Monday, June 14, 2010

Breastfeeding, in conclusion

I thought I should update on the breastfeeding saga in the hopes that my story might help someone else. I started out breastfeeding hating it. I had a hormonal reaction to the act of nursing. I felt depressed, anxious, and overwhelmed. The frequency of the feedings did not help matters either. I got to a point where I stopped breastfeeding and just offered him my milk in bottles via pumping. This helped and I was readying myself to pump and feed for the remainder of our time nursing, but then one day about 12 days into this method I ran out of pumped milk and he was screaming too loud for me to defrost any so I nursed him and- I didn't cry. I didn't want to sink into the depths of sadness. I felt just fine. I tried it again, and once again, the feelings I once had, were gone.

This could have been a great ending except that at the same time I stopped crying, little guy began crying. I think he got used to the bottle and was annoyed with the change of protocol. Why hike for your water when you can get it handed to you? Whatever it was, he began eating and then 10 minutes in turned red and screamed like I was pulling his toenails out. Not fun, I tell you. I experimented and fed him with a bottle and while fussy he didn't scream bloody murder. I kept at it though. When he got hysterical, Jack took him away from me, calmed him down, and we'd try again, and repeat. It was not fun. Then, one day, in the middle of crying as I tried feeding him he stopped. He looked up with a furrowed brow and just stared for a good minute. Then he went back to my breast and ate quietly, without incident. Since then, about nine days, we've been breastfeeding just fine.

Because of acid reflux, the pediatrician says he has a hard time knowing when he's full, so he will literally try eating for an hour if I let him and then promptly vomit. So now I feed him ten minutes on each side and when he cries I give him a pacifier. He weighed in at 9lb 10oz at the doctors office today so he's gaining about an ounce a day and the doctor said my method is fine.

I never thought I'd say I don't mind breastfeeding but I actually prefer it now to pumping and serving. I put my feet up on the coffee table and go through my DVRd shows, or read a book, or use one hand to scroll down my google reader and catch up on your blogs. Now that its only 20 minutes at a time, time flies.

I went from hating breastfeeding with a passion, to finding it tolerable but just barely, to now wondering what was my deal before? I am so glad I talked to lactation consultants about what I was going through and that I took it one feed at a time. Now, my goal of keeping this up for six months seems fine and not scary in the slightest. Who'd have thunk it??


  1. what an amazing transformation! thank you SO MUCH for sharing this story-- it is a wonderfully non-linear resolution.

    so very glad it is going so well *finally* for all involved,good for you! I am so happy it is no longer a struggle.


  2. SO very glad to hear how things are working - and I second mekate's observation - THANK YOU for sharing. Seriously - no one ever talks about the hard stuff POST birth (at least not the IF women I tend to read.) and it's scary, since I've come to depend on the honesty of bloggy friends to inform me as to what I'm in for.

    So. Thank you thank you thank you.

    And so happy that it's easier and making you both happier. Because truly you deserve nothing but happy.

  3. i'm so glad things are getting better for you :)

  4. YAY!!! All those bottles that don't need washing too... brilliant :)

  5. Yay! You did it! ;-) So happy for you!
    Congrats! (Gotta stop writing only sentences ending with an exclamation point... Looks silly.)

  6. So jealous but happy for you.

  7. quite a ride, with a happy ending! way to go!

  8. Good for you for sticking it out...bfing is just plain tough at first. I had my own set of problems related to supply issues, but I definitely remember thinking, "how am I going to do this for 6 months?" For me, that thought stayed with me until about month 4, when it suddenly became easy. I just stopped after 13 months, and I was sad for my time with my little one to end. But, 12 months ago, I would never, ever have thought that I would be able to say that.

    Congrats...and Katery sent me your way!

  9. So happy to hear that everything turned around for you! When SS was little, I loved breastfeeding and I'd be so disappointed if it didn't work out this next time. Good on you for sticking it out and making it work. I know that isn't the case for everyone, but it makes me happy to know it was for you!