Saturday, December 17, 2005

Breastfeeding. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

The best decision I've ever made was to breastfeed. Oh, I could go on and on about how I love doing it because it is good for Rachel, because I feel so connected to her as she suckles from my breast, how I know my baby is getting the natural nutrients she needs to thrive and grow. Yes, I could go on. But I'd be lying. Well, not lying exactly. All of that is true, but...

It is CHRISTMAS TIME. We all know what happens at Christmas time. The family sits around eating Christmas cookies, chocolate covered cherries, and appetizers they normally wouldn't touch the other 11 months of the year because of the calories. We go to Christmas parties with the intention of just having a bite or two and end up spending most of the night next to the buffet table sneaking a bite when no one is looking. We make Christmas cookies as gifts thinking we will give them all away this year only to "sample" a dozen just like last year. We think they'll exercise extra the next day but then they get caught up in the things to do we forget.

Yes, on average Americans gain 5 pounds at the holidays, and my family is no exception. But, while everyone is whining that they are gaining weight, I'm still losing. I'm now 10 pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight and I'm still losing about a pound or two a month. Is it because I'm determined not to gain? Is it because I have the willpower my family doesn't? Oh, no. I can eat with the best of them.

I owe the weight loss to breastfeeding. Which makes me ecstatic, but on the other hand I'm a little worried. I've come accusomted to eating crap, and a lot of it. I had birthday cake for breakfast the past few days. Oh, I'll eat my vegetables and a well balanced meal so I get the nutrients to pass on to Rachel, but I won't pass up the chocolate covered pretzels my friend gave me as a gift. No siree, bub. I've been eating out the wazoo.

So, on to my worry. I can't breastfeed forever. In fact, Rachel has decided it is fun to clamp down while feeding and wiggle her head back and forth. This is fine right now that she doesn't have teeth, but they're coming soon. She also thinks it's fun to show off her new "grab the toys" skill and grab and pinch mommy's boob while nursing. As much as my mom thinks this is hilarious it doesn't fare well for future breastfeeding.

Next time mom laughs at Rachel's antics I'll just remind her I gave her my "fat" jeans that I no longer can wear and she has grown into. Then again, maybe that's not a good idea.

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