May 06, 2007

Three weeks

Sophie is now three weeks and two days old. Or, as I like to think about it, she really a month since she was 6 days overdue! The first week on my own is over and it had its ups and downs. It started out easy as she was taking naps throughout the day and only waking to eat or fuss a little. Towards the end of the week, however, she was fussing a lot more and it became increasingly difficult to get her to nap. I was getting so frustrated that I called David at 4pm on Friday and told him to hurry home. Now that he's been home all weekend things are SO much easier. He just seems to know how to calm her more than I do. I think it's because he tries more ways to do so, whereas I try the same few things over and over and sometimes they work, sometimes not. I really learn a lot watching how he is with her. Hopefully this next week will be smoother. I will definitely take her out more in the Baby Bjorn as that seems to calm both her AND I!

Feeding her is another huge issue. I'm still pumping breastmilk and also supplementing with formula. But everyday this week I've had plugged milk ducts. EVERYDAY. And it hurts. A lot. I don't know what the issue is, but I do know that it hurts like hell and I don't know how much longer I can do it. I woke up at 5am Friday morning in major pain and thought 'I just can't do this anymore'. I went online to find out more information on clogged ducts and also how to stop breastfeeding. Wouldn't you know it there is almost NO info on how to stop! It's all about how to solve issues and keep going. Very frustrating. I'm having such a hard time deciding how to proceed. Since Friday and my decision to possibly stop soon I am now producing so little milk! It's amazing how your milk is so in tune with your mental state. But now I'm feeling so guilty about deciding to stop that this morning I woke up thinking I will try for another few weeks until she is six weeks old. I go back and forth. I'm so torn between all the pain I'm feeling ALL the time and what I know is best for her. This is so difficult!


Blogger e.kuo. said...

hey there. sorry to hear that things are going a bit rough. Can i recommend a book? 'So that's what they're for: Breastfeeding basics' by Janet Tamaro. P's been referencing that book quite a bit lately for issues with breastfeeding. hang in there and don't give up with the breastfeeding. i think it's a great bond b/n you and sophie... check out the book. it'll help?

11:43 PM  
Blogger mini spice said...

uhm, u only really need to do it for her for 1/2 yr. ther r food (soups) as remedies for giving u more milk n such... i'll ask.

10:03 PM  
Blogger Irene said...

It is difficult, and I think every woman needs to make the best decision they can given their own circumstances. You do whatever you feel is best for both you and your baby. If you make an informed decision to stop, you shouldn't be made to feel guilty about your decision - by yourself or by others. I think you can find lots of resources on how to stop if you look under "weaning"?

That being said, I think it's normal to have difficulty breastfeeding for a month or even longer, so if you at all feel, in the slightest bit, that you do want to keep breastfeeding, I'd say try to hang in there a bit longer. I definitely remember literally crying through breastfeeding sessions because it was so painful, and thinking, "THIS is the 'tender bonding' I'm supposed to be having?!?" But eventually, it did get better!

For clogged ducts, I used to use warm compresses and take warm showers. I know it might seem counter-intuitive, but it also helps to breastfeed more often to relieve the ducts - lining up Sophie's nose in the direction of the duct, so that particular duct will be drained. Pumping helps, too, but you can't always line up a pump in a certain direction... I also used a book a lot, The Nursing Mother's Companion, and referenced it frequently.

Hang in there, Simone!! I'm sorry you're in so much pain. :( I can tell from your blog that you have lots of friends, but if you do want to vent about breastfeeding blues, you can get my number or email from Eugene. :)

8:55 AM  
Blogger Simone said...

Thanks guys. I actually have not fed her from the breast for over a week as it just doesn't work for her or I and am exclusively pumping. But I am getting almost no milk now. I've decided to give it up this week as it is just too difficult and I feel I've exhausted all my options (herbs, massage, lactation consultants, clinics, etc). It was a VERY hard decision but David and I agree that this is the road to take, and we are happy that at least she got 3 weeks of breastmilk which is better than none. Still really sucks though. Not nearly as easy as what I thought it would be : (

9:34 AM  
Blogger Irene said...

Now that you've made a decision, hopefully you can focus more on just taking care of Sophie, and enjoying her.

I definitely don't think that the magazines and books, etc. talk enough about how hard breastfeeding is. You asked in a previous post, "How do all those third-world women do it?!" and I think it's because they live in communities with their moms, sisters, aunts, grandmothers, female cousins, etc. So women are surrounded by other women who can give them hands-on advice and support.

9:59 AM  
Blogger Rachel said...

I never had a drop of breast milk and I turned out just fine!

I'll bet having a mom who's relaxed and pain free is what Sophie would want :)

X Rachel

11:38 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Simone, Big BIG hugs to you right now.
The moment I made the decision to stop was such an emotional decision.
I know how you feel, and I hope you realize that you made the best decision for you and your family.

big big hugs.....

1:29 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

Beats being bit in the face by a dog ;)

Ask Nancy.

Really, sorry you were having trouble there Sim.

Any plans for your FIRST mother's day? Hope it is fun!

2:59 PM  
Blogger Simone said...

Thanks everyone. Your support really helps!

5:07 PM  

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