Wednesday, June 23

Let me count the ways....

I hate breastfeeding. I can list a million reasons to not continue, but the health benefits still weigh pretty heavy, and when it comes right down to it, switching to formula is really expensive. But seriously, I hate it.

It's a fight every single time lately. If I'm not fighting to keep him awake, then I'm fighting to get him to eat at all. Lately he's taken to sucking a few times, then pushing back and fussing, like it tastes gross or something. (Granted, breastmilk isn't the loveliest tasting thing in the world, but he's not supposed to know that yet!) So feeding him now takes all of my concentration and two hands, so forget being able to hold a book or actually do something interesting during this 30 minute ordeal.

I can't drink soda anymore. At least, that's what I think is giving him constant gas pains. I know, I know, soda isn't that good for me anyway, but you know what? I like it. A lot. And I'm going to miss having it for an entire year. I hate the whole concept of basing my diet around what makes him uncomfortable. If it turns out he's sensitive to dairy, like many babies are, then that will be a breaking point for me... no way am I giving up milk for anyone.

I hate the fact that I can never get a full stretch of sleep anymore. If I'm not waking up to feed him, (like last night when my sweet well-intentioned husband gave him a few bottles so I could sleep longer) then I at least have to wake up and pump or risk the pain of engorgement and/or dwindling my supply.

And who ever said that this is more convenient than bottles? Yeah, it's always there and always the right temperature, but if my son is screaming in the middle of a grocery shopping trip because he's hungry, I can whip out a bottle and feed him without really stopping. I think it might make people uncomfortable if I did the same with my breast.

I try to pump so I can give him SOME bottles, but it takes an entire day of pumping to build up one bottle's worth of supply. That just feels discouragingly useless.

And then there's the classic gripes of "it hurts," "it's messy," "it stains my clothes," etc etc etc.

BUT, I know it's the best thing for him. Though to be honest, if somebody gave me a free year's supply of formula right now, I wouldn't miss a beat in switching him over.

It DOES get better........ right?


heather said...

Right around this time with Logan nursing was such a battle and Logan would just arch his back and scream every time. Exhausting! I gave up milk until Logan was about 7-8 months old (around there) and it was hard at first, but you figure out ways to get around it and honestly, in the grand scheme of things, that's not such a long time. Granted, I'm still hoping that I don't have to do it this time around ... but we shall see. I hope it gets better for you Jen - I completely understand what you're going through. It does get better - or maybe we just get used to it ... either way it's manageable and life goes on!! Keep going, and be patient. Good luck!

Jordan & Cassie said...

Nursing can be hard, I'm sorry it's not going well for you. Just remember everything with kids come in stages, both good and bad and then they are over:) We love you and can't wait to meet him.

Jackie said...

I feel your pain. I had always assumed since it's so natural that it would be easy. It was the most frustrating thing I ever had to do. The baby thinks he can take a sip here and there and take his sweet time. Have you talked to a lactation guru?

Julianne said...

Nursing didn't become a friendly thing for me till Sam was about 2 months old. He ate fairly well, but I had to use nipple shields, so that really took concentration. Plus, it would take Sam 45-60 minutes per feeding. Seriously, on a 3-4 hour schedule (2-3 hours when till he was about a month old), that sucks up (literally, ha!) 1/3 of your time. We didn't get to about 35 minute feedings till he was almost 5 months.

When Sam started taking little sips and then going away all grumpy or fussy, right when he was a newborn, I was so frustrated. In the end, I remember that right around 3.5 weeks, when he wasn't eating well, he wasn't sleeping well, etc., I put him on a strict 3 hour schedule. Which meant for the first day, it was awful, b/c he was screaming bloody murder that I wouldn't let him nurse whenever he wanted. (this therefore triggered me crying my eyes out for approximately 36 hours straight.) But in the end, for us, that was what he needed...a routine, a "eat it now or you don't get it for a long time more" thing.

If he really didn't eat at the 3-hour mark, like, NOTHING, I would usually re-try at about 30 or 45 minutes later, and then set my 3 hour schedule to that. But after the first few days, he really did get great at expecting the food on the nose at 3 hours. (we used the book "BabyWise" as our guideline...not sure what you feel about that system, but it worked for us.)

OK, and so all this is to say that if you do give up nursing, IT'S OK. Yes it's cheaper (i.e. free) and temp-ready and blah blah. But you also have to be sane and somewhat rested to be able to do this day in and day out. Lots of kids have grown up to be genii without breastmilk. You do what you need to do to keep yourself sane.

easyasbreathing said...

After a while it stops hurting- until then, use lanolin religiously. The rest never really goes away, unfortunately. You just get better at dealing with it.

Erin said...

Thankfully, nursing is easy for Kaitlyn. Not thankfully, I have been off of dairy for almost two weeks now. I'm totally craving chocolate, but can't have it because it has milk proteins in it. Blah. But I'm thinking I'm going to reintroduce dairy in the next few days anyway. Good luck to both of us.

Raymond and Amy Lambert Family said...

Oh I HATED nursing! I would want to scream at every feeding! Caleb wouldn't eat, ALWAYS fell asleep, and it hurt. I was constantly engorged b/c I couldn't get him to eat. Then when he would it would take an hour or more each time, and then he'd still want a bottle after! One night he screamed literally for two hours straight b/c he was so hungry. I kept trying to nurse or give him a bottle of pumped milk, but he didn't stop screaming and eat until I made up a bottle of formula. I gave up when he was 5 months. I was seriously a witch until then. Thankfully for us, Ray is on student loans and we qualify for WIC so we could get formula that way. Don't let nursing drive you insane. Keep trying, but seriously, if it gets too much (like it was for me) then get the formula. Caleb and I were both SOOOOOOOOO much happier when I quit and went to straight formula. I know, the health benefits were what kept me going too, but it came down to my mental health and that's when I was okay to stop. Good luck!