Hardest work

From the minute Paul and I decided to have a second kid, I KNEW I wanted to make breastfeeding work with a second. I had a horrible experience nursing Declan for all of 11 days, and I always regretted not making it work. So as soon as we got the positive pregnancy test, I devoured all information I could find about nursing. I read books, online resources, went to a class, met and talked with Lactation Consultants, asked friends for advice and watched videos online. If I put half that much energy into doing, oh, anything else in my life, I’d be a real success. Too bad I don’t.

Anyway, I felt great about nursing when Simon was born. And 4.5 months later, we are going strong, and when I look at the rolls of chub on his little body, it makes me feel really accomplished.

That being said…

DAMN, NURSING IS HARD!!!!!!!!

Seriously, this is hard. All the reading I did didn’t prepare me for the mental toll that nursing can sometimes take. I was prepared for the pain. I knew to trust my body and not worry about milk production. I knew to just let him call the shots. I didn’t know, however, that 4.5 months in, I’d have this super slow nurser who hangs out on me 30 minutes at a time (at least) 8 or more times a day. I didn’t expect to still nurse him for an hour or more at a time every.single.night before bed. I didn’t know I’d have to watch my diet to figure out what is causing kicking and screaming at 4 a.m. some nights. (Damn dairy.) I didn’t know we’d still be nursing virtually every 2 hours most of the day.

It wears on me.

I went into this experience expecting to LOVE nursing. I was so ready for it. I wanted it so bad. And I am really proud of myself for making it this far, especially after getting through some rough patches in the beginning, one being a slow-to-heal wound that JUST healed. Like this week. Ouch.

But I am not in love with nursing. Not yet. I see why people say it’s too hard. I always knew the beginning was hard, but I never understood people that quit after, say, 3 months. I’d think “But you made it! The hard part is over!”

Yea, no. It’s not.

And I’m lucky in that Simon will take a bottle. At least I can get out of the house and know he will eat. Not that I EVER get a chance to pump. I could do it in the couple of hours between him going to sleep and me going to sleep, but that is my only kid-free time, so the last thing I want is to hook myself up to the milking machine every night. I want to sit in a dark room with no stimulation most nights, but that’s not too fair to Paul.

So I’m working through this. I know he is still so young and I’m hoping that any day now (seriously ANY FREAKING DAY NOW) he will speed up his nursing. I know as he gets older, I can comfortably adjust his sleep schedule so he’s down earlier and give me more of a break in the evenings. So I’m not quitting, no sir. No way and I getting through all of this so far to quit. Nope, we are going for a year. And we’ll make it. I may never love it, but I’m doing it.

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Hardest work

  1. Cheryl Burchett

    I am so impressed that you have ben able to do it, and so worried about how difficult it is. Hi made it 9 weeks and felt like a failure because it hurt so bad, but I still regret stopping. Ugh! I will be asking for advice should we have a second one. Hang in there. You are doing a great thing. Sucks that it has to be hard.

  2. mindy

    i tell patients all the time …. its something so natural but its one of the hardest things you will ever do!! but at the end of a year (or whatever their goal is) it is one of the most rewarding things a mom can do!! people think you just put a boob in a kids mouth and thats that but its so much more then that. but would you believe after a year i was sad to give it up kinda, but then so very happy to have my boobs back!! glad you are able to make it work this round.

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