Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Waxing and Waining...

Warning: This is another breast feeding venting post.  I need to clear my head and this has proven to be the most cathartic way for me to do so. Plus - many of you ladies give incredible advice and walk me off the ledge so to speak. Sorry if it isn't the most interesting (or if my posts have become down-right boring to some).  This is my life!

So if you would have asked me on Sunday how nursing was going, I would have told you that things have definitely turned a corner.  I was so excited that each time she went to my breast, I had milk and had enough to fill her.  She was gaining about an ounce a day.  We were on track!  In fact, on Saturday I didn't' even need to supplement and was thinking that I could probably stop one of my many things I do to ensure I have milk (herbs, pumping after each feed etc).  Then yesterday happened.  She woke up, at 9:00 and literally wanted to feed ALL DAY LONG.  I took her for a bit of a drive in the afternoon to get her to sleep - and when we got home, she woke up and still wanted to feed.  When hubby came home, we went for an extended drive to give me a break.  We had to stop part-way to change her diaper (princess freaks if her diaper is slightly wet) and then I had to nurse.  She continued to scream until she fell asleep.

By evening, I had nothing left.  It literally felt my boobs were deflated balloons.  Even when I forced an hour break, there was nothing.  I know there are other ways to calm a baby down, but if she is cranky and not sleeping during the day, I don't know what to do but feed her.  I'm always so scared she is hungry.  Since she fed all day, she wasn't getting a true feeding at each feed cause I didn't have enough time to replenish.  She did sleep well at night (by the way, she is gaining - slowly - but gainig and is well past her birth weight...when do you stop waking a baby to eat at night?  I keep waking up every 3 hours and waking her up to eat...something tells me I could probably stop this soon no?)

Today, I thought would be a better day, but I seem to have let-down issues.  I always, ALWAYS was able to get mulitple let-downs with my right breast.  Today...it is like she is fighting for every swallow.  WTF?  I KNOW it is all mental and I have to relax.  I feel like I'm 2 weeks back in terms of momentum.  Saying this, I know where things were and that we will get back there eventually ... it is just so friggen hard.  Today I feel like crying all day long.  I'm not sure if it is partly baby blues/post-partum depression starting to set in or just plain exhaustion...either way today is rough.  I know things will get better - they have so far.  I guess when things are up, I expect they are going to stay up and that it isn't going to get hard again.  I really need to just relax, however with her weight still being an issue, it is all so hard.  Weekly Dr apt's for her is starting to wear me down too I think.

I guess I just felt that given how much difficulty we had in getting here once she was here things would be 'easy'.  Why, given all our struggles, couldn't breast feeding be easy for us?  Why do I have to worry about her weight every moment of the day?  Why, when she's awake, does it cause me so much anxiety cause I will know she will need to eat/want to nurse at any given moment?  I need to have more items in my repetoire then just putting her to boob when she is fussy - but that's all she seems to want.  Did anyone else have this issue and if so, what did you do to cope?  I have tried several types of soothers and she isn't really keen on them.  She freaks when I put her in the moby wrap....Hubby can calm her down by bouncing her on the ball...but I haven't had success with that.

Ugh....parenthood is HARD!  People need to warn you about these early stages.  I was so naive and felt that I could muster through anything and appreciate and love every trying time cause this is what I wanted.   

I am stubborn/determined and for whatever reason I will not resort to formula yet.  I know my life would be easier if I did...but I also know how horrible I would feel.  I'm just not ready yet...maybe next week I will be but not today...


  1. Some days babies just want to feed all day long, period. I think part of it is feeding and maybe she's hitting a growth spurt but a lot of it is just the sucking so it really doesn't matter if they're getting a lot of milk, they just want to suck, unless this is happening every day I wouldn't worry about it.
    I think you're probably fine to quit waking her up at night now, as long as she's back at her birth weight you don't need to wake her...she will probably start waking you up every 3 hours instead =)
    As to the Moby, most babies fuss a bit when you first put them in it, get her in it and immediately go for a walk around the block, if she doesn't calm down by the time you've made it around the block, she's probably not going to, but most of the time baby will calm down and often fall asleep before you make it around the block, but they need the smooth stride of walking, sometimes walking around the house doesn't do it.
    Good luck !

  2. I know it is so, so hard and exhausting and confusing, but everything you're describing is normal baby behavior! When they're preparing for a growth spurt they nurse like crazy to signal your body to make more milk. You're not doing anything wrong, just keep at it.

    I also had a lot of anxiety about Alexander's weight and I felt like I had to nurse constantly. The more you do it the easier it gets. The other day I was lying on the bed nursing and he rolled over and crawled away! I said "well, I guess he's full!" They get much easier to communicate with. : )

  3. In spite of some setbacks it sounds like breastfeeding is going pretty well. If you do decide to supplement with formula eventually do not feel guilty. Your only job right now is to help your baby grow and provide a loving home. If you need formula to provide the nourishment your baby needs it does not make you a bad mom, but rather a mom who is responsive to your little girl's needs and is willing to do anything to provide for her. Even if it is not what you envisioned.

    Having said that, as long as she is gaining weight properly, I don't see the need to supplement. Babies do have days when they pretty much want to nurse all day. They could be hitting a growth spurt, they could be coming down with a cold. There are lots of reasons.

  4. Growth spurts are the worst days. I always feel so inadequate on those days (can last a while!). You are doing a good job! When this is over you might notice she will be suddenly heavier, almost overnight, and your milk supply will suddenly have increased. Don't give up! :) :)

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