Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Letting go

Hello, my name is Meredith and I am a control freak. I have to know what is happening, when it's happening and why it's happening, AT ALL TIMES. Anyone who knows me knows this, they also know that I am not a very relaxed person. Sure I can be calm, but just sitting on the couch doing nothing is not not my favorite thing to do. Pretty sure Robert thought I was going to force myself into an early labor with my inability to stay off my feet and relax during the last few months of my pregnancy. And why in the world I thought I could have a natural childbirth, when a MAJOR factor in that is the ability to RELAX still baffles me. (Side note, if I decide to do this whole baby making thing again, I would still like to try going natural just hopefully sans pitocin and with a lot more pre-birth planning on my part.) I am telling you all of this as a preface to this next statement... as of yesterday I have quit breastfeeding and pumping, more appropriately I have quit my pathetic excuse of breastfeeding and pumping. Can I tell you how hard this decision was to make? It sucked. But remember back in this post I said I was going to do whatever I thought was best for me and Sadie? Well, I have decided that stopping is what is best.

There are several things that have happened over the past three weeks that lead me to this decision. The major factor is that my milk supply plummeted after we started supplementing Sadie with formula. I would say within a week of introducing a bottle, Sadie pretty much wanted nothing to do with breastfeeding. She would nurse for a few minutes and then start screaming and banging her head against my boobs out of frustration and hunger. That killed me. I chose to give her a bottle at that point instead of stressing both of us out with trying to get her to nurse. This quickly turned into Sadie only wanting to eat from a bottle, which any breastfeeding book, class or lactation consultant will tell you will happen, so it's not like I wasn't prepared for it. So, I decided ok, no more nursing, but I was still going to pump to get breastmilk down her! Well, as any book, class or lactation consultant will tell you, a pump does not work the same as a baby. I started with being able to pump around 3.5 ounces total in the morning with it diminishing during the day. My last "big" pump was 1 ounce after 30 minutes and it would just go down from there during the rest of the day. I kept trying everything to amp up my supply, I even started talking herbal supplements. It just wasn't working for me. I am fully aware that I got wrapped up in how much I pumped and sitting there while pumping and watching that little bottle go from empty to almost empty. But, like I said above, I could not just sit there and relax enough for anything to get better. It took me a week to pump enough for Sadie's first day of daycare. How in the world was I going to keep up with that for months to come if my supply was falling by the day!?

Going back to work was something else that led to my decision. My first few days back I sat at my desk and pumped while working one handed. My doctor told me to stop that and to remove myself from work, sit somewhere other than my desk and think of nothing but Sadie. Yeah, that did not work out so well for me. I would go sit in another chair in my office with my cellphone and flip through my Flickr pictures of Sadie and even though I was thinking about her I was also thinking about how many emails I would have when I got done, speaking of emails did I just hear my computer ding to let me know I have a new one, oh crap I forgot about that project I sent to the printer, I need to check on that when I am done, argh, I bet my boss is looking at his iChat and seeing that I have been idle for over 20 minutes and is annoyed that I am not working, oh yeah, pumping, I am supposed to be thinking about Sadie, man, I have so much laundry to do for her when I get home. As you can see my mind if a fun place to be! And I would have to do that at least twice a day once I started back at work full time!

I finally sat down and thought long and hard about what I was doing to myself. I could not remember the last day that I made it through without wanting to cry over the whole situation. I was pumping MAYBE 4 ounces a day and was stressed out for the 30 minutes leading up to the pumping, the 30 minutes of pumping and for a good hour after. Were those 4 ounces worth it? I know some people might label me and my decision selfish, but that's just it, it's MY decision. I finally decided my sanity was more important to me and my family that the stress and frustration pumping was causing me.

I know I touched on this in my previous post, but I can't tell you how often I have thought that maybe I should of kept trying with the breastfeeding, that maybe I started supplementing too soon, maybe I should of stuck to my guns and listened to my daughter cry from hunger until she decided to breastfeed more to increase demand on my milk supply. But then I think about her last doctors visit, she is up to 10 pounds 5 ounces. According to the baby growth percentile calculator on Baby Center Sadie is in the 10-25% for weight, that means 80-75% of all other babies are bigger than her! 80-75%! That's a lot! I can only imagine how might higher that would be if I had not started supplementing her! She can still wear newborn clothes and diapers! I know of babies 3 weeks to a month older than her that have close to 2 pounds on her! That stresses me out, to think of how little she might weigh if I had not started supplementing. I am sure some people would say that my milk supply could of started getting better and she would be fine but that is not a chance I was willing to take. My baby's life is not worth my want to breastfeed no matter what sort of benefit she would of received from breastmilk.

Wow, sorry about that, did not mean to go off there in that last paragraph. I suppose I am still a little touchy on the subject and still feel the need to justify my decision.

I suppose the whole reason I am putting this out there is for other control freak, non-relaxed mammas out there to read and for me to go back and read through if I decide to have another baby. After 9 weeks of breastfeeding hell I am letting it go, I am telling myself it is ok to let it go, I love my baby just as much as any breastfeeding mamma out there, I am giving myself permission to be 100% happy with all things baby related now and I am happy with that.

1 comment:

  1. People put too much pressure on mommies (and we do it to ourselves) to breastfeed and when it doesn't work out - we feel such guilt. I say try it if you want to, if it doesn't work for you, quit and don't look back! I'm glad you are feeling okay about it. ;)