The Guilt

IMG_1850fWhy do I always feel guilty? Why do I always feel that I am not doing enough? Why do I always think that the grass is always greener on the other side? As we approach the six month-mark of exclusive breastfeeding (so proud of myself), and four sharp teeth, I am contemplating the idea of changing things up. I have discussed about potentially getting a pump with some of you, and still haven’t. I am beyond exhausted. I have lost an amazing amount of weight (which is great, don’t get me wrong, but I feel weak), my nipples are sore, and I am just not enjoying it as much. We are still co-sleeping, and she still nurses frequently at night.

I feel the need to mention that I am writing this post during a growth-spurt and therefore, I am very sensitive about the issue. After a couple nights of constant nursing, I am ready to tackle tonight but I can’t help and wonder: Have I hit rock bottom? Is this it? Can I keep going like that for a few more months?

One part of me wants to stop breastfeeding and feels extremely guilty for not wanting to continue to do what is best for my daughter. And the other part of me wants the best for me (mentally and physically speaking). It is just me and the girls 24/7 most of the times as my husband works away, and although we have family here, I care for them exclusively. I dream of a day off. I feel bad about it but it would make me feel so good – walking around, light and free. I would sleep in, read an entire book, window-shop without the stress of being as quick as possible so that my babies aren’t too cranky by the end of it, create, paint, do nothing.

What does it have to do with breastfeeding? Yes, good point. Well, I feel like I am losing myself. I don’t want to be cranky anymore because my child bites me when I feed her. I don’t want to be cranky because I don’t have time for myself in the evening. I don’t want to be cranky because I don’t have uninterrupted sleep. But when she is in her own bed, I can’t find sleep because I miss her.

My first baby drank formula when she turned 2 months old. I wanted the best for her. And I want the best for the new baby. But I know more. I have grown as a parent, and a mother, and it is hard to ignore the simple facts. Breast is best. It is not going to damage her – Sixtine is a beautiful toddler, but I can’t quite tell myself: “Oh, I am tired, I’ll just give her formula. It doesn’t matter that it isn’t best for her.” Pumping would be ideal. Unfortunately, it takes up so much time and energy – I am afraid it might make things even more complicated than they are now.

I am at a complete loss.

Advertisements

Teething And Biting While Breastfeeding

Image

This will be a quick post. I haven’t been blogging much for many reasons but I will get back to it as soon as I can. I have been working on a very exciting project and with two little ones under two, it has proven difficult doing it all, let alone blogging but it should quiet down a little in the next few weeks.

Victoire, who is now 5 months has two teeths now and she knows how to use them! It is making breastfeeding challenging – add on a bad cold in the mix and you’ve got a pretty good picture.

I am really hurting from the biting and quite discouraged to be honest. I would like to make it 6 months at least, and then push it to 9 months and so on but I have been looking into getting a pump (if I can’t nurse then at least, she would be getting breast milk!) and a cup for her to drink from.

I have been spacing feeding times to make sure she is really hungry and avoid the dreading nipple chewing and I think it is resulting into a blocked duct. Yay me. I usually say no, and put her down when she bites but it doesn’t seem to be working.

What are your thoughts on this? Have you experienced it? What brands would you recommend for a pump and/or a cup?

The 6 Week Growth Spurt & Breastfeeding

liberty

Going through a growth spurt and breastfeeding has proved challenging. I am starving. I am always thirsty (and water doesn’t cut it!). And I am beyond exhausted. (It is past midnight and baby is sleeping. I should go to bed.) So tired that my eyes hurt. I have cried the past two nights. More so last night when Victoire was crying, hungry and I felt empty. Not one drop of milk would come out. And all I wanted to do was sleep. I can understand now why a mother in distress would go to formula! We eventually fell asleep and, a couple hours later, some more milk had come in and she was able to nurse. She actually ate A LOT last night. I am hoping that tonight will be a little easier than last night – but I feel fuller, even tensed so it should be. I was able to get support from some ladies on the French LLL Facebook page and it really helped. Who would have thought that something so natural would be so hard!?

Got Milk? Thoughts On Breastfeeding.

Image

  • Breastfeeding is natural. It doesn’t mean it is easy for everyone.
  • It does get better. 
  • Get informed and surround yourself with knowledgeable people. It can make a whole difference.
  • It is OK not to get it right the first time. Baby and you will learn together.
  • Carpe diem. It is very hard to see the big picture when you are in pain or going through something difficult. Just try to make it through the day.  And reevaluate tomorrow.
  • It is not as bad as it looks to nurse during the night when you get the hang of it. Just keep doing what you were doing (sleeping) and baby will do the rest. Lying down position to nurse is my favorite!
  • After a good nursing session, that “I had too much of this turkey dinner but damn, that was good!” look is so precious!
  • It is both practical and not. No need to own, wash, store, prepare bottles. Milk is at the right temperature and it is perfectly adapted to your baby’s needs. But you are the only person that can feed him/her. Which is a beautiful thing but makes it difficult if your baby nurses often and you would like to go somewhere without him/her.
  • It gives you a sense of pride and empowerment. I can’t explain, it just does. It is also extremely relaxing.
  • Growth spurts are kill-joys. When you think you and baby have adjusted well…think again. We are going through the 6-week growth spurt and I am not surprised to hear half of the women who breastfeed stop right there. It is not easy. It is extremely exhausting (I will let you picture how wonderful I feel today being sick as a dog and juggling with a toddler who’s favorite word is “no”).  But I read somewhere it would get better so I am hanging in there (even though last night at about 1am I kinda wanted to cry. Oh, no wait! I did cry!)
  • Victoire and I are very fusional. She is happy to stay by herself for a few minutes after a good feeding but will most likely cry in someone else’s arm for over 5 to 10 minutes. I don’t think I like that.
  • She is growing very well. And I couldn’t be prouder!
  • I want to wear a badge saying: “Cracked nipples survivor”.
  • When your baby cries, people will automatically assume he/she is hungry. Even though he/she just ate. That is majorly annoying.
  • I don’t know if it has anything to do with breastfeeding but I lost all my baby weight. It doesn’t mean I am back to looking sexy but the weight is gone. It is a good start.
  • Breastfeeding Victoire helps me to be healthier.
  • It makes you thirsty. I have recently been dreaming of swimming in a sea of Peach Ice Tea or Orangina.
  • Finding ultra-absorbent nursing pads was life changing.
  • Had never heard of “forceful let-down” now I wish I didn’t know what it meant! To think I thought spraying my baby’s face with milk was funny at first…doesn’t make me laugh anymore.
  • Breastfeeding in public isn’t as well seen as bottle-feeding in public for some reason.
  • I think breastfeeding is going better this time because I was better informed and knew who to turn to if I had concerns or questions. But also because labor and delivery went extremely well. I didn’t feel as “broken” as I was postpartum with Sixtine.
  • It is an ongoing learning.
  • Breastfeeding more or less “successfully” Victoire has made up for the bad experience I had with her sister.

Confessions of a Formula-feeding Mum or My Breastfeeding Experience

Sixtine is formula-fed. Discuss.

Breast-feeding vs formula-feeding seems to be a very hot subject lately. I want to tell you the story of my breastfeeding experience.

I became a mum on the seventeenth of October, at 9.08am. My body was naturally ready to feed my baby. Me, not so much. I never really gave a big thought about breastfeeding. I had breasts, I would produce milk, breastfeed my daughter and all would be well in the world. When Sissi was born and they had made sure she was fine, they put her on my chest. And we cuddled. It was a very special moment. She was so little. This skin-to-skin experience was amazing and I will always remember it. Then they put her to my breast. And she started to suck. It felt different but in a positive way, and I felt happy and empowered to be able to provide for my daughter. It wasn’t always easy to find the right position to feed her, but the nurses and lactation consultant were there to help. I started to feel confused after a few hours when different opinions were voiced and that the lactaction consultant told me that if baby was awake, she was hungry which led to a 6-hour (I may be exaggerating but slightly – I was tired so my memory is a little foggy) feeding (on and off) or at least, she was on the breast for those six hours. She was not sleeping, so she was hungry?

We returned home and the real challenge started. Oh dear…! I was beyond exhausted and baby was eating every 2 hours. I wasn’t always confident in the way I was doing it (is she getting any, is she latched on properly…) and it started to hurt. It went from mildy painful to oh-my-god-she-will-probably-wake-up-in-ten-minutes-please-don’t-wake-up-yet.

I loved the emotional aspect of breastfeeding but it wasn’t comfortable for me at all. It hurt a lot. I was always wet. And was somehow disturbed by that new function on a physical aspect: nipple hurting when seeing baby, extreme leakage, wet bed, shirts, everything…

It became very stressful, and extremely painful as in tears and ahh-ohhhs, and sobbs and crying so much one night I had to call a friend. I couldn’t keep my calm and told her how hard it was for me (she was still breastfeeding and I felt comfortable “confessing” myself. She’s not the judgemental type. That helps.) and she advised phoning Public Health which I did.

A nurse came in and checked me out. I felt very vulnerable at that time. Labor and delivery, an episiotomy and breasts in fire, anything she would have said would have made me cry. Even the word “sandwich”. Anyways, she checked my nipples and said: “no one could breastfeed with nipples like that.” It made me feel better because I thought I was being a “baby”. I saw a Dr who prescribed a cream Dr. something (can’t remember – baby brain anyone?), nipple shells, I was all geared up. The plan was to pump for a couple day until my nipples would get better so I could go back to breastfeeding Sixtine. I did feel better. Much better. So I decided to give it another try. My mum was home with me for the first two weeks of baby Sixtine’s life and saw how I was struggling and really highly suggested I formula-feed her seeing me in such pain. When I put Sixtine to the breast after two days off, I said to my mum: “I am scared, she is gonna bite me.” She answered: “You are scared of your own child” and laughed it off. I tried and she made a funny face. A look that said: “don’t want it”. After a couple more times, I assumed she didn’t like being on the breast anymore and I felt hurt but relieved. I decided then to pump my milk and give her expressed milk in a bottle. It worked wonders ! Didn’t hurt at all (anyone has noticed how big nipples get after pumping !?) and I felt good about the fact that she was still getting expressed milk. I was very good at it and was even able to freeze some. After a bit, I wasn’t home much and wasn’t able to pump as much as I used to and ended up producing less milk which made me wonder if I should buy my own pump or stop pumping completely. (The pump I was using was borrowed to the Public Health.)

I decided to stop. Formula was introduced once the frozen breastmilk ran out. I felt guilty at first and slowly, I started feeling somewhat ok with it. I think the feeding choice is a very personal one and I wish it wasn’t looked up or down so much.

My baby got a month and a half of breastmilk and I just want to hear: it is ok, you did your best.

 

10 Things That Change When You Have A Baby

  1. You want to better yourself for your baby.
  2. You silly dance and sing publicly for your baby like no one is watching.
  3. You become less self-conscious. I am talking bad hair day, shaving strike, nude face… You name it !
  4. You talk about poop and puke like it is the most natural thing in the world. It is, really.
  5. You see the world differently. You have new priorities.
  6. Stronger bond with your husband/partner.
  7. Get out of the door quickly. Well, actually, according to my husband, I never really did. But it’s gotten worse.
  8. Being addressed as —‘s mother. It is the best feeling in the world.
  9. Guest contribution from my husband: You cherish your free time.
  10. New found respect for your mother. Our relationship has grown a lot since I became a mother myself. I appreciate her more and all she did for me.

Let’s make this list a longer one, share !

Sparkabilities or how to exercise babies’ little minds !

My daughter has shown some interest in watching TV so I decided that if she was to watch something, it should be educational (without being boring). So I did some research and although I can’t recall how I heard about Sparkabilities, I think everyone should have their DVDS. I purchased Babies 1 and 2 and she has been watching Babies 1 for a couple months now. We will switch to Babies 2 in about two months.The DVD is about 25 minutes long and I usually have her watch it when I have something to do for about 5 to 10 minutes.

And let me tell you: she absolutely loves it ! Music, animals, maths, alphabet, shapes and colors – everything is covered ! She smiles when she sees people or babies, she looks surprised when the little dog grows to be a big dog, and follows the little smiley face in every corner of the screen.

“Sparkabilities is designed to develop essential learning skills while entertaining your baby.”

I am in no way interested in replacing interaction with my daughter with a DVD – but I think a reasonable amount every other day is very good for her and I turn it off if she seems distracted, tired or unhappy.

In my opinion, the only “con” of this product would be its price. I was able to get my two DVDs half-price (holiday discount) though. I will be waiting for their next offer before getting the next level which is Toddler 1 & 2 I believe.

Read more: http://www.sparkabilities.com/about/.

Do you buy DVDs for your infant? Does s/he enjoy them? What are your favorites? Would you be interested in Sparkabilities?