Thursday, February 5, 2009

my kid doesn't suck

um, literally.

So I know I've shared before that I've been having some problems with breastfeeding. And after numerous visits with a lactation consultant, endless nursing/pumping sessions, and a drug whose main side effect was to make me want to lay in bed and cry all day, I'm finding that I just do not make enough milk to sustain my child. David is a lazy eater, and the catch-22 of nursing is that if your kid doesn't eat enough, you stop producing enough. It's been a downward spiral the past few weeks. 


totally intense charts I've had to keep: time and length of feeding, quality of feeding, diaper contents, amount of supplement, amount of expressed milk. I feel like I've been working on a crappy science fair project.

I keep second guessing myself and wondering, maybe if I didn't let him have that one bottle in the hospital when I hadn't slept in a day and a half, maybe if I would have seen a different lactation consultant, things might be different. But I'm coming around to see the realities of feeding my child will be: nursing if I can, pumping if I can, and making up the difference with formula.

It's been incredibly heart wrenching and I will admit I spent a large portion of the past week crying, but I feel ten times better today. I know this is the beginning of many hurdles of parenthood that basically teach the same lesson: you have to do what is best for your family with the resources you have, in a way that will maintain your sanity. I don't want to spend all of David's infant months weeping over ounces of milk; I want to spend them loving and enjoying him. I've made my peace and am moving forward. 


9 comments:

Kristin said...

this feels a bit odd saying to someone I've never met and don't know very well, but I wish I could be there to hug you, I really do. you are so brave and strong!

willikat said...

Oh, hugs! Dude, it's totally OK. You are a rockin' mom already!!!!

pammie said...

You have the exact right attitude about breastfeeding. Whatever David is able to get will be a benefit to him, and if he gets formula, that will be too.

Also, this may sound silly, but I want you to know that THIS IS NOT YOUR FAULT. You are doing everything you can to produce as much milk as you can. Sometimes there's no explanation...our bodies just let us down.

You are a GREAT mom and David is so, so blessed to have you.

em said...

I can't imagine how hard it is to WANT to breastfeed and not have it work out. You are right that it is NOTHING you did!! And you are such a wonderful mother for wanting and trying so hard, and that is what matters most! Give your little man a hug for me...he's a lucky little guy.

Harriet M. Welsch said...

Good for you! Nursing is hard (and also wonderful), but it shouldn't be making you crazy -- the hormones will take care of that all by themselves. I didn't have trouble with production, but the whole pumping process made me feel awful -- painful, miserable, humiliating kind of awful. At some point, I just gave myself permission to stop. The baby is now a very smart and happy 7-year-old. I can't imagine that he could be any more amazing than he is. I'm pretty sure it didn't make an iota of difference to have given him formula once in a while. Good luck!

kimberly said...

Good for you, Katie. You are doing what is right for you and David. That's all that really matters.

katie said...

seriously, you guys are the greatest! your kind words mean so much to me.

Tina said...

Hey Katie! I just found your blog after I saw your facebook posting. I wish I would have seen this earlier. IT is not your fault you can't produce enough for your baby. I also had some problems in the beginning. Since Adam was in the NICU and I ended up with a c-section, they were giving him formula. I tried breastfeeding at first, but I just couldn't quite handle it with a baby hooked up to monitors. When we got home, my husband made me pump and pump and pump more to get my milk going. I still pump one extra session a day. We were lucky to get him off of formula after a week, but I know sometimes it just doesn't work out. Now, Adam is a healthy 5 1/2 month old and is still exclusively on breastmilk. (I'm hoping to go at least a year). Just keep pumping and you may be surprised as to what happens. If he has formula, that is just fine too! As you have said, it's best to do what is best for your baby! You just want him to be healthy! Let me know if you ever have questions!

willikat said...

PS, I was a formula baby and I turned out OK. Perfectly smart and all. :)