Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Color Blue


2 months already!

I have to tell you, being able to say that is really ironic. In the beginning I was so overwhelmed, every second seemed like an hour; every hour a day. I got to the point where I constantly felt like I needed a break from my baby. I had no idea motherhood could be this overwhelming!

I honestly believe that no amount of advice from other mothers can ever truly prepare a woman for this role. It really is specific to the individual mommy and her child. I think that's why I was so caught by surprise at how much work being a mother takes.

I'm going to save the details of my labor and delivery for another post. Suffice it to say that labor wasn't as bad as I expected but delivery was far worse. I dilated to almost 6 cms and stayed there for 7 hours, after which the doctor decided I would need to have a c-section. The c-section was a nightmare and resulted in me having to be sedated. I was pretty much a basketcase but, again, that's a story for another post.

Thankfully, the result was my healthy, bouncing baby boy, Austin, who arrived at 3:19 am on March 23, 2010.


The first week was great. I felt comfortable being a mother, and even thought I could do this mommy-thing no problem.


I went home on the 5th day and by the 7th day was crying more than my newborn baby boy.

The Baby Blues had arrived.

I cried in the morning. I cried at night. I cried when my husband left for work and then again when he came home. Most of the time I wasn't sure why I was crying or even what I was crying about. I certainly had moments of doubt, moments where I questioned whether or not I was capable of actually being a mother. I had other moments where I actually questioned whether or not I even wanted to be a mother. That sounds terrible, I know. But it's the truth. Those times were almost always followed immediately by complete and utter guilt for having thought such a thing in the first place, and then, of course, more crying.

In the end, it turned out my biggest problem was breastfeeding. Well, not the breastfeeding itself, but the pumping. No matter what I tried, I wasn't able to collect much milk at all. I went through 2 pumps, several lactation consultations and all kinds of family advice, but nothing seemed to help. I was so stressed out about not being able to pump that I began to feel increasingly more trapped in a very dark place. I felt like I couldn't get out - like I'd never get out. I couldn't come and go as easily as I could before I had a baby. I couldn't do anything without having to plan it around his feedings. Certainly my life had changed in a major way and it was now no longer my own. But not being able to pump meant no one else could help me either. I could never be too far away from him. I alone would have to get up with him each and every time he needed to be fed. I wouldn't be able to put him in daycare. I wouldn't be able to return to work. Etc., etc. The weight of this responsibility only made the dark place I was in even darker.

So I became obsessed with pumping. I put the pump on before and after every feeding in an attempt to find the right time to express enough milk to store for my child. I was convinced that if I could just find the right time or combination of relaxation techniques, I'd be able to fill at least half a bottle. And that half a bottle would represent my ability to feed my son successfully, and that in turn would give me just the right positive reinforcement I needed to be able to continue doing so. I was also cleaning and sterilizing and drying the pump, and all its parts, after each attempt because the lactation consultant scared me to death with tales of mold and pumps gone bad.

Ultimately I wasn't able to do it. I started hating to attach the pump so much that I started to feel negatively about having my son latch on as well. Once that started, I knew I was done.

I made the decision to exclusively formula-feed and it changed my world. My spirits started to lift. I stopped crying as much, and I finally started to feel like I could do this. I could be a mother.

I could be Austin's mother.

The decision to stop breastfeeding was not an easy one to make, but it was the right one for me and my child. I wish I could have figured out how to make the pumping work for us, but the fact that I didn't doesn't make me a bad mom.

On the contrary.

Recognizing that I had a problem and taking action to prevent that problem from escalating into something more serious makes me a great mom.

Now that we're past all of that, the seconds no longer seem like hours, and the hours no longer seem like days.

Now there's never enough time to spend with my baby.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Mommy!
    First off baby Austin is G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S!
    I applaud you for doing the mommy thing your way.