Welcome to the fabulous and sometimes insane life
of a working mother who is trying hard not to
let her whole existence be determined by her
cute little munchkins, yet continues to be drawn
in by the adorable and sometimes annoying tiny people!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Breast May Be Best, But Sanity is Better

So I am now in my 4th week of breast feeding, and it is going pretty well. We have had some difficulty. One, she was not gaining weight initially so I had to feed her every 2 hours for a few days. Which in non-mom terms means pretty much around the clock!

How you might ask? Well...let's say you start feeding at 8 a.m. You will feed for at least 45 minutes to an hour. Then an hour later, you start all over again! Which, to help my little one gain weight, was well worth the sacrifice of sleep and any time to myself as well as any feeling in my nipples!!

Second, it appeared I still did not satisfy her. Which is quite odd, because when I pump it results in enough milk to feed a small African nation. But who knows? I mean, I am not a breast milk connoisseur. Perhaps, my variety was not from a good year and is not quite quenching or filling enough. Perhaps it needs to ferment a little more. So we started giving her 2 ounces of formula after every feeding resulting in not only having to heal nipples but also having to put them in the dishwasher.

Third, those explosive breast milk poopies are now hurting my darling's bottom. This happened with my second child. It appears that my milk is somewhat acidic and seeing as breast fed babies have extremely liquid poops the liquid tends to eat at that precious, tender, and soft skinned booty. Seriously, her diaper rash went from nonexistent to bleeding. We have special cream and all (our pharmasist has super powers), but as long as I am breast feeding it is not going to get any better. This is why I stopped breast feeding my second child after a month and within 2 days her bottom was good again.

So I have made the decision to give up breast feeding. Now, I must admit that besides all of the reasons I have stated above the most important (and perhaps selfish) reason is that I just do not enjoy breast feeding. Yes, I know it is the best. It is better for her. And I know it is good for me...best diet ever seeing as I have lost over 25 pounds in 3 weeks. I know it is supposed to be all wonderful and all, but for me it is not.

I don't like being the only one to be able to feed her. I don't do good on little or no sleep (best thing I have done so far is let my husband take over the middle of the night feeding). I don't like the time it takes away from my other munchkins. At least, if I am doing a bottle someone else can do it and I can go read a book with the girls or help them with their homework. I don't like having to hide in a backroom or in the car when we are out while keeping a watch out for perverts in other cars. I  hate that I feel like a cow and that I can't get out of the shower with out getting milk every where. And I honestly don't feel all that comfortable doing it. I despise the let down feeling...it makes me feel....I don't know...weird!

I don't need to be bombarded with comments and e-mails about how wonderful it is and it gets better after the first couple of months! This is my third child, and I know how good breast milk is. I have a freaking education and I read like there is no tomorrow. I am even considered by some to be the utmost authority on all things pregnancy and baby. I have seen similar posts from people declaring that hate breastfeeding only to be harrassed by seemingly helpful mothers who are encouraging them not to give up and that it will get better and to do it for their baby.  One thing I know is that you can't be a good mother if you are losing your mind. So if you are from the La Leche League BACK OFF! There are just many geniuses out there that were formula fed as there are that were breast fed. And my oldest got breast milk longer than any of my kids and was the sickest of all for the first 5 years of her life!

So my conlusion is...where as I know that the breast is best, I also know that my sanity is better. Not just for me, but for my 3 girls and my husband (who had started to look at me with that "Oh My Gosh! When is it coming...When is she going to totally lose it?" look.

There I feel better now!


Ali said...

Good for you!!!! I only breastfed mine for a few weeks each, it's just horrible. Now put those boobies away, relax and enjoy those beautiful girls.... btw cold cabbage leaves really work!!! :0)

syrupboyandthetoothlesswonder said...

I feel your pain--been there done that--neither one would ever latch in despite all the efforts/coaching of the lactation nurse-I threw in the towel after 2 weeks---both turned out just fine although I constantly beat myself up for being "bad mom"......I agree having the extra help with feedings is very beneficial to your sanity

Kathy said...

I breast fed my first for 11 months and really liked it, but when my daughter came along 3 years later, not so much, because it was harder when I an older child who needed me too. I breast fed her, with supplementing, till she was five months old. I never breastfed my third. It was great!!! Especially since all three were c-section babies, I could have him at the nursrey so I could sleep in the hospital, and when I was home my husband or mom (when she stayed for the first week) could feed him. I knew right fromt the start that I could not be the mamma to three children, and wife to one and be the only food scorce for my baby! I think it is great that you did it for 4 weeks! Yea! Now enjoy your baby!!!

Odum2004 said...

YES!!!! GO LIZ!!!! Where were you when I needed encouragment when Eli wouldn't latch on and so pumping between every feeding was my only option and all of my mommy friends were telling me to keep at it and because I read how great breast milk was I felt so guilty for giving it up and choosing sanity?!!!! I wanted to stand up and applaud when I read this!!! Whoo HOO!!!!

Heather said...

Friend, you have to do what's best for you and let everyone else's opinions stay just that. There's plenty of healthy, smart babies out there that were not breastfed.

Liz said...

Thanks y'all!!! I am glad you all are enjoying reading. I feel like I have been liberated while be it with swollen and cabbage smelling breasts!!!

jessicaclarke said...

Reading this just made me feel better. With my last I only breastfed 8 weeks where with my older 2 I did for 6 months, but for my sanity I had to stop. As soon as I would finish feeding him 10 minutes later he would cry again, but if I gave him a bottle he would be fine for at least 2 hours. Being home on my own I couldn't just sit around and breastfeed all day, so I stopped and everyone seemed much happier. I know I was and my baby wasn't crying all day once I gave him a bottle. Glad u did what's best too.New follower on GFC would love if u checked out my blog.