Monday, March 22, 2010

Next on the worry list

In general, I'm feeling upbeat and optimistic about the outcome of this pregnancy. I feel the baby kicking a lot, and when I have any doubts, I can pull out the trusty doppler and check on it. At this point, my biggest pregnancy fears are cord accidents and stillbirth. I would love to say that I don't think about those things, but it's the truth. I still worry that we're just not this lucky...

On a less serious note, I'm worried about breastfeeding. Any of you who have had babies or are pregnant have posted anything about breastfeeding fears have probably gotten a comment from me. When people are worried, I generally tell them that it's very, very difficult, and that there is no shame in not being able to breastfeed. I do truly believe that. However, that doesn't mean that I don't want to try again. Last time I failed. I'm terrified of failing again.

My major problems with D were these:
1. Uncooperative baby: He was a stroooooong little sucker right from day one, and he struggled against me as I tried to position his head correctly for a good latch
2. Stress of lack of sleep, trying to close on a house, living out of boxes, and trying to pack the rest of my house all with a brand newborn
3. High blood pressure exacerbated by all of the above stresses
4. Me not drinking enough liquids because of all the above distractions, and not realizing how important hydration is when trying to breastfeed
5. D not gaining enough weight because of the lack of good latch and (probably) my dehydration
6. Hour and a half round trips to the new house for pediatrician appointments, lawyer/realtor meetings, etc, all the while trying to juggle BFing a newborn in a variety of less than ideal places

I'm afraid of failure. I'm afraid of breastfeeding "support" groups that will make me feel more like a failure if I feel like I can't do it again. I'm worried about "wasting" money on formula, when I have two perfectly good boobs that should be able to feed my baby.

What I'm not worried about is raising a baby on formula, or not bonding with them because of not breastfeeding. I know that formula grows babies just fine, and I've had no problem bonding with D due to not breastfeeding him. I just have a lot of good reasons for wanting to breastfeed, and I don't want to fail again.


Stacie said...

Try to not stress about it now -- just wait until the baby is born and see how it goes. Maybe try not putting those expectations on yourself. Have an open mind to the possibility that it may or may not work out again. Hopefully it will though.

And you're right, there is nothing wrong with formula-fed babies. They grow and develop just beautifully.

Carolyne said...

I think the fact that you have had a previous problem with BF is totally justifying your fears.
I have this overwhelming ache to BF my baby - that closeness is something I yearn for but I'm not naive enough to believe it'll be as easy as pie.
As Stacie says, open minds are such a great tool. Let's hope it works out for both of us.

Em said...

I completely get your fears. I failed with Reese. I could leave you a comment longer than a novel on my BFing stresses, but I won't. I just wanted to let you know that in between Reese and Maje I became a lactation consultant. I was able to successfully nurse Maje for a year and a half, and I LOVED every minute of it. I've also been able to help a few other moms along the way. If you need help, feel free to ask! I have a whole bunch of tricks for an uncooperative baby, keeping up an awesome milk supply, soreness, engorgement and all of that. I'm here if you need something, and at least for me having more knowledge on the topic made it less intimidating for me. Good luck!

(so much for the short comment!)

cheryllookingforward said...

As you know, I'm right there with you. I'll be your support group! We can do it! I already have a jar of formula in the pantry, though, just in case.

Karen said...

The goal of breastfeeding is having a healthy, happy baby who eats well. If you end up using formula to reach that goal, you're still a success. I know that it doesn't feel that way, but it's the absolute truth. Your baby was well fed and well loved. That's ALL that matters. Job well done.

As far as the practical advice of how to do it goes, I can offer you some when the time comes. I've breastfed four kids. It wasn't always the rosy perfection that some people make it out to be. But I did learn things that made it easier. Little things that seem stupid make a difference. My best super-easy tip is to use a baby shampoo that smells like how you think babies are supposed to smell. Then when you start nursing, sniff his hair. It's a crazy hormone thing, but your body sometimes will respond to the scent and your milk will come in.

Dawn said...

I completely worry about cord accidents or still birth. I don't share with many but it's there. I am also hugely concerned with breastfeeding. I did find that speaking with lactation consultants or Le Leche League members is not what I thought. They are not hypocritical at all and very supportive (even if you do fail it seems). Cheryl, you and I can have our own little breastfeeding support group!

Anonymous said...

I am also worried about stillbirth and cord accidents...I have a son now and a daughter on the way and you just never know...

As for BF, I made it til 4 1/2 months with my son and pumped til he was 5 1/2 months. I still felt like a failure that I couldn't make it a full year and my suplly dropped because he slept very well through the night and didn't wake up as much to nurse.

I hope you can try it again this time, and if it doesn't work, this baby will still do great I am sure!


Azaera said...

Took me forever to get Skyler to breastfeed. NICU and the bottle they started him on made it a huge struggle, but after months of trying and him screaming his head off and me feeling like a failure we finally got there. And in the end we still supplemented with formula because he wasn't growing as much as he should have been and I ended up having to go back to work. All in all, everything will work out in the end as long as baby is getting their nutrients one way or another.

Anonymous said...

Maybe BFing will go better for you this time around now that you already know what challenges you may face (and maybe some like the house move will not be a challenge this time around).
And if not, then as you said, there is no shame in FF and your little one will do just fine.
To keep hydrated I had a big huge jug of water with a plastic straw (that I got in the hospital) that I drank out of constantly. It was easy to grab it and sip it while I was BFing.
I did get a lot of support from my lactation consultant and LLL. The only things I wish I had done differenlty was get his latch checked out in person (rather than describing on the phone) because no two ways about it, it was TOUGH at first. My nipples were sore and I was sleep deprived.
I would hope that those around you would support you whether you BF or FF. :)