Monday, March 21, 2011

In the Waiting

     I had several conversations with our baby last week.  I really wanted to meet him, but I really needed this weekend to prepare for his arrival.  He obliged, and I was able to accomplish a great deal.  My doctor kindly put me on some heavy antibiotics and another medicine to help get rid of the world's nastiest cold.  It seems to be helping a great deal.  I am so thankful for medication when you most need it.  I am also thankful that I have rarely used antibiotics, and that when I have needed them, they have done their job quite well.
     The clothes are ready, the bassinet is at my bedside, and the bags are mostly packed.  It was so surreal going through our older son's things to make ready for a new baby.  How clearly I could see his little orange head bobbing around in some of the outfits.  I cannot believe that he was actually sitting beside me having grown-up conversations while we were putting these baby things away for his brother.  Time is so fleeting when you look at your child....that is another post....
     Lately, I have been really going back and forth on what I think is a major decision.  I have started and erased a couple of blog entries on this topic, because it is really unusually sensitive to me.  But, I am putting it out here today because I think it might help me process my thoughts a bit. 
     I made a commitment to our first baby to nurse him exclusively for his first year.  I had no idea the struggle that would be involved in such a decision.  To say it was difficult for me and him is putting it lightly.  I did it because I thought it was best, and I had major guilt issues when I even considered stopping.  I am not sure why I felt so guilty...but I did.  I did eventually introduce a bottle of formula in the evening because we were having so many issues, and it resolved a lot of them.  How clearly I remember crying my eyes out as I gave him that bottle...and then seeing how content he was, and how well he slept...just made it all so much more confusing. 
     There were a great deal of emotions in this one decision of what method I was going to use to feed him.  My life revolved around nursing that baby.  He nursed no less than than one and a half hours each feeding.  Often, it was more.  He ate every two hours for many, many months.  On my doctor's advice, I continued this insanity because he was not overly plump at any point.  He was plenty healthy, but the doctor kept telling me to feed on demand...and I listened. I listened too much to every one's advice.  I tried everything that anyone suggested to try and make things more easy for us.  I had consultations, a trip to the hospital nursing program, and read anything I could get my hands on.  After about 7 months, we were finally making some progress.  In all this craziness, I firmly believed I created some bad habits for my fella.  He never slept like he should and his schedule was so erratic.  He got used to being held for all those nursing hours that the only place he found contentment was in my arms.  The feeding battle became the sleeping battle that became the mommy only battle....oh dear I can still feel the pure exhaustion recalling it all.
     Onward with my post.... How am I going to feed this baby?  I am really struggling with this issue in a way that I never thought I would. I feel in some ways that I survived the war, I can tackle it again. I know that nursing is best, and I should just grin and bear it.  But, I also know that a baby's well-being is highly dependant upon the mother's well-being.  I know how easily a baby can sense and experience the same feelings of frustrations from his mother.  I have learned a lot about regimenting a baby and how important that can be.  I have learned that from the beginning how easily it is to create bad habits unintentionally.  I know the agony of infections, bleeding, and so forth.  I rarely had those moments of joy when nursing.  I hate to admit that, but it is true.  I did not relish in the experience as many mothers do.  I cried through many of the feedings.  I do not want to repeat that, or put another baby through my misery either. 
     I have said that I will attempt it again, and if it goes badly, I will simply stop.  However, as the moment draws ever so close, I am inclined that for my personality I need to make this decision now.  I want to treasure these days with our new baby.  I know they will be full of exhaustion and other unpleasant moments, but as much as I can, I want to relish in the quickly passing moments of infanthood.  For me, nursing seems to dampen those thoughts.  I know it could go totally different this time around.  It may be a breeze...but it may not. 
     One thing I do know for sure is that there are many parenting issues that are very difficult.  There are no perfect answers sometimes, and that doing the best thing for your child does not always seem like the best thing.  Some decisions are just that tricky.  At the end of the day, my baby will be well-fed, well-loved, and well-cared for no matter how he gets his nutrition.  I will do everything in my power to make sure he gets everything he needs.  Of this, I am confident.  So, with that in mind it eases the pressures a bit....
     I do have bottles ready for steralization, and I am prepared for either choice.  Now, if I can just wrap my head around it all, I would feel better.  As my husband says...its just milk...don't stress over something as simple as milk. 
Did you stress over milk??
~ B Charmer

5 comments:

  1. I did. And with each of the boys, things were different. Some were smooth, some times were rocky. One was exclusive for a year, one quit on his own... Much too much to post on a comment here. And I will never claim to be an expert, by ANY means. But if you do ever need to bounce it off someone :)
    Praying for you as you near the birth of this precious little one!

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  2. Nursing my first was SO hard. We really struggled in the beginning. Everyone in my family told me to quit. We managed to get through it though. And Natalie was SOOO much easier!

    (((hugs)))

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  3. We just made the decision to not even try breastfeeding. I was going to try, but I was already overwhelmed by the thought and so we decided that the mother's well being would serve the babies' well being best...and we are just going to use formula from day one. And I am not going to feel guilty about it! Hope this time around is easier for you though! :)

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  4. Nursing kaitlyn was, got me, alot like nursing jackson for you. And, like you, we made it through the first year too. Then came kameron. She was totally different. Everything with her was easy and natural. I never knew being a mom could be so fulfilling. And more there is wes. And he too its a blessing. I would say that either way this baby will be happily fed, but don't sell yourself short. from the perspective of a mom of three, I am grateful to haver been blessed with the ability and opportunity to nurse each of my babies.

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  5. My perspective is probably a bit different, because I had twins, and as much as I knew that breastfeeding them was the best and least expensive way of feeding them. It was hard, painful (at times) and exhausting--and mine didn't even do the marathon sessions that you described. Finally, after 6 weeks which in retrospect doesn't seem that long, but in the midst of it felt like and eternity. We or I should say I decided that either we would spend the money on formula or we would spend the money on an insane asylum because that is where I was headed. :) I think that maybe if I had stuck with it, it might have gotten easier, but I don't know. It was not at all a pleasurable experience for me and I have since tried to encourage moms to do what is best for them as a family. If it works for you all, then that is great, if it doesn't, then don't beat yourself up, he will be fed, loved, and well taken care of! And those are my rather lengthy two cents :)

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