Let's just say it isn't going well. I can make up excuses (which I have done), I have beaten myself up thinking I am not adequate, and I have finally settled on this:
It doesn't matter if I nurse or not, what matters is that mommy and baby are both healthy and happy.
Obviously, I am still feeling some guilt over the subject, or else I wouldn't be writing about it looking for approval from all of my mommy friends.
Let me give you a little history. Before Connor was born, I went to a breastfeeding class and learned so much. I took to heart every single thing that the teacher instructed and when Connor was born, he latched on like a charm! He ate constantly, but that's what babies, do...right? He refused to take a bottle or a binky, so I was his only source of nutrition. But I loved nursing him. I didn't realize how demanding and time consuming it was. So I quit my job, quit teaching seminary and took a little hiatus from school.
The cute little guy plumped up so quickly and I couldn't have been happier with myself! At 6 months I had lost all of my baby weight...by 9 months I had lost an additional 10 pounds (I can't credit it all with nursing, I did change my exercising and eating habits).
I told my success story to a nursing coach and she had me speak at one of the classes. I told them all of the good stuff and how easy and naturally nursing came for both me and Connor. If only I could go back now! I have 3 completely different stories to tell.
With Abi, the nursing came along horribly. She never latched on right, so it was always painful. Then she was re-hospitalized and I had to bottle feed her. I did pump, however, my milk supply decreased. She was on a strict two-hour feeding regimen until her bili levels were normal and she had to have formula (it helped the levels to go down).
A few days after she was discharged, I met with a lactation consultant about the problems I was having with Abi not latching on correctly. She said that Abi would eventually learn, but in order to get her to latch on right, she had to be crying (that's the only time her mouth would open wide enough). It was too frustrating for me. I surrendered.
This time around, Carly has mastered the latching on. No pain! Yeah! I thought we were on a roll. That was until she started refusing my left breast. Now I get almost no milk from my left breast. I have tried pumping...but with a toddler and an almost 3 year old running around, I don't exactly have the time to sit there and pump that often.
For the last three nights in a row, Carly wakes for a feeding at midnight and latches on fine and eats well. 3 am she wakes and refuses to latch on at all. She cries and cries and I cry and cry and keep trying to get her to latch on. In exhaustion I give her a bottle and she settles down (she doesn't go back to sleep though...that takes some more work). She nurses the right side fine during the day, but after each feeding I have to give her at least 4 ounces of formula.
I have even pumped my own milk before bed and tried to give it to her in the middle of the night, and she refused that. I thought it might have been something I ate, but I hadn't had onions or broccoli or caffeine or milk (yes, I did have chocolate...but there are some things I will NOT give up).
I'm ready to give up, again. I am no longer a poster-child for nursing. If I could, I would re-do that class and tell the mommies that nursing is amazing. Definitely give it a try. But when it starts causing you to doubt your abilities as a mom and you and your baby aren't happy...try a different approach.
I suppose I will have to drop the baby weight the old fashioned way. Jogging and eating right. Yuck. But I can't live with these thunder thighs and humongo hips (do they spread further with each child?) for the rest of my life.
There...the whining is over.