Feeling like I'm a failure... - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 7 Old 12-30-2009, 05:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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*I posted this in the breastfeeding thread, but feel maybe it belongs here too...*

I know I'm not a failure...but I still feel like I am! My baby is 6 days old, and I we can't latch. I know 6 days is really young, and I know we just have to practice and work on our coordination...I KNOW all this, but...I still feel this way! I had a traumatic birth where the birth plan flew right out the window, and had (what I felt like kind of forced) pitocin, epidural, and 30+ hour labor, and a 2 1/2 hour long pushing session, also had a bad time after birth, as it was a never ending supply of people visiting, except at night when I was completely on my own, bewildered with a screaming newborn. I didn't get even an hour of sleep until 3 days post partum! She also was jaundiced, the worst of it hitting on day 3-4 when she was so lethargic and out of it, I couldn't even get her to rouse enough feed at all for like 8 straight hours!

We do great when we are in the lactation consult, but at home we both end up in tears. The consultant said she had a high palate and showed me how to use a breast shield today, and I felt so happy and confident when she latched on right away...but tonight...

We just both ended up crying while I caved in and gave her a bottle. I'm pumping my breast milk for her, and I have great supply so I haven't had to supplement with formula since my milk came in. But tonight I felt like I was too anxious or something, because after we were done trying, on the pump my milk would flow beautifully, but when she tried to latch before that, I couldn't even express any milk inside the shield! And then my dh tried to help by warming up a large bottle of pumped milk and accidently burned it all, 5 ozs! I just dissolved into tears and have been a wreck ever since! I've come to absolutely dread even trying to get her to latch, it always ends up with me crying! I feel like I should be able to do this, and when a professional helps I do great, but once on my own, nothing! I want to be able to just nurse her! Not have to wake up and set the pump up, but just to grab my sweet girl and nurse her!

This is starting to affect everything too! I feel like I can't have skin-to-skin bonding with her or just aren't doing it enough, I'm anxious about everything, from worrying that she will stop breathing in the middle of the night, not bonding with her, if she's too warm or too cold, I get panicked when we leave the house, that I'm doing something wrong, I'm even panicked that she will grow up! I just want to hold her and love her, but I feel like it makes me anxious now too just like trying to nurse her does! I feel like I'm doing a horrible job! My house is a wreck, the laundry really needs done, we have no clean dishes, I'm starting to not eat good enough, I can't sleep at night...

Any advice, tips, encouragement? I desperately want to nurse my baby!
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#2 of 7 Old 12-30-2009, 03:15 PM
 
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You are desperately tired, you've had a traumatic experience, it is not surprising that you're having such an awful time dealing with this challenge.

I would say--give yourself a break for a little while and just plan to do a bottle of pumped milk x number of times a day. And don't feel bad about it. Enjoy the bottle time with your babe as much as you can. Teach dh how to heat a bottle (he knows to take the water off the heat BEFORE putting the bottle in, right?) and let him take some of the turns so you can get some rest or relaxation. You can work on breastfeeding the other times and just work on breathing, keeping your mind and body relaxed, etc. When you and your babe figure out breastfeeding you can eliminate the bottles. But really, give yourself at least a few weeks. Having a terrible experience 10 times a day, whenever you try to bf is not going to help you bf longer. Relaxing and being gentle on yourself while you keep trying will.

Since you posted in this forum, you probably know that a traumatic birth and difficulty breastfeeding increase your likelihood of getting ppd. Can you get some help from dh, friends, family etc. so that you can have time for meditation, a quiet bath, catching up on sleep?
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#3 of 7 Old 12-30-2009, 06:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by K-Mom3 View Post


You are desperately tired, you've had a traumatic experience, it is not surprising that you're having such an awful time dealing with this challenge.

I would say--give yourself a break for a little while and just plan to do a bottle of pumped milk x number of times a day. And don't feel bad about it. Enjoy the bottle time with your babe as much as you can. Teach dh how to heat a bottle (he knows to take the water off the heat BEFORE putting the bottle in, right?) and let him take some of the turns so you can get some rest or relaxation. You can work on breastfeeding the other times and just work on breathing, keeping your mind and body relaxed, etc. When you and your babe figure out breastfeeding you can eliminate the bottles. But really, give yourself at least a few weeks. Having a terrible experience 10 times a day, whenever you try to bf is not going to help you bf longer. Relaxing and being gentle on yourself while you keep trying will.

Since you posted in this forum, you probably know that a traumatic birth and difficulty breastfeeding increase your likelihood of getting ppd. Can you get some help from dh, friends, family etc. so that you can have time for meditation, a quiet bath, catching up on sleep?
Wow thank you for your encouraging post! It was what I needed to hear, I was so focused on the failures of nursing, I forgot I can enjoy bottle feeding too. I know about ppd, and honestly feel quite blue right now, going to meditate on it...
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#4 of 7 Old 12-31-2009, 06:47 PM
 
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oh mama, you sound just like me about 367 days ago. my dd has/had a high palate and it hurt like crazy when she nursed. i hated breastfeeding so much. i would cry and have fits saying "why does this have to be so good for her!" for what it's worth she is still exclusively breastfed at 12 months! i can honestly say that the first few weeks of my baby's life were the most trying weeks of my life.. i was frustrated with the nursing, with my body, with my family and my house being such a mess with everything! i also felt like i wasn't bonding enough with my baby. now it's like a big blur now! i saw a counselor and got help with postpartum anxiety. i think you should call your midwife/doctor and get the number of a good psychologist. it would be very helpful for you to talk to someone about everything. even if you only need to see him or her a few times. in the mean time here's what i suggest.
1) have dh or a friend go out and buy a bunch of paper plates, and plastic utensils
2) while dh or friend is out, have them buy a bunch of convenience foods, preferably some pretty healthy soups and stuff like that.
4) have someone else do the laundry, or just wear dirty clothes!
3) curl up in bed with your baby and a good book (NOT a baby care book, those are the worst things to read when you have a new baby LOL) don't do anything but cuddle, pump and practice nursing. bring a big pitcher of water in the room with you and some healthy snacks. don't do anything but that! no laundry, no dishes, no cleaning, no nothing! if your baby is in cloth diapers switch to disposables (temporarily, i'm super pro cloth diapers, but not for the first few weeks, especially when it's your first baby). this is called a nursing vacation. i think you need to take one! when you aren't distracted by everything else learning to nurse is a lot easier. you will also recover faster from childbirth if you take it easy. i promise that things will get easier!

Wife to amazing dh, mama to dd 12/08
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#5 of 7 Old 12-31-2009, 07:10 PM
 
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s

I totally could have written your post when my DS was born!! Everything from the long labor with "forced" pitocian/epi to the latch issues & the too many visitors... And we were great when the LC was there, once she was gone it was a disaster.

What helped a lot: DH paid close attention to the techniques the LC showed us (we had to use drops of sugar water from a syringe to drip on the nipple & force him to latch) so DH sat with me for each & every feeding to help (and provide moral support!) For us it took quite a while (maybe 6-8 weeks) to really get the hang of nursing -- and even then it was a long time before he latched easily & properly at every feeding. But, we never used a bottle... DS's weight slowly climbed & his latch slowly improved...

Also, your hormones are a mess now & may be for another couple weeks. You really need to take it easy & "baby" yourself!! Get lots & lots of rest and forget about the laundry. Anyone who visits should help with the dishes & cooking & all.. and if you have the $$ to spare, now is a great time to "waste" a bit on take-out & a maid (I wish we had had the money!) Any spare minute should be spent sleeping or relaxing. I promise you will catch up with housework etc. when you're feeling better!!

YOU ARE NOT A FAILURE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Co-sleeping is really wonderful when your child actually SLEEPS!! familybed1.gif
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#6 of 7 Old 01-04-2010, 03:55 PM
 
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I can't say anything that anyone else hasn't already mentioned, but I do recommend a wondeful book..This Isn't What I Expected--Overcoming Postpartum Depression by Karen Kleiman and Valerie Raskin. I have no stake in this book, except that it has (and still does) help me, almost a year after my diagnosis.

BTW, you aren't a failure. I am in the same boat right now with that feeling....that I'm a failure as a mother and a wife. While it's hard for me to believe myself, I believe firmly that anyone going through this is NOT a failure or a bad mother at all.

fambedsingle2.gifnovaxnocirc.gifHappy to be a mommy and teacher to D fencing.gif, born 1-17-06 via waterbirth.jpg  and A  blahblah.gif, born 10-6-08 with a homebirth.jpghomeschool.gif

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#7 of 7 Old 01-05-2010, 03:48 AM
 
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Oh Channelle, I am so sorry. Please take the time to take care of yourself. Do you have any friends or family you can call and cry to? Did you get any pamphlets at the hospital with phone numbers on them for new parent hotlines, breastfeeding help, anything? Cause now is the time to call. Spending time on the phone talking to somebody who understands helped me when I got hysterical.
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