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Saturday, November 18, 2006

Comments

Diane

I was in the same place you were at 6 weeks, constantly chained to my baby. It was terrible on me. I was sad all the time, and I hated being alone with her. It sort of felt like the feedings would never end. On top of that, I've had to remove dairy, caffeine, and garlic (which is next to impossible) from my diet, because she gets horribly painful gas from them.

I only kept going out of guilt, I think, and probably stubbornness. The reason I'm telling you all this is that I just wanted you to know, for me, it got better when she turned 2 months old. Once she got past that 6 week growth spurt, suddenly we were going 2-3 hours between feedings, and she would actually be (wait for it now) FULL!

You need to do whatever is best for your family. My daughter started out as a lazy nurser, I actually went so insane as to keep a little spreadsheet of how often she was eating, and for how long, just to see HOW MANY HOURS A DAY I was chained to her. It was a lot. But now, at 3 months old, she eats for 10-15 minutes, and she's good for HOURS.

I'm not saying any of this to try to get you to keep going. I just want you to know that sometimes, for some people, it CAN get better, and it doesn't always have to be this way. If giving it up is best for you guys, then you're going to be much happier doing it.

Good luck, and try to keep your chin up. Oh, and if you can figure out how to get Hambone to give Asher a bottle, please let the rest of us in on the secret!

Vanessa

Emily...
Kudos to you for lasting 6 weeks. I lasted three... was sore and miserable and just quit. I started with a bottle... two pumped breast milk to one formula, but that was because my son wasn't on formula at all for the first three weeks. I switched him over in a week. The hardest thing was the engorgement. Do what is going to make you a happier person. Make the decision and don't look back. TRUST ME. There are plenty of other things that will come up. Wait until you have to go back to work. I go back in a week and I thought by now I would be longing for adult interaction. NOT SO MUCH. Would stay home in a minute if it was possible. DON'T beat yourself up about breastfeeding. It's just one of the many decisions that you will have to make. Do what will make you happy and Asher will be none the wiser. Good luck.

Heidi

Keep repeating what you already know...."Happy parents = Happy baby." No matter what, you are going to love and care for your son and it's okay to do what you need to do for your own sanity.

I vividly remember going through the same decision making process. I felt like a failure to go from breastfeeding to strictly pumping. Once I made the decision though, the stress melted away and I started to enjoy the chaos of having an infant son.

Thanks so much for sharing what you are going through. I don't think women share these types of experiences enough.

Stacey

Oh my gosh. I could have written that post back when I was nursing. You said it all.

I nursed both of my babies to 7 months, pumping at work for most of that time, and feeling exactly how you feel. Exactly.

I don't know that I have any advice, but your post really touched me.

I hung onto breastfeeding as long as I could, even though it was stressing me out. And looking back? I'm so glad I did. I can now look back and realize how much I miss that experience and love to have it again.

But at the time? I just wanted someone to tell me I could quit, give me permission, just make the decision for me. So you have permission from me. You need to do whatever makes you feel like being the best mom you can be. (((hugs)))

annie

Emily,
I've left you a couple of comments in the past few weeks, encouraging you to stick with it. My boy, who is about 4 weeks ahead of Asher, was also a lazy sucker - so I know how that goes. I also know that we came through it just fine and this very day he made it for two separate 3 hour stretches without needing to eat.

But...I'm not you, and Christopher is not Asher. I can totally relate to the guilt that you feel because I, too, shared many of the same fears when I thought we wouldn't be able to do it - when my husband said to me, "we might have to start preparing ourselves for the fact that it might just not work."

I imagine in the books you've read, you've seen the lists of pros and cons of breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding. Perhaps you've even made some judgements (subconscious though they may be)about those who choose not to do it. However, remember that those same books also tell you that the right time to stop breastfeeding is when it no longer works for both baby AND mom.

I'm not telling you to stop - I made it through the "lazy sucker" stage, and I think you can too. But I just wanted to remind you that it's ok to give yourself permission to stop. And if you should make the decision to do so, move forward with confidence and choose to not feel guilty over it.

Asher, Hambone & Dave need a healthy mommy and wife. It's ok to do what is necessary to offer that to them.

God bless you!

Meepers

Dear, dear Emily -

May I say first that I have NO experience whatever. I was a BF baby till about 1-ish---- but guess what? I was sick till I was sick and had horriblel allergies! As above, happy mum, happy baby. Chin up, lots of support from SB.

Beret

You are so right when you say you don't want to miss out on this precious time with your family. It all passes so fast. Enjoy him, enjoy Dave, and do whatever feels best. There will be people that think you gave up too quickly, and people that think you stuck it out too long. But all that matters is what you and Dave think and feel, and how Asher is doing.

(((hugs)))

Kelly

I was so like you and had read everything and convinced myself that I would be the perfect mom. I unfortunately waited until I had the terrible infection to admit that nursing was not working. I cried everytime for 4 months. It was when my pediatrition said, she isn't getting enough food and that is why she wants to nurse constantly and is still crabby that I finally decided to give it up. In the end, when we decided to give her formula, and I saw how much happier she was too, I wished that I had done it sooner and layed down my "perfect mom" pride. With my second child, I nursed for 4 days until I went for her post birth check up and cried to the lactation consultant (who happened to be a family friend) about how much I hated it and she held me and said I didn't have to do it and that was ok. That was the person I needed to tell me. I pumped for 2 months and fed her bottles and had a very happy mom and baby and dad and toddler. For me, our bottle feeding sessions were just as special as nursing is suppossed to be. My husband bonded with her more too, (especially at 4 in the morning which made me a better mom too). My kiddos are 5 and 3 now and SOOOOO Smart and sooooo beautiful!! My OBGYN told me "I was bottle fed, and I am not an ax murderer!"
This past year, I have had 2 ectopic pregnancies and am unable to have any more babies and one of the first things out of my mouth after my last surgery was "at least I never have to fail at nursing again!"
Nursing does not a great mom make! If you are planning on going back to work, please cherish this short time you have home with Asher and just love him to pieces. They grow up too quick.

Deb

Wrap it up you are done. I say it bluntly because it's not something to agonize over or dress up. It's not a "quit". You DID breastfeed your child - through the most important times you are done because the NEXT most important times are beginning; those where you truly become a happy family and begin to build his personality which should reflect a household filled with love and joy not tears, guilt, and frustration.

I have 3 sons. Son #1 breastfed for three days and was SO hungry and screamed SO much for MORE all the time even the nursing specialist (I actually went to a specialist PSSH) said "stop and bottlefeed him - he's looking for more and faster - you can't give him that." THIS boy wanted 4 ounces at a feeding EVERY feeding from the first week where most squirts take 1 to 2 oz. I had begun to resent the nursing moments. I felt like a bad mother because I "couldn't give my child what he needed". SURE I could - he NEEDED a bottle with MORE in it and a happy mother. Son #2 was LAAAZYYYYY - couldn't be bothered to wake up and suck and lost weight fast. We went 3 weeks and the doc asked me to stop and supplement and then stop altogether for HIS sake. He thrived on formula and is a bona fide GENIUS. Formula never hurt anyone and what they have these days - foogetaboudit! Son #3 is the only one that I nursed to a weaning at age 1 year. So all three boys from the same family were all different. Your baby should also be his own little self. A good mother, such as yourself, can feel deep inside that she needs to do something else now - and does it. Your instinctive WHEN to stop is on the money. Now just do it.

But you are not quitting, you are changing tracks and giving the boy what HE needs rather than what you think you need to do to be a succesful Mom.

But never say QUIT. You are realizing that your child needs something different and you are going to give it to him because you are a good parent.
*Proud mother of a football player,a Boyscout, and Impish 4 year old that reads and is starting to speak a second language - ALL who did something different at the breast or otherwise*

Lori

I am so glad you shared this post with Dave. I just knew after all the good things you've said about him that he'd have your back. Also, I admire your perseverence. I'm pretty sure I'd have given up long before now. Asher will be fine no matter what method of feeding you choose. I hope you find peace in that and do what makes your little family happy and content! (Also, thanks to each honest post, I know a little more about what to expect in March and that helps more than any old book! So thanks for being real.)

Karen

You have to do what works for you. My first son was born with tongue tie and couldn't nurse--he could drink from a bottle, though, and so we did that. My supply dried up very quickly. My second had an even more severe case of tongue tie (what were the odds?) that wasn't officially diagnosed until he was two weeks old and i took him into the pediatrician and showed her how he couldn't even barely drink from a bottle--he'd get exhausted from the effort and fall asleep.

I guess my only teeny bit of advice is to check for tongue tie. Very often babies will have a case that is severe enough to keep them from nursing but not bottlefeeding--bottles being much easier to get milk from and requiring different tongue motions--and it goes unchecked.

Otherwise, you do what you need to do for you, Asher and Dave--in that order.

Sarah

As a mother of a 4 month old girl, when I see comments echoing these types of sentiments: "constantly chained to my baby" or "it was terrible on me or "tied to the couch" or "I was sad all the time" or "I hated being alone with her"..I feel very very sad for you as a mother but more so for your baby for not having a mother to have the patience and give of herself to him. If you didn't know that having a child "would tie you to him" or that you would have to commit ALOT of time to him particularly during the first three months, I would be inclined to advise you that you shouldn't have chosen to become a parent. I think you need to reevaluate your priorities...and start making the priority your baby and not yourself. You owe him that much.

melinda

My heart is just busting open as I read this post. There are like 5,000 comments ahead of mine so I'm sorry if someone has already said all this, but I really wanted to chime in because everything that you just wrote mirrors what I have been going through these past few weeks. All I can say is this: it sucks. It sucks that you have to go through these feelings; it sucks that breastfeeding is so hard for some of us; it sucks that no one but you can make this decision. Because oh sweet GOD did I want someone to make the decision for me. In the end, though, it realy is true: a happy, healthy mom is the best gift you can give your baby. If that means weaning, so be it. You tried so, so hard, you know? You could try pumping, if that works for you, or you could do formula. Either way, you'll still be feeding your baby w/ love, and that's what counts.

When we started bottlefeeding our daughter (expressed milk and formula), it was at around 6 weeks. She went from being an undernourished little thing struggling at the boob to being 90th percentile for weight in 3 weeks. Do I still battle with guilt? Yes. But I feel good about taking control of what was becoming a rapidly spiralling situation.

IF you decide to wean, I;d say do it slowly, elimating one feeding/pumping at a time each couple of days or so. And put cabbage leaves in your bra to reduce supply and soothe soreness. And then go hug your baby. :)

Beret

Sarah, there is no way anyone can imagine the time and energy a baby takes from you before you have a child. A first-time mom is blindsided by sleep deprivation, hormone changes, pain from labor/delivery/c-section, and a million other things for which it's almost impossible to be truly prepared.

It's wonderful you didn't experience any of these feelings (or are strong enough to rise above them). I wish they made a medal for women like you because you sure deserve one. The rest of us who dare to express some of the more negative feelings that come with new motherhood should never have had kids, obviously.

I'm sure all Emily needs is your dose of guilt on top of whatever else she's feeling. Go back to your baby and bask in the knowledge that you are a much better mother than any of us.

All sarcasm aside, anyone can see Emily has made this child her priority from day one.

Angie

You know what my dad says to me when I'm agonizing over a decision that q.) has a well-thought-out cost/benefit analysis b.) truly isn't dangerous or unethical to myself of others? YOU CAN'T GET THIS WRONG.

Karen

The comment from Sarah rubbed me so very badly the wrong way I have to comment on it. How wonderful for you that you never had any conflicting emotions when you became a mother. How wonderful that you didn't go through an emergency C section that put you through more physical recovery than a vaginal delivery, and how wonderful for you that you didn't mind not having five minutes to take a damn pee or wash the dishes or your hair.

No mother should sit in judgement of another mother (unless there is real abuse in the picture). We are all different and all react differently to first time mothering. I haven't Emily post anything that says she doesn't consider Asher her number one priority. But a baby needs a healthy mother. A mother who isn't agonizing over feeding or stressing about feeding. My pediatrician put it best--"A happy bottlefeeding mom trumps a stressed, unhappy nursing mom."

Angie

I should clarify- if either OUTCOME isn't dangerous or unethical to yourself or others. When you've really weighed all your options and can see positive outcomes from either choice; when you really feel stuck because your heart is torn; when no one will die because of either option; when you know you'll make the best of either situation that results from your choice- the truth is, "you can't get it wrong."

I really believe that's where you are with this decision. You can't get this wrong.

My dad would also say, "Just ignore Sarah."

Krista

Never feel guilty about doing what's best for your baby and you. Formula is not bad for your baby. Formula may be what can make you a happier mother or a more relaxed one. Or one who can give him more attention. I was guilty at first about giving my daughter forumla at 8mo, but when I had my son he had a lot of formula (and only a little breastmilk) after 2 months and you'd never know it! It's like the difference between vaginal birth and c-section. He's here and healthy, right? Formula or milk? He's healthy and happy right? You'll make the right decision, whichever it is. You'll know what to do.

Rachel

This is me almost 3 years ago. With my first son I breastfed him for 4 weeks & I knew I couldn't do it anymore. I was so worried about what everyone would think & that I was somehow letting my son down. Then my Mom told me that I wasn't, I would be letting him down by being miserable all the time, & not even enjoying my first child. Some women can stick it out & more power to them I wish I could, but I couldn't. I am all for whatever is best for the mommy, which in turn is the best for the baby. Asher got 6 weeks of your breastmilk & if you pump he will get more, some babies don't get any at all. Good Luck to you & do what's best for you.

Cam

You will spend a lot of time questioning your parenting decisions, especially with your first child, but in other areas of parenting your husband can chime in with his opinion and you can work it out together. However, this is one of those decision you need to make for yourself and yourself alone. Don't worry about who is thinking what, don't worry about anything but what is the best decision for both you and your son. You know deep down inside what you want to do, what will make you and your new little family happy. Square your shoulders and claim that decision with the confidence of a woman who knows that she is and will continue to be the best mother she can be to her child. None of us can be a perfect mother but the best we can do for our children is trust our instincts and remember that love will cover a multitude of mistakes (and I am not saying that discontinuing to breastfeed is a mistake. But as Asher grows, you'll make one or two :) We all do.) Remember, "the greatest of these is love". Be kind to yourself, Emily, you just had a baby :)

Megan

My unedited opinion......BOTTLE FEED! Stop beating yourself up, this is the time of your life, enjoy it! I wasn't breastfed and I don't know the difference. I quit breastfeeding my daughter at 2 weeks because I had the same problems you do and she (now 6) doesn't know the difference either.

Vicki

Dear Emily, let me assure you that you will make many decisions where you will later say "oops -- wrong choice -- I should have gone with the other one" as you raise your children. Most are of no consequence, thank goodness, as is deciding whether or not to wean Asher. You will always second guess your choices. If you continue to feel unhappy about nursing, you might very well end up with regret about how much of your maternity leave you spent in sadness. There is no guarantee that any decision is the right one. Just make a choice, then MAKE it the RIGHT one. If you wean Asher and decide that it was "wrong" (although I can't really imagine that happening), then chalk it up to experience and learning. And next time, you will know to continue the breastfeeding.

I want to make one other point. If you wean Asher and decide later than you wish you hadn't, you can always resume making milk again...just put Asher to your breast and after a few days of suckling, your supply will begin again.

And let me leave you with this final thought... I have heard more than one woman say that she continued to have milk for up to a year after weaning! Yikes!

Vicki

Natalee

"So why is it so hard to imagine doing it myself? Why have I attached a stigma to feeding formula to my own baby and not the babies of others?"

I think alot of women do this, regardless of what the situation is. Besides, my little Type A, you always try extra hard at everything, don't you?

I think whatever decision you make, it will be the best one for your family, and I fully support the decision.

Lela

I've breastfeed 4 children. I wish that when I had had my first child that someone would have told me, "This time will pass." This is a phase and it may be difficult, but before you know it, Asher will be 6 months, then a year, and so on. And he won't be stuck to you anymore. It is hard, but it will soon be over. I think that you have demonstrated wonderful mothering skills; thank you for sharing this time with us. He is truly a beautiful miracle. Enjoy him daily. My baby is 2 and rarely can I get her to sit on my lap anymore and I miss that.

Alison

I struggled with many of the same things you're going through - I desperately wanted someone, anyone, to tell me It Was OK To Stop and the relief at that person being my husband was immense. The pain he went through during all this was intense on him. He wanted his wife back.

And the joy I got with my baby(ies) after making those decisions - I made them twice, I struggled with the same things twice - has made it so worth while. I swore I would never loose those precious first weeks with my second child, and stopped much earlier.

It doesn't make the hurt, or the regret go away that you stopped, but to enjoy your child is worth so much more. You have a life, your husband has a life, and so does your child - go and enjoy. You have given Asher so much already, so much goodness and love, and I can tell you, that you will give him just as much love and bonding and closeness with a bottle, because you will be there for him 100%, smiling, and releasing the same hormones which he will pick up on and be nurtured with.

It's a strong, brave woman who posts about this, and you are doing so wonderfully well and I have immense respect for anyone who goes through and makes a decision like this. (and a little bit of me is so thankful someone else is going through the same thing and posting about it so I don't feel quite so alone either).

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