I asked everyone – why didn’t you warn me, was it this hard for you… it seems they all forgot?! I didn’t start enjoying motherhood until week 8 if I’m honest, and I do not enjoy breastfeeding (or really, I don’t enjoy that my baby will sleep through the night finally but MY BOOBS WON’T!) They keep turning to cement and waking me up every few hours. The lactation peeps keep saying “they will adjust.” It’s been 3 weeks, they haven’t, I need to sleep, daylight savings is cruel, and so we’ve started to wean. This comment started one place and ended another – the point, it does suck in the beginning, hang in there, you don’t sound whiny. :)

  24. OMG. I just read this (just getting caught up on blogs, obviously). OMG. I REALLY hope it gets easier for you, Jenny! The good news is the more food = the more fat. The more fat = the more sleep (at least according to my MIL). I hope this is true for you!

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