That’s what today’s post was going to be about. Lip Liner to be exact.
But there’s been a sudden change of plans.
Instead of the fun, exciting post full of pictures, which would have demanded a little “me time” to make happen. You’re getting the complete opposite. But you know what I have to say to that…..it’s LIFE!
That’s what it is. That beautiful, crazy, you love it but it makes you wanna scream all at the same time, thing we call life. So, instead of Makeup, you’re getting…
Breastfeeding: The Bittersweet Ending
242 days. 7 Months and 28 days. That’s how long I fought and struggled to keep breastfeeding. Yes, It was a struggle, but it was our struggle and it somehow made me feel strong. It made me feel important. It made me feel like I could make anything happen.
But why then, did it also make me feel like such a failure?
I’ve always known that I wanted to breastfeed. Even before I was pregnant. During my pregnancy, people were always telling me how hard breastfeeding is and how I had better have formula on hand and just endless horror stories and negativity. Basically, I felt like everyone was expecting me to fail. Which made me even more determined.
And let me stop myself before I go any further……
Just because you give your baby formula, does not make you a failure!
This post is not to tell you that “breast is best” or any of that nonsense. Okay? Fed is best. Period. (This post is about my own personal goals and wishes for my child.)
And back to your regularly scheduled programming……So, everyone expected me to fail…..more determined….yada yada….
I had really high hopes for breastfeeding but I was still realistic. I gathered all the free formula samples that I could get my hands on and I built a little “just in case” stash and I tucked it away. (the stash is still there btw! WOOT!)
Then Jacky was born.
Within 30 minutes of being born she was already latching and eating……..or so I thought.
Jacky’s first time nursing.
The nurses all said everything looked good, but because it was a Saturday the Lactation Consultant wouldn’t be in until Monday. So I continued with the guidance of the very nice nurses who I adored. They all would praise me and tell me that I already looked like a pro. And I was in Mommy heaven. Until Jacky started crying and wouldn’t stop.
Everyone chaulked it up to, “shes a Diva like her Mom!” Gee, thanks guys!
24 hrs after Jacky was born she tested positive for Jaundice and had to be taken to treatment and would not be able to stay with us overnight. Every 2 hours the nurses would bring her to me so that I could feed her. I had no idea until 2 days later that she was not latching correctly, causing her to not flush out the bilirubin.
Within 24 hours her levels had gone down enough for us to take her home, on Monday.
On Tuesday we had a follow up appointment with her Pediatrician, at which time she was sent for labs and found that her bilirubin levels were really high again.
So she was admitted to Palomar Medical Center, an hour and a half from home. I’ve never seen her Dad so scared or cry so much.
When we were admitted, the Doctor and nurses explained everything to us, but our biggest fear was relieved when we were told that we were able to stay with her all night. There was one hospital bed, and Jacky’s little bed in this tiny room. Jacky would spend 24hrs under lights.
Jackalynn in treatment
Right away the nurses gave me a ticket to get a breastfeeding meal from the cafeteria (lord, they give you SO much food!) and a breast pump. I would spend the next 20 hours endlessly pumping.
Mind you, this is day 3 as a new mom, and I have never pumped in my life. I had no idea what I was doing, how much I should be pumping….nothing.
All that I knew is that my baby needed food and was not going home unless I made her enough milk to flush out the bilirubin, and I was determined to do it. No matter how hard it was. And I did! After the first bottle of pumped milk, Jacky became a completely different baby. She had been crying for three days because she was hungry, and this was the first time I felt like a failure. But, with the help of the amazing Lactation Consultant at Palomar, I learned that I have flat nipples, which was causing a poor latch. After three days of trying to breastfeed this way, they were in bad shape. Essentially my nipples were just scabs. So she taught me how to use a nipple shield and spent over an hour with us, just watching Jacky eat and talking to me about everything. She went over all my notes and questions that I had come up with overnight and she sent me home with confidence and a sense of pride.
After 24 hours, Jacky was discharged and we headed home.
For the next 7 months we used the nipple shield, I pumped, supplemented with formula for a short time, exclusively pumped and exclusively breastfed. I’ve eaten endless amounts of oatmeal, lactation cookies and lactation teas, I’ve massaged and used heat. I’ve power pumped and done everything suggested to maintain my supply. I’ve shed sweat, blood and tears. But after 242 days, teething and a cold took its toll. She just doesn’t have an interest in nursing (because her teeth hurt and her sinuses are congested).
Yesterday, after 2 days of no sleep for me, and struggling to keep Jacky hydrated, I pulled the last three bags of breastmilk from the freezer, took the formula stash out of hiding and decided that this is it. Its time to stop breastfeeding.
It’s just time to relieve all three of us, of the stress that breastfeeding has brought (yes, breastfeeding can be just as stressful for dad’s).
I’ve waited for this day. I joked about the amounts of alcohol I would consume, and the freedom I would have. I thought I would be so excited.
But even as I write this I cant help but feel like I failed.
But I didn’t! So why does it feel that way?
I’ve fought harder than I have ever fought for anything in my life, I know that I did the absolute best that I could. Hell, I’ve even known that it was slowly coming to an end. But it still feels so sudden and bittersweet.
To top it all off, I started my period yesterday. YAY!
So what do you do when breastfeeding suddenly ends, Aunt Flo comes to visit and you just feel like crap?
Wine and junk food makes everything better.
No matter what other people say, and no matter how hard we are on ourselves, we must remind ourselves and each other, that were not alone. We all have our struggles and we are all fighting to do the best that we can for our kids.
So Today, remind yourself or another parent, that we’re in this together and we’re awesome!
You never know how much it could mean to a struggling parent who feels alone.
Have you ever felt like you failed as a parent? Let me know in the comments!
Thank you for reading, be sure to follow for updates!