Friday, October 30, 2009

Rough Week

It's Friday and I cannot believe it. This week has been a blur...
and by blur, I mean a real, honest, drug induced, coma sort of blur.

Monday I was bathing Barclay, he stood up in the tub very quickly and was about to fall on his head, and me being the super mom that I am...literally dove to catch him. In that dive I twisted my body weird and I heard a pop in my neck. Instantly my arms were numb and I had to put Barclay between my legs to hold him. I was in a lot of pain, but just figured it would wear off.
It didn't. And on the way to the night clinic pediatrician (to make sure Barclay didn't have an ear infection), we pulled over to my chiropractor to see if they could fit me in.
I've seen the same chiropractor for 3 years and he has done wonders for helping my headaches. I just figured he'd fix me. He adjusted me 6 times! All very painful. This was 5 times more than usual. I felt much worse afterwards but he assured me once my muscles calmed down, then I would feel better. The night kept getting worse and worse. And when I got up at 3 to feed Barclay I knew I was in trouble. I put him down, and went to tell Noah that I was going to drive myself to the ER, and leaving him to watch Barclay.
I drove there (thankfully at 3 am you don't have to check your blind spot very often). I was admitted immediately (praise God) because it was a neck injury. It hurt so bad that I couldn't even lay down on the bed. I was just moaning and walking. The doctor thought it could be a fractured vertebrae or a slipped disk. But after a CAT scan, it just showed up as severe muscle and tissue damage.
I was given meds and a note excusing me from work for a few days.
This was highly humorous to me, because my man boss (Barclay) doesn't really take sick notes. I was in so much pain that I decided to take the meds even though it meant not breast feeding while I was on them.
Fast forward 4 days and I literally cannot remember this week. I know my mother and sister, mother in law, father in law, and husband took excellent care of me and the baby, and I have no idea what I would have done without them. Twice I was dropped off at my mom's house, hustled to bed and didn't have to worry about a thing, I was able to sleep two nights in a row, without having to wake to feed, I was fed in bed by my mother, I was treated like a princess.
But with all the tender care, it was still painful and it was tough to see Barclay being independent of me (although I knew the day would eventually come). It was horrible to see him to to reach for me only to be told "mommy could hold him". It was awful the few times he was around me that he buried his face in my chest nuzzling for some warmth. It was terrible to in all my pain and cloudiness, to have to wake up and pump.
It was hard, but I got off the meds after two days and have been nursing exclusively again. It has not gone well.
The hard thing about breastfeeding is you are never sure how much your baby is getting. I know it will probably take a few days to get my supply back. But it's just been rough.

While Barclay was on formula, he:
-slept through the night
-napped regularly
-was always pleasant
-had regular dirty diapers
-was just a fun and laughing baby.

Now I'm worried either my milk was making him sick or that now, especially after so long without nursing, I do not have enough to give him.

I'm also tired and worn out. And I want to have another baby in the near future. Should I take the break? Should I fight it and work on another 3 months of nursing?

Am I being selfish and sacrificing Barclay's good sleep and pain free tummy, for my desire to keep him close and still nurse? Or am I worried to not look good to other mothers?
Or am I being selfish that a glimmer of a better daily life is clouding my perception that I KNOW that nursing is the best thing for him? Almost everyone that I looked to for support in breastfeeding is encouraging me to to formula feed.
I wish someone would just tell me black and white...what to do.

In my heart of hearts, I'm not ready to give up nursing. But being a mother means I think what's best for him..not me.


  1. HJ,

    I have struggled with the same thoughts. For me, Titus just would not nurse for more than 2 min and did not gain any weight for 2 months. He is thriving on formula. It's so hard though to let go. I feel your pain. Yesterday was the first day I didn't nurse and I felt super needy and like something was missing, BUT I am looking forward to my hormones leveling out. As much of a bummer as it sometimes feels, I know my son is going to do better because of weaning... ie...he will be getting the milk he needs.

    I know all the benefits of nursing, but he wasn't getting those nursing for 30 seconds! AND, Titus takes his bottle best from me... we have sweet time snuggling and he stares and reaches his hands up from the back and still holds my neck and hair. There are precious times there too.

    Whatever you decide will be right for your family. Aren't mom decisions hard?! Just be prepared bc I can see it will prob take a couple weeks for the hormone shift to wear off.... but I hear things are quite nice on the other side of that!!!

    You are a fantastic mother! I hope your neck is better asap.

    Love, Jessica

  2. Oh Momma,
    I've been struggling with the same thoughts and I don't have nearly the situation you do!

    I'll be praying that you find your black or white, knowing that you are a fabulous mother whatever you choose!

  3. In respect to nursing... I had been very determined to nurse for a long time. We all know the benefits of it. Alina nursed until about 14 months when I realized I was pregnant. Raziel? nursed for 5 months flat and switched (and did well) to formula and now that he's 13 months has switched to cow milk. Honestly? I love nursing. It's wonderful. But Raziel is just as healthy as Alina and got the same jumpstart on immunity as Alina did. If you're happier and he's happier, go ahead and switch to formula. Find one he likes (like iron free or with iron, organic, soy or milk based, etc) and stick to it. Changes are tough but it sounds like he'll do fine and it may be the break you need. And don't kid yourself - he will stay just as close to you and love you just as much drinking a bottle as he did breastfeeding!

  4. We eased into formula slowly. It was a hard decision for me because I struggled much in the same way you are. I began halfing Ben's bottles with breastmilk and formula in order to not upset his tummy and get him used to the taste. I finally switched him to pure formula at 8 months. I cried the last time I nursed him. It was harder on me than it was on him, surely. However, it was the right decision for us at the time, given the circumstances. It'd be so much easier if there was a black and white manual to help dictate what to do here, but it's all about what works for you and Barclay at the time. Will he suffer if you switch him to formula? Of course not. Will your bond suddenly become damaged or broken? Absolutely not. He will always find a special comfort in time spent with his mama no matter what. A slow lesson learned by me for sure, and one that I had a lot of guilt and sadness over, but we've all survived and moved on. I still miss nursing my little boy lots. I miss that little look he'd give me as he gazed up at me in the early morning hours, or that little kneading action he did while he nursed away when he was very small. It was a special time, but like everything else so far, is a memory, and one that I'll cherish forever.

  5. I have no advice to give :( But I know you are a WONDERFUL mother, no matter what decision you make!! I'm so glad your neck injury was not more serious, and that you are doing better.


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