breastfeeding

I just read this fabulous post here: http://breastandbellyblog.blogspot.com/2007/08/too-afraid-to-try-to-nurse-second-baby.html , (sorry, i don’t know how to link any other way and have spent far too much time in trying to figure that out.) Anyhoo…..

It was funny that she did that post that day b/c i had been laying in bed the night b4 thinking about new mom and baby and them nursing together, (she stopped by last night and i got to hold him:) and it sent me back to 4 years ago. I was that woman, the one who tried to nurse the 1st two and gave up after feeling like i had failed. i say “feeling like” b/c i don’t really believe i did. i had NO support. hubby knew nothing about what we were doing. he was just trying to support whatever choice i made. i had no lactation consultant, no nurses in hospital, no family that encouraged, (except my sis who lived in another state) and i guess i can’t say that my family didn’t encourage, they did, but they couldn’t give me any practical help, like showing me what i was doing wrong or anything like that. I can clearly remember with my 2cd how little he was and the night i gave him his 1st bottle, while sobbing in defeat. and how he wrapped his tiny fists around the bottle and his eyes got huge and he sucked it down. i felt a little bit of peace, that at least i knew he had just eaten something. But i also felt defeat. my milk had come in, which i never really was sure of with my 1st one, but with #2 i was full, i had milk coming o/ all over. but he wouldn’t nurse, he would get on for a second and then scream. so i would keep trying, then switch to the other side and he would do the same thing. then he would throw up, like projectile vomiting. all the time. we latter found out that he was allergic to cows milk and that he had an immature stomach, i know there’s a term for it, but i can’t think of it right now. he would throw up every time he ate. it was a wonder that he gained any weight at all, he would even throw up in his sleep. he never slept for more than 2 hours at a time, ever.

i thought i was loosing my mind. i felt like a horrible monster with my toddler, that all i did was yell at him. i really felt like something was wrong with me. i was just about to call my OB and tell her i thought i had ppd.

i finally did give up nursing him. it was so hard. i remember crying about it. it was heart breaking. i finally had the milk (!) i can still remember the 1st time he came off my breast and i saw he had a little line of milk above his lip. i was sooo happy! i had never seen anything like that with my 1st one. and now i look back and i can’t see what giving up solved. except that i could see how much he was eating. and while i was trying to nurse him he was never on for more than a couple seconds at a time. so i was scared that he wasn’t eating anything. it was basically a lack of education. and i don’t put that all on myself. there were no lactation consultants around to help me in the hospital, or at home. i think now that part of that was a socio-economic problem. my insurance wasn’t very good, and i lived in a not so good neighborhood. for more on that go here: http://homebirthdiaries.blogspot.com/2007/07/bwi-breastfeeding-while-ignorant.html. i won’t go any further up on that soap box today.

so when i found out about #3 i didn’t even consider breastfeeding. hubby said that he would have supported me if i had tried but that he was relived that i wasn’t going to. he said it was really hard for him to watch me get upset when things didn’t go right and if it didn’t work again he didn’t want me to feel like a failure again. things changed a lot in the 22 months between my 2cnd and 3rd babies. we had bought a house, hubby had better insurance. i also had 2 toddlers and was scared that i would have an even harder time taking care of them if i nursed. i knew i was going to have a c-section and that makes a difference too. the recovery time is longer and it’s so painful after. at least it was for me.

the thing is, she’s so right. it doesn’t have to be that way the next time. i remember when sis was born there were a few times in those early days that i wanted to put her to my breast. my arms ached for it. and i knew it would work this time, i just knew it would. and it probably would have. b/c by the time i got to her, i knew SO much more. i knew where to go to find help that time. i really regret not even trying to nurse her.

point being we shouldn’t go around telling 1st time moms our war stories! being a woman and a mom is about helping and empowering other women. not telling them your horror story of nursing or labor and scaring them into not even trying just b/c it makes you feel better about the lousy decision that you made. (speaking to myself here!!) i do NOT judge women who choose not to nurse or labor, a woman is a woman and she makes her own decisions for her own family. but what we have to be careful in doing is learning from this life we live and how we communicate what we’ve learned to others. if we had difficulty, or even if we had a horrible time of it, instead of glorifying your struggle , support & encourage the other mom, give her the name & phone # of your local lactation consultant’s, or a great OB or midwife, in a non-sounding-like-an-irritating-mother-in-law sort of way, remind her that the hard stuff will be over soon, come over and clean for her or watch the baby so she can shower or sleep. there is nothing wrong with remembering what you’ve gone through, but learn from it by helping another woman not have to go through the same thing. there is something in shared experiences, in knowing that someone else has been through what you’re going through. all i’m saying is don’t scare someone b4 they’ve even started, and be pro-active in your relationship with the women around you…

i hope this isn’t too strong, but i’ve had these things rolling around in my head for a weak and when i read her post i had to let mine out too…

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~ by doulangel on August 4, 2007.

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