« Quick update | Main | Exactly how sleep deprived am I, you ask? »

Thursday, November 02, 2006



Hi Emily!

You don't know me, but I discovered your site a few weeks before Asher was born and loved reading through your archives. Anyway, I just wanted to say that I totally feel you on the breastfeeding thing. I breastfed my little boy for six weeks before I decided that it really just wasn't for me. I hated every minute of it. Like you, I didn't have problems with supply, or with the baby latching on, but I felt totally chained to him - it seemed like five minutes after I finished an hour feeding he was hungry again. I guess I don't have any advice, just wanted to let you know that you aren't alone in your feelings. I think it just takes a really long time to get used to...good luck!


Oh, I feel so sad for you. My honest opinion, from the experience of having 2 children: Bottle Feed! Sorry, I know all the stuff about how much "better" breastmilk is supposed to be, yadda, yadda, yadda, but both my girls are strong and healthy and I kept my sanity. My husband, parents, friends and anyone else who happened to be around would fight to feed the baby and I NEVER ONCE felt tied to either the baby or the couch. No shed tears just a lot of joy. I know it's a personal decision and this was mine. I will defend it to the end. This should be a time you treasure, not spend in tears and frustration. Just my 2 cents and I wish everything good for you whatever you decide.


Sounds like you need some DVD box sets!


I have an Asher as well--only he's 6 1/2. I can tell you, as a mom of two and a third on the way, that you would feel absolutely the same way if you were bottlefeeding. Only you'd have the bottles and formula mess, and formula spitup smell to deal with as well as much, much stinkier poops.

Babies are tiring, no matter how you feed them. Breastfeeding is harder on the mom, because mom is the only one with boobs in the house, but even bottlefeeding requires whoever is home with the baby to sit there with the bottle and the baby till the baby is done. And then sometimes the baby doesn't like the nipples or the bottles, so somebody has to run out and get another kind of bottle or nipple to try, and the baby doesn't like THAT either, and oh God when can we start feeding him Cheerios?

It's perfectly normal to feel tied down when you've got a baby. I am impressed with the showering, quite frankly.

My only suggestion would be to let Dave take over a daily task that is baby related, like, say, the bath. You feed Asher, make sure his tummmy is nice and full, and then let Dad have fun with bathtime. Or ask Dave to give you as long a stretch as Asher can go without eating just to yourself--take a long bubble bath, walk the dog, whatever.

Or--or--see if you can hire somebody to come in and do some of those household tasks. I found that often when i was sitting feeding a baby, I'd be antsy because I'd be thinking of the laundry that was not put away, or the dishes that had to be unloaded, or, or or...and I wasn't just enjoying holding the baby.

I can tell you this: someday your Asher will be 6 1/2 and his most pressing need from you one afternoon will be, "Can you put the second disk of Simba's Pride in the DVD player?" It will happen.

Also, I love your blog. Best blog title (and best dog name, as well).


Will Asher take a bottle? Have you tried pumping and letting Dave give him a bottle? I know how all the books stress nipple confusion, but with as much as Asher is liking the real thing, I betcha he'd be ok with a bottle once a day. I nursed my daughter until she was 10.5 months old. She started getting a bottle a day at 3 weeks (pumped milk). I would pump and freeze the extra if she wasnt hungry. Then, I would have at least 3-4 hours ALL TO MYSELF (although I ususally spent this time at the gym or folding laundry). All told, she never had formula. Straight from breast milk to whole milk. Just be sure that Dave gives him the bottle, I think that's the key.

IT IS TOTALLY NORMAL to feel like you (or at least your chest) is tied to your baby. I used to read while my baby nursed. Not all the time. But, when I didn't feel like feeding her again and I really didnt want to relinquish my boob to her again, I would read as she ate. I loved being able to read in peace for 10-15 min a few times a day. This made the it so much easier to enjoy her for the other feedings and enjoy "our time" together.

Good luck. Try to hang in there because it really does get better. But, if a happy mom is going to be a mom who gives her child formula THEN DO IT!! The most important thing you can do for Asher is be HAPPY. IT WILL NOT MAKE YOU LESS OF A MOMMY TO FORMULA FEED YOUR BABY!!

Do what works for you!!!!!!



Just wanted to add that I forgot to mention that my two boys were bottlefed, so my comments about bottlefeeding were not meant as snarky, anti-bottlefeeding comments, just "been there, done that" bottlefeeding experience. I am so hoping this third kid doesn't have tongue tie and takes to the breastfeeding, so I don't have to mix formula or wash bottles ever. again.


Wow, welcome to parenthood. My wife pumped instead of breast feeding. It was so much easier for her. We stored the milk as long as we could to help my daughter make it to a year. For her/us it worked out better.

I would say at about 3 months it starts to get easier. They start to sleep longer.

Bumps huh? Make sure you are washing those things in REALLY hot water after you use them with mild soap.

It all ends. The overwhelming is setting in and then it goes away and you get used to stuff. The first night you sleep for 4 hours straight you think, "Crap! What's wrong he's not up?" But he'll just be in there sleeping.

It gets normal.



Hey Emily-
You don't know me either, but man does your post sound familiar. Breastfeeding is HARD. Why doesn't anyone tell us that? They just make it sound like it's all milk and honey and that this glowing light will circle us as we embrace our child to our bosom. Hah!

Anyway, I just want to offer some assvice that is a little less final than the idea of stopping cold turkely. You say you are pumping, so what about introducing a bottle periodically? Maybe the first feeding after Dave gets home could be his feeding - give him some time to snuggle with Asher and give you a break. We wound up having my husband give a bottle of forumla once or twice a day because I didn't have much luck with the pump but didn't want to throw in the towel entirely - I just figured that any breast milk was better than some and made my peace with it.

My first son was bottle fed from about week 6 because I didn't have enough milk and the honest truth is, it's HARD HAVING A LITTLE BABY. Rene says, "It should be a time you reasure, not spent in tears and frustration." Well, there are times when the baby is not hungry, not wet, not hot, not cold, just HOWLING. It's frustrating having such a little being entirely dependent on you all day and all night long. Parenting a baby is about the hardest thing I've ever done, to be perfectly honest.

I remember crying by myself in the bathroom waiting for my husband to come home and finally calling my best friend to yell at her and wonder why the hell she never told me it would be like this. She affirmed that much of it sucked and then she told me it would get better starting around 12 weeks. And it did. Enough that I did the whole thing over again.

Hang in there! If there's anyone (family/friends) who can come by during the day even for half an hour so you can take a walk/go out/whatever, take them up on it.


I wish I could offer you a piece of advice, but the truth is that I have none. I have no children (sniff!), I have no milky boobs.

And while reading your entry made me incredibly heartbroken for you, because I want you to enjoy these months to their fullest, I also know that this will pass, even though you feel that you're in the thicket of it all.

Yet again, you have me wishing I lived closer, so I could drive over just so I could give your boobs a day off.


I'm not a mom yet, or even pregnant, but I can see how you could feel the way I do, and frankly I worry about that when I become a mom, because I just don't like being touched all that much. I'm sure what you're feeling is totally normal, and thank you for sharing your feelings on this. That way I'll know that if it happens to me, I'm not the only one.


It's been said before but I can only reiterate the previous comments. Do what works best for you!

I'm the mother of 2 with #3 on the way and I breastfed both of my kids. What I refused to do was pump (God bless all you women who take the time to do that on top of everything else) or feel guilty for not doing so. So what I started at the time I had them in the hospital is I sent them back to the nursery at night. I'd tell the nurses to give them a bottle of formula - if they wouldn't take it, then come wake me up and I would nurse them. But I knew those would be the last 2 nights in a LONG time where I might be able to get a decent night sleep. I was lucky and they both took the bottle and my breast with no confusion.

Upon returning home, my husband would take one feeding to relieve me. Either in the evening so I could go to sleep early or in the middle of the night. It worked out well both times and now I'm crossing my fingers that #3 doesn't decide to give us a hard time.

So do whatever works for you and remember that if you're happy, Asher will be happy too. Or at least it will be easier for you to make him happy! So don't feel guilty about switching over to bottles or even moving on to formula. These things that are bothering you now won't seem so bad after you've passed each hurdle and get to look back on them from a different angle. Hang in there! You'll be just fine!


Hi Emily - I'm another poster who isn't pregnant/doesn't have kids. I just wanted to say that I'm sorry, and I wish I could give you a hug (although the last thing you need right now is Random Internet People You've Never Met giving you a hug - yikes!). And some chocolates.

I really don't know what else to say - "hang in there"? It all sounds so trite and meaningless. I just hope everything works out for you, and I'm sure just writing about it and getting loads of helpful comments (re: not mine) will do you a world of good. Hey, you *are* the mistress of the best list regarding what to pack for the hospital, aren't you?

(Oh, and congrats on fitting into your pre-pregnancy clothes!)


Hi Emily,
I've never posted on any blog before (although I read about 100 of them each day :) But your thoughts today just totally struck a chord with me. You are feeling EXACTLY the same way I felt when each of my girls were in their first 3 months. I have 3 girls by the way so believe me, it does get easier! I really believe that the first 3 months are all about "just getting through it." I remember saying that to myself every time I would cry over yet another feeding (my girls were bottle fed but it's still the most overwhelming thing.....every couple hours....ugh not again....JUST GET THROUGH IT!!) But then little by little, day by day it just gets easier and easier. By the 3rd month or so for each kid it was great! My best friend has 4 and she agrees that it's something about that 3 month marker. Take care and we're all thinkin' about you!


I would be bottle feeding by now. If you are that miserable then give him a bottle. If you feel bad about giving formula (which you should not) then pump and have David feed him every other feeding. Or you could just make the switch to formula. Don't make the mistake of letting yourself be unhappy because "breast is best" what is best for Asher is a Mom who is happy. Do what your gut tells you to do and if that is bottle feeding the important thing is your son is eating and growing.
Be kind to yourself.


Have you considered supplementing with a bottle to give yourself a break?

You're about 3 weeks post-partum now, right? Just about the right time for the major hormonal crash. :) It gets better, I swear!


Hi Emily- please accept a hug from me, even though it will probably make you cry even more (at least that is what happens to me when I am upset!) My son is 6 weeks old, and I am breastfeeding him, so I can understand how you are feeling. I don't have any advice to you about breastfeeding since the other commenters seemed to have plenty, but I will say that you have to do what is best for you, and that will be the right thing for you and your son.

As for calming him down in a non-boob related manner, have you tried swaddling? I also recommend checking out the Ask Moxie blog- just a couple days ago there was a post about calming babies down, and there were lots of helpful hints. My boy likes to lay on his back on my lap (with his head toward my knees) while I either bounce or sway my legs back and forth. I also found that sometimes when he fusses and no position is working, if I put him down on his back on a blanket on the couch, he is happy as a clam. It is as if he was screaming "For God's sake woman, just put me down!"

Best of luck to you, and I promise that it gets easier.


Hi Emily.My 13 month old just weaned,and he never,I mean never took a bottle a day in his life only the boob,so I know what it feels like to be chained to the baby.Not only was I the only one who could feed,but the only one that could calm him down too.Fortunately,I did not have to work,but I literally had one hour a day without my baby(while I showered).However,it really does get so much better.And I do know,this is my second.Believe me there were so many times over the past year that I wished he would take a bottle,so I could at least leave for awhile.He also nursed every two hours until 6 mos when he went on solids.It was tough,but I am so glad I hung in there.I also never pumped this time so that did free me up a bit.I think if you truly are committed to breastfeeding at least give it until 8 weeks.Not to see if "get the hang of it"but to see if you truly want to stop.My first weaned himself at 5 mos,he took bottles because he was in daycare,and just preferred them.I still feel sad that he would not let me nurse him longer.Having said all that,I do think however a child is fed with love is all that matters.I t does get better I promise,but for some breastfeeding is just not for them.Only time will tell,I would at least try the 8 weeks.I would like to offer you support,newborns are so time consuming.Adorable and sweet,yes,but lord,so tiring,And it is especially hard when you get nothing in return until they begin to smile.And I love nothing better than a baby at my breast smiling at me like I am the greatest.(((HUGS)))


It DOES get easier. For me, it was right around the time they actually started making sustained eye contact, and then proceded to the smiling. It's coming soon, promise. It really does make those endless, exhausting feeding/comfort sessions easier.

Go easy on yourself-- you've had major surgery AND you have a tiny human being totally depending on you during one of the biggest hormonal swings of your life. Just the fact that you've showered and gone out every day is impressive. Don't even get me started on the blogging and the body shrinkage!

I would second the idea of giving a bottle a try. Dave will get to have some fun with him and you'll get a small break. Hang in there!


I'm not a mother either, so I can't offer any breastfeeding advice. About the remote, however...trick him by letting him hold an old one. He won't recognize the difference for another couple months at least. :)

I hope tomorrow is a better day!


Of course you are tired and overwhelmed, and feeling hog-tied to this little creature who is absolutely dependent on you for EVERYTHING! And on top of it all, you JUST HAD MAJOR FREAKING SURGERY!! The good news is you can survive! You will, I promise and you'll be fine. Better than fine, before you know you won't be wondering if he's hungry or tired, etc, because you'll hear the difference in his cries, and suddenly you'll feel confident and competent even. And you'll be out and about with your little guy and people will look and say, what a wonderful mama and baby. Then he start teething, but that's another story.

As for the situation at hand...I'm not a lactation nazi, but please keep trying it for as long as you can stand. Not for his sake, but for yours. Because with time it becomes a really fulfilling part of your bond. I can't even describe how soul-filling it can be after you get the hang of it (and he gets the hang of it, etc.).
Also, I would try making nursing him the last thing you try for comfort. It will most likely be the most effective, but if you try other things first, it will help you. Because other people (DAVE) can try the other steps. First try just cuddling him and see if he sleeps. then try bouncing him, then try Dr. Karp's five S's (with sucking being a pacifier) then try nursing.
And the more Dave tries to take over, the better he'll find himself to be. I'm not slaming Dave for not help, honestly. But a lot of time, the dads feel like moms have a built in instinct, but really, we're just stuck at hime during the day, and we get to practice more. After a while, I would just drop my son in my husband's arms when he walked in the door, and I'd go for a walk just to get away from the crying and fussiness. When I'd come home, the baby would be fast asleep, and my husband would be proud that HE was the one to swaddle him best. I hope that makes you feel less chained.
And I know you'll survive these next few weeks. One more thing...when people offer help, TAKE IT. You just had surgery. Don't do laundry!


Oh God how I can relate! I just had my second baby 6 weeks ago today. She is fantastic, but my first baby, born 6 weeks early was so hard. We went through all that your going through except the hospital convinced me to sart with bottles since he was a preemie. I was determined to breastfeed. The day I brought him home he was 2 weeks and that is when he started learning to breastfeed. It was all sort of backwards. He would literally nurse for an hour on each side. It was exhausting for both of us. As he got older and stronger the feedings got so much more efficient. He could empty a side in 5 minutes and it really did become an awesome experience. The first time they look up at you with a big milky smile, makes it all worth while. It will get better and less time-consuming and chances are you will start to really enjoy the snuggly time.


I gave up breastfeeding at three weeks with my daughter. We too were doing the 2 hour nazi feeding schedule and at 3 weeks she still wasn't gaining weight. Although I had plenty of milk, pumping didn't work for me, she just didn't want to do it, and I was not enjoying it at all. There was also a lot of crying (me and the baby). So we went to formula. I was no longer tied to the couch attached to a baby. We could leave the house when we wanted to and didn't have to plan every little thing around feedings. I know breast is best, but so is being happy and enjoying your baby. And three weeks of breastfeeding is better than nothing. He's already received a lot of the benenfits of breastfeeding. My daughter's 2 now and she's smart and happy and extremely healthy - living proof that formula is ok.


Can I say ditto? I'll make this short since most everyone else was really helpful, too! Here's my advice from a mother of 2 (both breastfed):
-have Dave try the bottle - I used avent with my first, but my second didn't like them. We went with Dr Browns and LOVED them.
-You're babywearing, right (sling, Bjorn), maybe Asher is the kind of baby that needs the closeness. Try to get Dave to babywear, too. Asher should get used to his smells, movements, etc.
-This isn't a dis to Dave, but encourage him to try to console Asher when you need a break. Fill Asher's tummy, then nap, exercise, read, etc. and have Dave try to go with it for as long as he can.
-All this breastfeeding is getting your supply firmly established. It's hard to do it HOUR AFTER MIND NUMBING HOUR. It's only a few weeks - it will get better. Promise. Maybe rent tv shows on DVDs that you've wanted to see.
-Binky? Neither of my kids would take it, but boy did I try.
-Babies are really. really. hard. No matter if they are bottle fed or breastfed. Just do what you can to get through. You will!


I forgot to mention one awesome side-effect of trying nursing last (to calm him) when he does eat, he'll suck harder, let-down will be quicker, and he'll be finished faster!
Good luck. I'm sorry you're having a rough time, but it's completely normal. It's also completely normal to just break into tears five times a day. Not fun, but normal. Just do the best you can, and you will be the best mom Asher has.
Oh, I referenced Dr. Karp, but if you don't have the book, look it up now.
"Happiest Baby on the Block" Dr. Harvey Karp. Also has a video that you can probably get from the library (no need to buy, you'll only watch once).
Good luck and take care. You internet friends are thinking fondly of you and wishing you well.
(Except for the pre-pregnancy clothes line...that caused a little "b*tch" to come out of my mouth. Sorry.)


Hi Emily,
I so much feel for you- I remember those days far far too well. My daughter has just turned one and we gave up breastfeeding about 3 months ago when the biting started. I remember that sinking feeling as you have milliseconds to yourself and then the husband brings them back to you... and the tears. But really, as everyone says, it does get easier. Soon enough it'll be longer stretches and then suddenly it just fits into place, it's second nature and so easy and convenient. And until then you just have to get through it, which you will, and try and enjoy the sunny bits when you can. It's a rollercoaster of sleep deprivation and hormones, but try and enjoy the portability of Asher, soon enough they're huge and heavy! My one piece of assvice would be to make sure he takes a bottle once a day starting soon. We gave Amelia a very occasional bottle but when we needed her to take it (ie I was teaching in the evenings) she was too picky and refused. Cue very frustrated baby, father and mom. I did all the pumping and she wouldn't take anything from anyone else, eek.
Good luck and hang in there, he is gorgeous!

The comments to this entry are closed.

Of COURSE I'm on Twitter

    follow me on Twitter

    New Orleans 2012!

    • The Blathering

    ... ... ...

    • Syle Lush

    Emily Kate Baby

    • Home