Just another Minnesota Mom blog.

Breastfeeding is hard.

Posted: November 16th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Breastfeeding | Tags: Breastfeeding, Feelings, Mom stuff | 5 Comments »

With the boys, I struggled so much with their latch alone- they popped on and off barely nursing and we continued that way for months.  Nurse, pump, supplement, repeat.  Actually it was more like nurse baby A, nurse baby B, supplement both at once, pump, repeat.  It lasted four and a half months before my supply gone. Kaput. Overnight I was dry as a bone.  Not the easiest pill for me to swallow.  Fenugreek, oatmeal, Mother’s Milk tea, lactation consultants, pumping around the clock- nothing could keep it going.  I have no memories that do not include the couch, feeding babies, screaming babies or a breastpump until after I went back to work.

This time around I have a baby that wants to nurse.  He latches like a champ, even with his slight tongue-tie.  The thing is, I work.  So for 9 hours a day I’m not there to nurse, so when I am there I nurse and then pump.  And when I’m not there, I pump every two hours.  It’s a lot easier to pump at work- I have no distractions, I just step away and pump.  Done.  When I’m at home I nurse for 20-40 minutes, then I’ll get up for something to drink or to break up a fight between the boys or go to the bathroom or check my email and all of a sudden, it’s time to nurse again.  So in reality pumping isn’t happening as often as it could or should while I’m at home.  Nursing and pumping can be a drain on the whole family.  Everyone needs to pick up the slack a bit more, because frankly, 50% of the time I’m not available to anyone but Judah.

Last night JB depleted the entire supply of frozen milk.  We’ve come close before, but never actually used it all.  It’s freak out time for me.  The delicate balance of nursing and pumping has never been so important.  I’m starting to doubt that I can do it.  Nursing is a total confidence game for me, so this could be the beginning of a downward spiral.  When Yogi Dad suggested he use the formula samples we have stockpiled from the hospital I almost jumped out of my skin.  That would be the end right there. 

Formula is easy.  Breastfeeding is hard.  Being available 24 hours a day (or 15 when I’m working) is hard.  It’s never ending and it’s frustrating and it’s something I’ be happy to give up on when I’m at my weakest moments.  To even suggest using formula is like trying to trip me up even more.  It’s like telling me you don’t think I can do it. 

But I want to.  And to me, it’s important that I prove to myself that I can do it.

Thankfully Judah likes to nurse.  If I’m in the room he roots around like a heat seeking missile.  He wants what he wants.  So I will soldier on.  My failure to breastfeed the twins successfully is the one thing I regret from their infancy.  Not the fact that I opted for a C-Section in the end, not the fact that I went back to work after 12 weeks.  I hate that I couldn’t nurse them, even part time.

So, there it is.  It’s hard, but it’s my choice.

*Oh, and please send up some prayers or whatever you do so that I can get some sort of stash built back up the next few days.  It’s a bit stressful leaving for work with only 3 bags in there!  Thanks so much, I truly appreciate it.

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5 Comments on “Breastfeeding is hard.”

  1. 1 Jenna said at 1:15 am on November 17th, 2010:

    For what it's worth, I think you're doing great. For one thing, Judah hasn't stopped being interested in breastfeeding. Not like the other two, who learned that it would be much easier to take it from a bottle so early on. And even though he's going through the milk as fast as you can produce it, you're still producing it. I don't remember exactly how much you were getting when Linc and Why were babies, but it seemed like a lot less. Maybe it was because there were two mouths to feed, but I'm not so sure. Maybe it was just not happening then. I'm amazed every time I open the fridge and see a huge bottle of mama's milk ready and waiting for your hungry little guy. I think he actually prefers to get it straight from you, and this is very apparent to me when he's drinking the bottle and thrashing his little arms around. (I think he's looking for something to hold onto) To me, he seems most content when he's nuzzled up against his mom. You know better than anyone that he'll stay there all day if you let him! Maybe last night was a bad night. Maybe you'll eventually have to give some formula as well as breast milk to keep up with demands, but I think it's too soon to tell. You know how much you want this. Judah isn't ready to give up, and I know you're not either. Don't think this is the end after one bad night. Keep on keeping on, and don't be so hard on yourself. I love you, and I believe in you. Most of all, I look up to you.

  2. 2 Yogi Dad said at 5:18 am on November 17th, 2010:

    Update* the little guy had a good night and hardly touched the reserves

  3. 3 Katy said at 10:26 am on November 17th, 2010:

    You're doing great. He wants to nurse, you want to nurse him. Don't beat yourself up about what could have been. There's no point. You did the best you could with what you had and that is all there is to it. Most moms would go back and change SO much if we could, but we do the best we can with the information and support we have.

    Make sure you're staying hydrated and resting, if you're over worked and stressed you will have a hard time producing milk. And, make sure you are reaching out for help. There are tons of moms out there who love to support and encourage other breastfeeding mommas! Hang in there!

  4. 4 themamabeth said at 12:36 am on November 28th, 2010:

    I'm right there with you! So far I've managed to not give Lucy a drop of formula, and it makes me so happy. Just out of curiosity, does oatmeal work for you? I had it for breakfast the past two days-so yesterday and the day before-and I pumped TEN ounces from ONE SIDE this morning. I was seriously dying, I haven't ever been engorged like that. I only pump here and there since I don't work, so I don't know how it affected my supply the rest of the day pumping-wise, but if I can pump that much once a day that's a pretty good supply. Good luck, it is amazing that you BF the boys as long as four months! And doing it again with Judah is awesome, especially working full time.

  5. 5 I made it to my long term breastfeeding goal! | The Slacker Mom said at 1:47 am on August 18th, 2011:

    […] of tears, lots of days I thought the end was near. Hell,I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to make it past that first month at the rate we were […]

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