Sometimes the things you want, aren't always what's best for you.
Case in point... breast feeding.
I've always known I've wanted to breast feed, and since becoming pregnant I always assumed I'd do it for about six to nine months. I knew it wasn't going to be easy even though it's supposed to be natural. I've read and read and talked and talked to women about it. I felt prepared.
Boy, was I wrong.
So you know how I've been so nauseous? [Are you as sick of that word as I am??!] Well, since all of my millions of blood work from three OB and two ER visits came back normal, I started questioning if my nausea was psychological. As I mentioned in my last post, I started wondering if it had anything to do with my mom leaving after ten days? But I ruled that out after STILL feeling nauseous days after she left. I wasn't paranoid or anxious about taking care of Emmalyn. She's a pretty easy baby (so far... knock on wood!) I wasn't depressed, although I questioned this. I seriously tried thinking of how I could be depressed, but nothing came to me.
Then I started thinking about breast feeding. In the beginning things were pretty normal. She was latching on all right, I was sore and tender, but it wasn't terrible. I felt confident Emmalyn was getting what she needed. Em was born on a Wednesday and by Saturday... BAM! My milk came it. It's just like people say... it hits you like a brick.
And guess what day I started feeling nauseous? Yep. The same Saturday. I never thought anything about it at the time. Over the last few days breast feeding has not been going well. For Emmalyn, yes. For me? notsomuch. It has been painful to say the least. I've literally been dreading feeding her. That's not supposed to happen. The whole anticipation and preparation of breast feeding has made me terribly anxious and stressed. I've totally been beating myself up about it and I feel like my body just cannot keep up.... I've been setting my alarm about fifteen minutes ahead of Em's feedings so I can fill both my gatorade and water bottles, plus eat a little something. Then, I change her, set up the bed with the pillows I like, sit down to nurse... And then, there's the pain! So much pain I am gripping the sheets, shouting expletives, and crying in my husband's arms. Plus, the whole process from the time I get up, to the time she finishes feedings lasts an hour!
I cannot go on like this. It's not worth it. To me.
Blake and I have had several discussions over the last few days about whether to continue breast feeding or not. I've had a war with myself over it. (As well as debated posting this since people can be so judgey) Should I stop? Will I regret it if I do? Should I just try to get through the first month--I've heard it gets so much better...
While all this was going on, I started thinking that maybe I'm nauseous because of the anxiety over breast feeding. Maybe I'm making myself sick over it. So Monday night, B and I decided we would supplement with formula, while I pumped a little to get relief. Then, at Em's pedi appointment on Tuesday, we'd talk to the doctor about stopping breast feeding. Remember how when I pumping before, I was expressing nearly 4oz at every sitting? Well, this time when I pumped, I was barely getting ONE ounce between the two girls. Whaaaat??? Maybe that's why things have been hurting so bad--Emmy is trying and trying to get stuff out and it's just not happening because nothing's there anymore...? It's hard to tell since you can't see.
Any way... were my suspicions correct? Is the nausea related to the breast feeding? Well, I'm no expert, but since late Monday night when I stopped breast feeding, I have not been nauseous, y'all! Now, I do have a clogged duct in my left breast, so I'm experiencing 'flu-like' achey-ness, which is normal. (I'm applying a warm wash cloth and taking hot showers to help clear it up) Plus, I'm a new mom so my energy is still low and I'm tired, so I'm not feeling 100% like myself quite yet. But no nausea.
At Emmalyn's pedi appointment yesterday, her doctor was fully supportive of my decision. She said I need to be happy! And if mom isn't happy, nobody--especially baby--is happy. She was very adamant I don't beat myself up over breast feeding. She said in order to stop breast feeding, I just do it cold turkey, and the nurse at my OB's office said the same thing... and to wear a tight bra!
So how am I feeling emotionally? Let's be real... I can't help but feel a little sad. I don't feel like a failure because I honestly gave it my all, and for two weeks Emmy got tons of nutrients and immunity from me. (Although B says my immunity sucks any way... LOL) I'm not even worried about what people will say. But I loved that when I was nursing, it was just me and my girl; and I loved that she'd hold my finger by her ear. BUT, I know I can get special-mommy-daughter-time in other ways. My mom did. She could only breast feed for two weeks, before she stopped producing milk (which could possibly be what happened to me, too...???) and my mom and I are super close to this day, so I don't see any reason why Em and I won't be.
I've talked to a few family members about this and while they all say, don't beat yourself up over stopping, but I can't help it. It's sort of like I have to go through a little mourning. Not in an extreme sort of way. Just a little grieving. I'm confident I made the right decision for me... for my sanity, for my body and well-being. And what's best for me, is ultimately the best for my daughter.
It may be too soon to tell if the nausea is related to the breast feeding, but it does seem very possible. It all matches up.... the nausea started the day my milk came in, and the nausea has ceased (so far) the day I stopped breast feeding. Makes you think...?
*Thank you ALL for your sincere words and genuine well-wishes over the past couple of weeks. It means so much to me that y'all care. I'm truly grateful.
**Today Emmalyn and I are off to a 'Little Nippers' class at the hospital I delivered at. It's for new moms to discuss EVERYTHING & ANYTHING! I'm excited to go, but nervous because it's my first time driving since delivery, plus my first time alone with my girl. PLUS, it's icky and cold out today and I don't have anything to wear post-partum! HA! Wish us luck!