Either Sunday or Monday, I am finally going to take the plunge and begin nursing Ira. At this point, I’m pumping about 10-13 ounces a day, or a little over 2 ounces each time I pump (5x daily). This isn’t enough to be the sole milk supplier, but it is enough to feed half of a baby perfectly well. My supply is still increasing, but it is likely that I will need to supplement with pumped milk during days that I am home with Ira alone in the fall.

We’re going to start the ball rolling by having me nurse once a day; Lyn will pump to keep up her supply. We are thankful that supply isn’t much of an issue for her — if anything she has a little too much — but we still need to safeguard her milk. My first nursing sessions will be during the day, but if that goes well, we’ll probably quickly transition to having me take over the second nighttime feeding (around 4 or 5am). In this feeding he nurses a little less actively and it should be relatively easy for Lyn to hold off on pumping until she wakes up (so that she’ll actually see a sleep benefit from having me nurse).

I’m feeling a combination of excitement and anxiety. As I pumped myself dry earlier today, I told Lyn, “I feel like I’m cramming for an exam!” Really, it feels a bit like going out on a first date with someone who has been a friend for a while but who you are hoping will be a little more. What if he doesn’t like my milk? What if he won’t latch on?

Nervousness aside, I can’t wait to get my hands on him (or, rather, my boobs). I wonder if Lyn felt this same way as we got close to doing Leigh’s first bottle feeding, or if this feeling is different because it involves my body. I suspect it is a very similar feeling. Lyn and Ira get to spend so much time together, and Lyn gets to provide for his most important physical need in a way that I have not been able to. I’m ready to start providing for my baby, and I’m hoping that both Lyn and Ira are ready as well.

(Interested in hearing Lyn’s feelings as we move forward: Sharing Lactation, Part II)