Sunday, March 02, 2008

Bye bye breastmilk

I apologize for the terrible formatting below. I can't figure out how to make it look normal.

Meg eats like a horse. I really love it and love how big she's getting (although I'm dreading in advance all the rude comments from people saying how fat she is. Fat isn't nice to say about adults so why say it about a baby?) I also firmly believe that full baby usually equals happy baby. And I have hope that every ounce she consumes makes us that much closer to a good night's rest.

I have been breastfeeding this whole time. Not exclusively, but if there are 12 feedings in a day, 11 come from me. Last week, there was a day that she was fussy all day long. I kept nursing her and nursing her and that didn't put her into that happy food coma. Instead, she kept being cranky. I took her on a long walk in the brisk air. She napped in the car seat and popped right back awake when we got home. Finally, exhausted, at about 9 p.m., I offered her some formula. Just two ounces to test if that's what was bugging her. She drank all of it as if she'd been starved for days. I made another two ounces and she took that, too. And then passed out.

This trend has been going for the past week so I think this is the beginning of the end of breastfeeding. It's sort of circular in that the less I feed her, the less milk I'll produce so it's a downward spiral since as she gets bigger, she'll eat more and I'll have less to offer.

On the one hand, I'm relieved. I'm totally okay with formula and more bottles means that my tender chest will no longer be main source of snackfood. It means I don't have to whip out my boob at McDonald's to feed a screaming baby. I'm no La Leche League person who believes in breastfeeding until the child goes off to college. I actually believe society now puts all this pressure on women about breastfeeding so that when new mothers can't do it, it puts undue stress on their delicate psyche.

That said, I'm surprised by how much it bothers me that it's not working out. When Andy was a couple weeks old, his pediatrician wasn't happy with his weight gain and recommended supplementing. I was secretly relieved. I wasn't digging the process, I didn't know what I was doing and the whole business intimidated me (how would I ever go out? I could never breastfeed in public!) I liked to have an excuse for not having to nurse. But now, I'm much more confident. She and I have mastered the latch and I'm not afraid to drape myself in a blanket and feed her if that's what I need to do. Sigh.

Meanwhile, here's a great post I read recently about the peaks and valleys of having a newborn with a toddler in the house that really resonated with me (and is way better written than I could do).

1 comment:

  1. Breastfeeding. oh. you work and you work at it. The baby can rip you to shreds (G didn't, M did) and then you GET it. You are Rocky. but then something doesn't go quite right. Or they get a growth spurt and you feel like you can't keep up or SOMETHING. always something. When do you get to feel like you got it and then all is well. period? Ha! Like you get your childs habits and all is well. HA! Until the next day when something changes again... oh well... bummer about the feeding but I imagine that Meg is doing completely lovely! She looks completely lovely. I keep up now with your blog friends at Little Rock ICU. I used to volunteer at that Ronald McDonald house next to the ACHospital, back in 1989 (exactly how old AM I???)