Sunday, April 12, 2009

How long before I start mooing?

Breastfeeding is supposed to be the most natural thing in the world. And if you look around at the rest of the animal kingdom, the process does seem to be pretty simple.

Puppies do it. And kittens. And even baby warthogs. They climb their way over their 8 or 9 siblings, find a teat, latch on and suck for all they're worth! And people? Most are born blind!

So why can't a human baby - with all the advantages our species supposedly has over the rest of the natural world - figure it out?

I'm trying to breastfeed my daughter. "Trying" being the operative word. And she's getting a little better every day - or at least, that's what I tell myself when I'm not in the thick of it.

The problem? She's too sleepy most of the time to want to wake up and eat. And even when she does latch on,  she doesn't seem to like to suck. She's still waiting for the 24-hour feeding tube to be reactivated, I think.

Most of the time, I do manage to get her to nurse for a while. But, in another Catch 22, I'm so worried about her not eating that I get stressed, and then I can't seem to make enough milk. So then we have to supplement with formula, or pumped milk. But we're not supposed to bottle feed, so we have to do it with a syringe.

And that just breaks my heart. I mean, what kind of mom am I, to allow my baby to be force fed with a cold, sterile piece of medical equipment?

Then, I attach some suction cups to my boobs and allow another piece of machinery to milk me like a freaking cow - or at least, I try to.  More often than not, I get so little, it's not even worth the effort.

By the time the process is finished, an hour and a half has gone by. And I have to gear up to do it all again in another hour and a half.

I'm exhausted.

Feeling inadequate.

Ridiculously frustrated.

And more prone to hysterical sobbing fits than I care to admit.

I want to give up, but I promised myself I'd give it the full two week trial run before making any rash decisions. Which means I have at least another five days left.

It's going to be a long week, people. Wish me luck.


  1. Hi Honey!
    Hang in there!!! You can do this "mom thang" ha!!! I got thrush one week in (which I am still dealing with) which basically means every time Giada feeds, it feels like razors. But everyday I convince myself ... A. it is getting better and ... B. It is worth it. I always said I would breastfeed for at least 3 months and had set this goal in my head "three months come hell or high water." But when I went to my breastfeeding class the teacher said one sentence that made so much sense and made me feel so good ... Take each day as it comes. Just face the day, and don't make any promises about tomorrow. What you have done already -- giving your baby the colostrum -- has already given her a tremendous advantage. So don't put so much stress on yourself. Whatever you choose is the RIGHT decision. I wasn't breastfed and don't seem to be doing too badly. Enjoy her "babyness" and try to ignore the frustration ... for that is all it is ... frustration. One month from now, you won't remember the day the pump disappointed you, but you will remember her first smile! --- Cheers! mo

  2. Hey there.
    I'm just about a week behind you and my boobs are all cracked and bloody and it feels just awful every time little Beatrice latches on. But it's worth it. I know she's getting hardly anything, but her tummy is so small it's okay. The lactation specialist said their tummies are about the size of a chickpea when they get to us. So it doesn't take much. The day my milk came in, I didn't rehydrate after feeding her and she wanted to eat constantly. By 2 am, my boobs were about A cups and flabby and there really wasn't anything in them the next day. I cried so much. But she'll be okay. One meager day won't hurt her too much.
    I don't know, I guess all this to say, hang in there. You're not alone!
    By the way, I'm a big fan of your blog!

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