They say breast feeding gets easier by 4-6 weeks so I tried, I really tried, to withhold judgment until then. Well baby is 5 weeks and 2 days and….I’m still not enjoying it.
Ok so update from my last post. Breast feeding is technically going much better. He is eating well and we can go a whole day without formula no problem. I am usually still pumping out at least one feeding a day and giving him formula though for two reasons one convenience and two I want a freezer stash. Reason 1 is because sometimes breast feeding just sucks. For example, just had a baby shower last week. All these people came to see Jacob and they want to see him not just his little feet as they stick out from the nursing cover (which I don’t actually own…using a receiving blaket is hard and the poor guy turns into a giant sweat factory). So it was way easier to pump out that feeding as soon as I got home and give him formula there. The second reason…I’m really not sure how long I will last at breast feeding. My goal was 6 months or until he has teeth whichever happened first but I hate this I hate is so much. I figure if I am giving him formula once a day now though and freezing breast milk, when I do stop I will have a stash so I can continue to give him milk for a while. Depending on who you ask they say you should breast feed up to two years (plus solids after 6 months obviously). I would love to be able to do that without having a 2 year old or a baby with teeth at all attached to my breast. Now I know you can train a baby. When they have teeth if they bites just unlatch and they will learn. However Jacob does not have teeth and frequently chomps down still and it friggen hurts like hell….so ya no teeth allowed!!
So I’ve everything is going well why did I call this I still hate breast feeding? Well because I do. When i think about Jacob too much or hear him crying or give him kisses I have “let down” aka my milk comes in strong. While some people may enjoy this feeling, my let down is quite strong and I relate it to a mixture between getting punched in the boob and the boob going kinda numb. I won’t say it hurts but it is very uncomfortable. And if I don’t relieve it soon it’s very very uncomfortable.
Breast feeding isn’t so bad at home. My husband has obviously seen my nipples before and with it just being us in the house I frequently just walk around topless or at the very least when baby needs to feed it’s no big deal I just whip out my boob and away we go. However anywhere but home….or even home when we have company is a horse of a different colour. Trying to get a fussing baby with latch problems to chill out when you are uptight isn’t easy. And feeding with other people around is More a mixture of…”come on just take the it….please don’t spit it out…oh crap milk is spraying on your face again…oh no the cover is falling…try and adjust it quickly…did they just say something to me?…they’re looking at me…nod and smile blair nod and smile…oh man the cover the slipping again… oh god did they just see my nipple??…eat quickly baby…please let this not be a 30 minute session….” And blah! It’s very difficult. It’s so wonderful to just pull out a bottle of formula pop it in the baby’s mouth and continue your conversation.
Jacob is so loved. We are rarely alone. He eats a lot. What does this mean? It means I often feel like nothing more than a milk machine. More often then not I feed him and immediately pass him off. I don’t see him much unless I am feeding. Again people don’t come over to stare at his feet and it is not uncommon for him to feed for an hour at a time. (He’ll spit it out and sit there and if I try and put it away or give him to someone else he cries and then relatches). He’s a snacker. So we feed as best we can and I pass him off. I don’t get a lot of cuddles. I don’t see him a lot when he’s awake. I feed and pass. Then usually get him back in time to change his diaper. Wonderful. Consequently When he and I are alone and he isn’t hungry but needs comforting I’m awful at it. I don’t know how to hold him without his head to my boob to make him comfortable. I often joke with husband that he is a much better snuggler and soother because my only solution is to put my tit in his mouth if that doesn’t work I’m out if ideas whereas husband obviously doesn’t have that option and has become much more creative.
Along these lines, Jacob is loved. People want to hold him. He is a snacker. I hate having to be the bad guy because yes he did just eat for 20 minutes straight. And yes I know you just got him and you haven’t held him all night. But see that thing that he’s doing with his mouth right now? That is called rooting. It means that he is hungry and we are trying to build a supply. We are trying to not starve him. We like to keep his needs met. So yes I understand you just got him but I need him back and we need to feed. I’m sorry that you need to leave and never got to hold him for long but I can’t control how long or how frequent he eats. I feed him on demand and he is my child so I get to make that call. Please don’t make me feel like a bitch for that….also I’m not exaggerating wheni say in this circumstance, which has happened a lot, I have had to literally pry him out of people’s hands…it’s just not fair to me or him.
I don’t enjoy the sensation. Let’s call a spade a spade. Maybe this wasn’t always the case but today tits are very sexual. My breasts are for my husband and him alone…having my son suck on them is not enjoyable. I almost feed like I am doing something very sick and twisted even though I know logically it is the best for him and a very natural thing. When I feed I often think of Jacob as an 18 year old and just knowing that he as a baby sucked on my nipples is friggen weird and gross. Yes weirder and grosser than the fact that he came out of my vagina. I can’t explain it it’s just the way I feel. It’s like…i know my mom breastfed me as did husbands mom breast feed him. I’m grateful they did but I don’t exactly want to think about the fact that as a baby I literally sucked on my moms boobs. Ew right?
I just want to do stuff!! When Jacob decides he wants to feed my life is completely on hold. Now this is fine I knew that in becoming a mom his needs would come before mine until the day I die. However there is no pause button…no let me grab a coffee first or turn on the tv first. I try and he gets so cranky he then has problems latching which makes him more cranky which makes me cranky. When he is hungry he needs to eat. And when he cluster feeds I am stuck. Housework is not getting done period. I sit and stare at him or the wall or really bad tv because I am at his mercy. My plans are in the drain. If I was giving him formula….well here husband, friend, grandparent etc. feed him so I can go pee. Feed him so I can finish sweeping or fold the laundry. Oh wait I don’t have that option. Let me sit here and feed him while you stare and there are other things we would both rather be doing,
My sense of space. You know when you go to a concert and at the start of the night you are like k this is a lot of people….the. By the end if the night you are ready to punch the next person who touches you in the face because you have never had your personal space violated so much. Well that’s how I often feel. Obviously I don’t want to punch my son in the face but soMetimes I just want a bit of space, 5 minutes alone without someone touching me. This is my space and my baby is always in it. Does that make me selfish person? I dunno, but it is hard never having space from him. Breast feeding is so intimate and that is all the time I get with him. It’s like….time with my husband, intense intimacy is cool but you need moments to just hang out at the movies or just hold hands. It’s a balancing act between real intense intimate moments and moments that are more relaxing and fun. I get the very intimate moments with our son but very few relaxing fun moments.
I hate always being covered in breast milk. I leak all the time. If I wear a nursing pad which I have to for sure do in public the fluff sticks to my nipple and when I go to feed I spend the first few moments picking fluff off…also impossible to do with a squirming baby and a cover on. So I often don’t wear them at home. This means my clothes are quite literally soaked in breast milk. It’s wonderful. Especially for a girl who only owns 2 nursing tanks. I now do a lot of laundry or wear a dirty milk stained shirt.
Again, I know this makes me incredibly selfish but I just want to have a beer or a glass wine and not have to do the math. Especially because he feeds on demand so the math is just a guess anyways. When we had such at Hard time getting things going it breaks my heart a little to pump And dump and give formula because he woke upi earlier than I expected him too.
Lastly, Husband can’t get up at night with jacob even if he wants to. Similarly napping for any length of time is very difficult. So when baby is crying at 3am husband gets to sleep….he wakes up of course but is usually able to fall right back asleep. I on the other hand am up. Sure husband can wake up at 3am and give him formula so I can sleep in theory but I would still need to get up and pump becaus failing to do so could impact my supply negatively and even if it doesn’t. I wake up insanely engorged and sore. Hardly worth it.
I won’t give up until my body does though. My goal remains 6 months or until he has teeth. Why? Because I know it’s best for him and I don’t have a good unselfish reason to stop. Doesn’t mean its easy to keep going though