Feel like an AP failure - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-13-2005, 06:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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HI all - I just found these boards after they were recommended to me by someone on the Simple Living Discussion Forum. I had my DD Helen on 1/4. She was born via emergency c-section and spent her first week in NICU with severe anemia caused by bleeding from my placenta. That same week I was hospitalized with severe pain from the c-section with degenerating fibroids (which were probably the cause of the bleed-out), plus high blood pressure so bad it made me delirious (out of the blue - never had hbp during pregnancy). So we were almost completely separated for the week after her birth.

I have always thought I would be an AP-style parent. I wanted to wear a sling, BF exclusively, never CIO, co-sleep, use cloth diapers, never use a pacifier or bottle, etc, etc. However, things have been rocky from the beginning and I'm starting to feel like I'm horrible at AP.

When we finally got home DD had been formula-fed for a week. She luckily could still latch on, but I'd been torn up by an evil hospital breastpump : and my milk had never come in regardless. I had to keep supplementing with forumla as it was imperative that she not lose weight in her condition. And what BM she got made her sick - gassy and uncomfortable almost all the time. So I cut out dairy, and things got better after a week from hell. I was finally starting to heal when my milk came in at week 5. However, I mistook DD popping off due to heavy letdown as her not getting enough, and continued to give her a bottle. The result? I ended up with mastitis! So I'm sitting here with a fever, unable to even wear a shirt my right BB hurts so much, feeling like I want to give up BFing for good. I'm so tired of playing the "what's wrong with my milk today" game. It just seems like one thing after another, and I'm so confused and upset.

Here I am at almost 6 weeks, still dreading every feeding and feeliing like I'm doing everything wrong. I can't wear my sling for more than 10 minutes because I'm still in pain from the fibroids, DD can't co-sleep 'cause she hates lying flat (she currently sleeps in her carseat), the diaper covers I got of ebay don't work so she's in pampers til I can get some more (DH wants to stay with the disposables anyway, and I have to admit they ARE easier to deal with), I'm so sick still that I let DH take her for 6 hrs at night and give her a bottle, and during the day I honestly I can't wait to put her down most of the time.

Yesterday I was so tired and she wouldn't BF even though she was hungry, and I was feverish and in terrible pain and felt like I was going to throw up every time she cried. She just couldn't stop crying no matter what I did. What did I do? I left the room. Yes, I let her cry it out. Left her there helpless and hungry in her carseat. I feel like such a failure. I came back in 10 minutes (after crying it out myself) and she'd fallen asleep. I woke her up and she finally ate.

Most days, I don't feel "attached" much at all - there are moments of love and awe, but the are sandwiched between feeling just sick and exhausted and frustrated.

As for the BFing, I just wonder: isn't this supposed to be a bonding experience for her - where mommy gazes at her lovingly while she eats, not feverishly staring into the middle distance and biting my lip trying to stand the pain?

What the heck am I supposed to do? Please help me.

Thanks for any support or encouragement you could offer. I know this is a doozy of a 1st post, so thank you for reading.

Liz and baby Helen
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Old 02-13-2005, 06:19 PM
 
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Poor, poor mama.

You sound like you've been through the wringer. I can SO relate to how you are feeling, I was the same way when my DS was born and I didn't even have the pain of a c-section recovery to deal with, just a 4th degree tear. again!!

Do you have someone to come help you at all? You sound like what you need the most is time to heal and feel better physically. It is so hard to meet the endless needs of a newborn when you feel like crap and need to be taken care of yourself!

All I can say is trust me it does get better. It doesn't seem like it now, but it will. And please, don't beat yourself up over the whole AP thing. AP is about *meeting your child's needs*. If your child needs to sleep in a carseat, by all means let her sleep in the carseat. And there will be plenty of time later for cloth diapers and slings, when you feel better. You need to heal, mama! You have had a rough time!

I suggest you head over to the breastfeeding support board for help with those issues. Do you have a lactation consultant? Is there a LLL chapter near you? I ended up pumping for 4 months then I switched to formula, so I am no help to you here but there are lots of great ladies over there who would be happy to offer advice in that regard.

You can do this, mama! We are here to help, but if possible get some real live friends/family to come hold your babe for a few hours so you can get some sleep!
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Old 02-13-2005, 08:18 PM
 
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I'm so sorry you've had such a rough time! I too have been through the mastitis, the pumping, the what's wrong with my milk worries. The first few months can be very tough even without the pain and trauma of a complicated c-section and a baby who got off to a rough start.

Please give yourself a break. This is no time to feel guilty over your ideals. I agree that what you need is some help. I hope you have some friends or family that you can depend on. If not, could you afford a post partum doula? It's absolutely necessary for you to get needed rest and nourishment if you want the baby to thrive. "Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy," KWIM? There's no reason to feel guilty. And things will improve. Breasts heal, babies grow, scars fade.

Hang in there mama!
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Old 02-13-2005, 08:21 PM
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you came to a good place, there are so many mamas here just to support you. I suggest not putting so much pressure on yourself. When you constantly feel like a failure, it is easy to project those feelings on your baby and that makes bonding even harder.

Start with little things, I definitely agree with the previous poster-get help with the bfing issue, preferably with a lactation consultant or your local LLL group. It's a lot easier to find an answer when someone can actually be present to see what is going on. Once that becomes easier, a lot of stuff falls in line.

Not all mamas instantly bond with their babies. My first born was a homebirth with no complications and my feelings were really similar to yours. It is hard to give give give and not get anything back. Once your baby is able to respond by a means other than crying it will get easier.

If your baby sleeps great in the carseat, . Whatever gets everyone the most sleep is going to be the best for everyone. A lot of us co-sleep b/c our babies sleep better near us and b/c it is easier (and you get more sleep!) for nursing. We don't do it b/c there is some secret AP code that says we have to. And lots of us don't have the baby in the bed b/c of the same reasons.

Does she have reflux? That seems to be common to babies that want to sleep upright. Getting that diagnosed early could save you a lot of hard nights later on.

If you don't have family/friends that can help out, you might try to squeeze the money for a postpartum doula from your budget. If only for a week or a few days a week over the course of a month, that is going to help you a lot. You sound really exhausted. My first baby, I had help for a week. After they left, I wanted to kill myself. Not literally, I wasn't coherent enough to think about it, I was too tired. For my second, I lined up a month of someone being with me. It was a lot better and I bonded with him easier.

Even if you don't feel bonded now, that doesn't mean you or your baby are permanently damaged, just take it easy, give it time to blossom. You both are going through a lot of changes. Take a deep breath. Honor how you feel today, don't try to stifle it. It's okay to feel angry, helpless, frustrated. I found once I allowed myself to feel that way without judging myself for it, it was easier to let those feelings go.

Not everyone can carry their baby all the time. At this age, if you can cuddle her on the couch or sitting in a chair or lay with her (while awake) in the bed, that is still good. It helped me bond to my first-lying next to him, looking at his little toes, watching his face watch mine, touching him, rubbing his belly, finding myself in him and seeing the man I love in him too. Trying to find a time to be with him when the rest of the world could melt away, when the dirty dishes weren't on my mind, or the laundry or the fact that I hadn't showered in 5 days, when he didn't need to eat or be changed. When I could just be with him and he was content with that.

As for dipes, that really sucks about the covers! Try Fuzzi Bunz, they work a lot like sposies, even down to multiple wettings before needing changed (allow for a few washings before this truly works). Also, as they get older, they don't pee (or poop) as often and that makes cding a lot easier. I didn't cd my first until he was 3-4 months old. I cd'd my second from the beginning and it was hard! But by the time he was about 4 months, it was a lot easier. We had figured out what worked and what didn't. I also use sposies when going out and sometimes when I can't deal with life and also b/c we have to pay to launder. AP isn't all or nothing, it's more like a work in progress.

Oh, and you might want to look up the Postpartum Depression forum here, sounds like you might have a touch of it.

Keep posting, let us know how you are doing...
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Old 02-13-2005, 08:51 PM
 
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Stick with the breastfeeding and stop giving bottles until your milk is established to the point you no longer have discomfort and mastitis. Make breastfeeding the priority. That's the best advice I can give in a practical sense. You have to start feeling better, but long stretches between feedings are not going to help the mastitis/engorgement.

Your baby might just be gassy for a while. My ds was and it wasn't anything in my milk or that I was eating, though I thought so from time to time. I realize now it wasn't; he was just gassy for a couple of months.

Keep the carseat near you so you don't have far to go. Soon you will be able to cosleep, cloth diaper, and anything else you want- including feel wonderful and bonded and in love with your baby. ( I know you love your baby; I mean the feelings you're talking about missing)

Don't feel bad about letting her cry for ten minutes. That's not such an eternity and you are under tremendous stress. As you say, you woke her and she ate, so she was ok. While MDC does not advocate crying it out, T Berry Brazelton talks about some babies needing to cry a bit to organize and control their environment in the early weeks.

You had major abdominal surgery. Cut yourself some slack. Focus on breastfeeding; everything else will follow and be better.

Misconceptions, by Naomi Wolf, is a great book about the transition to motherhood, which is not easy for many, many women.

You are doing a great job!!!
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Old 02-14-2005, 12:23 AM
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You will be eventually well attatched to your baby. The best thing you can do for the both of you right now is to take care of yourself. You want to puke because you are exhausted. There is only so much you can do.

There will be time for cloth diapers. You will be diapering for a long time. Right now you don't need to worry about that. When you are settled you can CD.

There will be time to sling. Don't worry. Better to wait until you are healed first. My 7 month old is 23 pounds and I can't carry him anymore. I'm also seeing a Chiropractor 3 times a week and I'm sure baby wearing didn't help. You are physically not anywhere near 100%, maybe not even 50%. Wait til at least 75%. You will bond this way and it will be beautiful.

Your baby needs to eat. How she get's the food is truly irrelivant. She just needs the food. I FF. There are few worse feelings in the world than holding your screaming baby for 24 hours and then realilzing after all that time the reason was because he was hungry and I was unable to provide that for him. I got him a bottle and never looked back. He was happy and I was happy. The weight of the world had been lifted. The whole house was a happier place. Bottle feeding is a truly beautiful thing if you allow it to be.

We co-slept for 6 months and Lukas never lied flat in bed. I think he was the only baby in mom's group that didn't have the bald spot on the back of his head. He curled up with me half the night, then on his other side with his dad and then again with me. Never on his back, or if, not often.

I know it will all be ok for you. Re-think your priorities. Try to make #1 getting yourself well. Having to play with your diet so much may not help you to heal. If your baby is good on formula you may want to stay there. That is probably about the worst thing I could say when your heart is set on it and it's such a big part of attatchment parenting but I've come to think of AP as a state of mind. My son barely lets me rock him to sleep these days but I spent a lot of days with him up against by bare check just holding him, feeding him his bottle and holding him while he slept. I got to really enjoy my son then. If I'd spent more time mourning my lack of breastmilk or his hatred towards my breasts etc... I would have missed that.

Congratulations on the birth of your baby. God has truly blessed you. Enjoy the blessing.
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Old 02-14-2005, 12:45 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darwinphish
As for the BFing, I just wonder: isn't this supposed to be a bonding experience for her - where mommy gazes at her lovingly while she eats, not feverishly staring into the middle distance and biting my lip trying to stand the pain?

I had yeast for six months so every single meal for my baby was started with me in heinous pain. Toe-curling, tears coming to eyes, holding your breath pain.

Lansinoh helps (doesn't help yeast, but helps the pain of latching on), especially when I put it on my son's lips before bringing him to my breast. That worked way better than me putting it on my nipples (which hurt in and of itself).

6 weeks is a major growth spurt time that not everyone talks about...she's probably just trying to get you to make more! But not because you're failing, but because that's what almost all breastfed babies do at around that age. I don't remember anyone but my breastfeeding friends talking about that growth spurt, so just in case you don't know, that's what might be going on!

As for sleeping, have you tried putting her on her side? We used simple sleep positioners from Babies R Us, the Especially For Baby brand. It came with a little pillow, but we never used that. There is a "waterproof" mat and two mesh-covered foam wedges with velcro...position baby in there, put the wedges on each side of her (below her arm pits), and you've got a positioned baby!

We did that for a couple months, once I was able to nurse DS while lying on my side, and he was (and is) so comfortable on his side! He never much liked being on his back in bed when he was new, so that was a great way to sleep for him. I highly recommend it.

Even now he goes to sleep on his side most of the time, then moves around to however he wants to be (he'll sleep on his back happily now, as long as he chooses that position).

We were also perfectly comfortable with him on his belly, which saved our sanity many times. That was especially in the early days when I was napping with him anyway, and could hear him breathing.

As for diapers...once we got a system down I've never wanted to use disposables so I don't understand that desire, but if they are making you crazy...
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Old 02-14-2005, 12:56 AM
 
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Hi, Liz! I remember you from the SL forum.

I just wanted to give you a

Breastfeeding was so darn hard for me at first. It took a good, long 8 weeks before it was fine, but so worth it in the end. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done, but again, so worth it. It wasn't always the magic for me that some describe, but it DID make life easy in the long run.

It will get easier (and then something else will be hard!) but it WILL get easier.

As far as the cloth-'sposies, one thing at a time, mama! Get the BF down first, and THEN worry about everything else.

I think you need to sleep, get help, talk to moms at LLL, and stop judging (easier said than done). THROW the mental book away of "should." Throw it far away and you will regain a little peace.

And come here and vent!

 2/02, 4/05, 2/07, 11/09, and EDD 12/25/11 wave.gif

 

 

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Old 02-14-2005, 03:45 AM
 
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Oh, Mama , I promise it gets easier!

My SIL was in your position a year ago (minus the NICU stay)...but the rocky breastfeeding start, a little PPD, cesarean recovery mess etc. She had a very rough time with early motherhood.

I remember sitting next to her (7 months pregnant myself and scared silly) and watching her have to breathe through nursing like she breathed through labor contractions. She and her baby got through it. Her guy is now 14 months old and still nursing like a champ!

Even those of us who haven't been through your rough start went through a period of panic, exhaustion and discouragement at about 6 weeks. It seems to be the low point for many people. It starts to look up after that!

You are doing the best you can. Concentrate on healing yourself and loving that baby...everything else is secondary. You have lots of time.

::::: Married for ten years to my good man :. Mama to my sweet and funny boy and my lovely little girl

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Old 02-14-2005, 04:44 AM
 
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It sounds like an extremely tough and harrowing 6 weeks you've been through!!! That totally sucks and I can so understand your upset and dissapointment. You are not a failure - you are doing brilliantly with all those massive complications!

I just wanna say, focus on the breastfeeding - sling wearing, cosleeping and cloth nappies can all come later. Breastfeeding is the time sensitive issue, focus on that challenge.

I started wearing my baby in a sling at 4 weeks because of the c-section, and only for very short peirods. We didn't cosleep fulltime because I had to breastfeed sitting up to latch her right and so if I didn't fall asleep sitting up I'd eventually lie her back in the bassinet because after sitting half the night, and being in physical recovery mode, I needed to just lie down and not worry where she was and get adjusted to cosleeping. But now she is almost two and we cosleep 100% and had at least 18 months of baby wearing and are of course, still breastfeeding. Her needs have been met to the best of my ability since day 1 and how that happens has been changing, due to both what she needs and my ability! Holding your baby doing nothing meets their needs as much as wearing them and doing stuff.

I hope you overcome the breastfeeding stuff soon and you heal well. I totally understand you are frustrated and upset by what you've been unable to do, but it is in no way a failure on your part - you have already persevered through some really tough stuff, the fact you have had to prioritise is not within your control. You can still value those other things and get to doing them when the time allows. My hat is off to you!
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Old 02-14-2005, 02:07 PM
 
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You've gotten some great info and support here.

I will just add one thing: the anemia.

Are you and baby both anemic from blood loss still? What kind of iron suplements are you both on if any?

I have struggled with anemia as a teen, while pg, post-partum and recently from a med I was on that made my periods heavy. I finally found a kind of iron supplement that worked for me, ferrous fumurate. Ferrous sulfate made me wicked constipated. I also take it with 500 mg of Vit C to help it abosrb. C also helps constipation.

I also drink a liquid chlorophyll drink ftom Nature's Sunshine once or twice a day.

It can take 2-4 months to recover from anemia so no wonder you are tired.

Give yourself a chance to heal and just do what works. AP is not a laundry list of "shoulds." And you still have plenty of time anyway, to enjoy slinging, cltoh dipes and co-sleeping. Soem babies do not like to co-sleep. Or they don't for a while, and then they do. Do what works for you baby, yourself, for now and let it all unfold.

if you do have mastitis from undiagnosed over-active letdown, read these links:

http://www.kellymom.com/bf/concerns/mom/mastitis.html

http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/fast-letdown.html



Wishing you love, health and joy. :bf
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Old 02-14-2005, 02:41 PM
 
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I have nothing to add that previous posters haven't mentioned. Just wanted to wish you continued healing. Give yourself a break. Don't worry about cloth diapering until you are healed. The last thing you need right now is extra laundry. Don't worry about slinging yet. My ds didn't even like the sling until he was two months. Just focus on the basics and please ask for help from the people around you.

It will get better. Please keep us posted.
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Old 02-14-2005, 04:20 PM
 
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peace and hugs to you, mamma. I'm so glad you found these boards.

I agree with everything the previous posters have said -- especially: give yourself a break and take it easy; and find a LLL meeting -- these meetings have saved my sanity, and not just about breastfeeding, but about my expectations for myself as a mom and as an AP parent.

About co-sleeping -- it will make breastfeeding easier if you can do it -- ds doesn't like to sleep on his back either (a bit of reflux in the first 2 months, and now a cold) -- he sleeps curled on dh's chest for the first 4 hours of the night, then eats, then curls around my tummy on his side for the next 4. It guarantees that both dh and I get at least four good hours of sleep, too. There is nothing more beautiful than waking up and seeing dh and ds sleeping like that. I feel more bonded to ds sometimes at night than during the day, when his needs seem sometimes overwhelming.

don't feel guilty about 10 minutes of crying in the car seat. I made a deal with myself that I get a shower every morning. I put ds in his cosleeper and go for it. Usually, he's just fine, amusing himself -- sometimes, though, he is crying when I get out -- but its a priority for me, and it helps me feel better. He knows I'll come for him immediately, so I accept that he needs to cry a bit.

Best wishes to you!
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Old 02-14-2005, 04:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm so overwhelmingly grateful for all of your responses! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Today has been somewhat better, and I've made appointments with my doctor today, and a lactation consultant for Tuesday. My goal with breastfeeding is to make it to 3 months; if I'm still miserable then I can decide whether or not to go on. Putting a cap on how long I have to endure this is making it more manageable - and I'm of course hoping that when 3 months comes we'll be going strong and I won't want to stop.

Everyone's right that I need to take things one step at a time. While I'm generally not a worryer, when I get stressed I tend to worry about a million things at once rather than tackling one problem at a time. I'm going to let the CDing go for now, and the co-sleeping (she IS happy in her carseat, in fact she's dosing in it next to me right now), and the sling-wearing... it can all wait. For the next month and a half we'll just focus on BFing and getting rested.

Unfortunately there's no way I can afford a post partum doula... I lost my job late in my pregnancy and our current income barely covers our expenses. DH is working so hard to try and give me the rest I need; however he works full time AND is in a crunch time at work (he does tax prep and it's the height of the season) so he's really working himself to the bone and I'm afraid of how little rest he's getting himself. My best friend has been absolutely wonderful - she took 3 weeks of 1/2 time at work and spent every afternoon here taking care of us. Now that she's had to go back it has been very difficult - but she still comes over most every night!

I live near a lot of family, but there are not many folks that can help out the way my best friend has. My Mom is disabled and can't really do a ton of baby-care, but her and my Dad do come over with groceries and other things I need. They also are very busy taking care of my aging grandparents.

MIL is great with the baby (and a wonderful, caring person) but she FFed her kids and is embarrased and has to leave every time I have to BF (which of course is all the time). Sometimes when she's here I'll break down and give a bottle so that she'll stay! Another bad move... hopefully I can figure out pumping and start doing EBM while MIL babysits. That would give me a lot more support. I've tried to talk her into being OK around me while BFing but she's just too set in her ways and I don't want to turn it into a big issue.

DD is fully recovered from her anemia (she had a transfusion shortly after birth) but I'm still slightly anemic. It certainly could be contributing to my tiredness. I'm taking an iron pill but I'm not sure what it is - however it seems to be fine, no constipation or anything.

Thank you again for all of your support. I was really at the end of my rope yesterday and you guys have really helped to pull me back. I'm definitely going to stick around!
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Old 02-14-2005, 05:12 PM
 
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so glad to hear things are looking better today!

i think your 3mo. goal for bf'ing is a good one. we had a rough time the first 5 weeks, and i've had mastitis twice since then...and when my dh said to me - if this is taking too much out of you we can ff - it just made a world of difference to know the pressure was off in a way - made it easier to keep working on bf'ing instead of resenting it.

can you bf in one room while your MIL makes meals, does laundry and washes dishes elsewhere? i understand if she doesn't want to watch, fine, but that shouldn't prevent you from bfing!

btw, my ds doesn't like the sling much yet either. we have been using the moby wrap, though, which lets me go for walks with him easily, or get some chores done. but you, my dear, should be resting and healing - you can become a slinging goddess later if you and the baby take to it!

Rosemary & Gary :
James 12/04 & Cecelia 4/07
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Old 02-14-2005, 05:22 PM
 
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I just read your message because I was randomly over on the babe boards....just wanted to add that some groups (here, it's a Jewish family and children group) have women who will come visit you at home and help out for free. I'd look around for local community groups, religious organizations, moms' groups, etc. These visits here, at least, are totally free -- a service to the community.

Best of luck to you!
megin

Mommy to an amazing 8 year old, wife to an inspiring principal, and welcoming Wylie Grace! Our July 4th babe!
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Old 02-14-2005, 05:56 PM
 
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I just wanted to post a quick reply. I can't remember where I heard this but... in these times we only see women bfing when their babes are 3 months and older and by then most women find it easy. I think many people struggle in the beginning; you just aren't there to see it. Don't beat yourself up; sounds like you are doing the best you can and that's good enough. Considering what you have been through you sound like Supermom to me. I agree with mollyeilis about the diaper system. I found my system and wouldn't dream of using disposables. Good luck!! Things will get better.
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Old 02-14-2005, 06:16 PM
 
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I think you idea of pumping and bottling feeding now and then (when MIL is around) is a good one. It will relieve your engorgement, your baby will get the benefits of bm, and it will give your nipples a rest when they're sore. Have you tried hand expressing? It works especially well just after a hot relaxing shower. If you have an over-active letdown and engorgement it will be easy for you, and much more comfortable than pumping.

http://www.lactationinstitute.org/MANUALEX.html

http://www.askdrsears.com/html/2/T024900.asp

This site has great videos of proper latch technique, etc.

http://www.breastfeeding.com/helpme/helpme_video.html

Good luck to you! Please keep us updated on your progress. Six weeks old is a difficult time - it WILL get easier!
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Old 02-14-2005, 06:46 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mamabear&babybear
in these times we only see women bfing when their babes are 3 months and older and by then most women find it easy. I think many people struggle in the beginning; you just aren't there to see it.
This is SO true! You're lucky enough if you see anyone BF, let alone BF a newborn! I remember looking at the LLL book on BF (I don't love that book) and staring at the ease with which the babies were nursing, and wondering why it couldn't be as easy for US. I found nursing a newborn incredibly hard . . . hard for me to hold (a sling did help with this when I got it at 2 months) and we were both learning. Sometimes I wondered how insane it was to try to actually try to teach a 3 DAY old baby something like nursing (DD had a bad latch).

I'm so glad you're feeling better, Liz! If I were you, though, I'd call the hospital . . .they usually have some sort of hotline for tough situations, and yours sounds like one of them. And really, if you can manage a LLL meeting, that would be great, too. I have found LLL meetings to be REALLY supportive. It's so nice to see a group of supportive faces. You will talk to moms who went through or are even going through the same thing.

 2/02, 4/05, 2/07, 11/09, and EDD 12/25/11 wave.gif

 

 

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Old 02-14-2005, 07:26 PM
 
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I am glad you are feeling better, too.

Be aware that breastfeeding has its mountains and plateaux. Three months is another growth spurt time- when many women give up because suddenly the baby is nursing every two hours again. If you don't have a lot of family support, it can be very hard to make it through these times, because it can be hard enough with adequate support. But after a few days things even out again. You usually only realize these things after the fact- once the baby is sleeping again you think, "oh, yeah, his clothes don't fit anymore! That's why he was nursing like crazy the last few days!"

I cloth diaper but I gave myself a break these last few weeks and used disposables. Now and then I enjoy the convenience and return to cloth diapering (which I do prefer) with renewed enthusiasm. But I can't imagine cloth diapering under your circumstances- you shouldn't be lifting heavy diaper pails into the washer, for one thing, just after surgery- so I will just reiterate my opinion that you should focus on:

1. enjoying your beautiful baby!

2. sleeping

3. breastfeeding.

I would focus on breastfeeding first and foremost because it really does make #s 1 and 2 easier, IMO. You will be ok.

Have you checked for thrush? That can make nursing extremely uncomfortable and lots of times people don't realize they have it because they don't have the textbook symptoms. Ask your ped or midwife or OB.
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Old 02-14-2005, 07:57 PM
 
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yes, hang in there! When I have days like that, my mom tells me to "tie a knot at the end of your rope, and just hang on!".

I have found with all 3 of my babies, that even with a growth spurt at 3 months, things were much better by that time. We could read each other better, we had settled into a routine, and I was feeling much stronger.

Breastfeeding does get easier, it just takes time. Don't give up, just keep going one day at a time.
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Old 02-14-2005, 08:55 PM
 
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So sorry to hear of your pain & frustrations!! It can be really hard getting through breastfeeding & all those other problems. Get a lot of rest and relax. Can someone give you belly massages for the fibroids? (You can, of course, but it would be nice to get it from someone else!) Can DH talk to his mom about the breastfeeding thing? It's clear you need the help - could she focus on cleaning the house, or cooking or something when you nurse?

You sound like a really devoted, wonderful mama! Your baby surely feels this.

2 things. 1) Have you tried cabbage leaves for the mastitis? They are incredible! In several hours of stuffing cabbage leaves in my bra, my mastitis was gone. 2) I am on my second upright sleeper (first baby had reflux and this one has horrid gas & also vomiting) and it is really easy to just fashion a sloping pillow so they can sleep in the bed with you. I have heard it's not very safe or comfy for babies to sleep a long time in car seats. I have one of those little baby chairs that rocks and it seems like a much more comfy angle.

Wishing you a lot of rest and care. Congratulations for sticking it out this far. It will ease up!
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Old 02-14-2005, 09:22 PM
 
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OK, have to thirty-second the suggestion to find a LLL meeting! And make your doc/midwife/etc. help you figure out where the problem is. There is a problem or it wouldn't hurt this much. I have three kids and had one that nursed easy, two who were much more challenging. I have had mastitis, thrush, etc. Thrush is the most pain I have ever been in in my life - but we also didn't exhibit the normal symptoms. But once it was treated, I thought I'd hit the lotto! Don't wait through this pain any longer! Maybe your baby has a poor latch and you are injured which makes it easier for thrush to take hold. Fix the latch, take something to end the thrush (I believe mine was a miracle one pill thing - could have kissed the pharmacist!) The pain was like someone stabbing you - I had three babies natural (one OP - don't do that...) and it was a cake walk compared to thrush. Wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. Once you fix whatever is hurting you so much, it will all begin to fall into place.

Don't feel guilty - you are doing the best you can! My dd2 had colic and I had PPD (I'm sure they were linked!) and I worried I'd never bond right. She'll be five this summer and it was nothing I should have spent any time worrying about! Even had dd3 - so you know once you are healed up and feeling good and things are going well, this will all be long behind you. Just hang on and call friends for help and try to convince your MIL to deal with her issues so she can help you more!
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Old 02-14-2005, 10:41 PM
 
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Hi from SL as well. Just wanted to say I think the 3 month goal is great, too. I think I've decided formula feeding might possibly be easier in the short term (especially when your ILs are most familiar with it) but breastfeeding is easier in the long run once you've got everything figured out. I only wish I could leave the house with just my breasts and not formula feeding accessories (I have to supplement-long story described elsewhere), but I wish I had never had to give formula and hope not to next time. I never thought I would make it to a year and I'm only 12 days away. I remember reading in "So That's What They're For" not to read about extended breastfeeding until you were there, and I was like "yeah, right, no way will I ever breastfeed more than a year" and now I'm not planning on weaning any time soon. Then again I get crunchier and crunchier as the days go by.

Also we didn't start cloth diapering until babe was 3 months...I couldn't get a grip on it before then because there was too much new stuff at once...breastfeeding, diapers, sleep deprivation, etc. Slinging didn't become comfortable until at least 3 months- I guess I'm just sling-challenged but it didn't seem easy until then. I agree that that breastfeeding is time-sensitive and all the other stuff can follow later.

One other idea-there's a yahoo group for pumping moms that might have some tips. From them I learned that I could put a soft cup inside the hospital pump to make the pumping less stressful on my nipples. I also learned that putting olive oil around the seal makes it less painful.

Congratulations for making it this far and best wishes for sleep and happy nursing!
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