Friday, November 20, 2009

Regrets...I have a few.

I'm sitting here crying because I just read a lovely post from Any Mommy, titled Mother's's about breastfeeding.  It brought up all kinds of memories and reminded me how mad I am.

Since I reserve the right to use this blog as therapy....feel free to leave right now if you don't want to hear me talk about my (*)(*)  and come back tomorrow. (please come back tomorrow)

I breastfed Alex less than an hour after he was born. It was a struggle at first but once we got home it became easier. He was a hungry little guy and he always made the sweetest little drunk face when he was done.

He became a huge fan of (*)(*) and got his Grandpa Bob to take him to Hooter's when he was only a few weeks old.  Grandpa Bob also bought him a special shirt.

his shirt says I *heart* Boobies!

Since Alex was my first and only baby....I was able to devote huge amounts of time to feeding, cuddling and adoring him.  Those were leisure days of hanging out staring into each other's eyes, daily photo shoots where I dressed him in new outfits and naps.  It was a dreamy time that I'll never forget and always long to return to.

When Alex was about 3 months old, my supply dropped.  I couldn't figure out what was wrong and had to start giving him formula because he wasn't getting enough to eat.  I tried everything I could to bring my supply back...including drinking beer.

Which wasn't the best idea, I discovered,  because the reason for my milk drying up was because I was pregnant again.  And I was devastated that I couldn't nurse anymore.  Our special time each day and him reaching up with his little hand to touch my face...was over. 

I had Calvin take a picture of me nursing him (Alex...not Calvin) one last time and it's a picture I'll cherish forever.

Fast forward 7 months....Mallory is born; three weeks early.  She is jaundiced and requires a bili blanket for  the first week of her life.  She was immediately taken from me when I delivered her and wasn't brought back to my room for 6 hours.  During that time, the nurses had asked my permission to give her formula because she obviously needed to eat and they refused to bring her to me.  Finally, I tried to nurse her and she didn't want anything to do with it.  I tried for hours....

The next morning, the nurses told me to stop because it was better for her to drink formula due to the high levels of bilirubin.  They told me formula would remove it from her body faster and that breastfeeding slows it down.  I believed them and reluctantly stopping trying to feed her...and it broke my heart.

And this is why I'm mad.  Read this quote from

The colostrum and milk she receives will help her move her bowels, speeding up the elimination of bilirubin from her system A sick baby needs the benefits of breastmilk even more than a healthy baby.

I'm mad that the nurses didn't let me nurse her immediately and then lied to me and told me it was better for her if I didn't nurse at all. I'm mad that because I didn't have a good enough reason to hold my new baby constantly for the first week of her life, my mother in law held her instead while I cared for Alex.  I'm mad that Mallory and I didn't get to have that special time together and it took us weeks to really bond.

And I'm mad that I didn't stand up for myself and what I wanted.


  1. OMG! That is the cutest pic of your little man! That was heart wrenching what those nurses did. Hopefully you find some healing in writing about it. It's good to get that off your chest - ba da boom:) Great blog, Chicky!

  2. I was on the other end of that spectrum and had a too pushy midwife, trying to MAKE me nurse while I was very very ill and in and out of consciousness.

    I feel for you, and I hope you feel a tiny bit better about the situation. I often wonder what goes through the heads of these people as they act that way.

  3. It is so tough. When my oldest was born I couldnt breastfeed because I worked full time and spent 2 hours of my day driving to and from work. At the time I knew it was what I had to do. When she was 2 I had quit working and have been at home ever since. When my youngest was born I breastfed her until she was 13 months old...and it was then when I realized what I had missed out on with my oldest...I feel robbed of that time with her

  4. I too was cheated at breast feeding. Hayden didn't take and with the triplets... are you kidding me?

    Any, breast feeding a single baby is just another reason why I want to have another baby.

  5. Oh, this is poignant to me... did you read my post today? Now I am even MORE ambivalent about quitting nursing my baby. ?? I want to move on... but I am not quite really ready to stop.

  6. Ohhh Connie, I'm so sorry. Breastfeeding is something that is very close to my heart. I was blessed to be able to nurse my oldest daughters for 21 and 26 months, and continue to nurse my 9 month old. But I was told when she was born ( 5 1/2 weeks early) that she probably wouldn't be able to nurse. They were wrong. I'm so glad I didn't listen to them. You have every right to be angry.

    Hugs ♥

  7. You definitely were misinformed by the nurses. I am a postpartum nurse and on our unit when a baby requires phototherapy we stress breastfeeding first and then suggest supplementing with formula if the pediatrician recommends it. Never would we discourage breastfeeding. I am sorry for your awful experience!

  8. Holy smokes, girl!
    You blog almost as fast as I can read!
    And I'm sorry you missed that time
    when young Alex could breastfeed...

    But you were blessed with Mallory,
    who's just the cutest little girl!
    (I have two sons who have shotguns,
    and no long hair to curl.)

    And "Grandpa Bob"? My kind of guy!
    That "shirt" has got me thinking...
    If I'm ever in town, and he's still around
    I hope he takes me drinking!!! :)

  9. Somehow, I totally believe that nurses could get through their training and never have really studied the benefits of breastfeeding! There needs to be more education!
    I'm sorry that you missed out on that special bond with your daughter, but I also think you sound like a fantastic mom who does all she can for her children!
    I wanted to stop by to say thanks for visiting my blog on my SITS day, I appreciate that. I am becoming a follower :)

  10. That is so weird that they told you that. My Ella was born 6 weeks early and was under the lights for 5 days and they encouraged me to breast feed her. I would be mad too.

    I love that picture of Alex and the Hooter girls:)


  11. I had a similiar situation my 2nd born 6 weeks early, taken from me moments after birth, I saw him in the NICU for moments and they moved him to a different hospital, I tried to nurse and he wanted nothing to do with it! I feel your anger!

  12. I always think a mom needs to trust her gut and give a new baby what it needs most...her mom. From my own experiences I have no faith in the medical profession.

    Mallory is still a gorgeous kid. You've done a great job with her.

  13. This speaks volumes about the stuff that can go wrong in the hospital. They did what was easist for them and not what was best for you and your Baby Girl. It is hard to stand up for yourself in such a vulnerable situation, especially when you trust the people that are "taking care of you." I'm sorry you didn't get to BF the way you wanted.

    My Baby Girl had no interest in BF'ing at all. I tried, and cried, and tried, and cried, and tried and cried. Nothing. Then my baby boy went right to it. He wanted nothing to do with a bottle. But with him I was so sick. So, so sick and I was on all kind of meds and I was so weak from the loss of blood that I didn't have the energy to do it. Plus it is kind of hard to BF when you are sitting around crying all the time. I'm still sad that I didn't get to. I know that it would have been super special.

  14. Connie - that is just so frustrating! And probably something you will always remember a little sadly - I'm so sorry! I CAN NOT believe the gall of those nurses. But I am so glad your kids are nice and healthy today!

  15. I'm so sorry to hear that, Connie. As someone stated above...they did what was easiest for them not what was best for you and Mallory.

  16. Thank you for sharing your story. I'm sorry you had to go through that. The more research women do about BF and birth, the more we will be able to stand up for ourselves and our babies!

  17. My heart aches reading your story- I had a wonderful time breastfeeding my 2 oldest, but when the baby came 6 months ago, I had problems breastfeeding form the start and I didn't make enough. I agonized for Days over this and still do- I miss the time I had with the other two and wanted to duplicate it with the baby.

    I totally understand how you feel- I am so sorry you didn't get to bf your second precious one!!


  18. awww honey! i'm so sorry you couldn't breast feed her! but to be honest...i HATED breastfeeding...i only breastfeed presley for a month...and the other two were straight to formula....but man, my heart just hurts for you...if i felt that passionately about it, it would have been hard for me too....

  19. I planned to come home this morning
    and make cinnamon rolls before school,
    but I could not leave town after work
    as my car was low on fuel.

    I made a run to Wally
    and bought a dictionary.
    It seems that since my college days
    I've "misplaced" vocabulary.

    I bought my book and I off I went
    to the only open gas station.
    I vacuumed the car and bought the gas
    and Diet Dew. (From a fountain.)

    I drove home in the Cadillac
    down Highway 23...
    past the dead deer, the racoon looking smear,
    and a skunk that smelled just icky.

    The report cards were in the mailbox
    1 with straight As. 1...not so much.
    (Looks like Boy 2s teachers and I
    are going to have to keep in touch!)

    And as I sit here worrying
    I hear a squirrel a scurrying.
    He's found his way into my attic...
    If caught outside, I'll let him have it!
    And I could go on...well...forever,
    rhyming (trying) to be clever.
    (Forcing your other commenters to scroll
    while I enjoy my cinnamon roll
    -and a nutty bar-
    and a couple of tums
    thereby pissing them off
    while I twiddle my thumbs.)
    And I didn't have time last night to write this
    (Still on the clock. You know how that is.)
    But I read your last post
    and my head is reeling
    wondering how you must be feeling.
    So I break off from our new tradition...
    (If you need to talk, I'm here to listen)
    So I guess what I'm trying to say is...

    You have skin cancer?

    That sucks. :(

    Are you OK?

  20. aw mama! I know how you feel! I was really young when I had my first but wanted to breastfeed however he was early, and did not eat well, and i did not produce well and had no supoport so i gave up. with my daughter i was working so i thought it was not possible. with my last i wanted to try but he ended up being in the NICU on a feeding tube for 11 days and by then I was told it was better for him to formula feed...i regret it every day! i sometimes think i want another JUST so i can try to breastfeed...oh well

  21. I'm so sorry Connie.

    I am still surprised that people will actively downplay the benefits of breastfeeding.

    I do believe it is personal choice, and I believe that every woman should be given the right to make that decision.

    I don't think that deliberately misinforming anyone is right. And I also think that if you don't have the facts, you shouldn't be advising.

    I truly am so sorry you were prevented from feeding Mallory.

  22. I failed with both of mine...just could not produce enough. My cousin, however, had the opposite situation. She was able to nurse but preferred to pump and feed the baby her milk from a bottle (to each his own, right?). I was there when the nurses came in and yelled at her about it. Wasn't pretty. Does it really matter if it comes directly on tap or out of bottle? That one always perplexed me. That being said, another instance of a nurse forcing her ideas onto a new mom...

  23. Wow, you have every right to be mad and feel cheated! I was told the exact same thing with Parker. I was told he wasn't strong enough to BF (which was probably true) and that I could pump if I wanted (for later consumption) but they we're going to give him formula while he was there because it was better for him. I didn't even question it. Now I know they were wrong and probably just wanted to take the easier route. We were robbed. Sorry they did that to you.

  24. Sorry Connie. I did not realize you had those issues. I have been blessed with my second and third, they have been easy. My oldest was easy until he got sick at 3 months and then went on strike. I wish I knew then what I know now and had the same support because I probably would have been able to get him latched back on. But I didn't and it sent me into a huge depression even though I was pumping for him.
    But alas, I ended up pregnant when he was 6 months old and my supply dried up anyway!

    I hope the movement towards more support and education on breastfeeding keeps growing so others don't have to go through what you did with the nurses.

    Your kids are wonderful and you are a great mom! I can see that you have a special bond with both of them!

  25. Hey Connie...
    I couldn't breastfeed my one and only at all because I had to go immediately back on my medication for myasthenia gravis. And then Jacob was in the NICU for 36 days, and I was terrified we wouldn't bond. We sure did though, and he is awesome and healthy.

    I'm sorry those nurses lied to you!

  26. I'm so sorry you have to feel this heartache. This is why I work so hard to educate mothers who want to breastfeed. There is way too much misinformation out there about breastfeeding, and the formula companies have a lot more money for marketing than the volunteer organizations who support breastfeeding.

  27. I could only nurse my oldest for 3 weeks because of problems, but at least he got the best from me. I didn't even try with the second as I was so sick after his delivery - I hemorrhaged.
    They both did very well and are now very healthy - while I know that breast feeding is best for both mother and baby, there are some wonderful formulas out there and you can still bond with your baby while feeding.
    I'm so sorry you had such a bad experience with your little girl, I am sure the nurses were only doing what they had been taught was the best for the baby and didn't inentionally lie to you (I hope).
    I adore the photos of your boy!!


I love you. You are my best friend! Your hair looks fantastic today!