This morning was Anthony’s 9 month checkup. He was a whopping 20.5 pounds, which is hilarious considering Gregory was only 18 pounds at 12 months! Just goes to show how different these two really are! Anthony is also very tall for his age– 30 inches! For comparison, Gregory was 36 inches at his 2 YEAR appointment, and they said he was above average.
So…yay! Tall boys! Bring on the basketball scholarships!
I haven’t talked much about what/why we’ve been feeding Anthony the way that we have. Basically, after my first experience with Gregory, I made breastfeeding a huge priority this time around. I took refresher classes, read tons of literature about the possibility of tandem nursing, and got prepared with all new pump parts and only the best bottles. I got ready to save tons of milk in the freezer, just so I could have a huge backup supply.
I think that I can contribute 99% of our success this time around to a few key things: 1. ON DEMAND feeding, 2. Less hectic work schedule, allowing me to be around him most of the day (I’ve read that just the smell of your baby can help your milk production!), 3. No pacifiers, 4. No solids until 7 months, and 5. No bottles. The last one was kind of an accident, because we had no need for bottle feeding and we didn’t introduce it more than twice. As a result, he rejected them all together. I had to throw away the 5 or 6 feedings I had frozen because they were so old!
But it’s amazing how easy breastfeeding is compared to anything else! No bottles to wash, no pumping sessions, no formula to buy. Just 5-8 minutes of nursing, 5 times a day. That’s less than an hour!
Also, I think it is greatly helping his immune system. Other than Jesse, all SIX people in this house got sick with an RSV infection last week. Gregory’s was pretty bad– high fever for a week, puking every time he coughed (every.time. so.much.mucous!). My dad stayed home from work for 3 days. I had to stay home for 2 days. My mom, Janelle and Caitlin felt sick and congested, but struggled through their everyday routines. I was really worried about Anthony, since it can be really dangerous for babies (my sister was hospitalized with it at 9 months old!).
Instead of ANY of that, Anthony got by with a 1 day runny nose! I find that amazing, to be quite honest, and I had pretty high expectations to begin with.
I’m also grateful that whatever hypo-thyroid issue I had seems to have resolved itself. After the first 20 pounds (those are always the quick ones right after birth!), I lost weight gradually and naturally, without any drop in milk supply. I fit back into my size 2/4 stuff within 6 months, which was definitely a nice plus. Also, no period for 9+ months (19+ months, if you include pregnancy!)= definite advantage!!! Yes, I’m excited about that last part, because mine are pretty much more painful than anything I’ve ever experienced (other than childbirth).
The ONLY downside, and I really mean ONLY, is the night time. Anthony’s still waking up twice a night to eat. He has a hard time “agreeing” to go back in his crib at the 4am feeding, plus he’s usually over-saturated his diaper and wet his sleeper at this time (lots of nursing= LOTS of pee).
Our saving grace is that we’ve introduced a bit of “self-soothing” (aka, crying it out) at his naps and first sleeping session of the night. He’s been able to put himself to sleep within 5 minutes, so at least there’s that!
Overall, I’m so incredibly grateful that things have worked out this well thus far. I feel as though I went through such a difficult time with Gregory (9 months of fulltime nursing, 2 more months with supplementing due to pregnancy) that I didn’t believe nursing could be a wonderful and easy thing.
Now, I’ve seen the flip side and know why it is people make such a big deal about it. I know that everyone’s situation is different, but having seen both sides of the equation, I would pick 100% nursing every time.