Saturday, April 12, 2008

My tatters are torn.

Birds are singing, the babe is in his father's arms, and my boobs are aflame. Must be Spring!

Boobs. Yes. For a variety of reasons we've decided to start weaning. Kid's a bit on the puny side; apparently Mother's Milk ain't cutting it and no amount of feeding, pumping, or lactation consulting is going to remedy it. We've always supplemented a bit but on our pediatrician's recommendation we started adding formula daily when Will was 2 months old. I was hoping that it would add some much cherished chub to the lad but a few days ago we went to a breastfeeding clinic and discovered that he's still a fleaweight. The lactation consultant actually urged me to consider weaning. When a lactation consultant - a woman whose sole job is to keep you breastfeeding - recommends moving to formula, it's probably a good idea to listen. Unfortunately for me, it's hard not to drink the Kool-Aid when it comes to "Breast Is Best". There's no way not to feel smell failure when it comes to weaning prematurely. That said - and I admit this at the risk of the entire La Leche League showing up with pitchforks and breast pumps - I can't help but feel a tiny bit relieved at the thought of quitting. Breastfeeding has never been the soft focus, Hallmark experience I expected. Not that I don't love it... but I sort of don't love it. There's a lot less fuzziness than I thought there'd be, and a lot more yanking. A lot less caffeine and booze too. Then again, is squelching my baby's IQ really worth a latte? (Some days, absolutely, yes.) Anyway, the whole situation leaves me feeling torn. Perhaps motherhood is just one long exercise in that.


Woman with a Hatchet said...

Yes, motherhood is just like that. For example, you really want them to crawl and then they do and then they're into everything and you realize how much easier life was before the crawling.

Sorry to hear you never got to the fuzzy lighting moment, but go easy on yourself during weaning and don't forget your cabbage. If you're going slowly, you'd replace one nursing slot with a bottle for a few days until your body gets used to it. Then another. Remember that it takes a couple of days for your body to cycle up production little by little. Cycling down should go the same way.

On the upside? Mojitos and lattes will soon be yours!

Hey, and if you're really lucky, maybe he'll sleep more!

Amanda said...

You name the day you are boob-feedin' free, and I will be at the door with a cup o' joe in one hand and a margarita in the other!

Missy said...

Ayup. My motherhood experience has been just exactly that.

I too am sorry to hear that BF has not been the experience that you had hoped, but he has gotten a lot benefit from the time you were able to do it. Really as much as he nursed I think it probably counts as 6 months of breastfeeding instead of 3. Maybe even 9.

As long as he is thriving and you are happier then it is all good.

filthEdesign said...

also something so far as weight that you may already be aware of, but i didn't know it when it mattered - do not be worried if he's in the 10th or 25th or whatever percentile - what matters is that he stays consistently in the same percentile range and doesn't dip or spike dramatically. the percentile thing is a means to track him against himself - not to compare him to other babies!

john (who is now 12 and almost as tall as me!) was in the 25th percentile for height and 10th percentile for weight (and 110th percentile for foot size!) always...he was a skinny baby...and due to circumstances i could never explain in the space of a comment, i didn't breastfeed. but he chubbed up around 1 year old and then lost it as he started to walk :)

plus there are so many other experiences and influences that will overshadow the BF experience over time :)

Ali said...

Filthe, I had no idea about percentiles! I totally thought it was a negative that he was in such a low one! And here I've been, trying to chub this kid up... (I'm still trying to chub the kid up though.)

Colleen said...

Just to second the percentile thing--Dinah was born two weeks early and weighed 9 pounds 11 ounces. Then she plummeted off the growth charts and has been between the 1%ile and 5%ile ever since. BTW, she is also tongue-tied, my husband wouldn't let them clip her tongue, and breastfeeding was impossible for eight weeks, then really, really hard after that. I was a LLL Leader at the time and you can imagine how embarassing it was to have to lead a meeting while feeding my own baby with a bottle. But, you do what you gotta do, and don't let anyone make you feel bad about it.