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Thread: Ready to Give Up, plus a few questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
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    Default Ready to Give Up, plus a few questions

    *Sigh* Jane is my first baby and she was born 6 weeks ago (tomorrow), 18 days early. I've been breastfeeding her since the first hour she came out of me. During her first week of life we had to supplement with some formula as she was very jaundiced and our pediatrician wanted to avoid admitting her back into the hospital to go under the lights.

    Since then she has been EBF. Her output has always been good, typically exceeding the wet/soiled diaper output suggested in the books. She was back to her birthweight by her 2 week appointment.

    I should mention that I don't love breastfeeding. Sometimes it hurts, sometimes I get engorged and some days (like yesterday) all this child wants to do is nurse. I can't get anything done and it makes me even more sore. (But strangely, today my nipples feel fine) Anyway, I'm at best pretty ambivalent about breastfeeding and sometimes I downright hate it. I hate it on days like yesterday where the only thing that will keep her from screaming is being at the breast. I want to give up and give her formula as it would be so much easier. So far, I haven't done that. Although last night my DH thawed some frozen breastmilk and gave it to her in a bottle to give me a break. It was heaven. I also really don't like that I can't be away from her for more than an hour, max, because she may need to nurse. Not that I want to be away from her, but I would like to get a haircut or get a pedicure or just go to the grocery store. Anyway, enough rambling.

    Questions:
    1) Starting a couple of days ago, her stools got darker and had some black specks in them. Same number of stools per day and same consistency, just a different color. Other than being a fussy little girl yesterday, her personality/attitude hasn't changed and she doesn't appear feverish or anything like that. I also haven't changed my diet since I started BF'ing. Does this seem like a problem?
    2) Occasionally when she is nursing, she will spit up and it will come out her nose (that alone doesn't really concern me) and then she will start choking. The choking freaks me out. I've started trying to feed her more inclined sometimes. This spitting up/choking started last Friday and happened twice that day where she choked pretty bad and once yesterday to a lesser degree. She always clears her throat/nasal passages herself once I get her upright. Should I be concerned?
    3) I'm still setting an alarm for every 3-4 hours at night to feed her. Sometimes she wakes me up before the alarm, sometimes she's still sleeping when the alarm goes off. When can I just relax and wait for her to get hungry and wake me up?

    That's about it. If anyone managed to get through all of this I really, really appreciate it. I'm just finding BF'ing to be very constraining. I adore my daughter and want to do what's best for her, but I'm having a tough time with this.

    Thanks!
    Heather

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    6,564

    Default Re: Ready to Give Up, plus a few questions

    It's quite an adjustment at first isn't it!

    A couple thoughts...

    There's a growth spurt at 6 weeks. Expect another one around 3 months. Those days all they want to do is nurse. And then it's over. I'm guessing that's what happened yesterday.

    It sounds like she takes the bottle ok. If you want to leave for more than an hour, pump before you go and leave about an ounce per hour that you think you will be gone. If you're going to be gone longer than 3 hours you may need to pump while you're gone.

    Be careful with giving bottles while you're at home - you need to pump at the same time.

    I'm not sure about the black specks... could be blood from your milk where you were healing.

    Stop waking her up Let her wake you up. She's back to birth weight and 6 weeks old.

    Hang in there. I spent the first two months on the couch with my first daughter. And then little by little it got better. Do you have any friends around you that are nursing their children??
    Tracie

    Mommy to
    Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
    Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Northern Cal.
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    4,984

    Default Re: Ready to Give Up, plus a few questions

    Hang in there! This is the hardest part of breastfeeding. In the beginning, it can be very hard, and very intense, but in a month or two, you will see that it is SO MUCH EASIER than bottle feeding. The effort you put in now - there is a payoff. It will not be this constraining forever. Your baby will not always be feeding every two hours, and cluster feeding all evening. It gets easier.

    I hope someone will come weigh in on #2, which sounds like reflux to me. To some extent it's normal, and when it's not, it's treatable, but I'm not an expert.

    Personally, I wouldn't worry about the change in stools. There is wide variety of "normal" for breastfed baby poos. MOST colors are normal. Unless your baby seems unhappy, it's usually nothing to worry about.

    If her weight gain and output are normal now, I think you can your baby sleep for as long as she wants. I know for me, I would get engorged if my baby slept too long, so I often woke him to feed for MY comfort. Just know that will settle down too. Either way, I would not set an alarm - let your baby or your boobs wake you up!

    I totally relate to your post, because I didn't really "enjoy" breastfeeding until many months into it. I didn't really feel like I was bonding too much with my baby through the breastfeeding (don't get me wrong, I was bonded with him, but I just didn't love BF'ing). I had every possible issue, and it was really kind of a struggle. One thing that kept me going was realizing that really, weaning is not a piece of cake either! There was no easy way out, except through. Also, I was just dead-determined to succeed at this, I could not admit defeat! I was stubborn as nails. So I stuck it out, and IT GOT SO MUCH EASIER. And then I learned to love it. And here I am, still nursing my kid two years later!

    I think the idea that breastfeeding is supposed to be this wonderful blissful bonding experience does a bit of a disservice to women. Breastfeeding can be wonderful, but it's often hard at first. Expecting it to be perfect sets us up for disappointment. I think it's more helpful to see it as an accomplishment - something you decide you want to do and then work towards. You feel so good when you've acheived it, and you know you've done right by your baby. Even now, I don't always enjoy breastfeeding - breastfeeding a two year old has its own challenges, as you can imagine! But it has wonderful times too. Anyway, ambivalence is totally normal - I think I can safely say that no one breastfeeds without feeling some ambivalence at some point. Like many good things in life, it's not always easy.

    It sounds like you are doing wonderfully. For now, just try to get through each day, and each week, and don't worry about the long term.


    You can call me JoMo!

    Mom to baby boy Joe, born 5/4/09 and breastfed for more than two and a half years, and baby girl Maggie, born 7/9/12.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    Maine
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    Default Re: Ready to Give Up, plus a few questions

    I agree with both previous posters. Keep it up, it gets easier and it gets easier pretty quickly. The first two months are really tough, you're just getting to know each other and trying to develop a routine. (That baby dictates, of course!)

    Is it possible that you could have over active let down? I'm not an expert about the differences in symptoms between that and a baby with reflux, but the choking could point to that....

    here's a good link to info about OALD

    http://www.kellymom.com/bf/supply/fast-letdown.html

    and reflux:

    http://www.kellymom.com/babyconcerns/reflux.html

    hang in there Mama. Six weeks is an exhausting time. I didn't love breastfeeding either until my baby was a little older. And now I can imagine not nursing him, and I'm so glad I stuck out those hard times to experience the very special bond we have now. I know that FF babies and their Mamas have close bonds too, but there is something very special in knowing you and your body provided everything necessary to make them thrive. It's an awesome feeling, even if it doesn't feel awesome yet. It will in time.

    Good for you for coming here to talk about your feelings toward nursing. Hopefully we'll be able to give you the support you need to keep at it. Good luck.
    Julia and Maxwell (and Dan and Haddie)
    Maxwell, born January 3, 2010
    A year on Mama's milk and still loving it

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    Default Re: Ready to Give Up, plus a few questions

    Yup, definitely stop waking her up at night and let her wake you when she's hungry.

    The other posters pretty much said everything, but I wanted to add that this time passes so fast. It feels like hell while you're going through it, but one day you'll look back and wonder where that tiny baby went. It really does get easier and in the meantime if you try to relax and just take it as it comes, accepting the down sides and knowing they'll pass, it really does make it easier to take. In the short term it might seem like bottle feeding is easier, but in the long run I promise you, as a mom who's done it both ways, breastfeeding is a million times easier and more fulfilling.
    “We are not put on earth for ourselves, but are placed here for each other. If you are there always for others, then in time of need, someone will be there for you.”
    --Anonymous

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Default Re: Ready to Give Up, plus a few questions

    x10000 with the PPs. I know from bitter experience that breastfeeding, like all aspects of motherhood, can be so much harder than we ever dream. (Ask me about my 4.5 months of cracked nipples! Go on, I dare you!) But it can also be so much more rewarding, if you're just willing to hang in there long enough. It's okay not to love it! Especially at 6 weeks. A 6 week-old infant is not that much fun to nurse. All they do is cry and poop and squirm and thrash and wake you up all night long. They don't give much back. But one of these days- probably pretty soon!- your baby will look at you with love in her eyes and smile at you, and you'll probably feel a lot better about what you're doing.

    A couple things jumped out at me:
    1. Your baby is 6 weeks old. There's a big growth spurt around 6 weeks, when all a baby wants to do is nurse.
    2. The engorgement- are you just nursing or are you also pumping? Some of the things you describe- the engorgement, the specks in the poop, the choking, the spitting up- could all be normal or could be symptoms of problematic oversupply, and we can probably help you correct that!
    3. Not being able to get out of the house or get away from the baby- are you able to nurse in public yet? If not, would you like some tips? Getting out with baby is better than not getting out at all!
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
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    Default Re: Ready to Give Up, plus a few questions

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*mommal View Post
    It's okay not to love it! Especially at 6 weeks. A 6 week-old infant is not that much fun to nurse.
    A 6 week-old infant isn't fun period. They eat and cry and poop and cry and pee and cry and then eat again. Sometimes all at once. It totally gets better, and you will look back at this time and wonder what was all the fuss about. Then you'll get pregnant again and the cycle will continue
    Little SW, Aug '09
    Miss MW, Jan '11
    Sir RW, Oct '12
    3 kids in 38 mos

  8. #8
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    Maine
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    Default Re: Ready to Give Up, plus a few questions

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*jeno View Post
    A 6 week-old infant isn't fun period. They eat and cry and poop and cry and pee and cry and then eat again. Sometimes all at once. It totally gets better, and you will look back at this time and wonder what was all the fuss about. Then you'll get pregnant again and the cycle will continue

    so true.
    Julia and Maxwell (and Dan and Haddie)
    Maxwell, born January 3, 2010
    A year on Mama's milk and still loving it

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Ready to Give Up, plus a few questions

    While I agree it's okay not to love it, I can't relate because I did love. it. Sure it was super hard in the beginning, but it just got easier and easier.

    Your daughter deserves the very best, don't give up because it cramps your style - no one said mothering was easy, but you will adjust.

    I joined this forum when my DD was 6 weeks, also ready to give up. So thankful I came here and found good information and support and more than that, so are my daughters who both self-weaned when they were ready.

    Hang in there, you and your body were made to do this.
    Mother - Wife - Artist - Cook - Writer - EnvironMENTAList - Cloth Diaperer (but we are soooo done with diapers) - Organic Health Nut...I'm sure there's more.

    DD1 - 12/15/05 Breastfed for 16.5 months
    DD2 - 8/6/07 Breastfed for 3 whole years and 3 little, extra days.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Ready to Give Up, plus a few questions

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*nolamomma View Post
    Your daughter deserves the very best, don't give up because it cramps your style - no one said mothering was easy, but you will adjust.


    Hang in there, you and your body were made to do this.
    agreed x a million.
    Julia and Maxwell (and Dan and Haddie)
    Maxwell, born January 3, 2010
    A year on Mama's milk and still loving it

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