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Thread: Update--almost to a year!

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    138

    Default Update--almost to a year!

    Hello,

    I had a thread on here a little while ago talking about some problems i was having with nursing. I'd mentioned things like wanting to vomit when I nursed, feelings of disgust, etc. I've been working with a therapist and she's been immensely helpful.

    There were some things that I think I omitted from my posts about this earlier. Not intentionally, but because the whole thing was so overwhelming that it was hard for me to even articulate what was going on. There was also feelings of anger. I would yell things and not really be conscious of it. Pulling her off and sobbing until I became hoarse. Having this feeling of revulsion if I saw my breast. Sometimes I feel like I'm shoving a penis into her mouth. After several appointments with a therapist, she thinks that what I'm describing are panic attacks. It might be that they're flashbacks to childhood sexual abuse that I may have buried. I've always had this sense that something happened to me, but I don't know for sure what.

    She gave me relaxation exercises to work on, affirmations that I can repeat when this starts to happen. She did suggest that I look at weaning her, and I honestly did try to give her formula, but she wouldn't take it. So, we're continuing on. for the most part, I've gotten a lot better at stopping the...episodes...for lack of a better term. It helps if I'm more awake and able to distract myself.

    We're only about two weeks out from making it to a year, and she's having her second of two surgeries the week after her birthday. I definitely don't want to wean her or quit nursing before the surgery, as I don't want to significantly change her diet right before that happens. I guess my plan is to wait and see how it goes until then and then look to transition her away from nursing. I know that a lot of people would recommend I keep nursing in my situation, but I really don't enjoy having to fight off so much negativity so often when I go to breastfeed. It's a pretty crappy way to spend your nursing sessions.

    So, there you go. Not sure what I'm wanting. I guess just to process.
    Last edited by @llli*tallmadre; March 28th, 2013 at 08:41 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Montreal, Canada
    Posts
    124

    Default Re: Update--almost to a year!

    Big hugs to you. Big, big hugs. The biggest.

    I think you're amazing for persisting when so much was going wrong. But I'm glad you did and so thankful that this might be the start of healing from something very dark and ugly.

    Congrats on nearly one year and sending strength to you and DD for her surgery.
    Mama to Viv since 4/08/12 -- my all natural post-breast cancer miracle baby

    with just one breast. So far so good.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,120

    Default Re: Update--almost to a year!

    Mama, I totally get it. Those feelings of disgust/anger are irrational but EXTREMELY powerful.

    You might want to check out Penny Simkin's book "When Survivors Give Birth". Regardless of whether there was actual molestation in your past- and I am extremely skeptical of "recovered" memories and think you and your therapist should be as well, due to the fact that it is very easy to CREATE memories in therapy (see http://www.fmsfonline.org/ for more)- the techniques in the book can help you deal with intrusive thoughts. If you have a smartphone or tablet, there's an app called Breathing Zone which can walk you throug deep breathing during a panic attack.
    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!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    middle of IA
    Posts
    1,885

    Default Re: Update--almost to a year!

    hugs, mama. you have done an extraordinary thing for your daughter this year.
    DS1 6/7/11
    DS2 10/29/13

    Nursing, pumping, cloth-diapering, babywearing, working professor mama with the awesomest SAHD ever.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    138

    Default Re: Update--almost to a year!

    Momma,

    I did look into that book, but forgot to order it and couldn't get it through my library. At this point, I'm not sure that I could actually get the book and read it before I'm ready to stop nursing. I really don't want to go on much further.

    Just to clarify, I'm not trying to recover any memories and that's not why I'm working with the therapist. The therapist is there to help me deal with the feelings and give me some ways of coping.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    296

    Default Re: Update--almost to a year!

    I am so impressed that you've made it to a year! You clearly want the best for your baby and you've worked hard to stay with it! I am not an expert on toddler nursing, and I know there are benefits to it, but I think it's wise to take to heart the AAP's recommendation that nursing beyond the first year is advisable as long as mutually desired by mother and child. If it is accompanied by bad feelings, I would say that is not desirable! Also, as your baby gets older, nursing becomes less about nutrition and more about comfort. There are many ways to comfort and snuggle with your baby. My guess is that you'll feel much better equipped to comfort her if you're not in the middle of a panic attack while you're doing it. You've done a great job and you deserve a pat on the back. I don't think there is any reason for anyone to question your choice to think about weaning if that is what you feel is best.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    2,214

    Default Re: Update--almost to a year!

    Oh mama, I so admire your perseverance. That sounds like so much to overcome. I'm really glad you've found someone to talk to. Whatever decision you make - you've done such a wonderful thing for your baby. I hope the surgery goes well too.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,600

    Default Re: Update--almost to a year!

    Being an abuse survivor is one of the potential blocks to breastfeeding that so few people know about because so few people talk about it. But it is very, very real. It does not have to be specifically sexual or physical abuse, nor does it have to specifically be from childhood. Shame, guilt, anger, fear...How many of us get through life without having damaging experiences, in one form or another, that may lead to overwhelming feelings later in life or after becoming mothers?

    I think you have done many mothers a great service today by being open about your experience, tallmadre. Hopefully other moms who recognize that they too are having overwhelming feelings will consider getting help. And hopefully those of us who try to help other mothers will learn that there is often more to the story! Breastfeeding aside, mothering is difficult enough anyway, never mind when one is plagued by panic, anger and fear.

    For anyone looking for more information on this and related topics, I suggest the books and articles of Kathleen Kendall-Tackett.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,120

    Default Re: Update--almost to a year!

    Quote Originally Posted by @llli*tallmadre View Post
    I did look into that book, but forgot to order it and couldn't get it through my library. At this point, I'm not sure that I could actually get the book and read it before I'm ready to stop nursing. I really don't want to go on much further.
    I would still look into getting the book. The feelings you're having are centered on breastfeeding right now, but they may crop up around another experience in the future. The strategies for dealing with this expression of your unconscious are not exclusively useful in breastfeeding and mothering. They can be useful for your entire life.

    Just to clarify, I'm not trying to recover any memories and that's not why I'm working with the therapist. The therapist is there to help me deal with the feelings and give me some ways of coping.
    No, I didn't think that YOU were going down the recovered memory avenue. I was a little more concerned that your therapist might lead you down that path. A lot of people who "recover" memories that they ultimately come to see as false do so under the guidance of a therapist.
    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!"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    138

    Default Re: Update--almost to a year!

    Thanks for your input Meg and everyone else. I appreciate it. I was reluctant to talk about it, but I do hope that others can learn and be aware of this potential issue.

    Sprocket--yes, I know that I can stop, and you're right that it's not mutually desirable. That's one reason my therapist suggested that I wean her. With having to distract myself and not enjoying it, it's not something that promotes bonding between the two of us anymore. I actually did try to give her formula, but she wouldn't take it. So I'm sort of continuing by accident, but I've had a lot fewer problems recently.

    Mommal,Ah, I see. My therapist and I talked about that, and she doesn't advocate trying to recall memories that aren't conscious to me, for that reason. She thinks that what I'm experience now might be remembering thoughts or feelings and emotions. I might be remembering the way that this person made me feel, that sort of thing. Or maybe nothing happened, but for some reason I'm stuck in this loop.

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