Yesterday morning the lactation consultant came by our house to check on Harve's progress. This particular nursing consultant also attended our birth in the capacity of midwife #2, and I was excited to see her again and show her how far we've come since the first time Saturday evening when she laid Harvey against my chest and I said, "I don't know how to do it. Am I allowed to pet him?"
The good news is that Harvey has been nursing very well, amazingly well even, a champion eater. I had been concerned about his short nursing sessions, but the consultation revealed that he's just eating really fast, and his 7-day average of 12 diapers a day shows that he's getting plenty of food. And since his parents have the unique ability of polishing off a dinner date at a restaurant in 20 minutes (the bottle-neck is ordering and paying) I'm not surprised by Harvey's above-average rate of consumption.
During the consultation Harvey ate for 45 minutes straight, a new record for him. He must have been spurred on by the captive audience... either that or by the fact that he had slept the majority of Tuesday in preparation for a major milk binge. Either way, the morning's professional nursing session jump-started something, because for the rest of the day he took to nursing like a professional, sucking to beat world records and howling every moment he was removed from the breast. By the time our friends came over in the evening for dinner and bible study, I was nursing the baby non-stop, going from the right side to the left side and back again without any pause. I was white as a ghost, my eyes looked sunken halfway into my brain, and I presented Harvey to our visitors at arms length, as if to say YOU hold this demon vacuum pump. There go our plans for trying to convince the rest of our friends to have babies. We may need to find some new, less rational friends.
To put the day's events in statistical perspective, the average daily nursing time for newborns is 140 minutes per day. Since my milk came in, Harvey has been averaging just under this, at around 130. Yesterday he nursed for 304 minutes. 304 minutes! This is 2.3 times the average, or over a third of our waking hours... OUR waking hours, not HIS waking hours... when our waking hours go to 11pm.
After a difficult evening, Harvey is now sleeping comfortably. I took a turn with the little night-terror last night, and I'm now convinced that the movie Gremlins was 100% based on the experiences of new parenthood. (They're cute, but DON'T FEED THEM AT NIGHT! DON'T LET THEM GO IN THE WATER!)