I need to vent 

Writing this for me, and I may not post it on the blog. But maybe getting it out in writing will help.
Feeling so, so discouraged on the nursing front. Lately she either flat refuses to latch, and screams if I try, or latches then pops off and screams. There’s definitely milk getting to her immediately if she latches (because of using a tube to supplement), so it’s not that. Occasionally she does nurse normally, so clearly she’s capable and at least somewhat aware that it’s a valid source of milk. She just keeps screaming when I try. No clue why. I feel like it’s my fault because it was at least going okay, and then I went about a week without any nursing because of Thanksgiving and then my mom was staying with me and it was just easier than her giving me the baby every time she seemed hungry. Apparently that week screwed everything up. I have an appointment with a lactation consultant tomorrow, and I always come away from them feeling optimistic, so maybe this time tomorrow I’ll feel better. But right now it seems so hopeless that we’ll ever nurse even ever again, much less with any kind of success long term.
I just resent it right now. This is my rainbow baby. I’ve already lost so much, missed out on so many things. I never got to carry a baby past 33 weeks. Never got to be so huge that strangers commented on it. Never got to have someone ask when I was due and say, “today.” Never got to have occasional maybe contractions and get excited, and finally it’s the real thing and call Christopher and excitedly tell him I think it’s time. I didn’t get to maybe go out while in early labor (to do some walking or get a last good meal before going to the hospital), and enjoy having this secret that I was in labor and no one knew it. My labor was fast and scary and mildly traumatizing, instead of empowering (though I give leave to doubt that it ever would have been, labor sucks!). Instead of the “golden hour” with my newborn on my chest skin to skin, trying out nursing for the first time, I got 3 minutes before she was taken to the NICU and didn’t even get to hold her until the next day. I spent 15 days living in a hospital, with a baby that I still didn’t get to hold as much as I wanted, pumping every 2-4 hours around the clock because she couldn’t nurse even if she wanted to, which she usually didn’t. And even now that she’s growing spectacularly (can a baby grow too fast?), healthy as can be, she won’t nurse. I’ve never gotten to comfort her when she was upset by offering the breast, even after her tongue and lip ties were clipped, or her shots, when we’re both upset and it would make us both feel so much better. I’ve never been able to nurse in public, something I was really looking forward to because I wanted so badly to be a part of normalizing breastfeeding in our society. It’s unlikely I’ll be able to do extended nursing, something that I was really happy to get to do someday. I have to always remember to keep enough milk with us when we go out, and have to take the pump with me or choose between being in serious discomfort after a few hours or never being away from the house for long. I still have to get up in the night to pump, because if I go the full time we sleep (usually 10 hours with a few wake ups for a bottle- I have high sleep needs and so far so does she) my output will be down for the day and my boobs HURT in the morning. 
I just, I know that everyone has a glorified idea of what parenthood will be like. You never really expect it to be as hard as it really is, no matter what anyone tells you. Except I LOVE being a mom. My baby sleeps well, but even when she didn’t I wasn’t miserable. I wish I could keep the house cleaner, but my mom comes by frequently-ish so I can get some stuff done. I miss baking whenever I want (my preferred creative outlet), but I’ve been able to do enough, sometimes at the expense of the house cleaning I’m supposed to do when my mom is here. Basically this whole mom thing really isn’t any harder than I expected. Except nursing. It was supposed to be hard at first, and then once we got the hang of it after a month or two we were supposed to go on to have a long and happy nursing relationship. But no. We’ve had 5 crappy months with some good days thrown in, and I have no idea how much longer she’ll be willing to keep trying. But the only thing more depressing than how it’s going now is the thought of giving up. 
There are no do-overs. We’re only having one baby. This baby IS my do over. And my pregnancy lasted all of one day longer than the last. Much happier outcome, but so much for the chance to be hugely pregnant and all the things I listed on that front. But I thought at least breastfeeding could still work. Lots of preemies do fine with it, after they get a little bigger and stronger. But apparently not. I’m so grateful that my baby is pretty much perfect, but really? I couldn’t just have this one? Give me back crappy sleep. I’ll get to sleep again someday. I’ll never get to nurse again.
Anyway, this is really whiny, and I hope people understand that this is a vent about how I feel right now. I know to someone dealing with infertility or loss or an unhealthy baby, these are the healthy baby equivalent of first world problems. But right this minute? This sucks.


One thought on “I need to vent 

  1. I’m so sorry to see you are struggling. I am also surprised at how hard somethings have been. I commend you for still trying to stick through breastfeeding. Do what is right for your and your baby. No one else can tell you what that is. If it’s sticking with breastfeeding, then that’s it. If it’s something else, then that’s okay too.

    Breastfeeding started out awesome for me. She seemed to latch fine and my milk came in within 48 hours… crazy soon. Before I even got home, the cracks had started. And our little one has been a terrible sleeper from day 1. Even the nurse the first night mentioned how bad it was. And it has gotten slowly better over time, but for about 5 weeks, she wouldn’t sleep unless she was being held.

    I had no idea about that kind of sleep deprivation. And the cracks got worse. I would cry every time I had to nurse on that side. After 2 weeks of a particularly bad crack on one side and no sleep worth mentioning because I was breastfeeding and I was woken up at least every 3 hours but normally every 2 when she was hungry, I cried for hours realizing that this just wasn’t working.

    Baby girl was super gassy, I just wanted coffee to help with the exhaustion but didn’t want to put that into her system. In hindsight, there were a lot of other options rather than going straight to formula, but I felt so defeated and ready for anything to get easier.

    It turns out the formula has worked great. We had to get her on hypoallergenic which is expensive, but her severe gassy issues immediately improved. And I, personally, have not regretted my decision. I might do things differently if we have another child, but for this kiddo, and her terrible sleeping, I needed a win. And this was it.

    She still doesn’t sleep well, but it’s getting better. At night – in a rock ‘n play – we can generally get her to do one 5 hour stretch followed by another 2 or 3 hours. Of course, she’s 14 weeks and I thought she’d be doing 6-8 hour stretches. During the day, it’s just been this week that I’ve started having success getting her down in the crib for an hour or so. Otherwise she’s on me, and sometimes I can get one good nap from her in the swing.

    It’s SO much harder than I thought. And it’s been hard for longer than I thought it would be. But then she smiles.

    If you ever want to get together and talk, I’d love it. Or get these two little girls together for a play date. Just let me know!

    If not, good luck, sweet mama.

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