Monday, February 27, 2012

The joys of breastfeeding

After having such a terrible pregnancy and always wondering if the baby would come out okay, it was such a relief when L.H. was born skinny but wholly healthy.  I was blessed with a relatively fast, easy labor and delivery.  I think I may have mentioned before that when L.H. was born she took one breath and immediately started looking for food.

It was such a relief to me that I could finally feed the poor kid, and I was confident that I would somehow find my way in breastfeeding.  Thankfully, we both caught on pretty quickly and I never had any terrible issues with it.  That's not to say that it was easy, but it was fine.

Even though I was worried about my body being low on nutrients and therefore not being able to provide her with adequate nutrition, my fears were quickly dispelled.  L.H. was born at 2.948 kg, dropped to 2.750, and at 11 days old was up at 3.5.  For those of you who don't do metric, she gained more than a pound and a half in under two weeks.  Now if that's not cause for celebration, I don't know what is.

From being somewhere around the fiftieth percentile in weight at birth, L.H. quickly rocketed up to the ninetieth and above and has stayed there.  At 12 months she was the size of an average 18-month-old.  She is often mistaken for an older child because of her size and the way she looks at the world.

I exclusively breastfed her until 6 months when I started adding in solids.  But to know that her size and remarkable growth comes from me, from my milk - it can't get better than that.  I felt like a bit of a failure at pregnancy (not my fault, I know), and suddenly not only was I doing something right for the babe, but I was doing a super job of it.

We recently visited the pediatrician for one of L.H.'s rare bouts of illness.  This doctor commented how L.H. was really big and asked if she was born large, to which of course I had to reply no.  "You must be breastfeeding, then," was the reply.  It made me so proud to hear the from the mouth of a professional - to have someone say gee, you've been working hard and you did a mighty good job.

I can only hope that my breastfeeding relationship with my future children goes as smoothly and produces such amazing results.  I have such nachas when I sit and look at her.  It's the best thing in the world.

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