Confession time… I haven’t been feeling quite myself this past month. Things were getting pretty difficult for me emotionally until we finally figured out the right dose and medication for Lynley’s reflux. And her and Corbin still wanting to nurse every three hours was really wearing on me.
I don’t know how many times I cried (ugly cried) and just wanted to give up on breastfeeding. It’s too demanding, I would tell myself. I can’t do it. Lynley is allergic to milk, you can’t eat what you want. She isn’t gaining enough weight. I’m a slave to the pump at night and can’t get any sleep. This sucks. But then, Derrick would reassure me that I could do it, and he stayed home from work a few times to just help me through it. I’d be re-energized, and I would keep going, only to feel the same way a few days later. It was becoming a vicious cycle. I wanted to stop, but I couldn’t let myself. I know I need to do what is best for me too, but somehow I convinced myself I was being selfish. They need you, I’d think.
After several discussions with Derrick and my mom, we finally came to a solution that has been working out well for the past couple of weeks. I nurse them 2 to 3 feedings in the early morning and then do half formula/half breastmilk bottles throughout the day. This allows me to push the pumping to every 5 or 6 hours, and I am able to sleep a little longer at night when Derrick takes his shift. I can tell that Lynley is gaining weight, and both babies are starting to go longer without food and sleeping better with the addition of the formula. In fact, I’m sure the formula is why our routine is working out so well because it keeps them fuller longer. I’m ok with this. I have realized that breast milk is great, but formula is too. There is nothing wrong with them having it, and they need a happy mommy more than they need exclusive nursing.
I still am not able to have milk in my diet, but I have starting drinking almond milk in my cereal, and it’s good enough for now. I plan on really weaning them when we introduce solids, so for two more months I can hang with the almond milk. This allows me to get a stock of milk to freeze for Lynley for when I do stop pumping. I can’t give her any of the milk I had previously stocked, so I’ll use that for Corbin when the time comes.
We gave both Corbin and Lynley straight formula at bedtime last night, and little miss thang slept for 7 hours! This is definitely a win. Corbin had a tummy ache, so we aren’t sure how long he would’ve slept. We’re testing it out again tonight.
So, I give myself a silver star for breast feeding. I tried my best, and I’ve never been a first place finisher. I’ve always come in second… in academic competitions in grade school, I won several second place ribbons; in high school I missed graduating in the top 10 percent by only a few people; in college I needed a 3.5 to graduate with honors, I had a 3.48.
I don’t consider any of those things failures, but I set such high expectations for myself that I cannot possibly meet them every time. As a mother, I am destined to make mistakes. I am learning to relax and not be so hard on myself. I have happy, healthy, thriving babies. That is all that is important!
Don’t you agree these babies look happy?
|4 month picture preview! Photos courtesy of Nanner and her new camera!|