Edited by PinkNBlueCrunch - 3/17/12 at 1:22pm
First of all, my sympathies! Babies are TOUGH and it's great that you're reaching out for help. Yes, there are tons of people who hate breastfeeding, but it sounds to me like you have some depression. I had some PPD with my son, and one way I knew that was what it was, was that I fantasized about leaving him and my husband and going to live somewhere else alone. I felt like I had ruined my life by having a baby, which is the opposite of what I wanted to feel! Just because your son is a year old does not mean it can't be PPD, or that it doesn't last that long. Please take care of yourself- it's the best thing you can do for your son. See a therapist (maybe your pediatrician or GP can recommend one) and see what they say. After that, evaluate how you really feel about breastfeeding: if you still hate it, stop! Your son is a year old, and you feeling positive is more important than breastmilk for him at this point.
I can sympathize with how you feel. I agree that you have given your baby the best food for a year and you can now stop if you need to. You have gone above and beyond and now you should make yourself a priority too. I have found so much help seeing a therapist and hopefully you can too. Love yourself and you will find motherhood more enjoyable.
I am sorry that you are having such a hard time.
Until you figure what the next step is.....it may be helpful to borrow or buy a baby carrier. At least then you can have some freedom. He can still nurse and you can get out of the house, or move around and do what you need to. It may help while you decide what you are going to do.
Link w/ photos: http://tinyurl.com/7gh7noa
You are far from the only person who has felt resentment over breastfeeding. Personally, I think this "bonding" thing over breastfeeding is seriously overrated. It's just a way to feed a baby. That's it.
My son was born with a tongue tie that prevented him from being able to latch on. It was repaired, but breastfeeding never really went smoothly with him. He tended to stay on the breast continually, I felt he could never get enough milk. On top of that, he had colic during his first few months, and has a clingy and needy personality. I know that by breastfeeding I did my best to provide optimal nutrition for him, but that doesn't mean it was the highlight of our relationship then, you know?
I went on antidepressants after his birth, and have never regretted it (actually, I'm still on antidepressants for major depressive disorder). As a mother, you have to take care of yourself so that you can take care of your baby. That may not mean antidepressants for you, it may mean getting a family member or trusted babysitter to take your baby for a couple of hours here and there so you can do something for yourself or with your husband.
Your fantasy of getting away doesn't mean that you are not a good mother. It means you have unmet needs for nurturing yourself.
Could he be cluster feeding? My DD#2 is 2 1/2 weeks old and she's cluster feeding right now: wants to nurse every 20 minutes. It's hard, but if it is cluster feeding, it will subside once he gets your milk supply where he needs it. Hang in there if you can!
I agree with PPs that you may have some PPD going on. One thing that helped me a lot with my first child was getting into the MOPS group at my church. Having an outlet to talk with other moms who are going or have gone through the same or similar things was very helpful to me. Perhaps there is a MOPS group or other moms group or LLL group near you that you could go to?
Hugs to you, sweetie! You can do this!
I've felt this way with my baby also and the best you can do is tell dp/dh/whomever it is that you lean on that you're fragile and need some extra help and understanding. It's a small thing, but as soon as the issue is out in the open and it is acknowledged that there is an issue in the first place, you can begin to get constructive. It's refreshing after being so bogged down. Do what you can to determine how to make yourself happy and your family functional and try to make it a reality. In our case dh and I decided housework could slide, dinner could slide, but my emotional well-being couldn't. I found I was putting so much pressure on myself to anticipate and meet dd's needs that every disgruntled squawk would make me break a little. Eventually we worked out that my expectations of myself were unrealistic and once that was addressed, things got better. It's so hard because you want to be the best person you can be for your lo but inevitably they see the worst of you. I'm sure you'll pull through triumphant with whatever decisions you make.
I felt the same way, and i didn't last nearly as long as you, so i applaud you!
honestly, giving up breastfeeding has made my bond with DS so much stronger. I don't resent him for having to eat the way I did. I dreaded the next feeding before the first was even over, it was so bad. I know a lot of people on here will probably not agree with my choice, but having a mom that wants to be with him is better than having a mom that can't wait to get away from him.
Oh, honey, get to your Dr. stat.
Sounds like classic PPD to me. I love, love, love my Zoloft which you can totally take while nursing. (I've been on 50 mg. since about 6 mo and I swear it saved my life.)
I HATED having my DS for the first few months - it was horrible. Felt exactly like you. (My thought was that both my kids would be better off if I was dead. Oh yeah. Good times.)
I would get to the doc for some meds. Get DH or anyone else (seriously, the UPS guy would do ) to take the kid for a few hours - either in the AM or whatever works best so you can get some sleep for a few days. You're in crisis mode. You can do it, you can get out of it. You need to get your head clear first. Then you can figure out what you need to do next, night wean, totally wean, whatever.
It will get better, you will be OK. It will end.
Hang in there - let us know how it is going. But you need to get a break so you can think clearly. Then you can make a plan as to what you can do.
I've been thinking about your post. I'd be depressed too if I were breastfeeding 45 minutes out of every hour for a year! That seems like a totally normal response! I agree with other posters that at one year old, it is reasonable to set limits on breastfeeding. My first son (now two years old) and I loved breastfeeding. I had to stop at 10 months because we were planning a frozen embryo transfer. I was so sad, I felt like we would lose something really special. Well, in reality, it was tough for about two weeks, and since then it has been fine. Instead of nursing, we had more time to play, sing songs, get out, try new foods...there are so many wonderful other things that a one year old could and should be doing. We are extremely close and while breastfeeding may have helped, it is everything else we do together than really built our relationship.
Please let us know what you decide to do and how you feel about it.