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.

Teething And Biting While Breastfeeding

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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?

Sleeping Nursling

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Got Milk? Thoughts On Breastfeeding.

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  • 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.