February 22, 2009

Well, that's just great, thank you very much...

I am still crabby. And depressed. I feel like a bad mom. Here is the story in a nutshell:

So, Little A just turned 6 months old. We've been happily plugging away at babyhood. A few weeks ago, I noticed that Little A seems to be getting a bit fussier. And she slept... a lot. Then, I noticed that she was getting frustrated during her feedings. Instead of latching on like a champ, she would latch on and pull away, latch on and pull away... She would burrow into my breast and wiggle and kick. Also, she seemed to be thinning out a bit. Giant red flag!

Rewind about 2 years. To make a long story short, Sassy had some major feeding problems. She lost weight between 6 and 8 months and fell off of the growth chart. She was diagnosed with FTT. Two things happened- we had a pivotal parenting moment and eventually, arrived at the decision to stop breastfeeding. See, with FTT, many times the cause is neglectful parenting. Any good pediatrician should raise an eyebrow and really look into the situation. In our situation, it felt like the fingers were pointing before a good look was granted. There is nothing more heartbreaking than feeling like someone is questioning your parenting intentions. It was a horrible experience, as we were equally horrified by the fact that Sassy wasn't faring well. In the end, formula feeding seemed like our only option. After a while, things did resolve.

Fast forward to the present. After noticing these signs, I called my Dr. right away. I had no idea why my milk supply declined with Sassy. But I did tell myself that if this ever happened again, I would become more educated. I would seek out ways to fix the problem. I would figure it out this time. I saw a nurse practitioner at my OB's office Thursday. I explained all of my fears and told her what happened in the past with Sassy. She reassured me that we would get things figured out. She gave me a slew of things to do- drink 8+ glasses of water a day, eat at least 1800-2000 net calories, take fenugreek, pump for 20-30 minutes after each feeding, have a beer each night, and so on. I left her office feeling great. I would get this figured out. It was probably me overreacting, anyway.

Then, Friday, I took Little A in for her 6-month check. I was a little nervous, but I tried to calm myself down. If her weight was declining, which was probably not even going to be the case, then surely the pediatrician would appreciate the fact that I had been looking into ways to solve the problem. Surely that would be a positive thing. Things would be fine, I kept telling myself.

Little A weighed 12 lbs, 6 oz. Down three ounces from her 4-month check. My heart sank. I knew it. All these thoughts started running into my head. Why didn't I bring her in earlier? What could I have done differently? Now, in my head, I was working out some of the details. I am confident that this was not a gradual decline over the last 2 months. I am certain that this started happening in just the last couple of weeks. I saw the signs. That means she probably, in reality, lost more than 3 ounces since she likely had been gaining since 4 months.

The pediatrician was not easy on me. I left in tears. He did not give me a break. Now, I am not saying that he should be turning his cheek. No. I just feel that there was a lot of insensitivity to a very sensitive topic. Especially considering I am visibly emotional here. In short, he thinks I am crazy for giving the breastfeeding a further shot. I am starting to believe him. Exactly what I didn't want to happen. So, Little A goes back in 10 days for a weight check. All I have to say is that things better pick up in these 10 days. Seriously, or else. I don't even want to think about what else.

I am so pissed at my body. What is it? Like, hey it's February... time to stop working. Why is it that some people can choose to feed their kids until they are 5 and I can't even manage 6 months? It makes me so frustrated. Then I think of all the women who can't conceive, can't carry to term, etc. There is always a "why".

So here I am, completely torn. When this happened with Sassy, she had a gradual decline over 2 1/2 months, and at that point, we stopped breastfeeding. Still, my biggest regret was not trying more ways to increase my milk supply. Now, facing this again, it breaks my heart that Little A may be suffering. But, at the same time, I truly believe that breast milk is best for her. However, I feel like there is too much pressure on me to change something my body is doing. Something out of my control. It is driving me crazy. But, I'm not ready to stop. She's only 6 months. I thought 9 1/2 months with Sassy was too soon. This is even worse. Then, what does that really matter if she is not getting the nutrition that she needs. But, once I stop, it's over. There's no going back. I want desperately to make the right decision. I just don't know how long to give it.

I plan to call the nurse practitioner tomorrow morning and explain what happened with Little A's appointment. I will go from there. As of this very moment, I don't know how much longer I can do this. Something is just telling me to get that baby fed. Whatever way necessary. I am giving myself until that phone call to make the final decision. Wish me luck. I am so very upset. It may seem like an easy decision, one way or the other. But, until you have lived it, I don't think you can really understand. It's not so simple.

8 sweet tweets:

Mandy said...

Oh Heather, I am so sorry... I think that exactly the same thing happened to me with both of the boys. I am sorry to say that I found no miracle cure. All of a sudden my body was just done. Call me if you need someone to talk to.

Sarah said...

That is so unfair that you're in this situation. Everyone who knows you, knows that you are a great mommy, and of course you are not to blame whatsoever in this decision. I know you have Little A's best interest at heart and only want the best for her. When you call the office tomorrow ask them about "blessed thistle", which is another herbal supplement that our lactation consultants suggest to patients. I would definitely trust the ARNP, but you may try giving the lactation consultants a call too-it never hurts. Call me if you want more info, or their phone number. Hang in there!!

Erin said...

Heather I'm so sorry. It is terribly frustrating. The women who are able to breastfeed until the end of time make me jealous, too. My body gave up on it after 3 1/2 months with G and 4 1/2 or 5 months with Little Missy. You are a good mommy! And you've been preparing yourself for ways to improve your supply. Again, you are a good mommy! And you should look into finding another pediatrician. He sounds like an ass. There are lots of overly qualified pediatricians who aren't jerks.

The Costellos said...

:( I had a terrible time trying to nurse both my girls and although my situation was nothing like yours, I know the sucky feeling of not being able to do what is so "natural" and what we were made to do. Whatever you decide, it will be decided with all your Momma Love for Little A and she will be the better for it ~ either way. *hugs*

Monica said...

How many times does this pediatrician have to treat you like shit?

I am so sorry this is happening.

I agree with Sarah about maybe talking to a lacation consultant. I also agree that if you just give up in the morning and give her some formula, that is fine too.

The Hoffman Family-Adam, Laura, Easton & Emerson said...

Hang in there! I tried both Blessed Thistle and Fenugrek with Easton. My milk dropped dramatically too. Those herbal things helped me. I hope they will help you too! If not it is what it is and you'll do what's best for Little A! Your a wonderful mommy!

Kendra said...

I am just catching up on blogs after a busy weekend...I am SO SORRY you are going through this!! I am not a Momma yet, but I can only imagine what a tough spot you are in!! I will be praying...

mom2tictacs said...

Hey, I'm just getting a chance to catch up on things and hon I am so sorry you are going through all of this. (((BIG HUGS))) Bottom line though, you are concerned and worried and trying to correct the problem anyway that you can, and THAT is a good mom. Whether she gets formula or BM, that fact that you are so on top of it and so proactive, makes you a great mom and for that, you should be proud. Big hugs!!!