Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Breast Feeding Drop Out

When I had Number 1, I had no other reasoning than that breast-feeding was an obligation that was a mommy’s job.  I wanted to love it like so many le leche league warriors make us believe we should.   Believe me, I am so happy for those of you that can do it with ease and a smile.  I did it with difficulty and clinched teeth!!   For those of us that have had 3 kids and have not had an easy time at it yet, it is torture.  Sure, it hurts in the beginning; I can live with that and was ready for that.  But when you just don’t produce enough nourishment for your sweet baby, I believe it just is-what-it-is!!  

The experts want to pump supplements into you and change your diet. Did you know there is actually a tea out there called “Mothers Milk” just for this occasion??  I used it…not so sure they will be calling me for endorsements.  They supply you with nipple guards (in multiple sizes), hospital grade pumps, soothing gels and creams for your dried.cracking.bloody nips.  They give you a plan of nursing then pumping, then nurse some more and then pump some more.  Pretty much you are to be hooked up to some form of booby sucking leech at all times of the day.  The pump and I are NOT friends.  Massage your breasts, change your diet so that you now eat nothing but lettuce. Geez!!!!   What the heck is wrong with some formula??  I am a firm believer in scientists and their research.  I believe God is in control, and He would not allow them insight to find amazing nutritional supplements if it was not ok for us to partake. 

And what is this nonsense about women that walk around making dinner and answering phone calls while nursing?!?!  I remember going on a hike with a special friend of mine and at some point in the adventure her baby had to eat.  She yanked that baby out of the stroller, popped him on her boob, pushed the stroller with one hand and never skipped a beat!!  Me??  I had to sit in a certain spot, with the right amount of pillows built up around me like Fort Knox, hold the baby a special way and never move it.  And just to be sure, I had to hold my mouth right for good measure.  

Anywho, I did my best with Number 1.  It was torture; I dreaded every feeding like a prison sentence.   I got a lot of pressure…he would call it support and encouragement…from my dear husband, which made it even harder and me more embittered.  I remember being in bed one night when she was not latching on properly and just dropping her on to the bed beside me and throwing my hands in the air in such desperate resentment.  I think I was probably waiting for "It's ok honey.  You mean too much to me to watch you go through this.  Just stop."  But that never came.  It was hard, it hurt, it was emotionally draining and I WAS A FAILURE!   I endured for 2.5 months.  It never got better, never got less painful.  The bleeding never stopped.  I was done. 

Before Number 2 came along the hubby and I had a long talk about the kind of “support and encouragement” I needed from him.  I was clear, and he was respectful of my needs.  But the underlying pressure of what I knew he wanted for his children was still there.  With Number 2 the same problems were there, but now I experienced terrible anxiety and depression from it.  I decided it would be best to just pump instead of being a farm cow all day.  When I sat down in the chair and hooked the girls up to that machine, I would immediately sink into a deep dark hole as I sat alone…because there is NO ONE you want watching you during this process… in my room listening to the repetitive sound of the pump.  After 15-20 minutes of this I would end up with enough to feed a baby rat, maybe.  Talk about unmotivating.  These women that have freezers full of breast milk, HA.  I never once had milk in my freezer!  I hooked myself up to my buddy the pump for 2 months.  Done and Done!!   The pump and my girls were not coexisting together well at all and my depression was not making for a very fun 2nd time mommy experience!!   I gave Mrs. Medella to my cousin for F.R.E.E. only if she promised that I would never see it again!  Ever. 

Then number 3 rolled around and yes, I tried again.  I know, give it up.  But I was determined to try one more time.  I am a glutton for punishment, or just REALLY love to shop and know how much formula costs!!  Since I had given my pump away and made them promise to NEVER send it back, it was latch-on-or-bust.  Much to my surprise, Number 3 and I were an amazing little team.  Third time is a charm! Sure the beginning was hard, it hurt a bit, but it worked and after a while it didn't even bother me.  It was a sweet, bonding, lovely experience.  FINALLY, I could see what all the smiling was about.  And then the ball dropped...I got mastitis.  “Continue to nurse through the pain!!”  What is that you say?  Terrible little devil, that mastitis!  I did as my doctor instructed through the pain and the fever, and it worked.  Baby 3 and I came through on the other side still going well together.  But as good as it was, the moo-mie juice supply ran low again and after 6 months I gave it up.  But for me, 6 months was amazing.  I was glad that I still gave it a shot with Number 3 after all I went through with 1 and 2.  I was happy that I finally got that positive experience. 

So, from someone crazy enough to try and try again and lucky enough to have both experiences….Don’t ever feel pressured if it doesn’t feel right, but don’t give up on the next one.  You never know when one of your babies is going to be the one that gives you that Le Leche Lovin Feelin!!

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