Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Walking Dead

So many things to say - so little time... in fact... there is no telling how far I'll get before the baracuda latches on to my extremely sore nipples again. So let's summarize:

I haven't slept for more than 2 hours at one time for three weeks. This is the most insanely difficult time of my entire life. I'm thankful that I was able to sleep all through my pregnancy, although it didn't help much past the delivery. Bursting into tears for lack of sleep and full on exhaustion is not a rarity around here. People keep coming over for visits and friends think they are 'helping' by stopping by during the day. None of this helps. The only thing that could help me right now is if someone could figure out how to make my child sleep longer than 2 hours OR if someone slept over and took a few feeding shifts. She generally goes to bed at 10 and wakes to eat at: 1, 3, 5, and 7. We've tried keeping her awake during the day, playing loud music, lights on, etc. We've tried spiking the pumped breast milk with a scoop of formula. Nothing works. I suck at this.

Is still very hard. Sometimes I feel like she's sucking and sucking and getting nothing from me. My nipples are sore, cracked, and scabbing (sorry- but I'm not one to sugar coat). We supplement with formula when we need to or in the middle of the night if I need to sleep. I pump when I can - but usually I'm too tired. I'm taking fenugreek - which is a herbal remedy said to increase milk production. I drink water by the buckets trying to will my milk to come in more. At this point my goal is two months - if it's still this hard, I'll start weaning. Please don't judge, it's very hard for me, I want this to work but the breast reduction has squelched those dreams.

My Husband:
I miss my husband and he sleeps next to me everynight. Ok - let me rephrase. I sometimes lay my head next to him for a few hours during the night. I miss snuggling, out to dinner, going to movies, and talking to him. We're both too exhausted to any of this. I know it's temporary, but I just miss it...

Returning to work:
At this point - returning to work sounds lovely, but only if I'm sleeping. The week before I went on maternity leave I bid several large scale projects and it turns out - we sold all of them. Several of them are large scale international studies which we haven't been able to get into with our client till now. Usually the international work goes to one of our competitors. This is awesome on so many levels. It's also a bit scary -because I'm a mom now, that means international travel is really not the smartest move for me. It's not practical and it would kill me to be away from my lillybean for any amount of time.

Ok - thats it - I must sleep since she's sleeping, even though its 2 in the afternoon, I'll take it when I can get it.


At 1:21 PM, Blogger Kait said...

I don't know what to tell you about the breastfeeding and all, but have you done any reading on www.kellymom.com? It's a terrific breastfeeding resource site, that I've found quite helpful.

From what I understand, if you have a low milk supply, her feeding every two hours should help to increase it. It totally sucks, but that's what I understand (for me, sleeping for only 2 hours at a time wouldn't be acceptable, so I will totally understand if you decide to ween).

At 4:11 PM, Blogger Jackie said...

Being a mom is hard. Being a new mom is harder.

I'm so sorry this is so rough for you right now. It WILL get better. You just do the best you can with what you are given, it will get better, and you are a GREAT mom, even if it doesn't feel like it all the time.

Sending good nights sleep, and boobs full of milk thoughts your way!!

At 8:11 AM, Blogger Elizabeth Blair York said...

Oh, Suzanne.

My heart is breaking for you. Both my girlfriends' milk came right in, gushing. Mine never did. I supplemented with formula, and kept on trying for a year. It was AGONY. I so feel for you, and if I lived closer I would come spend the night in the nursery so you two could get a night's sleep - it makes a world of difference (plus a long hot shower).

The worse you feel, the less your milk comes in. Who the F**K made that up? But its true.

Couple of things - there are prescriptions. See at http://www.kellymom.com/health/meds/prescript_galactagogue.html
They help you make more milk (and sometimes, a kickstart does it).

This helped me: drinking coffee, just a cup. It ups milk production. And nursing in front of the TV - I know it sounds nuts, but watching something good on TV took my mind off the boob stuff enough for me to relax.

The thing that helped me most was that, on Friday nights, CD would take all the feedings until he went to bed at 4AM. I would pump at around 8PM, take a long shower, and go to sleep. Bear would wake around 5AM for a feeding and just having had 8 hours sleep would make me feel like a new woman.

If CD could, he would do it again on Saturdays, too. But not always.

Also? As much as the world says you MUST MUST MUST breastfeed - it's OK to tell the world to shut up. You are a good mother, Suzanne. Your baby is healthy and loved. Using formula does NOT make you a bad mom. Respecting your limits and her needs is a line all parents walk - and you are doing a wonderful job.

Hang in there. Love from Chicago heading your way.


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