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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is a question about guilt, I guess. My first baby was only breastfed for a month because we had every problem in the book and I just couldn't go on. If I'd known then what I know now, I probably would have been able to salvage it, but at that time I had given it a *ton* of painful effort and come the end of my resources. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/mecry.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="crying"> I was terribly disappointed and vowed to make breastfeeding work with my second. It was a rocky start with him too, but DS is now nursing happily at 15 months old, and my goal is to let him wean himself when he is ready.<br><br>
When dd (now 3) asked me if she used to nurse, I answered "yes" truthfully. But lately she has asked more pointed questions such as "When I was his age, I nursed to sleep, right?" I refuse to lie to her, so I again answered truthfully that by the time she was her brother's age, she drank from a bottle while Mommy rocked her and held her. She seemed happy with that answer, but today she started asking why ds still likes to nurse. I stick to the facts (he likes the taste and it makes him feel close to Mommy) and reiterate how she used to snuggle close with Mommy often just like she still does sometimes. But inside I feel very sad that she was deprived of this wonderful experience. I don't want to project my sadness onto her. I don't have any evidence that *she* feels short changed. I just worry that she will someday because, let's face it, she *was*! I think it would have been easier if I had only bf ds for 6 months or a year, because then bfing would be a "baby thing" and she's not a baby. But as he gets to be more like her -- walking, talking -- I wonder what she will think.<br><br>
This sounds silly as I try to write it. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> I guess I'm just wondering if anyone else can relate, and if so, how did you handle it. (Both explaining to your older child and within yourself.) Thanks for listening if you got this far!
 

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I only nursed my oldest for about 7-8 months. he was also give supplemental formula as I just did not know any better. I was a young, single mom. My 2nd nursed til he was 3 and the others are all still nursing. I just tell my oldest that I didn't know as much then as I do now. It is the honest truth. Of course, he is a lot older than your dd but I would just continue what you have been doing.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hug.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hug">
 

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not me personally--but a friend of mine had a c-section and formula fed her first baby. She went on and had VBAC's and is extended nursing her 4th child (her 3rd to extended nurse). Out of my LLL group (of about 10)--there are 2 women who are EBF their 2nd children--so you're not alone!!!
 

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My ds was breastfed for only three months. I was young and did not have access to all the info that could have helped me overcome my decreased milk supply(I only hand expressed once at work) that came around the time of his 3 month growth spurt. I was depressed over it for a long time(talking years here). If I could go back and fix one mistake in my life, that would be the one. I was detemined to make it work the next time. While dd did nurse until she weaned at 15 months(pg, and milk turned into colostrum) I wish I could have nursed her until she was two. I knew when ds was a baby that breastmliik was better, but I was one of those people who thought that formula was close. Knowing what I know now, I actually feel worse that I ended up ff'ing ds. He has issues that I cannot help but wonder if formula contributed to them. I will never know.<br><br>
Ginger
 

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Let me rephrase part of that, I only hand expressed once A DAY at work. If I had known that nipple stimulation was important for let down, I would have done that too. Or found a better pump than the stupid little manual one I got from WIC<br><br>
Ginger
 

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Yes, yes, yes. Been there, done that, bought the t shirt (Motherwear of course <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">) It can be emotionally painful, yes. I know what you are going through. I understand about the guilt, wishing I could go back and change things, feeling like it's not fair.<br><br>
One time my older child expressed sadness at not being nursed for long. I empathized, and said I understand how you feel, my mom didn't nurse me for very long, and sometimes I feel sad about that. (Well, I do!)<br><br>
I would suggest staying with your feelings, allowing yourself to have them whatever you are, maybe journaling about them. HOWEVER you feel is ok.
 

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okay, I asked my friend who is now pg with #4 about this. she's only nursed her third child and this is what she had to say:<br><br>
They both asked lots of questions about it. Mostly dd1, since dd2 was less than 3 when I stopped nursing.<br><br>
I explained the truth to dd1- I had never SEEN or heard of anyone who nursed before she was born. Of course I knew what breastfeeding was, but when I asked my Mom about it ever in my life I got "Its a gross thing hippies did and I never did that to any of my children" This from a woman who had six kids. After helping raise 5 babies, bottles were second nature to me, I don't know that I ever questioned it until after seeing a friend nurse her dd a few times. I explained to dd1 that I did what I knew at the time to take the best possible care of her at the time, but Mommies are like kids and you learn and get smarter as you get older. I learned that nursing was smarter... But that I held her everytime I fed her, I looked into her eyes everytime she had a bottle, she had just as much attention.<br><br>
I didn't with dd2 because doctors and nurses told me the BEST thing for her was formula because nursing took her out from under the bilirubin lights for too long and too often. (I know, duh? Again, I've gotten smarter...) And I wanted to do what was best for every one of my babies. (dd1 is now of the opinion that doctors should be smarter than mommies, but I digress...)<br><br>
Mostly kids just want you to tell them flat out that you love them just as much as the nursing kid. So I did. dd1 is also 8 and asked alot more "But why?" questions, but a 3 year old just wants to know that they are just as special and somewhere in there got just as much attention and love. Have her show the 3 year old pictures of 'just her and mommy and Daddy pictures' (dd1 Loves those) or maybe even let her sit down with her baby book while Moms nursing. dd2 goes through hers once a month and NEVER tires of seeing the video from the day she was born.<br><br>
I'm sure this is probably more than you wanted to know, but I hope it helps. tell her I feel her pain, it does make you feel guilty, but damn, what about being a Mommy doesn't? ;-)<br><br>
so I hope that helps you. she's a great mom with 3 wonderful kids.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> Thanks everyone! It helps to hear from others who have had similar experiences. Most of the time I manage to be O.K. with what happened, but once in a while it really makes me sad. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> At least dd was a super-healthy baby and (still is!) a great kid, in spite of missing out on all that magical Mommy's milk. (She still got plenty of close contact and cuddling.) It easily could have been otherwise, and then I would have *really* felt terrible. Thanks again for the support; it was just what I needed. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Wow! Your story sounds so much like mine!! Even our names are similar!! Yep, I do feel guilty and wish I knew then what I know now, but i can't change the past and I have a great relationship with each child.<br><br>
If we as mothers do our best and follow our hearts, our children will know that. try not to beat yourself up about it, and I'll try not to beat myself up either.<br><br>
After all I've been through with breastfeeding problems and overcoming them the second time around, I'm planning on gettting my lactation consultant certification so I can help moms make breastfeeding a successful, rewarding experience.<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hippie.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hippie">
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Mary! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> We do sound similar! I've been thinking of becoming a breastfeeding peer counselor for the same reason. I am totally pro-breastfeeding, but my experience also gives me special compassion for those who have problems with it. I'm sure you must feel much the same way. Good luck with the LC certification! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I have basically the same (sad) story. I "tried" to bf my dd9, but had no social support, bad advice, poor latch, etc. etc. so I was supplementing by 2 weeks and ff by 4 weeks. I bf my ds7 for 13 months until I got bronchitis (supplemented ff by 7 months) and thought ebf was weird. I am now ebf my dd2.5, although I am trying to cut down to once a day and would be happy to wean by now.<br><br>
My dd9 knows her story, but laughs about how she never liked milk (didn't like formula much either) and STILL hates milk! Her first food was sugar water<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes">: (swallowed muconium apparently<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/confused.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Confused">: ) and that is STILL her favorite (loves sugary drinks and juices, although we limit it).<br><br>
I felt awful when I weaned her, esp. since I always thought my brothers and I were all bf. Turns out I rejected bf at 10 days when my mom had to go back to the hospital for hemmoraging (she pumped, but I guess I got used to the bottle) and my brothers were only bf for 6mo (teeth) and 3 mo (trip to Europe). Neither of my brothers is smarter, healthier, or closer to mom that me <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> so I guess it wasn't such a big deal in our case.<br><br>
I still feel guilty sometimes, but first children are for practice<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love"> and I did my best under the circumstances. And I more than made up for it if you consider the incredible number of books I used to read to #1 whereas #2 and #3 are lucky to get a book a week.<br><br>
Anyway I feel good that my dd9 and ds7 get to see ebf whereas dd2.5 might not even remember it!
 

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Well I am another mommy that FF my first 2 and now am EBF. Littlebit is 3.6 years olad and we are still going strong. There are days that I feel really bad that I didn't nurse the other 2. BUt I can't turn by the time. I was 15 when I had my DD and I didn't even think about BF her. I am not real sure why I didn't think about it unless it was because I had never known anyone to BF. THen when I had DS #1 I wanted to BF so bad. I had to have kidney surgery while pregnant and was told I could not BF until he was 8 weeks old because I had to have another surgery as soon as he was born. I was told that the chances of him taking the breast after he had a bottle for 8 weeks were very slim. I was so hurt. I wish I would have never listened to anyone and had went ahead and nursed him. I have had the same surgery 4 times since I have had Littlebit and we have nursed through them everytime. I never even had to give him a bottle. I was just so determined to make it work this time no matter what. I am so glad it has worked. It seems unreal that we have been nursing 3.6 years.
 

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i fit here, too. i had br at age 19. tried to bf my first 2 dds, but w/o any knowledge or support, & had a very low supply when i pumped, which i was told was a good indicator of my supply. phooey!! i am still nursing #3 at 9.5 mos, & though she eats solids now, we ebf for months.<br><br>
if anyone is interested, there's a book by diana west called _defining your own success: breastfeeding after breast reduction surgery_ that's FULL of SO MUCH good info. there are also email lists on yahoogroups for bfars (moms bf after br). it's due to what i learned from those sourxes that we are where we are today.
 

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Not me, but my mom did. I was FF'ed in the hospital and became nipple confused, so she never managed to breastfeed me at all. ( <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/Cuss.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="cuss"> doctors! My parents were dirt poor and couldn't actually afford formula, so my mom would go without food to pay for the crap!)<br><br>
My sister, who is 8 years younger than I, was breastfed for 16 months and refused to take a bottle ever. I don't ever remember talking to my mom about it, and my only concrete memories of Lisa eating before she started solids was the time my mom had me try to give her a bottle.
 

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motherofpearls - Hi I recognize you from the BFAR list!<br><br>
yes I formula fed my first son, I didn't nurse him at all. I am currently nursing my dd age 10.5 months. I plan to let her self-wean. I feel tremendous guilt for not nursing him but I didn't know I could (had breast reduction). I know it was lack of education but I still feel guilty. I showed him the hospital he was born at when we were driving by and he said "yes and I nurses there." I felt so bad! I don't have any idea what to say to him. Any ideas? I just said to him "Mommy cuddled you and held you alot." Even though he was formula fed he was held everytime he had a bottle, still is. He still takes a bottle before nap and bed, we're letting him self wean. He has never had a bottle unless he is being held. So that helps I think.
 
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