Its been 18 days since my baby was born. These 18 days, i am supposed to be resting and building back my energy and strength, especially from a c sec. Thank god for hubs and mom who have been around to take care of baby while i try to “rest”. but alas, thats not the case, because i am… theoretically supposed to be breastfeeding and establishing the milk supply. of course people say this is the hardest in the 1st month because thats when your body dont know how much milk is needed and hence produce as much. Only in the following months that the supply gets regulated.
So that explains the excessive supply i got. Maybe also cos of the boob size, which translates into many milk ducts, the supply was crazy. And because i am unable to latch, i exclusively pump, which means im literally stuck to my pump every 2 hours or so for 30 mins. And then i need to clean up and wash and sterilise the parts to prepare for next pump. Where did my “rest” time go? all to the pump. i dont even spend time with my baby! is this fair to me or her?
Over the days, i started to get tired and weary and perhaps dragged the pump time abit longer. well, its not intentional but i started to get engorged. BAD BAD engorgement. only mummies will know the meaning of engorgement. usually it will be just soreness, tenderness, boob getting hard, pain and just have to massage and pump out. But the worst i got was shooting pain, my whole boob was rock hard, it was swollen and red, just a light touch and i wanna cry, the armpit and arm was also getting hot,i was getting feverish and i was shivering even under the blanket in an non-aircon room. i thought to myself “is this what death feels like?” . Seriously it was really unbearable. no matter what i did,… hot compress.. cold compress.. cold cabbage,.. hot showers… nothing helped.
i am all about ready to give up breastfeeding. of course alot of emotions running inside. did i try my best? is this all my pain threshold could take? could i not try harder? am i letting my baby down?
please do not doubt me when i say its really mummy’s guilt. all mummies hope to provide their baby the best. i was all ready to control my diet to continue breastfeeding even tho i really needed a beer now and then.
we went to a GP on sunday in desperate measure to get medication to stop the throbbing pain from the boobs. he did not want to prescribe lactation suppression medication initially but maybe i look as if i am in depression, he eventually did. But after googling, the medication did not seem very safe. In fact it was different from what some of my friends took when they wanted to stop breastfeeding too.
So since we were going to see the PD on Mon, we decided to pop by my gynae to get a prescription for the safer medicine. Not cheap but anything for my sanity. Actually the pd also said that nowadays the formula is made quite smilar to breastmilk so no problem taking formula milk as well. i just dont understand why people are so adamant about giving only breastmilk. I mean people make their own choices right.
It is a sign, because i needed to pump badly and when we finally found a nursing room, my pump decided to die a natural death and could not be switch on. sigh. Everything is just not to my advantage.
So anyway the decision was made to stop with hubs support. I took the first dose at 7pm on 23 March 2015.
It is still emotional for me when i look at my pump parts, when i look at the fridge and see the supply i built up is slowly decreasing.. soon we need to defrost the ones in the freezer… soon there will be no more breastmilk. It is depressing when i see the things we bought to support breastfeeding (ie breast pads, nipple cream, breast shields, extra flanges, extra valves), In fact we bought a smaller portable pump so i can use when we go out or when i return to work. It hasnt even arrived and i decided to give up breastfeeding.
I dont even know why i must explain to people why we made this decision. All the shit i get from people about not trying hard enough and that breastfeeding/breastmilk is good for baby etc. Its not as if we dont know. But its not all about the baby right? Mama is going into depression. Rather than resting or being stuck to the pump,i rather be spending time cuddling with my baby. The day that was the worst, i didnt even see my baby the whole day because i was in the room trying to unclog the ducts.
I been crying every day and in pain. Who can understand this? Who are you to question why i decide to give up bfeeding. It is not an easy decision for me as well. Of course i hope to provide my baby breastmilk. But at the expense of my sanity and opportunity cost of time spent with my baby?
I think things would have been different if the experience of breastfeeding was easier, and if the primary caregiver for my baby is my mom. But the primary caregiver when i return to work will be my helper and i definitey dont want my baby to be too close to her, and so i wanna spend allt he time i have now with my baby. i wanna see my baby milestones, i wanna be able to comfort her when she cries, i want her to know i am mama and im always here. Im not a mama stuck to the pump!
Even today, i feel quite sad and emo when i was feeding her formula milk. I feel emo when i see the colour of her poo changed. (feeding BM and formula, the poo colour will differ).
But i guess in the long run, this will benefit baby, me and even hubs.
so do not judge us. do not question us. this is our decision.
to mummies who are thinking of the same route as i did, i support you.
to mummies who manage to breastfeed successfully, i salute you.
to mummies who feed formula from the start, i respect you.