Kit Kat Anyone?Thursday, March 09, 2006
"Gimme a break!"
That was a recurring thought in my head during the early months of nursing. Give me a break. I was reading this post and kept nodding to myself, having experienced something similar. I could totally relate to having a baby hanging off your breast every hour of the day for those first four months. I didn't use a shield but I did pump and could only manage on average 2 oz. sometimes 4 per pump. But it was frustrating to have to pump on one side while the baby sucked on the other or pumping when I finally managed to put my baby down. I had set small goals for nursing.
During the first two painful weeks and after resorting to desperate measures [we tried to give her regular formula (we later found organic formula ) but she would have nothing of it], I aimed at 1 month of exclusive breastfeeding. That was quite a feat for me so I aimed at 3 months, then 6 months, as recommended by the Canadian Pediatric Society. But to my dismay, my apparent "lack of milk" lead to serious concern from everyone around me. I was stressed beyond belief because I felt like everyone thought I wasn't seeing the potential harm I would do to my dear child if I didn't agree to supplement her breastfeeding.
While I understood that her weight gain wasn't substantial, I did agree with my doctor that 1 lb per month for a baby born at 6lbs was sufficient. I was also of the opinion that if everyone would just leave me alone and let me relax, I could get my milk to flow more easily. The issue was temporarily dropped. Until the concerns resurfaced and I felt like I was undergoing an intervention. At Maddie's 5 month checkup we found out her weight gain dropped slightly, which prompted the doctor to suggest introducing solids early.
Well, that was the final straw. I lost my battle along with my patience and much self-confidence. I apparently was wrong after all. I was devastated. I couldn't reach my third goal and felt like a failure. I was unable to give my daughter what I felt was best for her. But I do understand 5 months of exclusive breastfeeding is better than nothing. I'm happy I got that far. So we introduced solids a little early and now here we are.
Maddie is taking her morning nap and I can read blogs and write my own. I still nurse Maddie when she is fussy or needs to go to sleep. She's drinking about 3-4 bottles of formula a day and is ready to be introduced to meats. She's still quite energetic as she has always been only now she is just a bit chubbier. On one hand, it's almost sad having to put away her old clothes that no longer fit. On the other hand, it's almost a relief to near the end of a chapter on breastfeeding that I would rather forget.