Thursday, April 1, 2010
Baby Blues & Breastfeeding Problems - My First Week As A Mother
I have spent so much of the past week crying. Some of it was in labor, not from the pain, but just because I was overwhelmed, felt very unsupported by my husband, and like everyone was just waiting on me to give up or thinking I was being unrealistic for not having went ahead and planned a c-section (I laid there and cried for about half an hour when we decided that's what we were going to have to do but, in a way, getting those feelings out ahead of time made me feel better about it). No, it's just random. I am so worried about doing things "right" and afraid I'm letting my baby down. It literally breaks my heart to hear him cry, and I feel so helpless when I don't know why he's crying and can't do anything to fix it or make him stop, so I usually just end up holding him and crying along with him.
In the hospital, my husband and midwife were adamant about getting him to me as early as possible to breastfeed, and he did great. He latched right on and started nursing and, although he had trouble on one side a few times, there were no issues, and the nurses all said he was doing great. He was also not fussy at all and hardly ever cried. The first day home he did pretty good, but he started crying that evening and was hard to comfort or calm down. My husband and I got into an argument, and I was having trouble relaxing to nurse. I really needed his help, and he was going to leave instead. My sister called in the middle of all this, and her and my mom came over so I wouldn't be alone. They brought stuff for sandwiches and were trying to be helpful, but just ended up telling me how impossible it was for them to breastfeed, how the baby sounded hungry, and I should just give him a bottle of formula. This went on most of the next day (Sunday), too, and just had me worried, upset, doubting myself, and having major troubles nursing.
Sunday night, I decided to block out all the negativity, relax, and take him into the bedroom to feed him, so we had peace and quiet instead of distractions and stress from people, television, etc. He settled down and ate much better there. On Monday morning, I had a visit at the pediatrician's office with a nurse practitioner who is supposed to specialize in breastfeeding issues. Not surprisingly, considering the troubles over the weekend, baby had lost too much weight (down to 8lb12oz from 10lb3). I asked for suggestions or advice on breastfeeding to increase my milk supply, but he just gave me some formula samples and told me to supplement with a bottle after each feeding. I asked about a tube or sns to avoid nipple confusion, but he sort of blew off my concerns and said weight was his only concern and a bottle would be fine.
I felt so guilty giving him formula, but I didn't know what else to do, and he seemed so satisfied afterward, even though it made me even more worried about my milk. I didn't think to call anyone else, because I figured it would just confirm I couldn't breastfeed him, and I didn't want to hear that from anybody else. The good thing is he was back up to 9lb2oz at the weight check 2 days later, but the whole thing has my so upset and worried and doubting myself every time I feed him or he cries and doesn't stop after a minute or so.
I went to my midwife appointment on Tuesday, and just started crying when she asked how the baby was doing. I told her he was losing weight and I was worried about him, and not really getting any help from the pediatrician's office. She asked why I didn't call her, and told me she was there for any help I needed with the baby, not just the birth. She also said she'd thought about calling to check on me and wished she had, but hadn't wanted to wake me up. We (me, my midwife, her assistant, and a nurse), ended up just standing in the office for a while crying while they consoled me and told me I could breastfeed successfully and was not starving my baby (everyone knew how important a natural birth was to me and how much I wanted to avoid a c-section, and know this is one of the last things I had left that I really wanted for my baby and I). She made me feel a lot better about things, suggested some things to try and ways to slowly wean him off the supplements and back onto the breast exclusively, and set up an appointment with a lactation consultant for me next Tuesday.
Right now, I'm still worried, and trying to go without the formula, but gave him an ounce twice during late night & early morning feedings, just so I could get a little rest. I feel bad about that, because I thought I could get him back off it fast, but it's the only way for me to get any rest, and I don't know how to cope otherwise. I tried to pump some milk, to use that instead of formula, but the pump I have (one of the cheap Evenflo hand pumps) isn't working worth a damn - I can get more milk expressing by hand. I've had a headache since 2am, that even the Percocet is not helping, that I am assuming is from exhaustion. He still isn't having the regular bowel movements I keep hearing about (it's been one a day, none today yet, and very thin, almost like pee, instead of "seedy" or "yogurty"), so I'm worried about that as well. I'm hoping to make it until Tuesday, and maybe get some answers and help then.
I don't want people to get the wrong impression from this post. I am so in love with this little baby, and he is worth whatever it takes to get him healthy and raise him best, I am just so overwhelmed right now, and I don't know what to do. I love him so much, it's heartbreaking to thing that he's hurting or not doing well, and not knowing what to do or if there is even a problem, to "fix". A lot of times, it's just pure joy to hold him and watch him sleep or see the expressions he makes as he looks around at the world, but I have spent so much of the time too worried and exhausted to enjoy it all. I know now that a lot of other mothers go through the same type of thing, but I really underestimated it until I found myself in the middle of it. My mom went home early Wednesday morning, and my husband is back to work all day, and not very supportive of me to begin with, so I feel like it's me and baby against the world right now in so many ways.
Some links on this blog may be affiliate links, for which a receive a percentage of the purchase price. See disclosure policy here.
Post Topics & Labels
mental health blog dare 2012 life pregnancy clutter fitness parenthood robbie activism childbirth education doctors feminism toddler antics family fat flylady sponsored choices goals health hospital midwife motherhood work birth birth plan breastfeeding husband stuff that sucks wtf do I even put this under? discrimination frustration ignorance menu plan nesting politics about cleaning cooking crafts critters fml goodbye dreams images of women/children inspiration marriage pinterest running television trying new things unsolicited advice whuck wordless wednesday writing assault biking birth story books culture dogs freelance freelancing fulfilling more redneck stereotypes garden guest post healthcare injuries messes money organization pets rape really? recipes roller derby scare tactics school support swimming ups vaccines wierd baby products worldess wednesday