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Friday, February 26, 2010

Bittersweet Valentine

I know this post is a little late, but I needed to catch everyone up on the events around here.

Valentine Day weekend happened to be President's Day weekend this year. Which meant, my Valentine Day present was for hubby to come home for four days. He flew in Friday morning, direct from St. Louis, and then would leave Monday afternoon.

Little did we know that we would have another surprise for the weekend:


LMA and I went to the airport to pick up daddy and I decided to park so we could get out and walk around after the 45 minute drive. While I was trying to figure out where everyone would be coming down to baggage claim area, Daddy was trying to find us. When we finally found each other, a strange hooded person was walking up behind him. Just as we got within five feet of each other, Gramma popped off her hood and almost scared LMA. Me too, actually. We had talked about her flying in for the weekend, but I hadn't heard anything definite. LMA was so cute. On the way to the airport, he was enjoying some truck fruit snacks and saved one just for Daddy. Held onto it the entire time we were trying to find him and popped it in his mouth and soon as daddy picked him up.

That morning, BBZ wasn't interested in nursing. I tried not the think anything of it because I was in a panic to get ready and make it to the airport in time. He hasn't been a big morning eater for a while and I figured he could sense my nerves that morning. Like always, I just handed Pop-pop a bottle and went about my way. When we got home from the airport, Pop-pop was already in the middle of finishing up a bottle with BBZ, so I just pumped to make sure we were on the same schedule for the rest of the day. All day long, I kept trying to nurse BBZ and he wanted nothing to do with me. And like a concerned mom and thinking he's not getting enough to eat (he obviously proved that one wrong at his 4 month check up), I just gave in and handed him the bottle like he wanted. By the end of the day, after pumping every 3 hours, it appeared as though my supply was diminished big time. I lost it.

I cried so hard, I couldn't even talk. When hubby finally asked me what was wrong, I was crying so hard, he must have thought I was dying.

At the time, all these emotions were running through me. Would I begin to resent BBZ for not wanting to nurse? I had worked so hard to be able to nurse, was it really time to give up? After all the heartache and struggle over the past 4 months to nurse, why was I willing to keep going and not call it quits? Where did I go wrong?

That night was really rough. I had thought that my supply was gone, so I didn't nurse overnight. I cried every time I looked at BBZ feeding from a bottle. In the morning, my body told me otherwise so I tried to nurse and sure enough, he took. Talk about a roller coaster. Hubby looked at me like I have a third arm coming out of my head just trying to figure out why the previous nights event had taken place.

For the rest of the weekend, it was hit and miss with BBZ nursing. It seemed as though I needed to catch him at the right moment to be able to nurse and then sometimes he would just get distracted by something that he would call it quits. I resorted to pumping every 4-5 hours and slowly weaning my body. I still wasn't happy with the decision, but I didn't need one more stress in my life. Nursing had already been stressful enough for me with a 3 year old running around at the same time.

Today, I'm down to pumping only 3 times per day, which adds up to about 15 ounces. Over the course of the past 2 weeks, it has seemed as though BBZ has gotten more milk from me in one day than he has the entire time I was trying to nurse. And every once in awhile I'll get him to feed from me. Other times he'll turn toward me like he wants to nurse and I feel a twinge inside every time he does.

I gave it my best shot. I told myself that I wanted to make it until he was 4 months old and I did. By the time I'm completely weaned it will be close to his 5 month birthday. I should be proud of myself, but sometimes I feel like a failure. I'm sure there are things that I could have done differently, like not offer him a bottle at all. I tell you what though. If I had known that this was how it would have turned out, that I would have had 2 yeast infections, struggled with nursing on a daily basis, and only nurse for 4 months ... I would still do it all over again. Hopefully, I'll find peace with it soon enough.


Lori said...

How fun that you had your husband home and Grandma visiting! I bet you all had a great weekend.

I'm sorry your still struggling with breastfeeding. Breastfeeding him for 5 months is huge though!! I'm sure you're aware of these websites but if not and you may want to check them out for more advice (if you don't feel ready to stop yet). Kellymom.com has messages boards where you can post your problems and get advice. Babycenter.com also has a breastfeeding support group/message board that gives great advice.

Given that, when you do decide that enough is enough, don't end it on a bad note. Don't quit the day he decides to be a stinker about it. You decide. Mentally prepare yourself. Let the last time you nurse him be special.

Jude said...

Ditto to Lori's comments! You did a great job...Z is more interested in his environment. You are a perfectionist and this was a good example. I was not blessed with the ability to nurse - 5 months is a good amount of time. I am very proud of you - you are an amazing Mommy!!