Butterfly's Birthday

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Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Hard for me to admit, to myself let alone blog world. But I think I have to let it out "in the open" in order to be honest with myself. I was wrong. Maybe, perhaps, possibly I could have had by now a fully breastfed girl instead of feeding her mainly on formula (though one thing good came out of it - no problem feeding her a bottle, so no problem with nanny feeding her..). I am all the time fighting it [and yes, at 5.5 months it is still a very big issue for me, can't just put it behind me and carry on like people tell me to do], all the time trying, but perhaps not hard enough. Many times I would be adamant and try again doing only/mainly my breast and then feel so terrible for letting her go hungry. It is so engraved in me that I don't have milk that though as I said I do try from time to time, many times I would just let her have the bottle, scared I'm starving her. Been to La Leche meeting the other day (and I'm sorry I hadn't gone in the first few months, might have made a difference..) and they said something about how in the early days there was a foundation to that fear of me starving her, as she really was skin and bones. But while that "danger" has long gone and my daughter is very much a healthy looking girl, I'm still over there. So once again I'm trying.. yes, by now I hardly expect to give up formula completely, but still hoping to increase breastfeeding. The growth spurt we had the other day also helped. In previous ones she mainly slept, this time no sleep but for two whole night she was non stop on my breasts. Made me realize that it's not too late, that I can still fight for it.

I mainly breast feed her at night*, also because I work, but also as I said, fear of starving her (at night I take into account that it's not a feed..). And unfortunately I kind of lost the ability to read signs of hunger (we are also having now a terrible time with EC at the moment**, but that's for another post [which I'm not planning on writing...]). That's what happens when you go by numbers, and I was so fighting that, so didn't want to know how much and when she drinks, but so hard to ignore when you bottle feed.

What's hard to admit it that maybe if only I breastfed her more, if only I pumped more.... I know I had a very difficult start, completely not how I imagined those early days of motherhood. I think it's a lot to do with the birth that went very much wrong and being in pain and not being able to do the breastfeeding and a nursing consultant whom I don't think did too good a job. But yes, those are all excuses.. The truth is I did not breastfeed nor pump enough. And yes, there were times when baby was fussy/crying and I didn't know what was bothering her and mother would say she's hungry or needs comfort and that I should try the breast and I would be so angry at her because I just fed her... If only I knew then what I've since read, how babies, in those first few weeks, can be really literally all the time on the breast. And comfort.. if you ask me today for any advice, I'd tell you to breast feed to sleep [of course if you intend to breast feed..]. I was so talked out of it, so told how I would be creating bad habits, and I'm so sorry we've only now started doing so. I do think if I breastfed her to sleep from the beginining, that our nights would look different, in a positive way. And I know I didn't do enough pumping. It hurt and with her hardly sleeping and me not being able to just let her be awake and alone (easier nowadays when she can do so much more, minimum being able to look and focus on things. Then it seemed wrong).

And there's no where in particular this post is going. As the astrick indicates, I started this post feeling very bad about realising how it was more my doing us not being able to breastfeed solo, but now a minute before solids [and though I've started vegetables tastings, I put that now on a break] I am trying once more to "push" my breast (and with the understandings I now have, I think I'm doing a better though not best*** job).

* since I started writing this post, am trying very much again to also breastfeed in the mornings and less to give her a bottle

** back to better again :-)

*** o.k this is totally unrelated but anyway.. I love it when I teach a pupil a new word and they say how they know it from such and such a game or more often they would say - so that what it means... [and sometimes they learn a word and "know" it's meaning. except.. of course 'play' means start, why, you always have to press the 'play' button when you want to start the game..]. Anyway we had today the word 'best', and so the boy says like the song 'Single Best'. Hmmmm... never heard of that song. I'm trying to break my head, maybe he means a single by the name of best? (not that I heard of such a song). But he insists, no, Single Best, you know, the song for Christmas....... (the one, later he told me, which he plays on the guitar). You do know he meant Jingle Bells.....


MommieV said...

I was also wary of nursing to sleep because it would create a bad habit. It totally did, but it wasn't something that couldn't be reversed/retrained later. Working moms often only have the nighttime to spend nursing and bonding and if that means nursing to sleep while they're little, then so be it.

Please try to be gentle with yourself. We all try the best we can in the beginning, with the fear of not knowing what the best might really be. Right now you have the benefit of hindsight and additional information that you didn't have then. You did the best you could, and now you're trying to do the best you can. That's all motherhood is.

And I hate it when people try to tell me what to feel, or tell me to move on.

Tiara said...

I have nor experience yet with breastfeeding but am so grateful for you sharing this post & your advice. Try not to be too hard on your self...you did the best you could at the time, now that you know better you're doing better. I think Maya Angelou said that & it feels true to me so often.