Throw in the burp cloth

12 04 2008

Jeff came home from work yesterday afternoon to find Ethan knee-deep in craft supplies, gluing whatever he could find to cardboard boxes (he told us he was making a “townhouse”), and me sitting next to him, unshowered, wearing sweatpants, two shirts and a hooded sweatshirt (keep in mind that it was 75 degrees outside yesterday), Oliver on my lap, in tears (me, not Oliver), covered in puke stains (both Oliver and myself), feverish, and exhausted.

This makes boob-related fever the third (not counting the mastitis when Oliver was two weeks old) for me now. The third time I’ve spent roughly a day and a half in agony while trying to take care of a toddler and a newborn, which, let me tell you, is NO PICNIC when you can’t even hold the baby! When I was pregnant with Oliver and feeling guilty about not being able to take Ethan outside to play, or get down on the floor to play cars with him, I consoled myself with the fact that once the baby was here, and I got my body back, that would change, and that I’d be able to make it up to him.

But now Spring is here, and Friday was gorgeous- almost 80 degrees!- and what did I do? I laid on the couch, moaning and whining, in pain and hallucinating that James Franco was standing over me with a bag of Fun Size Kit Kats. And what did Ethan do? Watched tv all. day. long. And while I have taught him the most basic of commands (Bring Mommy the remote), he has yet to grasp the more involved ones (Bring Mommy a glass of orange juice with two ice cubes, 73 Tylenol and this week’s People, opened to the crossword puzzle. Oh, and a pen).

I’m getting really sick of being sick. It’s been one plugged duct after another, one marathon Nick, Jr. day after another. I’m starting to feel like a failure. I’m supposed to be making up for the crappy end of the stick he got those nine months. True, it isn’t like this every day; like I said, when it happens, I’m usually much better by the next day. But add to that the fact that Oliver, who is still nursing every four hours, would much rather have the real thing than a bottle, thankyouverymuch, and well… we don’t get out a lot.

And so I’m considering throwing in the burp cloth. As in, quitting breastfeeding altogether. I know, I know, all the benefits for my baby; they are why I chose to do it in the first place. But I’m not sure that I can keep letting my toddler down. He needs me too. I don’t know. I just don’t know.

What I do know? James Franco can bring me candy any day.


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7 responses

13 04 2008
AndreAnna

If it makes you feel better, I don’t think I’m even going to attempt it this time. Last time was so harrowing and heart-breaking, and now throw in a toddler, and a full-time job after six weeks, and I just think that in the end, my child(ren) would benefit more from me NOT breastfeeding than if I do, especially if it’s anything like the six weeks oh hell from last time. I may “try” and go from there. I’m still not sure.

And I never nursed C, only pumped minimal breastmilk (never got a good supply and she never latched) for a few weeks and she has never had an ear infection, never even been to the doctor for anything other than well visits, and has never been on antibiotics and she’s two and smart as hell. So, though I know breast milk is best, it’s not the end of the world.

You do what’s right for you.

13 04 2008
Jennifer

If you do decide to quit, you’re not going to do permanent damage to anyone.

You should talk to a lactation consultant (a licensed one, not the nurse at your ped’s office who once watched a video) if you haven’t already.

It sucks that this is so hard. I hope it gets better soon one way or another.

14 04 2008
aliasmother

Personally, I’d talk to a lactation consultant before quitting, too. Or not. Whatever your energy level dictates.

Look, you do what you can do. You’ve given Oliver a great start and you shouldn’t feel bad if it isn’t working anymore.

Maybe it’s time for the classic Pro/Con list. Is continuing to breastfeed impacting the rest of your life so negatively that the balance has tipped to the Con? If so, let it go. If you want to hang on, set a goal for another week or two weeks or a month and reassess.

And good luck.

14 04 2008
Rainypm

Bless your heart. I used to be one of those moms that tried to talk everyone into breastfeeding for as long as possible. I had the perfect experience with my first child and it didn’t click for me that it’s not like that for everyone. I thought, “if they’d just try harder…”

With my second it’s been such a struggle that it’s turned my perfect little breastfeeding philosophy on its ear. Although I’m continuing (at three months) to stick with it, I fully understand and respect that every woman needs to choose what is best for her.

I think it’s fine that your toddler watches TV all day sometimes, whether you’re bf’ing or not. My toddler watched 2 hours of TV/week before we had the new baby, and I hate that she watches so much more now, but sometimes I just really need some zombie downtime for her, and I know it’s not forever.

This probably didn’t help any, but I just wanted to leave a comment to let you know you aren’t alone. Good luck with this tough decision!

23 04 2008
Rashy McNasty Fest « Sublime Bedlam

[…] a quick update on all the Booby Fevers, as I’ve come to call them. First, thank you to all of you who left me encouraging comments. […]

24 04 2008
curlywurlygurly

don’t fret…my mom fed me chocolate milk when i was an infant, and i survived. 🙂

21 07 2008
Contests are fun! Fevers, not so much. « Sublime Bedlam

[…] what I ate for breakfast this morning, let alone something that happened months ago) of the booby fevers. They were so bad that I was ready throw in the nursing bra when it came to breast feeding. I had […]

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