Monday, October 11, 2010

Sometimes life is hard

I'm going to apologize ahead of time - this post may be a bit rambly.

I get it now. Breastfeeding is seriously hard. Some people get the hang of it easy-peasy, others struggle. I do not blame anyone who gives up, because it's f**king hard. And not just physically, but emotionally too. The pressure and guilt we mommas inflict on ourselves is brutal. I never doubted I would breastfeed my child(ren). It's what is nutritionally best, it is a special gift and bond between mother and child, and it's natural - Hello! But here I am 9 weeks out of the gate pumping every 2 hours. (or as close to every 2 hours as I can, Madeline doesn't let me set her down for very long before meltdown number 836 of the day starts up.) We have latch issues up in here! At first I was using a nipple shield. That was an inconvenience, but it got us nursing so it was worth it. But then her suck got too strong and she started injuring my nip. (I'll spare you the gory details!) There is also the reoccurring thrush. Thrush was, obviously, invented by Satan himself. I've had it 3 times in 2 months. I'm trying to get rid if it currently. I am not strong like other mommas and can NOT nurse through that pain. So, I pump and bottle feed her my milk. I've spent probably close to $500 on getting help from Lactation Consultants to try to fix her latch and buying supplements to try to increase my supply. It's emotionally draining to feel like you're UNABLE to do what you're supposed to do. I figure I'll give nursing one more Hoo-rah after this thrush is (hopefully) completely gone, but if I'm in tears again at every feeding I'll just suck it up and continue pumping for as long as I can.

Ok, I want to give all you moms with happy-go-lucky babies a high five. Actually, out of pure jealousy and immaturity, I want to give you the middle finger. I know it's not your fault, but it's not fair dammit. Madeline is a fussy baby. She's opinionated and a bit of a drama queen. She's crying or screaming more than she's smiling and cooing - and she makes you work for her smiles! (But, oh! I love them so!!) I totally get that people want to see/hear happy babies. I get that they want to "fix" an unhappy baby. But they need to get that Jeff and I are trying EVERY.SINGLE.THING we can to get Madeline to simmer down, but she's not having it. (we've consulted her pediatrician who has assured us she's perfectly fine and healthy - just fussy.) So, we try to remind ourselves to take a deep breath and just ride her waves. This too shall pass. She will eventually realize that we're not trying to starve her to death if her bottle isn't ready BEFORE she wakes up. She will eventually realize that we're there to help when we lay her down to change her diaper. She'll eventually realize that if she startles herself awake while napping that WE didn't pinch her awake, it's not OUR fault! She'll eventually realize that when we put the onesie over her head we're NOT trying to snuff her out! I have a feeling that she will always be an opinionated, emotional, outspoken child (what goes around, comes around I guess!) but I can hope that she learns to reel it in a little bit before I lose my marbles!

People have asked me, "How are you doing? Any baby blues?" And I'm not really sure how to take it. Do I look like I'm at the end of the rope, about to snap? I mean, sure. I'm exhausted. I'm emotional. I am not all sunshine and rainbows 24/7. But I don't think about hurting myself or Madeline. I'm just overwhelmed. I'm still adjusting. I'm throwing out all of my preconceived notions and trying to figure this child out. I don't think I have PPD. Thank you for any concern though. Being a mom is hard work, though and I just need some time to get used to it. Not to mention the other non-motherhood-related stuff that I have going on.

For instance, my grandfather passed away on October 9th. Even though we knew it was coming since he'd been sick for so long, it's still hard. It's hard to know that I can NEVER talk to him again. It's hard to not have any grandparents left. My grandmother passed away suddenly while I was pregnant, and now my grandfather is gone too. It's definitely hard to grieve when you've got a baby. You don't really have time to reflect and mourn the loss. You don't have time to break down. So it builds up and you end up crying, dripping tears on your child's head, at 11:00 at night when she just WON'T.GO.TO.SLEEP.

I'm trying though. I'm trying the best that I can. I'm not trying to be Supermom, I'm just trying to not ruin my daughter. Hopefully all the work and worry will pay off in the long run.

On a positive note:

Fellow hippies rejoice! I LOVE cloth diapering! Besides the environmental benefits, I love matching her diapers to her outfit! She just outgrew the newborn sized BumGenius diapers and we've moved into primarily size Small FuzziBunz. However, some of her convertible one-size diapers fit her already! They're much bulkier than the sized diapers, but still sssooo cute and fluffy! I love diaper fluff! I just ordered more size small FuzziBunz in BRIGHT colors and I'm super excited about getting them in the mail. Cloth diapering is like an addiction. I literally have to talk myself out of buying every cute diaper I see!

Madeline and Jeff (and other people sometimes, if you're lucky) play this game where Jeff will stick out his tongue at Maddy and she'll scrunch up her eyebrows - concentrating - and then do it back. They both laugh about it, and then they start over. It's the cutest thing to see the gears working in her mind. "Ok... how'd he do that? Can I do it too?" and then she does it. She's so proud of herself when she does it back to him. And as silly as it seems, I'm proud of her too. She's a smart, curious girl and she LOVES her Daddy. ♥

Hopefully it won't be as long till I update again, and hopefully I'll have more pictures to post. But until then - xoxo!


Anonymous said...

You are one awesome mom and don't you doubt it for a second! I'm so proud of you Nicole.

Jennifer Tuley said...

Madeline is so adorable! I hope breastfeeding gets better for you. I'm not working right now and were moving in 2 weeks so if you EVER need just a hour or two too yourself I'll come over and keep both you & baby company. :) Would love to see her before I move. I'm really good with babies. I learned SO much from working at a preschool in Cali in the infant room. It was the BEST job EVER!!! I'm going to be ready to have a baby now just from taking care of all the little babies at my work. Let me know anytime you want some company and I'll come over visit and let Mommy nap for an hour or so :) that is if your comfortable or not if not just seeing you two before I leave would be nice. Always know that your doing a great job and won't fail. It's your first baby so it's also a learning process. It will get better. :) Love ya!

Cody said...

I'm not a mom and I don't pretend to know what it's like or how hard it is in the slightest. But I know you're a great loving and compassionate person, so I'm positive you are an amazing mom. Everyone's lives and experiences are different and everyone moves through them the best we can, and I am sure that your best is exactly what your baby girl wants and needs. Your statement was true - this too shall pass :)

Angi said...

You are doing a GREAT job. It is THEE hardest job on the planet and no one does it perfectly. Madeline is one lucky girl to have such a loving and caring (and beautiful) mom. Things WILL get better and you'll look back on all of these trying moments and laugh (or cry and wish you could have them back!). Big hugs and love to you. I will see you soon friend!
Ang [Fancy]

Amber said...

I am proud of you Nicole. You are doing awesome for Madeline, whether you realize it or not. Being a mom is hard work for sure! I got spoiled with Natalie because she was a relatively easy baby. Then came Erica and Graham. They were sooooooo high maintenance. But, the good news is that they were my BEST toddlers. Erica never really even went through the terrible 2's at all. And Graham is the sweetest easy going *almost* 2 year old boy I've ever seen. They tend to grow out of that fussy/needy stage and then they are so much fun!!!

Denise said...

My goodness Nicole - you are doing AMAZING. So many mothers quit and here you are persevering and doing what you know is best for your daughter. Huge props. And Maddie IS absolutely adorable - 2nd cutest baby of the year ;). I can't wait to see what kind of person Maddie turns out to be. You are an inspiration. <3

Render Me Mama said...

Girl. You are so awesome. You are a mommy WARRIOR. You're right too, she will eventually sort it all out. Kai was the exact. same. way. Fussy butt. We still call him "hulk baby" because he would just get so completely unreasonable. I just had to learn to find the humor in his irrational-ness. Otherwise I would have lost my mind.

Much love to you and miss cutie. You are an inspiration. Seriously. You should write a book on perseverance.

Crecia said...

I love this post! I'm also breastfeeding and it's tough cookies. The pumping every couple hours leaves me feeling like I might as well be chained to the couch or be involved in some kind of milk sweat-shop! Goodluck and if you need someone to talk to let me know!

Desiree said...

I'm a little late on this... But I hope breastfeeding gets better for you. I just could not do it. Kylee latched on almost immediately and did well at first but after 9 days I could not pump enough to cover the bottom of the smallest advent bottle we had. i tried eating more, taking supplements, pumping every hour and nothing was working. and apparently my mom and grandma dealt with the same issue. it was so frustrating and i felt horrible about it, like what kind of mom can't make enough milk to keep their baby feed? And with Casey, I tried again and it just wasn't happening, my boobs were full like the 3rd day after he was born and then completely empty the next and they just wouldnt "fill up". i'm sure thats part of the reason he got so sick too, since he didn't have my antibodies. i wish i had the milk to pump like you do and i'm so proud that you keep trying. hopefully she'll get the hang of it and it goes more smoothly for you. keep your chin up :)

Jaynie L said...

Never doubt yourself or your reasons for what you are doing for Madeline or yourself. You are doing what is right for you.
I never had to deal with thrush while nursing, although Scott did get it later after he had antibiotics. I only nursed him 3 months, then had to go back to work at the test site, so stopped. With Sarah I was determined to make it a year; I got 10 months in, then back to the test site again....but during that time I would wake up at night to pump, and even brought a cooler to work and pumped at lunch. And I worked in the field, so this was happening in restrooms. I know, sounds kinda unsanitary, but I did everything I could to keep it clean, and to keep going. I am proud that you are doing so well for your daughter. You are a breastfeeding Mom, don't ever doubt that. Don't worry about fitting into a niche, you don't need to do that. Just do what feels right for you. You are AWESOME! ::Huge hugs::