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Thread: Give up on nursing? (7wks of EP, never latched, emotionally drained)

  1. #11
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    23

    Default Re: Give up on nursing? (7wks of EP, never latched, emotionally drained)

    I EP for 14 months (4 times a day) until I completely dried up for my first child. I lugged the cooler box to work daily. I stopped when I only got 0.5 oz for every session and it's no longer worth the effort and yes, it's hard work. I didn't know anything about hand compression (guess that's why I dried up).

    My older child never latched on but I believed that if I persisted, she would have but I didn't, out of my ignorance as a first time mom with no support. Also, the LC I saw told me that it's too late already so I listened to her.

    Now with my 2nd child, it happened again and I thought I would have to go through the whole EP process again until one day after 6 weeks of bottle feeding, he suddenly latched on on his own. It's like magic!

    He still gets his bottle when I am at work but he will nurse when I return home. You can do it. Even if not, don't be too hard on yourself.

    I exclusive pumped for my older child and mixed feed her with formula when I was down on breastmilk.

    We gave some formula too to my son now when the milk in the fridge runs out and I am not home with fresh milk. Some formula is better than starving the baby right?

    I also try to get more out now with nursing and pumping after to completely drain myself. I pump 5 times a day (3 times at home and 2 times at work). If there is any extra, older sister gets 2 oz mixed with her powder milk at night. I drink like mad (and of course, runs to the toilet like mad too). I take oatmeal, barley water, sweet potato and lots of soup. I nurse him whenever he's awake just to practise. Sometimes, he doesn't get enough at the breast and still needs topping up from the bottle. That's ok. I know that I have done all I can.

    What I am trying to say is - We try our very best to give the best that we can to our baby. Just do what you can and don't stress yourself out. Miracles happen when you least expect it

  2. #12

    Default Re: Give up on nursing? (7wks of EP, never latched, emotionally drained)

    Thank you, thank you, everyone for your supportive replies.

    I am going to keep trying to get as much skin to skin time as possible. My challenge with skin to skin and trying for the "laid back latch" is that DD does the scooting to the breast thing and then I can't figure out whether to try to help her get onto the breast or not. When I try to help she freaks out, but when I don't try to help she gets frustrated too and then just keeps scooting around until she's about to fall off of me. What to do??

    I tried the nipple shield early on and she'd grab onto it but milk didn't really come out and it caused me nipple trauma because the largest one they have is too small in diameter for my nipples. I might try it again now that I have more milk flowing and she is bigger and stronger. Maybe the nipple trauma was not caused solely by the nipple shield. Can't hurt to try again and I've never bothered to try it where you squirt a little expressed milk into it to give baby instant reward. I'd be thrilled at this point to be able to nurse her even with the nipple shield (my how perspective can shift...I remember early on I was mortified about the prospect of feeding her that way!).

    I tried the SNS at the breast once and it was a disaster, but I was unassisted and probably flustered before I even started. I was pinning way too much hope on the SNS when I tried it and I'm sure baby felt the pressure. If I try SNS again I think it will need to be in the presence of a calming LC! That said, the idea of expressed milk supplementation via finger feeding using SNS or any other non-bottle method is just way too overwhelming for me. Maybe it's the key to success but I do know my limits and I think it would be crazy-making for me to try.

    My husband is at his wits end seeing me so upset about this and probably would like for us to just switch to formula. He keeps saying "our baby is happy and healthy, why are you beating yourself up, she's not going to remember any of this, we never breastfed and we turned out fine and love our parents"...and it totally makes sense but for some reason I can't get my heart to accept it. I think I'm going to see a therapist to help me talk through this emotional grief, because it really does too frequently overshadow the things that are so beautiful and wonderful about my baby girl. I feel like I am my own worst enemy at this point but am in what feels like an unbreakable anxiety and grief cycle.

    All of that said, I'm going to keep doing a skin to skin time at least once a day, maybe cosleep more, consider a rebirthing in the tub if I can get my DH's head around it, and try in the moment to stop worrying about whether she is going to latch or not. And this morning when my husband said let's set 2 months as the time where if I'm still feeling so badly we forget about BF, I said no let's make it 3 months and felt pretty strongly about it (and he was fine with that). So now I have a timeline that I feel I can stick with and who knows maybe by 3 months I'll still be EP but won't mind as much or maybe she'll pop on the breast or maybe none of the above, but no matter what she'll probably still be little miss happy healthy and adorable so I need to just try to keep that in mind.

    Thank you again for the support and encouragement. It's wonderful to hear stories from other moms who have BTDT and to hear how they have resolved (or are still trying to) their BF situations.

    Hugs right back at you all!

    - FTM to Catherine, born 5/26/2011

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Give up on nursing? (7wks of EP, never latched, emotionally drained)

    I am going through the same you are, except I have twins and very low milk supply. I have been pumping 10-12 times per day for just over 12 weeks. I have gotten one of my boys to latch to one of my breasts for what I call "breastsnacking." The other nipple is just way too big for either one of them to latch to. I do the same thing some of the other people have suggested, which is to make short-term goals. I already give my boys formula because I don't make enough milk, but at least I know that I am doing everything I possibly can for them. I really think that your husband is right, we did survive without being breastfed, but it's really difficult to know how beneficial breastfeeding is and knowing that you can't do what's best for your baby. Believe me, I still cry about not being able to breastfeed. Don't think you are alone in feeling the way you do. I have been feeling better than I was and I hope you get there too. I wish you the best!

    Annie

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Give up on nursing? (7wks of EP, never latched, emotionally drained)

    What has kept me going and has, in the end, helped with some of the grief is that I KNOW breastmilk is the best for my baby. He is not going to get formula as my bodycan produce adequate milk. If I couldn't, that's another issue. But it can and so...I pump. And that has helped ease my heart a bit, knowing he is getting second best -- his mom's milk -- and not fourth best, as is the case if I was to stop pumping and didn't have a freezer stash.

    No, that didn't come overnight, and it doesn't stop me from thinking about quitting, but I can't give my child less than that.

    I know it's hard work, and honestly, what your DH is saying about formula being OK isn't right...why give your child that if you don't have to? In the end, knowing you helped give your child as much nourishment as you could just might heal your heart.

    I've talked to some moms of cleft babies who are now grown, and every one of them has said they wished they could have pumped for their baby -- pumping 20-30 years ago wasn't like it is today -- and have said how much they envy me. We may envy the nursing mom, but I guarantee there are moms who had to FF who envy the EPer.

    So go day by day and just keep going. It goes faster than you might think!
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Brussels, Belgium
    Posts
    1,302

    Default Re: Give up on nursing? (7wks of EP, never latched, emotionally drained)

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*aprilsmagic View Post
    I know it's hard work, and honestly, what your DH is saying about formula being OK isn't right...why give your child that if you don't have to? In the end, knowing you helped give your child as much nourishment as you could just might heal your heart.

    I've talked to some moms of cleft babies who are now grown, and every one of them has said they wished they could have pumped for their baby -- pumping 20-30 years ago wasn't like it is today -- and have said how much they envy me. We may envy the nursing mom, but I guarantee there are moms who had to FF who envy the EPer.

    So go day by day and just keep going. It goes faster than you might think!
    sage advice, it does go quicker than you think. Take it one feeding at a time if necessary.

    It's funny to think of oneself as being the envy of others when you're going through a rough period. But it's true. I am the only mother I know IRL who is still bfing with a toddler this age, and the fact that I'm 36wks pg makes those who find out simply astonished. I don't have the same problems as you, but I have had to face 'bfing irritation' which can be very strong and elicit powerful, negative, even angry feelings while pg and bfing. Apparently it's a hormonal thing among mammalian mothers to protect their unborn offspring from the stresses that nursing can add to pg. I wanted to wean countless times. Even with my NB and just learning to bf I wanted to wean every few hours. But I just got stubborn and refused to give in. It helped to keep absolutely no formula in the house during the NB days. During pg we night weaned and I placed strict nursing limitsto manage irritation. Thankfully, as the second tri passed so too did the irritation. Probably that was the switch when my body began making colostrum and not mature milk anymore, I dunno, but I'm sure glad the strong emotions went away!

    It sounds like your DH is having a hard time seeing you upset, which is sweet of him, but his words aren't the support you need. If he can't verbalize those words for you, how about asking him for a nice backrub or foot rub or just listening sympathetically while you complain? Thank him lavishly afterward. Ask for his support to keep you in line and thoughtfully but gracefully support you in giving exclusive bm, even when you're getting testy. Remind him that you're heady with hormones and need his even keel to keep you afloat. Then you give him a 'game plan' on how to lovingly support you, which is his ultimate goal.

    I would also enlist him to take baby for 5-30 minutes when you need a break, ask him to change nappies, give the bath, and do some babywearing to calm him/her so you can turn off the pressure valve building in your head. Remind yourself that these short activities won't damage your supply if you put off pumping for such a short time. If they help you regain your focus and Zen they are very worthwhile.

    I did stuff *I liked* while pumping hands-free, so that included pumping while putting on my makeup just right, very slowly preparing one of my favourite dishes, or reading my favourite stuff. Distraction + doing a fun activity = it worked

    You might not be able to change everything all at once, but you can make minor adjustments which can make it more livable. Pretty soon you'll probably find you're quite glad you stuck it out. I know I did, and as the PP just said, she has too.
    Katharine
    Be the change you want to see in the world--Mahatma Gandhi
    mid-August DD (2010) & DS (2011 VBAC)
    Ouch! Is it thrush or Raynaud's phenomenon?

  6. #16
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    40

    Default Re: Give up on nursing? (7wks of EP, never latched, emotionally drained)

    I am a little late to the thread but just wanted to offer you my support. While our issues are somewhat different, I too am EP'ing at the moment for my 12 week old little girl. In my case it is because of a combination of problems including an initial shallow latch, undiagnosed tongue tie that wasn't clipped until 5 weeks, and thrush, that led to me having severely damaged nipples that were simply too painful for me to nurse. As a result, I am currently EP'ing until I heal and praying that she comes back to the breast when I am healed. EP'ing is hard and I give you lots of credit for doing it. I too mourn the loss of having a breastfeeding relationship with my daughter and I know that will become even stronger if I can't get her back on the breast in a couple weeks.
    It sounds like your hubby is feeling a lot like mine did. While he never suggested we do formula per se, he made plenty of comments about me having to accept that it might never work. I know that he wasn't trying to quit breastfeeding because I know that he supports me in that, but that he hated to see me clench up in pain every time she latched on and hated seeing the craters that developed in my nipples. Our men love us and hate seeing us in pain and/or frustrated and not be able to do anything about it. He knew I was hurting and wanted to help but unfortunately there was nothing he could do but try and support me the best he could.
    You are a strong mama and are doing what is best for your child. I hope and pray for both of our sakes that our LO's will latch back to the breast and that we both may enjoy a long breastfeeding relationship

    Kristen

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