Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The One Where I Had to Let It Go

Part Two . . .

The main reason for the Prince's lack of weight gain in the beginning was laziness on his part.  My milk was fine and had been checked, (oh yes, I was asked at the time, so nice) and there was more than enough for him, he just didn't want to do the work to get it.  So, when he nursed, he ate enough to satisfy the hunger and the sucking reflex, but never enough to promote growth!  An interesting conundrum.

So, for March and April, we continued on.  I would nurse the Prince and then follow with 2 ounces of preemie formula.  Finally mid-March, he was back up and past birth weight.  The bi and tri-weekly weight checks turned into every couple of weeks and then (at long last) ended!!  The Prince was on his way.

Then May came.  The Prince decided on some feedings that nursing wasn't for him, and would instead gulp down 4 ounces of formula.  I felt helpless to prevent it. I worked hard to keep my milk supply up, but little by little he began to refuse multiple feedings during the day.  Each time, a piece of my heart broke, as I went to mix up more formula.  Nursing my babies, was quite honestly, a guilty pleasure.  A guilty pleasure in the sense that it was something only I could provide for my babe, and let's be honest it was the ultimate excuse to put my feet up and just enjoy my baby.

Then came the day, when he refused the breast entirely.  I was devastated.

I called a friend who knew what was going on and had been praying for me.  When she answered, I couldn't even talk, I just burst into great gulping tears and choked out the words, "He stopped nursing."  I listened to her encouragement through my tears and somehow made it through the day.

I resented every bottle those first few days.

Especially those middle of the night ones.

However, I couldn't deny that seeing my little guy grow chubby and smiley and so healthy, was making it okay.

It is hard to give up on something when it is out of your control.  It is hard to have something you enjoy and treasure, wrenched out of your clenched fists.  It is hard to stop feeling guilty once you start.  It is hard to watch others "succeed" where you feel you've failed.

Part three to come . . .

1 comment:

Bird said...

I had no idea things were so tough for you those first months! I guess I was dealing with a newborn too, but still...I'm sad/glad that you are taking the time to reflect on your experiences/grief/hurt. I know I too often jump to judge a bottle-feeding mom, but I also know that breastfeeding is no cake walk!