Three days after the birth of Chicklett I was starting to feel more fullness in my chest and knew that the milk would be coming soon. I had thoughts back to two years ago and how painful engorgement was for me, but thankfully this time around I have a secret weapon in my pocket! My toddler, Chicken Little, was going to be the star of the show for a few days by helping keep ahead of the engorgement wave.
The first night CL had already gone to bed before I realized that a flood was upon me. Chicklett was gulping and nursing more, but I knew from experience that a newborn is not generally enough to keep up. Around 4am I had serious thoughts about waking CL up JUST so he could nurse and drain me. But I just kept with Chicklett's newborn schedule and knew that soon enough my boy would be awake to help.
Rooster brought CL into the room around 8am and I informed CL that I had a present for him. We cuddled in bed and he had the surprise of his life! After 6 months of just comfort nursing and getting some colostrum (or "cat nip for toddlers" as I like to call it) he found himself access to mamas milk again! He did about 5-8 minutes on each side and I immediately felt much better. We were both happy campers all morning!
For the next week we had a bonus nursing session every morning where he would come bursting into the bedroom and nurse for a few minutes on each side. I was careful not to let him nurse for too long as I was afraid of him actually creating a demand of milk at that time and thus making a vicious cycle where I would have over supply in the morning. We soared through engorgement with flying colors and I couldn't be more happy!
I did nurse both children together a handful of times. It was difficult to do, but very sweet experience. Big brother would reach out and hold hands with little sister while they nursed. Melted my heart! And of course the camera was never around to capture the moment, but there will be more opportunities I hope!
During my pregnancy there were several times when CL went on a nursing strike and am I now very glad that I fought to keep our nursing relationship alive. Not only did I get to the goal of the World Health Organization of nursing for a minimum of 2-years, but now my children have a special bond and sharing opportunity. CL is only nursing about 1-3 times a day, and I will let him decide when he is done with mamas milk.
I am surrounded by supportive friends and family members whom I think understand the importance of this extended breastfeeding. It may not be the "norm" for our country, but there are a lot of things I do that aren't considered normal for the United States but is totally normal everywhere else in the world. :)