Thursday, April 1, 2010

I Just Don't Get It

My body.  I don't understand why it's so finicky. 

My milk has dropped again.  In the last two days it has dropped by 50% or more.  It has to be the running.  I stopped and went from 20 miles a week to 4 for 3 weeks and started pumping/feeding every 2 to 3 hours.  Drinking over a gallon of water a day.  Eating more.  Taking 18 fen-gre pills a day.  Eating oatmeal. Drinking Mothers Milk Tea 2-3 times a day.   It went up a bit, but not enough to give her a full feeding.  So, we started her on rice cereal and I gave her a bottle of expressed milk and formula 3 out of her 5 (including middle of the night) feedings a day. 

I've been doing this routine now for almost 7 weeks.  I started to notice what running was doing for me.  Because when I stopped I got my head aches back, my back was hurting again and I was tired all the time.  No energy.  The torpedo weight loss I was experiencing slowed to about half a pound to a pound a week.  And in the last 2 weeks I've not lost anything.  I'm hovering at 2 to 3 pounds to go. 

I struggled and struggled with what to do.  I went to my doctor, I talked to family and friends and the most important opinion to me was Jaren's.  We decided that the benefits of exercise to me was needed.  So, I started to train again.  It was hard starting over.  Before I stopped I was running 4 miles 5 times a week and ready to jump up to 5.  And starting again, 3 was a chore. 

I kept up my pumping/feeding, water, pills, tea, food routine and it stayed the same.  In fact, because I was supplementing some formula I was able to store quite a bit of milk.  It made me feel better that I wasn't giong to have to just give her a bottle of formula without any weaning.  I hoped I wouldn't have to do that.  I hoped I would still be able to give her breastmilk with it for...  I don't know.  I had hopes to get her to 8 or 9 months.

So.. the weight loss has pretty much stopped.  That is depressing.  My clothes are fitting, but not the way I'd like.  The running, on the other hand has helped my head aches.  They are all but gone.  My back is feeling so so SO much better and I have more energy.   Most days.... because lately she has been a finicky sleeper.  Which means we don't get good sleep.

Before bed I would usually pump 4 1/2 to 5 ounces.  The night before last I pumped 2 1/2.  It just dropped in like, a day.  When I would put Naomi down for bed I would pump 2 to 2 1/2 ounces and now I'm lucky to get over 1. 

I'm feeling so incredibly sad about it.  Because now I'm pretty sure it's all about the exercise.  And it's not even as much about weight loss anymore.  Running helps me in so many ways.  I'm struggling with, "am I selfish to keep going?",  "even if I stopped I still wont make enough to feed her",  "does this make me a bad mom?",  "I feel like a failure." 

Whenever I heard, "Nursing was so hard for me." I figured it was becuase the baby wouldn't latch.  I was asked, "how is nursing?"  I would respond, "Oh it's wonderful, she latches so great!"  Then I started having problems with my supply and I realized there is so much more to nursing than just having a baby who eats properly from you. 

I have a lot of friends who are running more than I am or exercising more than I am and never had a problem with their milk supply.  I have come to the conclusion that my body just can't handle both.  My Mom had a hard time keeping her milk supply up, so I'm wondering if part of it is genetic. 

I'm supposed to run 4 miles today.....  I'm just so sad.  It's hard to feel super motivated when this is going on.  I tried feeding Naomi strait formula yesterday.  Just 2 ounces.  She downed an ounce, then started tasting it and realized it wasn't what she normally get's and pushed the bottle out and spit out what was in her mouth.  I tried to give it to her again and she would start to eat and then do the same thing.  It broke my heart.  Because it looks like she's going to have to get used to something she doesn't like much.

We started feeding her solids.  Peas is this week and she is loving real food.  Now she wants to eat whatever we are eating and she is pooping everyday!  With rice cereal it was every 4 or 5 days if we were lucky.  But yesterday she blew out her diaper TWICE.    We are now, as of yesterday, feeding her solids for two meals in the day.  It feels nice to have some of the pressure off.  That I'm not the sole nutrient provider. 

I'll continue with what I'm doing until I no longer am producing anything.  I'll try.  I am trying.  And I'm realizing that formula isn't the worst thing in the world.  Some women are making me feel/think that it is.  You know what?  A can of formula is 24 dollars and with how I go through it it has lasted me a month.  One bottle of Fen Gre pills is 28 dollars and I go through a bottle a week.  It's insane.  I thought formula was expensive.  Turns out trying to keep my milk up is more. 

I don't want any advice - I've heard it all.  I don't want any guilt - I've gotten that all.  Support would be nice.  I'm struggling and I'm doing everything I know possible and it's draining.  Emotionally and physically.  I need to do the things for myself to help me be a better Mother and Wife.  If I'm constantly in pain with no energy nobody wins.  Especially my daughter who needs someone to take care of her and play with her.  When I wasn't exercising she wasn't getting played with as much. 

I just needed to vent.  I needed to share how taxing this is.  I don't know what else to do.  And right now I'm just struggling with the thought of my milk completely drying up.  And I'm stressed.  I have a huge list of things to do and not much time to do it in.  Today isn't really a good day, I guess.  And it's only 9:30 in the morning.  Yikes.


Michelle said...

i don't even know you and i can tell that you're a great mom.

anyone can tell that naomi is your world and that you want to do everything you can to protect and keep her healthy and strong.

keep your chin up! anyone trying to bring you down and make you feel guilty isn't worth your time.


Matt and Katelyn Risenmay said...

I agree with Michelle, you are a wonderful mother. The fact that you are even trying so hard to keep nursing her is proof enough that she is incredibly important to you. I love reading about the things you do with Naomi and how you make so much time to spend with her. It makes me want to be better and put off the things that can wait to spend more time with Brady. I think it's awesome that you exercise. I have hardly been able to because I'm so tired most of the time. That's great that you are doing it and it is helping you feel better. Don't let anything or anyone get you down. We all know how much you love that little girl and you will do what is right for her and for you and not what anyone else thinks is right for her.

Tiffany Fackrell said...

seriously people are telling you that formula is! UMMM last time I checked lots of babies drank formula and well they were PERFECTLY FINE!!! come on people give her a break!!!! Seriously don't beat yourself up over it. she will still grow and excell no matter what you feed her...well I know it will be proper food!!! Plus the more you stress the less milk you produce also. You might try changing the formula if she doesn't like it. I know some babies end up liking one way more then another just a thought. you could write to some formula companies and ask for samples or maybe your doctor has access to samples of different kinds and you could find one she will like without spitting it out. I say keep excercizing if that is what makes you the happiest. your baby wants a happy mom not a stressed one. Seriously you breastfed her for this long that is pretty darn good!

Life as Ashley said...

Few things here:

1. Have you ever been around a kid with some sort of disability [mental or physical] that someone else said, "Ahhh. That little guy? Yeah. He was formula fed." No. Formula is not the end of the world. Even though it took me a VERY long time to come to that realization myself.

On that note too. Think about all the babies who are adopted in the world and don't have the option of breastmilk. They all turn out okay, Right?

2. You are absolutely correct. Naomi needs a mommy who feels good, feels good about herself, and who has time for her. Not a mommy who is stressing about doing EVERYTHING to try to maintain a little bit of a milk supply. A happy, healthy mommy = a happy healthy baby.

3. You will find a formula she likes. I was lucky because Kaeden didn't have much preference towards anything. He just wasn't picky. But that is RARE. Almost everyone I know has had to experiment with different formulas to find one their baby "liked."

4. You know I understand you 100% on all of this, and I support you 250%. I understand how down you are, but I promise you, there will be a point in time when you'll look back and not feel this all encompassing guilt you are feeling right now. I promise you.

5. I had the same issue with Kaeden right around the same time I started eating healthier and losing some weight. I was losing weight which was making me happy, but I could tell my milk supply was dropping. Nothing I did helped. The only thing I was doing differently was eating healthier, and small meals constantly throughout the day. You would think this would make things better, but no. Looking back, I think the timing might have just been a coincidence. I agree that there might be something there in your genetic theory.

5. I love you. You are a wonderful mommy, and I wish you peace in your heart over all of this really soon!

The Boyce's said...

I feel ya Whit! My milk has been drying up for awhile now & Bannock didn't have the patience for slow milk. Anyway, I just quit nursing 2 days ago & I feel like a terrible mom, but I know that it's better that he get the nutrients from formula than to not get enough nutrients since I wasn't supplying enough milk. If that makes any sense...Anyway, just know that you're not the only one...

Whitney R said...

I really really REALLY appreciate all of your comments. They have made me feel so much better.

Michelle - whoever you are, you are wonderful. Thank you for your comment.


Oh girl, nursing and formula is all such a personal decision; from what it sounds like you're doing a fantastic job being a great mom...and as long as you and Jaren feel like your doing what your supposed (including taking care of mom) then that's all that matters! keep it up chica!

Chad, Chelsea and Dawson Davis said...

I am glad that you are trying to do what's right for your baby... Do not let anyone make you feel like a bad mom so many people don't even try to nurse and just bottle feed and guess what!??... their babies are healthy and happy. It is a personal thing and people just need to stay out of it! Don't stress!

Lon and Steph said...

Excuse the bluntness, but screw anyone who makes you feel bad. Nursing is so hard in so many ways, I barely made it a month and a half with Eden and wondering how long it's going to last with Melody too(I have the same problem with not a lot of milk). Once I got used to the idea that formula was what it was going to be, we were all happier. Don't feel bad about it, you have to do what's best for you, and if formula is what it is, so be it. It just shows you are a good mom by worrying so much. Good luck and don't let it get you down :)

Lon and Steph said...

Oh, and on the plus, side, it's not all bad with the drying up. You won't have to deal with boobs that hurt if your body is doing it all on it's own! Look on the bright side :)

Ally in Wonderland said...

I agree with the @Michelle, I don't know you (other than reading your blog) and I know you're an amazing mom. I'm not a parent and know that you're an amazing mom. How could you not be? All you do all day long is live for your daughter. You can see your love for her, not many parents are so devoted to their children. Not only that, but even at this young age, you and Jaren are insitilling such good morals and values in her. NOT many parents even TRY to do that. They want to be "friends" more than "parents". So, in my book, you're right up there with my mom (aka, holy and perfect) in all that you try to do. So you're milk dropped, big deal. You aren't doing anything WRONG. You are eating healthy, doing what's best for your body. What good are you if you can't do this for your body? Doesn't the Lord describe your body as a temple that you should respect above all else? There are formula's out there and this happened right at a good transition time to solid foods. I think @Life As Ashley said it perfect, NONE of my students (I teach special ed, severe and profound) are labeled as "formula fed babies". In fact, I just about peed myself when I read that. IDEA 2004 doesn't even HAVE a disability category named "formula baby".
So, take a deep breath. In, Out, In, Out. You're doing an AMAZING job. You can tell this because you even bothered to care that your milk dropped.

Smile. It's spring.

Robyn said...

My milk supply drops at 6months whether I work out or not! (Macie I didnt work out, Hailey I did) Some of us don't get the option of nursing a whole year...and thats totally normal and fine! The easiest way for me to get my babes to drink formula was to start out with 1 ounce formula to 5 ounces breast milk, every 2 days id change the ratio 2/4, 3/3, 4/2 etc until they didnt even notice anything was different...worked like a charm! Good luck with everything...your doing great...always remember to listen to yourself...advice is good but momma knows best!

Wendyburd1 said...

You are a fantastic Mom Whitney, and don't let anyone say anything to bring you down! You being in less pain and HAVING energy will mean WAY more to Naomi when she starts crawling and walking and needs you running after her! Which will result in weight loss too, I am sure! LOL!


Devry and Chelsey Hymas said...

I feel your pain Whit! I went through the exact same thing! I got to the point that I finally decided that for my sanity I needed to work out. I bawled the first time I gave Payton a bottle. I felt like a failure of a mom, and that I was being selfish. But guess what, he loves the bottle, and he is perfectly healthy! Formula is a blessing! It's great that we have it to give to our kids!
You can only do your best, and it is completely obvious you are doing just that. You are a wonderful mom, and will be whether or not she is breast or bottle fed. Naomi is a very lucky girl.
Payton was not picky about formula, but spit up a TON when I first started him on it. I switched him to Soy and have not had any problems. Ask Dr. W about samples, he usually has some. Try to find a kind she likes.

Lena Gilbert said...

I think the most important thing is that you and Naomi are happy. She is obviously very happy and I think that exercising will keep you happy. Happy momma equals happy baby and family. Babies get the benefit of breastmilk even if its just a little. You sound like you are doing great, what works for one person may not necessarily work for you. If you really want to, I know that reglan (that's usually used as an antinausea drug) has been used to increase milk supply. You could ask your MD about it if you were really interested. I'm excited to see you this week!