Re: On the verge of giving up
djs.mom is right. When Lilah was 2 or 3 weeks old I was sitting in her room crying as I nursed her - she had been nursing for an hour and a half on one side and then continued nursing on the other side. I was so sure I was doing something wrong. And we were using a nipple shield for inverted nipples as well. A friend of mine whose second child is 2 months older than Lilah called and I told her what was happening. And she said - it's normal. This is how babies are. The books are wrong. And it was such a relief to hear that.
I know pumping and the SNS and all that are stressful. The SNS is a seriously weird contraption and we had to use that for a while to get Lilah to latch on. I was thankful that she only ever got my pumped milk through it. The nipple shield is what saved us. I was able to get her off of that sometime around 4 weeks and seemed to boil down to my confidence in it.
When she was around 7 weeks old she started SCREAMING at me every time she ate. She would scream at me and eat and scream at me some more and this went on for several days until I figured out I had a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance that was giving her crazy gas, hurting her tummy and causing her to have frothy green poop every 30 minutes or so. It took several more days to get that to even out.
I had to go back to work when she was 4 months old too. I understand you wanting to enjoy the time you have with your baby and not look back on this time as a stressful period of time. I'm guessing this is your first baby. I don't know anyone who made the leap from non-parent to mother without stress at the beginning. Not even the ones that just formula feed from the get-go. I don't work the kind of hours you're talking about, I even changed jobs at my company so I would never have to travel because being with my babies is the choice I'm making right now. I understand that not everyone has that option. But the one thing that made it even possible for me to leave that sweet baby behind was knowing that I was leaving a piece of me behind with her. She may not be with me all day, but she was going to grow and thrive due to ME.
I don't pretend to be in your shoes mama. You're in a tough spot. But folks around here have made it through that and it's wonderful on the other side.
I really think breastfeeding turned me from a woman who took a baby home from the hospital into a mother. I'm not saying that women who don't nurse their babies are not mothers... I'm just saying that for ME, it has given me the confidence to be the parent that I want to be. I got through the tough part and the rest was beautiful.
Lilah 10/08 nursed 25 months
Beatrix 01/11 nursed 30 months