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Mike and I have been married for 10 years now, and luckily we still like each other! We've been together for over 15 years and we've spent it traveling, backpacking, climbing, skiing, triathloning, marathoning, sailing, eating, and going on as many adventures as possible. We now have two beautiful boys, Sam & Charlie, and we couldn't be more excited about seeing a whole new world through their eyes in the years to come!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Breastfeeding is From Hell

I know this is not a politically correct statement, but I have to be honest and say that I don't care because it's so true! If I can make one new mother feel like she is not the only one going through this hell, then this post will have served it's purpose.

Yes, it's providing the best nutrition for my baby, and his IQ will be higher, and he will get sick less, and I'll lose weight faster, and on, and on, and on, but despite all this I have come close to throwing in the towel a few times in my extremely short, less than 3 week breastfeeding career.

I used to wonder why people quit breastfeeding before that all important 6 month mark, or why they didn't go with the recommended 1 year timeframe, but now I can say that I truly understand. Raw nipples, giagantic, lumpy, painful, engorged breasts, shoving my poor baby's head into my boob 500 times every two hours to try to get him to latch on, him not eating off one boob very well, so I get a breast infection which causes flu sympstoms with a temp of 102 degrees, wondering if he's getting enough to eat, dreading the next feeding because I know how bad that first latch will hurt, and just feeling like I'm 2 giant boobs instead of a person are some of the reasons I've considered giving up.

Wow, that was a rant, I'll end by saying that I couldn't be more in love with my Sammy, and I am really greatful that I have a functioning body that is able to breastfeed my baby, so for this reason I will not give up. I am committed to the 1 year mark as long as my body will make milk. Hopefully this rant will help someone else out there who feels the same way not to give up because they know they are not alone.

I would love to hear some of your breastfeeding stories, so please share them in the comments, good or bad! I'm interested to know how long it took you before it got a bit easier. Wish me luck, and I'll keep you posted on how it's going.

16 comments:

Lauren said...

Oh, Katy, I feel for you! Each of mine was a different situation. Nicole was on an IV for a while after she was born, so she wasn't hungry in the hospital and wouldn't nurse till we got her home. Can you say engorgement, anybody????

And Nathan....well, Nathan was PAIN for me for almost 6 weeks. I didn't think I'd ever be afraid of my baby, but when Vernon would bring him to me to nurse, I would literally shy away and have to force myself to let him latch on.

That said, after 6 weeks, things got A LOT better, and I am so glad I didn't quit. We had a year of great bonding time that I wouldn't trade for anything. So stick with it, Katy! It WILL get better!

Anonymous said...

hang in there girl, it will get much much better, I promise!

Anonymous said...

first off, hang in there! secondly, with my baby girl it took about 6 weeks until I wasn't grimacing every time she latched on. They say breatfeeding shouldn't hurt if you're doing it "right", but I say "pfffft" to that. Without the support of my friends, I probably would have stopped early. We're at four months and she now nurses beautifully. I can barely remember dreading every feeding for the first month. lol I guess it's like childbirth pain, it sucks but you forget about it really easily.

Amanda said...

Oh the memories came flooding back when I read this. Everyone told me that if I was doing it right, then it wouldn't hurt. WHATEVER! I was so close to giving up several times but I hung in there and for me, the pain finally went away at 2 months. I promise it will get easier! I'm actually trying to stop now. I thought I could make it to a year but I don't produce that much milk so I have to feed him all the time, day and night. It's pretty hard to get my milk to go away so we'll see how that goes. Good luck! Keep us updated on how it's going.

Amanda said...

I'm going out on a limb and saying this...but I think breastfeeding is a little over-rated. I didn't have the opportunity to breastfeed my oldest son and he has turned out just great...in fact he hardly EVER got sick, never had diaper rash, lost his baby weight quickly, bonded well and is as smart as all get out. I guess I had to look on the bright side of NOT breastfeeding...he slept through the night at 8 weeks and I had some freedom.
I am planning on breastfeeding this one, and I have heard what a chore it can be, hang in there, but don't be too discouraged if it's not for you...you son will be just fine.

Troy and Amanda said...

Is this what I have to look forward to? Is it to late to change my mind?

Jared and Reini said...

Hang in there girl! I wish that I could give you advice, but seeing that I have never had a child or breastfed one, I can't. The only thing I know from work and school is that it is important to use tea bags, lanolin cream, pump after each feeding, drink 1-2 L of water, and press on. Good luck!

Love ya girl!

Karen Stewart said...

Katy, It was great to catch up with you today. I read your blog - I think I am glad I missed out on the whole baby thing after reading both about the breast feeding misery and the actual birth!!! Miss you loads at work. Best to you, Mike and Sam. Karen

Susie said...

I had some tuff times with Jaxon nursing but all in all it was sooo worth it. Just go with the flow try feeding him only every 2-3 hours no more then that. if he is suckin all day long then your boobs are going to be engorged alot more.
Just wait until sam latches off so he can look up at you and smile...that will make you feel soooo good. Remeber the sounds he makes, you will miss that one day....but the best times for me were nursing jaxon in the mornings I kept that feeding until he was a year. I would bring him into bed with me and we would wake up together as a fam while he got some breakfast...and it was just nice.

Ireland Fam said...

I know I talked to you last night about this but I forgot to ask you if you have been using Lanolin. It's this ointment that helps your BOOBS heal and get tough. It saved my life. (This is such a funny post. I didn't really know how to say that but then I was like, WHATEVER, she said boobs a lot. Anyone who cares would have stopped reading by now.) Anyway, when Lucas burped up blood I FREAKED out. That's how bad it sucked for me. I was bleeding so much that he was drinking my blood. YIKES! We had to feed him Pedisure to make sure it was me and not him but it was very scary. I got the Lanolin and it helped me toughen up and stop the burning. After that it was just an annoyance and not the most excruciating pain in the world.

Angie said...

It took me 8 weeks. I cried everytime Ben ate and wanted to quit. Totally worth it in the end if you can make it through 8 weeks of hell.

Heather Ridge said...

Reading this post sounded just like me when I had Isaac. Everyone warns you about child birth, yadayada. For me...the worst was when my milk came in, sore nipples, and getting Isaac to eat. He didn't know how to suck and I had to use a shield for 2 weeks. It also found out that I am part cow and produce insane amounts of milk........ouch engorgement. Seriously though, after a few weeks it dies down and you get into a groove. Once Samuel gets it, you will be able to look back and say "I am so glad I didn't quit!" You can do it my friend!

Brekke said...

Breastfeeding is a gift and a chore. It does suck for a while (pardon the pun). I have very similar stories to those mentioned and not much advice to add. Just hang in there. Audrey had to learn to nurse in just 5 minutes a side - that's all I could take. And just know that I started and ended my breastfeeding year with bags of frozen peas on my chest. Something to look forward to I know, but at least you are not alone.

Jen Chapman Kent said...

Dang Katy... I'm sorry! I remember the nipple thing, but don't want to anymore! ;) Did I give you the boobie juice? I promise you... it freaking works and works better than anything else out there! 1 c. warm water w/ 1/2-1 TBSP salt! Cut gauze into strips and apply after each feeding and don't replace until the next! It's more work but it's worth the work... it'll pay off sooner than you can imagine!! Next advice... do the best YOU can! We all have our ideas how things "should" be and sometimes they change. You will find that to be more true now having a baby, if it's getting the cleaning, the laundry, the errands, the whatever done... things may not go as you had planned and that's ok! That baby is going to get everything he needs if it's through you or (thank goodness) the wonderful formulas that are out there! Like many others... it will get better and then once you get to that year like me, you'll be thinking, wow... it's so nice to have my boobies back! ;) Good luck! and again, he is such a little stud!

Aaron and Lisa said...

Well said. :) So sorry. I know. I thought the same thing. How in the world can they make breastfeeding adds where women have these serene and peaceful looks on their faces???! They should have contorted and complete looks of pain! :) Joseph was the same and I had break down the first night we were home because of how hard it was. We stuck it out and tried a nipple thing... can't remember what it was called. It still hurt and I still bled, but it was easier for him till he got the hang of it. After a while I just pumped and fed him breast milk from a bottle. The pump doesn't hurt near as much. We stuck it out till about 4 or 6 months, can't remember. He is absolutely fine! Smart little guy! I have been told it bets better and it did hurt less after a while, but there were always moments of ouch once in a while. Good luck.

Whitmer Family said...

Hey Katy, Lets just say with Jack I breastfed him for four months at which I had to stop because, what's this?? I was pregnant again. With Kenny I did my best and my best only went until he was three months. So I did not make it to the six month mark, but am I a bad mother?, no, are my kids healthy and strong? yes. Do I regret anything? nope. All you can do is your best. Don't worry about any body else and their opinions or judgments, just do what works for you and Sam. Love you guys.