Read the first part of my journey here and then below for the final part
December 30, 2018
"Then there are people like the dang lactation consultant at the hospital. I am struggling to nurse baby G. Pretty much since day one she has not nursed well leaving me devastated and driving myself crazy trying to make it work for her body and mine. So when I went to the consultant to talk about what to do she suggested pumping 8-10 times a day to keep my supply up. Uh, what? Who the heck has time to pump 8-10 times a day let alone someone with three other kids at home and one in school? Her response, “you know when those people tell you once you have a baby to let them know if you need anything? Now is the time to take them up on that offer.” Seriously? When people say that, they usually mean a meal or meeting to talk. And, NEWSFLASH, people work! If I need to pump 8-10 times a day, 4-6 of those times will be during 8am-5pm, you know, normal business hours. I don’t have family that stays home all day just waiting for me to ask for them to babysit. Get your head out of your ass lady and don’t assume everyone has a support system that includes free childcare.
But anyway, back to nursing. Do I quit nursing and see if that helps? Can I assume that is the root of the issue since I never struggled to nurse my other four kids so it would make sense that that difference could be fueling this? A few weeks ago I ran into a friend at bible study who had a baby about a month after me. She talked with me about how she tried to nurse for a couple of weeks but chose to switch over to formula and has felt SO much better. That week had been particularly hard as far as nursing so when I talked to Andre about it that night, he agreed that it might have been a sign that it was time to switch to formula. But then the next week G did SO well when nursing that I decided to keep going. It didn’t last, however, and when I saw her doctor a few weeks later, they said to not give up as long as I can. So I have one person telling me she is so much happier switching to formula and someone else saying I need to stick this out as long as possible. That’s not confusing. Or frustrating…cue anger. This doctor doesn’t know my case. They don’t know that I literally start bawling every time we have a particularly bad day and I ended up pumping 4-6 times while she only nurses from me once. They don’t know that trying to find time to pump when you work in a school is not easy. They don’t know that I can feel my heart break as my baby gags when I try to get her to latch. They don’t know me. But they sure do know how to lay on the guilt.
So what do you do? When people want to be supportive but they aren’t. Or you don’t fit into the mold of typical postpartum behaviors. Or people are telling you that you are doing a great job when they don’t know you yelled at your kid this afternoon for wetting the bed after YOU forgot to put their nap time diaper on. I am not supermom. Don’t put that label and associated pressure on me. I love my kids, and my husband and the family we have created and that’s all I should care about."
I've learned a lot about myself and managing these difficult feelings mostly through therapy but also from trying (key word *trying*) to ask for help more. Help is available and the thing I've learned is to look for it when you need it and feel no shame.
Hi, I'm Rebecca
I’m a wife, mom to 5 kids, former choir teacher, Christian and advice giver? I can honestly say I never expected to be the one giving advice when I so frequently ask for it, but the advice I’ve received is so valuable and must be shared! Here are some of the things I’ve learned so far!