hawk is a cutie too. but i'll start with a pre-breastfeeding story.
when he was born, he was born strong. he had a strong tongue, and so was having a lot of trouble latching. we needed to get food into him, and so i was pumping like crazy and we were doing finger training.
essentially, i would pump and then we'd put it in a syringe with a small tube that i would tape to my finger, and we'd feed him that way. then, the next step was to get him to latch using a nipple shield, and then finally off the shields. the whole process took 6 weeks, btw.
anyway, in that first week when we were finger training, my milk was liquid gold and we treated it as such. it was the most precious commodity on the planet (and it came in a bit late so we were particularly obcessed about it). so, it took two of us to feed him anyway (one to feed with the finger, one to hold/manage/fill the syringe), and i was at the point where i was starting to leak a bit of milk. so nice!
so, my father and mother come to visit on their usual friday visits, and it's time to feed. my father wants to help, and i start as my LC recommended which was to try to latch him to the breast, but not to let him get frustrated before moving to the next 'step' which was to try the nipple shield, and if that didn't work, go to the tube feeding.
she also recommended that we do a lot fo skin-to-skin while feeding, which meant i was topless. and the baby in just a diaper.
so, my dad manages the syringe and the previous feedings pumped milk, and i try the breast. my mom is holding the nipple shield and my DH realizes that my breasts are starting to leak. he grabs the bottles that we use for the pumping, and puts that under each breast.
when hawk got a bit upset because he couldn't latch (and not for lack of trying poor fellow), i moved on to the shield, which my mom held into place because i was holding the babe with one arm and had the tube taped on my finger already on the other side, which my dad had attached to the syinge so i had to hold my arm up as not to leak that milk yet!
my mom held the sheild to the nipple while he tried again, and when that didn't work, she dumped the milk from the shield into the bottle that DH held, and then we started with the syringe.
so, you can imagine this image, right? topless woman and naked baby with grandfather on one side holding a syringe full of milk, grandmother on the other side holding a bottle under one nipple that was dripping milk while DH kneels in front of her with another bottle under the other nipple.
"it takes a village" right? LOL anyway, the next day, he was nursing on the shield, but my family laughs and laughs about this one!
once into nursing "for realz" as we called it--that is, with the shield--he would do the head bob thing and be angry when he missed or wasn't getting it as quickly as he liked. he would also get on, and the kick in joy which resulted in him knocking himself off (as well as the shield and getting covered in milk), which resulted in shreaks of anger. sometimes, that would be so extreme that he wouldn't realize that the nipple was "right there in his mouth"--all he had to do was clamp down.
finally, that settled and he got the hang of it, and one day the nipple shield just fell off. before i had a chance to get it back on, "CHOMP!" he was on without the shield and has been going strong shield-free since.
and, he loves to nurse, but now he jumps and kicks with glee while holding onto the nipple, which of course "feels fab" to me. LOL ah well, he's enjoying himself.
also, a few days ago he started this thing that when he can see the nipple, he gets this look on his face like "ooh, mine! gimme!" and then CHOMP! dives right in!
and god forbid you take it away beofre he's ready. i wanted to switch nipples because one was hurting really badly (no clue why, and it passed in a day or two anyway) and he woudl SCREAM like "WTF!?!" as soon as i pulled him off to switch. LOL
he knows what he likes, and what he likes is food.