failure at breastfeeding

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-28-2005
failure at breastfeeding
15
Sat, 05-08-2010 - 2:05pm

it's over, just about. i just can't do it.

my milk came in overnight on good friday, the day we got home from the hospital. it didn't come out until the following tuesday, and i had very little resources available to me for help with it, by virtue of it being a holiday weekend and the only lactation consultant in the UP was on vacation. tad's bilirubin levels got very high (plus my poor baby was literally starving), so i had to give him formula. since i didn't have any other delivery method available, he got it in a bottle. (he wouldn't latch on to my breasts anyway, they were so hard and engorged. talk about painful.)

anyway, ever since then, breastfeeding has been an uphill battle. i did see the LC about a week after i got the milk flowing to help me with tad's latch, but it was still difficult because the house is torn apart and i'm was the only one here to do chores (now i'm the only one here period, my stepdad went home almost a week ago). but tad was still getting breastmilk exclusively. i'd give him a bottle, then when he was done eating i'd put him down and pump for the next feeding. never managed to build up a freezer stock, but there were no supply issues.

now tad has hit the fussy stage, and according to all the definitions of "colic" that i'm finding, he has colic too. i CAN'T put him down after feeding him. sometimes i can't even put him down after he falls asleep. i can't hold him in the moby for more than an hour because my back kills me, and i can't pump while he's in the moby anyway. so the number of times i've been able to pump a day has dropped to 2 or 3 from the previous number of 7-9. and my milk is already drying up, so quickly. it's been about 4 days of this, and the engorgement in between pumps has almost disappeared, even on a 2-pump day.

i don't have the time or energy to devote to working my supply back up, or to getting tad back on the breast. he fights me every step of the way now. if he's awake, he's fussing, and when i try to put him to the breast he arches his back and pushes away and howls. it just doesn't work, and i'm at the end of my rope. i have to give it up. it can't be good for tad to have a basket case for a mom.

i'm not sure why i'm posting this. maybe just for reassurance that i'm doing the right thing, because every bit of advice on how to make it work that people have given me has either not worked or been beyond my capabilities at this point. now advice just makes me feel worse about not being able to do it. i can't do this right now, i know i can't, but unfortunately if i don't do it now i won't be able to do it ever. so i just can't do it. and i feel so so awful about it. something so natural and i can't do it. this is what women are built for! and i can't do it.








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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-24-2007
Tue, 05-11-2010 - 3:36pm

As you can see by the many responses saying almost the same thing, there are so many of us that were in your shoes, Carly.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-24-2005
Mon, 05-10-2010 - 2:54pm
((Hugs Carly!)) Try not to feel bad. Lots of us have been there. When Fede was in the hospital I had to pump, and I remember how time consuming it was, and how it didn't seem to work well enough. Besides, after all the stress of his illness, my supply decreased, and it took me almost a month of regular feedings AND supplements to build it up.
I know why you feel bad, after all, those breasts are right there, and it seems so ridiculous to need another source of milk when you should be able to produce it, right?.... But it's not exactly true, as you have seen from the pp answers, lots of moms can't, for several reasons. Heck, my father was BF from a wet nurse, because grandma was very ill with a post partum infection (this was when antibioticts were not so common). My mom was formula fed, because my other grandma developed a serious breast infection and they had to operate. So you see, loving moms unable to BF have always existed.
And to finish. You have been trough so much honey! Give yourself a break... As you said, Tad needs a sane mom. I think if he could answer, your baby would pick a bottle and your smiles and caresses instead of a breast and your exhaustion.
Oh, and hang in there with the colic... It's awful, but he will get better in a few weeks. Ask the Dr if there is anything you can give Tad to make him feel better. In my case, paracetamol drops did the trick.
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Avatar for Cmmelissa
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Mon, 05-10-2010 - 2:41pm

Big (((HUGS))) Carly, I want to ditto what everyone else has posted and tell you that you are doing the right thing!

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-26-2008
Mon, 05-10-2010 - 1:45pm

Everyone has already said it and I don't have any experience yet, but I know that you aren't a failure. You are doing the very best you can for him and that's all that matters. You need to stay sane for him and if switching to formula will make you feel better to get some rest then that's what you have to do.

(((HUGS))) I so wish I was closer to you so I could come over and hold him so you could get some rest. Thinking of you!









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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-29-2006
Mon, 05-10-2010 - 12:05pm

I just wanted to echo everything people have been saying here. I think Megan summed it up best - you are a superhero to me!


What Tad needs more than anything is you. In my books anything you can do to keep up your strength is extremely important for both of you. It's amazing what you are doing on your own and you are the best Mommy Tad could have. You are a success!


(((HUGS)))


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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-15-2004
Sun, 05-09-2010 - 11:06am

Carly, do not feel like a failure. I know it is hard my milk never came in and Simon only got what little i made for 3 weeks. He was losing so much weight we hard to start formula the first week cause no matter what we did or tried my breasts just wouldn't make enough to feed Simon.


Simon is doing just fine on formula and I know lots of healthy happy babies who were ff. I know its not ideal but you have to roll with it sometimes. You are the best mommy for tad. I know its hard but try not to beat yourself up.


 Cassie 

     

Avatar for berry81
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-27-2008
Sat, 05-08-2010 - 11:40pm
Oh Carly, you are not - in any way - a failure! You are doing everything you can and you are doing a wonderful job! Your sanity as Tad's mama is most important right now. Please try not to beat yourself up, sweetie. (((HUGS))) to you and that sweet baby :)

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March WTTG Siggy

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-08-2007
Sat, 05-08-2010 - 11:16pm

Carly, it sounds like you are doing your absolute best to BF and also to pump--but in the end, if it's not going to work, it's not going to work, and that's not because you "failed"--IMO, you succeeded against great odds for a good while now, and I really applaud you for giving this gift to Tad.

If you really want to give Tad breast milk, you can also get human milk from a milk bank--but of course there is also formula. Whatever works for Tad is what is best for him, and it sounds like, for a variety of reasons, BFing/pumping isn't working anymore. He needs YOU right now more than he needs your milk and you are doing the absolute best you can. You are a wonderful success as a mother. (((HUGS)))

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-19-2009
Sat, 05-08-2010 - 9:12pm
I also failed to breastfeed. It was heartbreaking. We had many issues, and I saw an LC about 2-3 times a week. Jensen lost 9% of his body weight the week after we was born and has had a hard time catching up, although now he is where he should be. I have PCOS and also had something called D-MER, which causes bad feelings while breast feeding, like depression that only hits while breast feeding. I also have abnormally small nipples, and Jensen was tongue tied, so breast feeding was VERY painful to me and we had to use a nipple shield, which I hated. I had no supply, and after a month of being in and out of the hospital for my gall bladder I stopped producing on my own. The breaking point was Jensen had stopped pooping because he didn't have enough in his system to produce anything. It even took 3 bottles before he had a bowel movement after that so I knew we were finished. That night I went in the hospital and they told me no breast feeding for 2 days because of the drugs from surgery. I didn't so much as leak while there and when I got out I couldn't even express any milk my supply had been so low. I was never able to pump more then 1 oz at a time and Jensen eats 4 per sitting. It was heart breaking and I hate formula, but in the end you do what is best for you and what is best for your family. Formula is NOT rat poison, it is the SECOND best option, down a list of several options. It is safe and nutritional, and while his poop is going to smell, and you may have to try a few different formulas before you find one that works best with your baby (took us 4 different kinds to settle on Similac sensitive that doesn't make him spit up or constipated) it's not the end of the world. You will have a healthy and happy baby and there are formulas designed specifically to help with colic and acid reflux. I also found that bottle feeding is such a better bonding experience then breast feeding ever was. Due to the D-MER I hated breast feeding and it was miserable for me. But during bottle feedings I can snuggle him and kiss him, and look into his eyes! It's the best, and if I could give him breast milk in a bottle everything would be perfect. You are a good mom and you have been more heartbreak then most people see in their whole lives. You deserve and need to do what is best for you and your family, and what it takes to survive parenthood.






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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-15-2003
Sat, 05-08-2010 - 6:13pm
I had a lot of issues BFing McKenna and we only made it about 5 weeks and went to formula and it was SO much easier for me. I was a much happier/less stressed out Mama after that so it really worked well for us. It's hard not to feel a little guilt about it, but honestly, I think having a more relaxed/happier Mom outweighed the benefits of the BFing at that point and it sounds like that is the point you are at too. I had a much easier time with Delainey and we made it to 6 months then combo fed until 8 months when I quit BFing completely. I'll probably do something similar this time around. I definitely don't think I'll make it BFing much longer than that. It is hard work. You just have to do what works for the two of you and you are not a failure! I feel like the first few weeks are the most important when it comes to the BFing anyway and he's already gotten that.

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