Monday, January 2, 2012

Over Before It Began

So our breastfeeding journy has ended. I know it went pretty quick. I never thought I'd give up after just five days. But apparently there were a lot of things about breastfeeding that I never thought about.

I knew it would be difficult. I knew all the feedings would be on me. I knew I ran the risk of the pain of latch problems, clogged ducts, mastitis. I knew I'd be dealing with the stress of how much she's eating, how much to pump, when to pump, etc. Basically, what I knew was that it would be tough, but it would mainly be tough on me. I would be the one to go through this, and I was okay with that.

Here's what I didn't know. I didn't know how hard it would be to get what the LC called a picture perfect latch to become actual feeding. I didn't know how to make a baby just close her mouth and suck. I didn't know how much time and effort it would take to try to get milk to come in. I didn't know I would have to spend days with a baby on my bare skin, eating all the prefered lacto inducing foods, and still not have any milk to show for it. I didn't know I'd ignore AJ for days just to try to get C to eat anything at all. I didn't know I'd resent M for having the free time to play with AJ. I didn't know I could pump and pump and pump and only have one tenth of an ounce to show for it. I didn't know I would end up basically starving my baby because my body just didn't want to work the way I thought it would.

Last night, after my crying, C's crying and M just looking lost, we broke out the bottles. C took one and she ate. She gulped that thing down so fast, I had to keep taking it out so she could breathe and swallow. She was starved. Once she ate, she slept. She slept more soundly than I had ever seen her. And she had a nice wet diaper after. She was finally content. This morning, I attempted the breast routine again, one last time. I did the sugar water again, but she wasn't having any of it. I decided in a last effort before giving up, I'd go to a breastfeeding support group that was held today. What I saw was 20 very supportive and friendly women, all having issues with breastfeeding. Their babies were at all ages, and every one of them was having an issue. At that point, I felt okay in the decision to stop forcing it.

So, we all went to lunch as a family and enjoyed ourselves for the first time in days. I played with AJ while M fed C. It was such a weight off my shoulders.

Then, tonight, it started. I do believe my milk is finally making it's appearance. Now that we came to the acceptance of formula, I get that choice back. However the choice now is to pump only and keep with the bottle, or try to re-teach C to take to the breast. After much discussion, M and I decide it's just not worth the stress. AJ was formula fed, we are used to it and we just don't want to bring this back into the mix again. I was so torn all day. I cried more than I have in a long time. Then, I got a sign that we made the right choice for us. C pooped for the first time since late Friday night! 

I am all smiles tonight as I bind my chest.


  1. I went though the same thing as you. Twice. Only difference, my milk never did come in. The doctor basically forced me to stop and put the first on formula because he was losing too much weight. I remember I would sit for hours with a double pump just crying and crying. I felt horrible as a mom, something I always wanted to do and I could not produce milk for my own child. It was rough. But I got through it and it was easier to accept the fact I could breast feed with my second. Come to find out, my mom never could never breastfeed the 4 of us. Not a single drop! And she has no clue back then that I was not getting food as she didnt have a pump. She just thought I was a fussy baby for the longest! I am glad that you are finally able to enjoy family time! Congrats again on your beautiful baby girl!

  2. I remember having such a hard time with my decision, and I also remember the relief you speak of with quitting. Sometimes you just have to do what works best for your whole family, and sometimes that means bottles are best. Have fun with those girlies momma!

  3. I have so been there. Almost exactly the same. Starving baby, no milk, day 5, no help with the pump, etc. Everything. It was so hard to decide but, like you, I can actually remember the sense of relief when we stopped. Anyway, just know you aren't alone and don't give it a moment's second thought. Your girls will be great! and Mommy too!

  4. I'm so sorry that BF didn't work out for you. It is A LOT of work. I'm at day 13 and really struggling. Everyday I think about quitting. I'm glad that you have made peace with your decision. You are a great mom regardless if you choose to BF or FF.