Friday, July 8, 2011

I felt the need to share...

Please note this blog is no longer updated. (Click here to find my new blog address).


I was one of those lucky women who had an extremely easy pregnancy. No morning sickness at all, only once did I ever have an issue with a food, it was some cheese. I am not saying this to brag in any way. The birth was also pretty easy compared to most but then I had the audacity to want to breastfeed my child...

I was one of those women who at a young age considered having a breast reduction but after talking to people and realizing I may never be able to breastfeed after surgery, completely wrote it off. All the doctors I had seen during my pregnancy had warned me that I was going to have a very very hard time and I took this warning and did everything I could to make sure that I would have the best chance to be able to breastfeed my child.

My pregnancy was kind of all over the place...literally...Chico, CA, Seattle, WA, Portland, OR, and Chico, CA again. We moved a lot...we had planned on moving before we found out we were having a child. It ended up not working out the way we planned, but does it ever.? With moving comes issues of jobs, insurance, etc. The bottom line is that I met a lot of doctors and they all, sadly, told me the same thing.

After many many visits with a lactation consultant and a screaming infant for days (who was obviously very hungry) she pulled me aside and told me that it was time to take a break...

I was heart broken but started pumping and purchased the perfect bottle so he would not get nipple confusion. The emotional torment was heart wrenching but I pressed on. After a week or so of not breastfeeding my consultant told me to try again...

so again, I tried...

She came to me a few days later and said "Honey, I know you want this and I know how much this means to you but this is one of the worst cases I've seen in my 40+ years working. You need to stop."

This was one of the hardest days of my life!

This is what I was supposed to be able to do, provide food for my baby. I pumped for months, which is extremely time consuming. It's this vicious cycle...feed baby...get baby to sleep...pump...o wait...now baby is awake...when am I supposed to sleep? Much less clean the house, make food, eat, shower, be a wife...

I was at a point where I got 40 minutes a day but only in 5-10 minutes naps. No one can survive for long on that little of sleep, much less be a mother and wife. I was angry...hurt...frustrated and didn't know what to do. Most people believe that women who cannot breastfeed do not exist but that is not true. This is something I do not talk about but I felt the need to share. I know that there is someone out there who needs to hear this.

After months of pumping, my milk dried up and we had to forfeit to complete formula feeding. It was hard but the little guy is a happy, healthy kid. My heart still hurts with the fact that I was not able to breastfeed him but I know I tired, battled, and pushed myself to the limit to make it happen. I am in that small percent that is simply unable to breastfeed. Some people may believe that I should have tried harder, that's fine. You don't have to agree with me but I know I did everything I could have to make it work. I hope this helps the women out there who need it. I am not against breastfeeding in any way, shape or form but I am for what is best for you and your child. Breastfeeding is best but it doesn't work for everyone, some women are simply not able and there is nothing wrong with that.

4 comments:

Meg said...

Thank you for sharing this touching experience! It seems like there is so much emphasis on the "breast is best" campaign that it could leave some mothers with more heart ache then they already have in this kind of situation.

Krystal said...

Thanks for posting this. I had some challenges at first but after a while I was able to breastfeed with ease. Then came the postpartum. It became so bad that I had to take medication and stop breastfeeding at 5 months. I was so upset and it's still hard because I loved that bond with her. I know women are proud of breastfeeding long-term, and they should be, but when I see facebook postings bragging about how their child has breastfed for so long I find it very insensitive to those of us who couldn't or had to stop. It's always nice to know someone else has shared in a struggle.

Morgan said...

Oh Jennie, I'm so sorry that you weren't able to breastfeed like you wanted to, but moreso that you feel so bad about it. You are an amazing mom and giving Haile everything, and so much more, that he needs. I know it's always difficult and disappointing when things don't go as planned, but you are doing such a great job!

The Crow Family said...

great post Jennie! I completely agree that breastfeeding is best, but only to the point where it's best for your child. It sounds like you tried pretty dang hard for a very long time- most people don't pursue it that long. Good for you for trying, good for you for standing up for what is best for Haile!
Hang in there- people don't always know what they are talking about. You are a GREAT mother!

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