Breastfeeding Sucks.

We never had a problem getting her to latch.   There was never an issue with supply.

The girl has been crazy for boobie since I squeezed her out my lady bits, and I’ve hated {almost} every second of it.   Not at first.   When she was first born and they handed her to me and she started rooting I wanted to feed her so badly I could almost taste it.   It was the strangest thing.   I had secretly been really creeped out by the idea of breastfeeding, so I didn’t expect to find myself so primordially driven to nurse.    My big sister had warned me that the early weeks would be difficult, that by day four or five I might prefer to take a blow-torch to my nipples than let that kid anywhere near them, so I was moderately prepared for the pain and soreness (oh yeah…there’s pain and soreness if you haven’t heard.   Like a tiny little indian burn on your areola over and over again.)   I’d read up a million ways breastfeeding could go wrong, and I was all but certain that I’d have to leap every single one of those hurdles on the road to success.   I dealt with none of them.   My boobs were soldiers.

But MAN have I loathed nursing.   Yeah yeah…postpartum depression. I know.   That’s part of it for sure…but my relationship with breastfeeding has always been quite complicated and I think that’s probably true for a lot of women.   {All of this “miracle of life” business they pitch you…it can be misleading, man.}

In the beginning it thrilled me to see Dee go all shark-week while she looked for her latch.  {We used to call her the angry boobie shark, and chuckle as she went from frantic milk-fiend to sweet satiated baby in sixty seconds or less.} I’d watch her nurse, her beautiful little face so relaxed, eyes shut tight, humming as she gulped, little fists cocked back at the ready like she was going to sock anyone who tried to come in between her and that boobie… And I would just marvel that this was my baby.  This perfect creature.   I made her.

Except that the perfect little creature that I made?   She had quite the appetite.  She could nurse all night.   And all day.   Forty five minute nursing sessions.   Then an hour and a half.    In the early days, when I was following Pediatrician instructions to nurse her every 2 hours, It wasn’t uncommon for our nursing sessions to bleed right into each other with not much more than a bathroom break for me in between.

That was the first thing I started to hate.   I didn’t want to do it.   I’d dread it.   She’d start to root, and I’d start to sweat.   Scott would hold her while she would fuss and whine (she was never a screamer really, just this funky little laugh/cry) as I ran around the house like a maniac trying to collect anything I might need while I was stuck camped out on the couch for the next hour/twelve.   Trying to just do that one last thing, answer that one email, write that one blog post, take that one shower, eat that one meal before I would be held captive for hours on end by my suckling new born.  Sometimes, in the mornings, I’d wake up so dehydrated I’d be dizzy when I stood up.

3 days shy of a year, Delilah’s been exclusively boob fed.  {Wait, she eats food and drinks water.  Can I still say “exclusively?”  I guess not.}

Breastfeeding is hard.   It’s really, really, really hard.   I wasn’t in a mental place to take proper care of myself, and as a result, it was torture on my body.   It still is.   I still have to work to keep up calorically with what she demands my body produce.   I’ve lost 50 pounds.  {Don’t get too excited, I gained almost 80 while pregnant, I didn’t drop a single pound for the first four months, it was easily 30 lbs of water weight, and I’ve worked my ass off beyond breastfeeding, but that’s another post for another time.}  I hate having my breasts touched [sorry every dude that I know who made it this far into the post and just groaned] because it immediately causes let-down.   I hate how my boobs look after she’s drained them.  [I’d apologize again, but if you kept reading after that last one, it’s no one’s fault but your own.]   I can’t wait to get my body back, let alone my bazooms, and still I feel like I’ve run a marathon, & although I’m broken and bleeding, I’ve reached the finish line, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.  I’ve wanted to quit so many times over the past twelve months, I can’t even tell you.   But every time I’d think about it, I’d look down at my happy baby boobie shark, and I’d think of all the time her Mama spent lying on the couch instead of playing with her, and I just couldn’t take away that one thing she loved so much.   That one thing that I’d decided to do for my child before I got lost in the abyss, when I was still thinking clearly.  That one thing that made her more connected to me than any body else, no matter how lost I felt.   And I did.   I did do it.   In spite of everything.

It’s a whole big bloody mess of feelings, really.   Love/hate doesn’t do it justice.   I can spend all day raging about how much I hate every second of it, but I’ll still relish the moments in the early moonlight of Dee’s nursery where we spend a few quiet moments together before she goes to sleep.   She never cries.   She always hums.   I don’t know what I’ll do when we lose that.

But then on the flipside, breastfeeding has sometimes felt like a barrier between us.   Like…she’s obsessed with my ladies.   Like, I might as well not even exist otherwise half the time.   Like, SERIOUSLY DELILAH MY EYES ARE UP HERE.    It’s upsetting sometimes.   I’ll come home and she’s happily playing on the floor with Scott, or my Mom, or my Mother-In-Law, and the second she sees me, she goes buck wild for boobie.  There have been times when I’ve felt that it prevents us from really getting to enjoy our time together.

And I have another problem.   I have no idea how to wean this girl.   Remember how I mentioned “when I was following Pediatrician instructions to feed every two hours?”   I was inferring that “scheduled” feeding didn’t last long.   We fell into a baby-led schedule pretty quickly, and there we’ve stayed.   When we started solids, we did a weird combination of practices (I’m a go with the flow-er, can you tell?) and as a result, none of the books or resources I’ve read seem to apply to me.   How do you cut down on one daily feeding when your kid feeds an infinite number of times a day?   How do you slowly take it away from a girl who is trying to tear your shirt off and will do cartwheels on top of you to finagle her way to your nip, and will wiggle and wriggle and fuss, and yes even sometimes SCREAM if you tell her no?   When I’m sleeping, she no longer requires my assistance to find what she’s looking for.   On Friday she’ll be one year old.   I’ve met my commitment, but I have no idea how to end it.

Yesterday morning I was at my wits’ end.   Finally, bleeding from my boob {where the beast-girl had scratched me in yet another wild-grab for tittie} I bought some organic whole milk.   Put it in her sippy cup.   She acted like she’d gotten a mouthful of turpentine.   And she shrieked and screamed and crowed and cried until I unsheathed a boob.   {I’m surprisingly powerless against her.}    By last night I had Scott for backup, and I was able to get her to calm down boob-free, but only for a few minutes at a time before she’d remember she’d been denied her beloved boobie juice and would lose her mind all over again.   It broke my heart.  And when I watched her look for something to distract herself with between bouts of meltdown, I couldn’t help but feel a tiny twinge of something like breaking up.   The faint, pit-of-your-stomach-nausea that comes with total done-ness.   Before we went to bed I cried, which shocked me, because I’ve been looking forward to this moment for so long.   I don’t know what to do.   I don’t know how to do it.   And I don’t know how to say goodbye to this time in our lives, despite the rollercoaster that it’s been.

{Wow.  And that’s what happens when you try to sum up eleven months of feelings in a single post.  You should probably treat yourself to a stiff drink if you made it this far.}  {Also, advice is welcome.   Seriously, I am at a total loss about how to do this.}

[disclaimer:  I know that the grass is always greener, especially when we’re talking about breastfeeding.  This account of my experience is in no way meant as a commentary on your experience, be it positive or negative.  And also, aren’t I such a wimp that I can’t just post this without being all: “please don’t get mad at me, you guys?” I should probably make a note to discuss that in therapy…]

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UPDATE:

For those of you who don’t read the comments, I wanted to share what Bettina Forbes from BestforBabes.org left on this post ~

As I said to Bettina, it may seem crazy ~ but it literally never occurred to me that nursing too well could be a solvable problem.   It’s too late for me, but ladies, if your kid is nursing around the clock like Dee did, maybe there is hope yet.  { And follow Bettina on twitter – she’s an incredible resource for BFing Moms.}

Feed Me Seymour

  44 comments for “Breastfeeding Sucks.

  1. October 5, 2010 at 4:25 pm

    See, we have very different experiences, I LOVE breastfeeding now, but I HATED it, I mean hated it, at first. Those ladies who tell you it isnt supposed to hurt can suck it, because for the first weeks I had to have Matt squeeze my foot to take my mind off the pain of Jack latching on my nipple. We got thrush FIVE separate times, I had bloody nipples and clogged ducts usually once a week, so I was just about to cry defeat when around 7 months, it got…better.

    And I started to love it. But yeah…I have no idea how we will tackle weaning. I was hoping he would self wean, but he acts like you described Delilah…boob crazed.

    All I can say is this…We have different experiences, but I feel for you. I SO SO SO feel for you.

  2. October 5, 2010 at 4:29 pm

    wowsers. we have the same kid. WOW! you summed up my first 12 months better than I could.

    my son is now 18 months old and he still nurses ALOT. All day… but not at night. If I am home, he is relentless with running to the boppy and letting me know what he wants. Every now and then I can hold him off with some real food, or I hide inthe kitchen, or give him juice. But when he wants it, he wants it. I feel like I wont be able to wean until we can have a conversationa bout it and he has the verbal skills to understand. Which will be a while!

  3. October 5, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    I feel for you–my kid is boob-obsessed, too! I don’t think we’re EVER going to wean. EVER.

  4. October 5, 2010 at 6:01 pm

    It’s so interesting how everyone’s breastfeeding experiences are so different, but also so much the same. (if that even makes sense!) My DD is 12 1/2 months and I am on my second day of not nursing her… at all. We got to this point very gradually. She stopped nursing in the middle of the night practically on her own. (I shortened that nursing session a little bit each time over about 3 or 4 weeks until she didn’t wake up to nurse anymore) And, since she was on a schedule… I mean, to the minute… it was easy for me to drop a session (again, after shortening it each time for awhile).

    Perhaps you could try shortening one of the times she nurses? Like, if she nurses for 10 minutes, stop her at 8 minutes for a few days, then go down to 6 minutes for a few days, etc.

    Thank you for sharing your experiences. I am feeling so torn about not nursing anymore! It’s nice to know I am not alone. :) Good luck and try not to stress over it.

  5. October 5, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    You nailed it! My son and your daughter are two days apart in age, and I completely agree with everything you said. I want my body back, I want to have intimate moments with my husband and not worry about how the boobies will react, I want to wake up in the morning without (still!) leaking all over the bed. I also have PPD, and can completely relate to your emotions about breastfeeding (and motherhood in general!). Thank you for you honest writing, it is truly inspirational!

  6. metta1313
    October 5, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    i too have a love hate relationship with my boobs and all the breast feeding woes, but really for completely different reasons. when i started having to supplement abby with formula, she would hardly take anything from a bottle. then when she started daycare and i could only nurse her in the morning at before bed, she hardly ate at daycare. but i tell you this, eventually, she realized that if she was going to eat, it was going to be in a different form from the boobs.

    i haven’t read anything about baby led weaning or anything weaning related really, b/c well, my boobs failed me…coupled with my working momma status, so I don’t have any sort of good advice for you. A thought, though, what if the hubs took on some of the milk giving w/o you around? I’m sure it will be hard on you, but I know with Abby, that when she’s going through cranky pants time, it’s much worse when I’m around and she only wants me. The hubs just can’t calm her down like I can. (I really feel bad about this b/c he so wishes he could all the time.)

    Also, I hear that the night time bottle/nursing session is the hardest for babies to give up. So what if you can gradually wean, and still nurse Dee at night and then give that up when you feel it’s time.

    Like I said, I really have no sound advice with any sort of “been there done that” thoughts, but just some thoughts of encouragement and random thoughts from someone else who has dealt with all those effing ups and downs that come with nursing. SIDE NOTE: I think at one point I even blogged a post where I wrote a love/hate note to my boobs. You know, when I blogged an stuff.

  7. charlene
    October 5, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    I looove how open you’re being. I too can relate cuz I barely got milk. It killed me to have to give my son formula. I had bleeding boobs that did not go away until long after which was very discouraging!
    I still give him what I can becuz I want him to have it but ur right it hurts like heck but I have learnt to bear it. I took it for granted I wud have lotsa milk.not the case but I feel good he still wants it.
    It rly is no east feat & I hate lookin @ my boobs I just thk they look long & unsexy & I don’t even want my hubby to see them :(

  8. Eva
    October 6, 2010 at 2:11 am

    Across the ocean, I’ve been following your blog for a long time now, but never had the courage to pos
    First, let me say congratulations. I love your blog, it’s very inspirational.

    My baby is 8 moths old and I stopped breastfeeding a week ago and it has been a roller-coast of emotions (and even some physical pain… yes sore boobs).
    I totally understand your feelings. Your text is such a good summary of what I believe most women go through one way or another. It’s such an emotional thing. I remember being so upset in the beginning because it never felt “natural”. How could something like this, feeding your baby, could be so difficult?
    Thanks for saying laud that it “Sucks”

    x

  9. October 6, 2010 at 4:37 am

    I have some probably unhelpful advice, but like everyone else I wanted to say I totally understand your mixed feelings.

    My kid was exclusively – EXCLUSIVELY, as in, refused a bottle, hated solids, threw sippies of water at my face – breastfed for 13 months. I was proud of every second of those 13 months, especially because we had a rough start with latch problems and oversupply and damn thrush every two weeks. I read advice on weaning and would just laugh – like, HOW do you “cut out a feeding” when it’s 2 am and your child is loosing their everloving mind and you know the one thing that will allow you to go back to sleep is yanking out a boob? NO ONE can do that.

    And then I found out I was pregnant again and my supply dropped and thirty seconds before I collapsed in a totally drained saggy boobed pile of tears on the bathroom floor, Evan weaned. On his own. Suddenly. In two months he went from nursing constantly to not at all.

    Now, I’m not recommending a second pregnancy as a genuine weaning tactic, but I AM saying things will get better. Keep offering cow’s milk or rice milk or hemp milk or coconut milk or lots of cheese and yogurt or whatever she’ll take. Try to just avoid a couple feedings – either by not being there or distracting her with other stuff. Don’t even think about dropping the nursing sessions you use to organize the day – like the one before a nap or bedtime or first thing in the morning. Those are always the last to go.

    And now I’ve written a comment almost as long as your post. It’s really hard to shut up when I’m talking about boobs.

  10. October 6, 2010 at 6:36 am

    Another note… I have also heard that the bedtime nursing is the hardest to drop. Which is why I didn’t save that one till last, actually! I figured that if the bedtime nursing would be the hardest to drop, then I didn’t want to keep doing it which might make it even harder as time went by. Every mommy, every baby and every situation is different, though… you’ll find something that works for you!

    I keep a sippy cup full of organic whole milk ready and offer it to my DD all day long. I am now on day three of not nursing and it’s going pretty well! I think my DD is transitioning better than me, though. ;)

  11. October 6, 2010 at 7:35 am

    Wow! You are awesome. I lasted 4 months then Archie went to formula. It’s rough. I have no advice on how to ween her. I just wanted to say that you are amazing for having stuck with it!

  12. sarah redmond
    October 6, 2010 at 8:37 am

    way to stick with it. both mine weren’t that interested after about 9 months….not sure if you’ve thought about pumping and giving her a bottle 2-3 times a day (maybe nursing morning/night) then doing a little whole milk mixed with Breast…this will cut the whole milk and not be such a shock. Just an idea. can’t wait to hear how it turns out. and Happy Birthday D

  13. October 6, 2010 at 9:45 am

    Oh my goodness. I am SO GLAD you finally uncorked and wrote that all down. I wish I could give you a huge hug, especially as a mom who had a similar experience (thought I would hate breastfeeding, dreaded it for weeks, suffered recurring mastitis, bleeding, etc., and had PPD). But as a CLC, there is a recurring theme in stories like yours that has us very concerned.

    Breastfeeding, like parenting, is not supposed to be an act of such supreme self-sacrifice that we can scrape mom off the floor. Too many moms are thinking they have to tough it out and are thereby not getting the right support. I believe that an excellent, independently recommended IBCLC–and not all IBCLCs are equal–would have been able to get to the bottom of why your baby needed to nurse around the clock for a FULL YEAR and help you resolve this issue so that you could have some sanity. Helpful advice from friends is nice, but just as in the case of any other condition, you need expert help, and it can be found, increasingly through online and skype consultations. I encourage you to be a voice that supports moms to breastfeed AND to take better care of themselves! xxoo

    • Morgan
      October 6, 2010 at 10:20 am

      I just got the chills reading that because it LITERALLY HAS NEVER OCCURRED TO ME to seek help for her nursing around the clock. I never considered that nursing “too much” could be a solvable problem. I absolutely encourage breastfeeding, and as I sort out the events of the past year, I definitely have some thoughts on the importance of self-care for new Moms.

  14. 010952
    October 6, 2010 at 9:54 am

    hey, here’s a tip that may help… or not… but maybe you should give it a try. so, here it goes: as much as you will hate it (and, for your comfort, I hated it it baaaadly), try expressing and then gradually combine breast milk with whole milk until you end up feeding her exclusively whole milk. good luck!

    • Morgan
      October 6, 2010 at 1:14 pm

      Yes!!! She takes it with BM!

      • 010952
        October 8, 2010 at 7:24 am

        greaaaaaaat!!! I’m soooo happy for you that it works!!! so, keep up the good work! :)))

      • 010952
        October 8, 2010 at 7:27 am

        oh, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY, D!

  15. October 6, 2010 at 10:28 am

    Your post came over my google reader last night at the perfect time. I relate to it too well. Until I went back to work I never had a supply problem. My daughter latched fine right away. On the days I don’t work, she nurses constantly. I have no idea what I’m going to do when I get to where you are. When I’m not around she’s content to play. With me, all she sees are BOOBIES with a big target on them. She squirms, bends at the waist and dive bombs for the girls. I’m starting to take it a little personally. She’ll play with her dad, but me, not so much.

    It has made me start to resent breastfeeding. Thank you for saying it out loud. The lactivists make you feel like you must be less of a mother if you don’t cherish every second staring into your child’s eyes while the angels sing from the high heavens during the bonding that is breastfeeding. When it’s the umpteenth time of the day or night (after being continuously latched to a small human for 4 hours straight) you just want to run in the other room screaming NO ONE TOUCH ME.

    For some reason comment luv isn’t showing my true last post, which was posted yesterday afternoon, where I address a similar topic.

    • Morgan
      October 6, 2010 at 1:14 pm

      Yeah…I know that NO ONE TOUCH ME feeling all to well. After hours of being fed off of, it’s easy to feel like that. For what it’s worth, Delilah is doing shockingly great with it today…

  16. sara
    October 6, 2010 at 11:13 am

    Uh, I’m pretty sure the whole weaning issue was why I ended up nursing for over 2 years. It’s a crutch, man. It’s so EASY to get your kid to stop making that awful sound that raises your blood pressure in seconds by popping a boob into their mouth. Weaning…is hard. But it won’t be as hard as you think. I promise.

    I recommend dropping down to just a few feedings a day. Depending how many you are doing now, that would either be just first thing in the morning and before bed, or those times plus before naps. Otherwise, JUST SAY NO. It will not be fun, but she will catch on surprisingly quickly. Then once she gets used to it just drop one a week, or however often you feel comfortable with it. Offer her milk in between, but don’t be surprised if she doesn’t take it right away (or ever, if she’s like my kid.) You can do this, Morgan. And the relief when you are done? So sweet.

    • Morgan
      October 6, 2010 at 1:12 pm

      <3

  17. October 6, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    Oh how I love you. YES! I hated hated hated breastfeeding. I dreaded having him wake up because I knew it meant I had to feed him. I resented my husband because he didn’t have to be the sole source of nourishment. And to top it all off? IT HURT! I would sit on the bed in the middle of the night and just sob my eyes out while he nursed because I just wanted him to stop.

    But like you, I cried and felt like the world was ending when I had to stop. It’s a vicious cycle!

  18. October 6, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    This is the very best post I have ever read about disliking breastfeeding and just about everything you have said here sums up my own experience (daughter took to it like a duck to water, never any problems for me) and feelings (felt shackled, one feed would seem to blend right into another, often no time for anything else and god forbid actually going out on my own as she refused to ever take a bottle even with breast milk in it).

    At one my daughter would not drink milk, just a little bit of water. I started to really increase her food intake, making foods that I could mash for her to eat that contained plenty of fluids and nutrients and trying anything and everything with food so that she was getting her calories that way rather than from me she dropped a feed or two. At 14 months she was down to 4 feeds so I cut one out, then another, and another. I was going to keep doing the bed time feed but at 15 months one night she just turned her head away. She was done.

    I hope this helps. There is so much encouragement to new Moms to BF but little to no support once you embark upon it.

    • Morgan
      October 6, 2010 at 5:48 pm

      Thank you so much! I’m working on increasing her food intake now, hopefully it will help!

  19. Jessica
    October 7, 2010 at 8:05 am

    I never comment on blogs. Ever. But I wanted to write to say how thrilled I am to see someone brave and honest enough to write about motherhood this way. There are so many mommy blogs about perfect moms and perfect babies. Maybe some people do have those perfect experiences, but I have to believe that most people don’t. It’s moms like you who are willing to share their truth with a larger audience who are the best hope for women having a difficult time and looking for a voice to tell them that it’s ok, they’re ok, their babies are ok… I think that women who leave out the dark sides of their stories are really doing damage by making moms think that they are the one who is damaged. Anyway, thank you thank you thank you, and keep going!

    • Morgan
      October 7, 2010 at 8:12 am

      I’m really glad you commented. I feel like I’ve contributed to the problem for so long by just not posting ~ allowing anyone who came across my site to fill in the blanks with what kind of sunshine and roses post-baby life I was living. I didn’t feel like I could share my thoughts on breastfeeding {and a few other bits of motherhood} until I’d disclosed my PPD because WOW could they be confusing to someone who didn’t have all the info, but now that the flood gates are open, it feels really good to just say “here is what I was going through, and that’s okay.”

  20. Mae
    October 7, 2010 at 8:11 am

    Morgan you’ve gotten great responses and I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE your post. Seriously one of the best and most open I’ve read about a long term BFing relationship. I also really appreciated how you talk about why you’ve kept at it for so long and how it’s not just about her, but about your PPD and the feelings of honoring the mothering decision that you made before the lights went out. Sounds like it was the one thing about motherhood that worked for both of you easily (not easily, 24 hour boob latches are not easy! but you know, easily as in no pain, thrush, mastitis etc) that didn’t get washed away by the ppd. I love that you shared that, it was really powerful for me to read.

    Piper and I made it 8 months, I went back to work at ten weeks and pumped several times a day while we battled thrush and supply issues, illnesses and antibiotics… normal stuff. I’m glad I stuck with it as long as I did and glad we moved her to formula and frozen BM when we did, it was good for all of us.

    The best of the practical advice I’ve got to give has already been posted, but I’ll give it anyway in case there are small differences that help. What worked for us was definitely switching her to milk (formula in our case) gradually by mixing in the breastmilk. Milk of any kind without boob juice in it tastes very strange to them. Kind of like how orange juice without any gin in it tastes weird to me. Also Piper has never been a fan of cow’s milk, but sucks down rice or almond milk like it’s (booze free)juice. Her pedi said it was fine especially if we kept her on the vitamin D supplement she was already on, which we have. She takes cow’s milk at daycare and at home drinks mostly water or half juice half water.

    Definitely start upping the solids, especially finger foods. This is a great time for her to start self feeding, not just purees. finger foods add interest and make feeding herself fun and something she’ll want to do more of.

    When you start cutting out nursing sessions definitely start with the ones she’s least adamant about. It’s a battle of inches.

    When you get ready to be done… might I suggest writing a little note or letter? I wrote some stuff down when I knew p and were down to our last few bedtime sessions so i wouldn’t forget some things. I think that helped me a bit.

    Even though it’s a pain in the ass it’s hard to say goodbye.

    I AM excited to see how your relationship changes and how she starts interacting with you differently!

    Proud of you.

  21. ayesha
    October 7, 2010 at 8:15 am

    Oh! Thank you for posting this. My baby is a couple of weeks behind yours and we just started introducing cow’s milk (she hated it at first, but now we’re sneaking it into her bottles of breastmilk for daycare). I was so so so sad about it – my husband didn’t quite get why I was so sad and yet SO relieved at the same time. I’m still pumping at work (right now, actually) but my little boobs can’t keep up with her demands (damn you, A-cups!). I’m so proud to have made it to 12 months but will be so grateful to get my boobs back. Oh, and hubby is really looking forward to having my boobs back…

    And, also, I really really wanted to say thank you for saying that breastfeeding isn’t the same as hanging out with your baby. You’re stuck there, and sometimes it’s a long time and sometimes it’s just boring sitting around all day. My husband spends more time PLAYING and yet still thinks I get to spend more time with her…

    Yep, I’m looking forward to getting my boobs back…

  22. stl mom
    October 7, 2010 at 9:38 am

    This is something I didn’t realize at first, so I wanted to share….
    When the books say “drop a feeding”… that is something that happens naturally. It doesn’t require a strategy, other than being on a consistent schedule.

  23. MelissaG
    October 8, 2010 at 4:58 am

    I didn’t read the comments, so I’m sorry if this is repitious for you but:

    I would suggest pumping, though it’s not any more fun than actually feeding, and then mixing your milk with small amounts of whole milk at first until she’s able to drink all whole milk. My daughter had to be weined after three months due to an INTENSE diet that I had to switch to and was not getting enough nutrients to support both her and I anymore. So, we slowly started mixing until she became happy with her formula. I felt like a terrible mother in the meantime, like I had failed my baby somehow by not being able to give her “the good stuff” anymore. However, back to weining; try it! It might take you another few months to get it done since it sounds like she’s pretty hooked to you, but, try it! Also, another slight difference, did you by chance leave the milk cold at first? That’s another thing you will have to work on is getting her used to the new temperature.

    -Best of luck to you and your boobs! Melissa.

  24. October 9, 2010 at 12:15 pm

    oh lady. i seriously commend you for publishing this post and sharing your feelings about breastfeeding with us all! i can seriously relate to pretty much everything you’ve covered here – save for the fact that poppy always HATED my boobs, rejected them 100% and (long story short) i wound up exclusively pumping breast milk for her, for 8 long months. and while the weaning was easy for us since she only wanted bottles anyway, the actual breastfeeding part was anything but simple…

    i HATED breastfeeding. i felt great about the nutrition i was giving poppy, and lousy about everything else. i hated how it made my body feel – chronic sore boobs (i actually wore a sports bra OVER my regular bra every day because of the sensitivity!) constantly battling getting enough food so that i wouldn’t get dizzy, having to drink/snack during the night so i wouldn’t get dehydrated, mastitis, low sex drive, and yes as you’ve described, feeling like my major role as a mom was as a food source with everything else coming in second. it’s hard because i was very proud of breastfeeding and the hard work i put in and that technically i made it work, and i WANTED to love it. but i didn’t. i flat-out hated it.

    i weaned p onto formula at 8 months, so i don’t exactly know what you’re going through with dee. but i just wanted to say i SO empathize with your feelings about your breastfeeding experience, and i hope things get much easier for you very very soon!

    take care, lady! HUGS! (:

    • Morgan
      October 11, 2010 at 1:58 pm

      xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo.

  25. October 9, 2010 at 8:08 pm

    Wow! you are seriously my hero for sticking it out that long. i have a 2 week old and i’m going insane right now cause it sucks! good luck!

    • Morgan
      October 11, 2010 at 1:58 pm

      You can do it! My one regret is that I never consulted an LC. Even if you just follow some of the great LC’s on twitter you can find so much advice out there!

  26. October 13, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    I love this post…your honesty is awesome! I have 2 suggestions that MIGHT help. (I didn’t read any of the other comments, so I apologize if I’m repeating myself.) When giving her a sippee cup of whole milk, make it warm milk. She’s used to the warm breast milk and she may have been shocked by the cold. And for weaning? Hmmm. That’s a tough one since it’s such a personal thing. The best I can offer is this….Does she normally wait, for instance, 2 hours between feedings? You could set a timer for 2 hours and 15 minutes and then nurse her. Do that for 2 days and increase the time to 2 hours and 30 minutes. Then 2:45, etc. Eventually you could be phasing out feedings without her really noticing (and without causing you any painful engorgement). Maybe. Hopefully. Good luck to you both!

  27. Frankie
    October 14, 2010 at 9:34 am

    Morgan,
    I have not read your blog for a few months, but I was just catching up a little bit, and REALLY appreciated your honest take on nursing- and that you stuck with it for SO long! It takes a special woman to stick with it so long, and despite everything it does to you that you’ve already described :), its something you wont ever regret doing!
    I managed to make it past a year also for all 5 of my kiddos, and then yes, began the sometimes painful process of weaning. I havent read all your comments, so I dont know if anyone else wrote this, but I thought I’d pass on to you my “secret” for weaning :). Since the taste is obvoiusly shocking when going from mommy’s milk to cow- I help that along. I warm up whole milk on the stove and add maybe a tsp of vanilla syrup (I use Starbucks brand since we also use it for lattes, lol). YES, I KNOW, DOESNT THAT SOUND LIKE I’M A HORRIBLE MOMMY!! :) Anyways, find out what amount is sweet enough for baby to like the milk and prefer it, then go with it, and eventually you can wean her off of the syrup by adding less and less. Usually bottle is easier than sippy cup initially bc of the emotional attachment to suckling. With each of my kids its been slightly different, but a month has been a good time frame to allow for this transition. Sorry that was so long…. :) Good luck!

    • Morgan
      October 14, 2010 at 4:48 pm

      Thanks Frankie! I hope all is well with you and your brood! xoxo

  28. Amy
    October 14, 2010 at 4:09 pm

    I just came across your blog, and I really have nothing much to say about your predicament. I nursed all 4 my babies until they weaned on their own one at 13 month and the others well after the age of two. My youngest finally stopped just before his third birthday. What kept me going was some fact I heard when I was pregnant with my first that the average age of weaning around the world is four (I don’t know if this is true). Anyway all this rambling is to say that now, my oldest is sixteen, I look back on those days and wonder how they passed so quickly, and why didn’t I savor them while I could. Enjoy every second of your baby and don’t push her to grow up too fast, because even when they grow up slowly it seems too fast.

  29. Sandra E
    October 17, 2010 at 6:19 pm

    This is the first blog post I’ve read in 12 weeks. Wanna know why? Because I had my son 12 weeks ago, and he’s been permanently stuck on my boobs for that long. I found myself nodding and reading parts out loud to my husband, saying “This is exactly how I feel.” He eats so much and so often, that I can’t pump. I A) don’t have time, or B) when I can finally squeeze in a moment to pump there’s literally nothing left for me to pump out. My fear is that he won’t take a bottle of my milk (when I managed to put together 2 ounces or so) or formula. In his lifetime, he’s only had 20 ounces or so of formula and the majority of it, he’s vomited up. I have seen a CLC 3 times. They always recommended to feed him when he was hungry on his schedule, and that’s what I’ve done. Anyways, sorry to get derailed there, but thank you for posting this. Congrats on making it to a year and for Dee’s bday!

  30. Colleen
    November 19, 2010 at 11:44 am

    O…M….G!! I LOVE that you have written this to share with others. All of this BS about how breastfeeding is never supposed to hurt and what a natural thing it is…I feel like I am captive in my house. Granted, my son is 7 weeks old and this is my first, and I have been working in an office for the past 20 years – I was in NO way prepared for the change that a breast-feeding child would pose. My best friend delivered 3 weeks before me and has supplemented with formula. They have a “schedule”…they sleep and eat like normal people…they go out to restaurants….she is getting ready to go back to the office. I feel like I live my life in a short sprint race track. All activities are harried and hurried because the next meltdown or feeding is right around the corner. On top of the fact that my beautiful little bundle has colic and will NOT sleep anywhere except in the bed with me, I especially feel captive. If he’s not on my boob, he’s right next to me. The only alone time I have during the day is when I pee, or my husband banishes me to the shower because it’s been 2 days since my last one (or three). He has been very supportive, but how do you do ANYTHING when you have an hour of nursing, an hour of awake time, and an how of fussy/fragmented sleep time….repeat? While I love the fact that I am his world right now, I dread the fact that I am his world right now and my life is no longer my own.

Talk to me. Please. I'm almost always alone or with a toddler.