Reality Check

I’m hooked up to the milking machine and hubs is in the other room holding the boy, so now seems about as good a time for an update as any.

Here’s the update: this shit is hard.

Let me back up a little. R stayed in the NICU the whole time we were in the hospital. This basically made breastfeeding impossible, and so I’ve unwillingly become an exclusive pumper, which is its own special kind of hell. I’m only pumping 7 times a day, and still it seems impossible to pump, change and feed and burp my son, clean the bottles and supplies, while leaving time to feed and clean myself. Case in point: my husband was supposed to go back to work today, but I called him at noon in tears because for the brief hour break I tried to schedule R wouldn’t sleep.

I have no idea how much of this is sleep deprivation, how much of it postpartum depression. I started crying uncontrollably about 9 days after R was born. Just when I feel like it’s getting better, it happens again.

It’s been three weeks, and it doesn’t feel like it’s getting any easier. I keep thinking there is something wrong with me. Why can’t I handle this? We’ve hired some postpartum doulas to help, and they make me feel like shit. I hate watching them feed my son while I sit strapped to this goddamn pump. I think I am leaning toward formula, at this point.

And I haven’t even mentioned recovering from the c-section! It actually hasn’t been too bad, but I’m definitely still sore and my back is killing me from my lack of core muscles.

I feel like a dick complaining. I’ve wanted this for so long, and there are so many people I know who are still waiting. But I can’t help it. I’m really, really struggling.

7 thoughts on “Reality Check

  1. Don’t be too hard on yourself! Pumping and then bottle feeding is like twice the work! Your son won’t latch?
    The first few weeks are so hard, especially after a NICU stay. Having waiting for your baby so long does NOT make things easier. I hit a rough patch around two months… I saw my doctor and talked with other moms, and realised I was only human. Don’t be afraid to talk about how you’re feeling.
    Hang in there, mama, I’m sure you’re an awesome mother! Xoxox

    • Thanks lady. The boy latches pretty well, but tuckers out quickly and doesn’t take much. Then I end up breastfeeding, pumping, AND bottle feeding! Evidentally it could take several weeks to get him fully on the breast, and I just don’t have it in me. Hubs has convinced me to pump a little less and supplement if we need to. We’ll see how that goes, I guess. xo

      • Ouch, with a newborn, that ends up giving you like 15 minutes between feeds?! I had to do that when he was in the NICU… brutal! I’m sure you will make the best decision for everyone in the end. After all, he got the most important weeks of breastmilk and he needs his mommy to be happy and healthy! Xox

  2. Huge hugs! You are doing your absolute best, mama. EP is hard, twice the work. And if you have a touch of PPD on top of it, no wonder you’re struggling. Have you talked to your doctor about it? There’s no shame in getting help for it. Or four switching to formula. My sister struggled, too, but became a new woman when she started formula feeding. In her case, breast was not best.

    • Thanks lady. Haven’t had time to post, but I’m doing much better. Pumping is still crazy hard work, but it’s doable. The PPD seems to have passed, so hopefully it was just crashing hormones. I have an appt. with my psychiatrist in two weeks to check in either way. I’m hoping to keep up with the pumping for as long as I can, but I’m not putting any pressure on myself. If it gets too hard we will switch. xoxo

    • Much, much better. The first six months were really tough. I think the exclusive pumping was what made it feel impossible. I did it for six months, and now that I’ve stopped (and found a fantastic nanny), it feels manageable. If I’m lucky enough to do it again, I’ll do some things differently for sure.

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