Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Three Weeks - Contrasting Moments

The first feeding of the day went like this - I sat down to breastfeed Owen and looked at the open sore that used to be a nipple and felt my stomach clench with anticipatory fear. I looked down at my baby and tried to feel only the love for him because he is so amazingly adorable and gets more sweet every day. But as I brought him closer, my body involuntarily shrank from him. I somehow made it through and, after he fed for about 45 minutes, my mom suggested maybe he was still hungry. I lost it. I started to cry ugly-little-kid tears and said I just couldn't bare to feed him anymore. And then...I disintegrated. I began to say awful depressing things about myself and my mom took the baby from me and sent me to bed where I wallowed in despair for a few minutes and then passed out. I know these moments are prompted by exhaustion and hormones, but they are fucking hard. In those moments I despair that I am not the mother I wanted to be. Not the mother I thought I would be. Not the mother my husband expected me to be. Not the mother my baby deserves.

The last feeding I had today was so much different. I snuggled into the couch with Owen and Bear. I got a great latch right away (no idea how...pure luck) that only minimally hurt me. Then I leaned back into the pillows and let Owen snuggle into my stomach and breasts. The kitten snuggled up to my side and then I was able to turn on Netflix and just relax while the baby calmly ate for 30 minutes. I even managed to relatch on the other side without any drama. I felt capable, calm and happy. Afterwards, I washed the baby and was playing with him when Daddy walked in from work.

What is the difference in those two moments? How can I go from so extremely desperate to feeling capable and confident? I suppose, this is motherhood?


  1. That phrase makes me empathetically cringe in pain every time: "The open sore that used to be a nipple." Ouch!!! So many props going out to you for hanging in there! Glad your mom helped you get some needed sleep and that the day got a lot better. I'm sure you're right that sleep deprivation affects your mood a lot - how could it not? Sending care.

  2. I'm so sorry that you're having such difficult breast feeding experiences. I'm glad you're also having positive ones as well. Eventually the positive will outweigh the negative but I know how hard it is to persevere until that happens.

    And yes, the intense highs and lows is EXACTLY what motherhood is all about.

  3. First of all, Owen is a doll! He looks like he is a bright eyed, happy little man! You're doing great!
    Second, my sister had to really fight to stick with breastfeeding as well. The first 6 weeks were awful for her but eventually she and my niece worked it out and she ended up nursing for the full year that she wanted to. She is so proud of that (and very glad to have her body back now that my niece is weaned)! She says what made all the difference for her was her support system. Our mom nursed all 7 of us (with varying degrees of difficulty) so she was a big help and encouragement to her.
    Stick with it, hun! You will have more of those positive moments all the time and soon it will be second nature for both of you. ((Hugs))

  4. My first son tortured me for 6 weeks! Hang in there. After a month it gets easier easier. I promise.

  5. First of all, enough of this 'mother he deserves' nonsense. You are the only mother he wants or needs, even if you are not always playing it out the way you wanted to in your head. That's totally ok. I got an email from a friend with a 5 week old the other day that said 'some days I could happily put her out with the trash, jump in the bath and drink a bottle of prosecco, but the feeling always passes (eventually ;)' so you are DEFINITELY not alone in this! Some bits are hard and some bits are amazing and my mum still says the same about having my 27 year old bro and 24 year old sis at home! This is the same as any new skill you have to learn.
    Secondly, I bet if I'd have told you last week you'd actually enjoy a feed this week you would have laughed in my face. You're getting there!
    Finally, your boy is so bloody adorable. You should write a book about him and that monkey.

  6. Motherhood is so, so, SO hard. One moment is the highest of highs, the next the lowest of lows. Praying it gets easier for you soon.

  7. I can imagine all these highs and lows only get more intense once they're outside...I'm sorry you're having a hard time of it, and hope those horrible moments will soon be fewer and further between. Have to say though, you're little guy is gorgeous - so alert and such a BIG boy! Makes it all worth it, huh? :)

  8. I'm so sorry breastfeeding has been so hard. Don't let it take away from this amazing time with your little guy! If pumping is the right thing for you, do that! If formula is right, do that! He will thrive and grow no matter what you decide - but YOU will be sane and loving motherhood. You'll still feel guilty, no matter what you decide, but that pretty much sums up parenthood for me so far. :) Do what helps you enjoy your sweet baby the most.

  9. It's amazing how small positive or negative moments really shape the way we feel things are going, overall. Sometimes M nurses really well, but others she seems overwhelmed and confused, and whichever happened most recently is what I judge the entire situation by. But I think things are generally getting better, bit by bit. Things have to get easier as time goes on!

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