The Feeding of Maya – A Cluster (f***) Feeding Experience

The Feeding of Maya - A Cluster (f***) Feeding Experience

My amazingly incredible daughter was born a month ago. (Not) coincidently, that’s about the time my wife’s last full night of sleep occurred as well.

As many of you know, I have two older boys in their late teens. I went into this new birth with all the cockiness of an old pro. “Pfft, newborns, diapers, No Problem! Done that, been there, piece of cake.”

It’s interesting how your brain remembers all the good times and seems to magically forget all the other details, like:

  • Lack of sleep
  • Emotional wife
  • Emotional wife not getting sleep
  • Wife feeling like a ‘cow’ being milked every 2-4 hours
  • Babies vomiting
  • Babies not sleeping when they should
  • Diaper explosions
  • Lack of sleep
  • Wife’s lack of sleep
  • Lack of sleep
  • Wife’s lack of sleep

Maya frequently eats – ALL the time. There have been nights that my wife is breastfeeding her almost hourly—cluster feeding at its best. Needless to say, I have gotten a LOT more sleep than my wife, and I feel so bad that I can’t step in to relieve her. The best I can do is watch the baby for a few hours while she gets some sleep between feedings. It’s so much to put on a woman having to breastfeed, especially given that she’s still recovering from pushing something the size of watermelon out of a hole the size of a lemon. She can’t miss a feeding or pumping because it reduces her milk supply, and in the first few weeks after birth, it is critical to keep up with her milk supply.

So, where does that leave me – aside from getting a lot more sleep than she gets? I need to try and be solid and helpful. She’s my hero, and heroes need support too.

Things I’ve found I can do to help are:

  • Feeding additional amounts of milk/formula after she breastfeeds
  • Burping the little monster (I’m the self-proclaimed king of burps)
  • Hold and snuggle with my baby to give mom a chance to get some sleep
  • Get mom and baby out with me to go on walks
  • Make sure that my wife is eating well and taking vitamins
  • Help with everything and anything that my wife needs without complaining (something I need work hard on)
  • Make sure all the other things are getting done around the house (cleaning, bill payment, laundry, etc.)

I will admit, it is not easy for me. Cleaniness and organization are not my strong suites, but I’m doing the best I can to help.

I may not be able to be the boobies that Maya needs, but I can be the father and husband that they both need. And just as it’s a 24-hour job for my wife, it should be a 24-hour job for me.

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