Wednesday, December 16, 2009

I'm So Torn

What i really need right now is someone to tell me it is ok!

Today i have decided to stop breastfeeding. It is breaking my heart. I feel like i am being torn in half.

Part of me wants to keep going. The connection it gives me to my baby, the bond we have formed. The way he grabs my finger while he nurses, and the way he almost loses his latch when he smiles up at me while he is eating. The fact that i feel like i could nurse him forever when he drifts off to sleep. The way it comforts him and me. These are all the great wonderful parts of this adventure that makes me hang on.

The other half of me is tired of trying to make two puzzle pieces fit together that were never made for each other. That's how it feels. Like me and breastfeeding just do not work. It has been one problem after another. Thrush, torn up nipples multiple time, latch issues, not enough fat content in my milk, too much foremilk not enough hindmilk. Now my milk supply seems to be going down and he is not getting full even after long periods on both breasts at one feeding.

I don't truly know if my milk supply is dwindling or if it is just the lack of fat content in my milk, but either way it is heart breaking. I am not filling him up. He eats for 20 mins to 30 mins on each breast at one feeding and still turns around and takes a 3 to 4 oz bottle.

It just hurts so bad. My heart hurts to think that the most basic of motherly things may just not be meant for me to do. I feel like i failed somehow. I wanted this so bad. I wanted it for him and for me. I wanted to be able to provide him with my milk. The one thing only i can do.

I need someone to tell me it is ok! It is ok that it is not working out. It is ok that he drinks formula. It is ok because he will still be healthy and strong no matter if his food comes from a bottle or a breast. I need someone to tell me he will still love me just as much if i cant breastfeed him. That out bond will still be just as strong. It is ok that i am angry and confused!

I had the best month ever even through the pain and problems. I got what i wanted even if it didn't last long. I got to feed him from my breast for 5 whole weeks. I got to bond with him in a way i didn't with my other kids.

I will never forget the moments of just me and him on the couch. I will never forget the look in his eyes or the feel of his little cheek on my skin. I will not forget the way he held my finger in his little hands til he fell fast asleep. I will cherish those moments forever.


I need someone to tell me it is ok! I need someone to help heal this wounded heart.


Mom24 said...

Here's the I see it.

It is ok that it is not working out. It is ok that he drinks formula. It is ok because he will still be healthy and strong no matter if his food comes from a bottle or a breast. I need someone to tell me he will still love me just as much if i cant breastfeed him. That out bond will still be just as strong. It is ok that i am angry and confused!

The thing is, you can still connect with him. You can still be that person that comforts him above all others. You will still be close to him. I breastfed my last two, formula fed my first two. They're all super-bright, super wonderful people. I'm definitely close to all four of them. It will be all right. You absolutely did not fail at anything. I assume you've sought help (if you want to) and not been able to change things (again, if you wanted to try). I do believe breast feeding is awesome, but only when it works. Not when it makes mom's feel like they failed, not when baby's don't thrive. Not when it doesn't work. I promise, as the mom of 2 formula fed babies, he'll be just fine. Just give him lots of snuggles and eye contact when you do feed him. :)

Sorry it's been so hard. It sounds like you've truly given it your all.

Brittany said...

Girl, I felt the exact same way. I felt like a failure and like I just wasn't made to do it this time. I was willing but my body was not and I just couldn't stand to see Kaci unhappy and still hungry after bleeding me dry. But, yes sweetie it is okay ! IT IS FINE !! You have nothing to be upset about. You did 5 weeks !! That is more than ALOT of people do. You gave it your best shot and I, for one, am so proud of you. I know how badly you wanted to keep doing it. I did too...but sometimes its just not in the cards. He will be just as healthy on formula. And ya know I was scared about the connecting thing as well cause I felt so connected to Kaci for the 6 weeks I did get to do it that I was afraid there was no way I could get that back and ya know what Kaci still grabs my finger and falls asleep with the bottle in her mouth holding tightly to my finger. She has been perfectly healthy and has YET to get a cold or anything except just this last week she got a bladder infection but breastmilk couldnt have saved her from that lol. It will be fine hunny and know that I am here to talk always !

Angela @ Nine More Months said...

It sounds like you are doing a great job with him! The truth is, babies eat constantly for the first few months of their lives. The fact that he will still drink a bottle is no was to judge if he is getting enough to eat. The way a bottle is designed, each time the baby swallows, it fills their mouth up with milk again. They have no choice but to drink it all.

I am not good at explaining it, but I think if you really want to continue breastfeeding you should get some help. Check out the La Leche League or a Lactation consultant. I will gladly answer any questions you have. You don't have to stop if you don't want to!

But regardless of your choice you are still a great mom and your son will be healthy and happy. :)

Shirliana said...

Courtney, I know what you feel like because I breastfed all my babies until my last - and the same kinds of things happened. I had to make the painful decision not to nurse. I am not a terrible person, but I felt like one - not just because I couldn't nurse him, but because I actually liked bottle feeding even better! I lovingly held the bottle and my sons hand would latch on to my baby finger and it just felt so good. We still bonded - in fact, he is the closest to me of all my kids! It felt good to make a bottle and that made me feel a little guilty, then I'd forget the guilt because our feeding times were never stressful again. I was released! Seriously as I write this, I can't help but laugh. I felt so bad but I felt so good! Isn't there a song like that? It'll be okay. I promise. You might surprise yourself at how okay you feel. :) *huge hug* Courtney. Keep hanging in there - you watch and see.

Robyn said...

It is okay Courtney! By the sounds of it you tried so hard to make it this far. Breastfeeding isn't easy especially in the beginning but if deep down you still want to continue find some good support. You can take medication to help with supply issues. Don't feel bad or guilty if you choose to switch to a bottle, I think you lasted a lot longer then some women would with all the latching/volume/thrush issues. Give yourself a pat on the back!

casual friday every day said...

I know what you're feeling. I STILL have thrush from my nursing babyD back in January/Feb! I'm STILL trying to get rid of it.

And like you, I tried like hell. I know so much about the importance of breastfeeding now. And had I been able to see in my future, I would have made sure I was free of yeast before I had a baby, so that getting rid of my Thrush wasn't so hard.

I would have nursed until the cows came home, but I'm so sick with Candida that nothing would work to rid the Thrush.

I'm on the diet AND using a product and still haven't been able to totally rid it.

So I get you. Totally. And you know what? I still look at breastfeeding pictures and feel such pain for what I lost. Knowing I'll likely never get another chance since we're done.

I wish I could hug you!


Jen @ Rolling Through Looneyville said...

*hugs* oh dear... That's heartbreaking for sure. I had to stop nursing C because she stopped growing and I fought it with everything I had. It broke my heart completely. But you know? She's a lovely, sweet, healthy, strong, wicked smart kid. I gave her the mama stuff for as long as possible and that's more than a lot can say. Your guy is already super protected from nursing during those early days.

(And we're in the midst of thrush here too... again. Bleh. It makes nursing so not as much fun).

It's ok. It's going to be ok. And it will always be ok.


I will say that if you're not wholly convinced that having someone like a LLL leader or the like help you might make some sort of difference.

But if you're done. You're done. And it's OK!

By the way, biggest perk? Marcus can give the munchkin a bottle or two and give you a full night's sleep for Christmas. And for that? I'm freakin' jealous :)