Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Confessions of a new Mommy

I have a confession to make.
And I honestly feel weird about posting it because its kind of personal but I feel prompted to share. Whether its for myself in the future or maybe someone else can benefit from from my experience; either way--
I thought I'd share.
I had always planned on nursing my babies. In fact, I looked forward to it. Not once did I think it would be a problem.
The day came and I found that I had a baby who couldn't properly latch on. Ideally, I physically am not 'molded' right for a good latch. And she is a lazy little sucker.
It was painful, and since I had gotten an epidural, I would say it was more painful than labor. (Ok that might be an exaggeration but the worst pain ever is usually whatever you're feeling at the moment. So that's my story and I am sticking to it.)
I started to really dread feeding times because it was such an ordeal. It was such a long, painful process and it seemed like as soon as we were done, she would be hungry again.
I was frustrated with my baby. If only she could latch on right, she wouldn't spend half the time crying. She was frustrated too.
But more than anything, I was frustrated with myself.
I was her mother. I should be able to feed my child. I should just endure the pain for her. I shouldn't complain.
I just wanted it to stop. I wanted the pain to stop, the bleeding to stop, the poor, pitiful crying from my sweet baby girl to stop.
I started feeling like a bad mom for even thinking to switching (or supplementing) with formula.
The hormones post-pardom are crazy!
After confiding in my mom, she (halfway) convinced me that I shouldn't feel bad for feeding my baby the best of my ability. I even found out that she only nursed me for a few weeks then switched to formula.
I had no idea. I was feeling a little bit better. Like there was a light at the end of the tunnel.
There was one more thing I had to deal with before making the switch. I needed to deal with the fact that I felt like I was letting Gavin down. I knew it was important to him that I nursed our child. I didn't want to disappoint him. (Disclaimer: Inside, I knew that he would always support me and want the best for me, but I couldn't help feeling like I was letting him down.)
I talked to him and was relieved that he was so understanding. He knew it had been hard for me and he was the best support, as I always knew he would be. We decided that we would trying the pump for awhile and try to do both.
That's working nicely for now, but I am not producing as much as I was before so its only a matter of time before we are strictly feeding her formula.
I still struggle with the fact that its been difficult for, but each day gets a bit better because of my loving support system. My husband still loves me unconditionally and my baby doesn't care how she is fed as long as there is something in her tummy.
Oh and she loves me too. :)



Ali Mills said...

GIrl YES. I went through the same thing. Breastfeeding was always in my mind to do but I just physically couldn't do it. My mom told me not to worry about it because she couldn't nurse her kids either so I felt MUCH better ;) High fives for great husbands that are such wonderful supports ;)

Kristen said...

I'm sorry you're having such a rough go with breastfeeding. It definitely isn't the most comfortable thing in the world....specially the first few weeks. I've been giving Leah a bottle every day of her life (not because it hurts me to feed her, but because I don't produce hardly ANYTHING). I, too, have felt like, "How come I can't satisfy my baby. I'm her mom, I should be able to do it." But it doesn't always work out that way. Now that she has 5 teeth I think we may be done for good.
I'm sure you've tried, but have you used Lanolin?....It's like an amazing petroleum jelly for you to use to sooth and heal you.
Best of luck. Your baby is adorable and you are an incredible mom!!!

Scott & Ali said...

You may already have your mind made up, but the medela nipple shield is the only thing that helped me! I know what you mean though. Bf is hard and there is a lot of pressure surrounding it. Bo is 7 months old now and i am tired of bf, but we will see. Good luck!

Amy {BookshopTalk.com} said...

Lauren, I had a hard time nursing all three of my daughters, but I tried and tried and tried anyway. Only one of them nursed for a full year. Poor Ella, I discovered, had a problem with her throat closing off, so DUH, that's why she'd cry everytime she had to suck so hard. And Kailey just wasn't gaining enough weight because I wasn't producing enough milk. So I switched to mainly formula, and supplementing with breast milk. It made feeding times way less stressful, and my little girls weren't screaming the entire time, just enjoying the "together time" when I did nurse them (a few times a day, rather than every other hour, etc).

The thing is, YOU are the mommy. You have to be calm and happy, and not flooded with crazy pain/frustration, or your child will feel that way too.

I do believe that nursing is overall better for a child for nutrition, but really, if they aren't getting enough milk anyway and it's a stressful time for them, what is really better in the long run?

Just feed the girl! And love her! That's all that matters :)

Race and Aly Warburton said...

Hey thanks for posting this! I know I don't have kids yet but I like knowing the different things people go through to better prepare myself for someday later... I'm sure it's hard to post something so personal but good for you! I feel like people judge you if you don't breastfeed but I've learn from you and a few others you do what is best for you and your baby even if it isn't what you always had planned and is a hard decision. Don't let other people make you feel bad for doing it. It seems like you are doing great at being a mom! Good for you girl, I'm so happy for you!