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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.

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7 COMMENTS

  1. I'm so sorry you had such a difficult time breastfeeding! But congrats on hanging in there. Tom is cutting teeth now, making nursing incredibly painful, but I am grateful I don't have to give it up.

    You did good. Don't beat yourself up.

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  2. This post makes me sad. Sad because I have been there, and I am still there. My mom has constantly been implying that she thinks I don't have enough milk for Baby A. It my heart I know that it is her teeth and I see her wet diapers and KNOW she is getting enough. But my brain has those comments that she makes ingrained and whenever she is fussy and seems to not want to nurse I think "It must be lack of milk!" Awful. It's too bad your doctor didn't put you on domeperidone. Then maybe you wouldn't have felt so terrible for not reaching that last goal. You shouldn't feel badly about what you did do either, it obviously worked too. Isn't this mom thing such a learning curve. I almost feel that she is a guinea pig so that I can do things 'better' the next (and last) time. Isn't that awful. I don't want it to be that way, but I am just learning with her, you know.

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  3. Good job for bf as long as you did. I had to start supplementing with Cam at 6 months because I no longer made enough. He self weaned and is now strictly on formula, which makes me feel guilty. But I also realize I did the best I could.

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  4. Thanks Goslyn for for your comments. I think I've reached a point where I no longer beat myself up over it. I just can't help but cringe when I think back to those first months.

    Mama D, I'm sorry this post made you sad and that you're still going through this situation. What is it that everybody says? "Moms know best." After hearing all those comments and having all those doubts, I still to this day know deep down inside that my baby was getting enough. I just regret not having the courage to stick to my guns. My baby doubled her birth weight by six months and that's a good sign for me. Mothering a child definitely requires constant learning. I do feel, though, that the next time around I will having a "better" idea of how to do things.

    Rachelle, thanks for sharing. It's nice to hear that not everyone has been lucky enough to experience the fortune of overabundant milk production!

    I'd like to send a heartfelt congratulations to every mother who has even attempted breastfeeding. We all deserve a huge pat on the back!

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  5. I'm sorry you had a difficult time! Its hard to tune out those comments from people, especially when its close family!

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  6. gaghk! like breast feeding isn't hard enough!

    I hate the questions that they always ask at the Docs office... are you bf? how often does she nurse?
    LOOK at her! Does it MATTER how often a Chubby McFatso like that nurses? Crap sakes, I have three kids four years and under, do you think I have any IDEA how long between feedings? She eats when she eats!

    trying for a little comic relief here because my babies were all 75th to 90th percentile within three months of birth and I STILL stressed out... "are they getting enough?"
    so I know what you mean second guessing yourself and doubts.

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  7. I just discovered your blog...and it is so refreshing to hear that I was not alone in what I went thru! I was advised to suppliment my son at an early age, and I felt just the same as you did...I am sorry you went through it, but it is nice to know that you are not alone! I had gallstones from my pregnancy too!

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