Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Truth

It's time to tell the truth. The last couple of weeks have been EXTREMELY difficult. I know things are going to get better, but I haven't really been honest with the people around me who ask how I am doing. The truth is things have been hard.

First, breastfeeding did not go as I had planned it and it truly disappointed me. Coop and I had a rough start. We couldn't get a good latch. Then I started to use nipple shields and things started to look up. Then Cooper's jaundice numbers continued to go up. Breastfeeding with nipple shields is hard enough, then you add a bili blanket to the mix and it was HORRIBLE. Then he continued to lose weight. The pediatrician recommended supplementing and pumping to ensure he had adequate feeds. She gave him a bottle right then. For the next week, he refused the breast. I continued pumping, but it was really hard. During a full day, I would only produce about 8oz. I took Fenugreek and got a prescription, but I still only produced about 16oz during a 24hr period. I felt like I was in a constant rotation of feeding, diapering, and pumping. Then he had an array of tummy issues. He has been horribly gassy and has had days that 20 mucousy poops was normal. The pediatrician had us try various formulas. For the last three weeks he has been on a hypoallergenic one....Similac Alimentum.The pediatrician wanted him on the formula without breast milk to see if it would help and it has but certainly not altogether. Plus, I gave up with the pumping. It was too hard to keep up with once my husband went back to work and with Cooper needing every ounce of attention I could afford him. It truly makes me feel that I failed him. Breast milk is best, and I couldn't do it.

Cooper has been increasingly colicky. If he isn't sleeping or eating, he is crying. Anyone who knows me, knows that I always want everyone to be happy. I can't make him happy. I hold him. I put him in the activity chair...the napper...the bassinet...the swing. I rock him. I do the 5 S's (swaddle, shush, suck (paci), swinging, side position. I give him Gripe Water and gas drops. I work his little legs. I burp him endlessly. I put him over my shoulder. Nothing works. He barely sleeps for more than a couple of hours throughout the entire day. By the end of the day, I have been frazzled and on the verge of tears in tears. I have felt like a failure.

Over the weekend, I read that the Ready to Feed Similac Alimentum might work better for him. We began to use it on Sunday and HOLY COW...I have a new baby. He isn't nearly as gassy or fussy. He has quiet moments throughout the day. He still isn't much of a napper...but at least the crying and screaming has decreased. I don't know if we will be able to afford to give him the Ready to Feed all the time. Right now it will cost us a little over $54 a week....I know this will increase. I am looking into the insurance maybe paying for it.

I hope I haven't jinxed myself by saying things have been somewhat better for the last 2 days. I truly pray that we can keep it going.


  1. Your doing great! He won't remember these struggling moments, and plenty of "formula kids" grow up to do amazing things. He will remember a loving mom who did her very best! :) It is amazing that in 4 or 5 short months no one will know or care where he got his nutrition-people will just be glad he did so they can watch him continue to grow!

    Keep your head up! Praying for you!

  2. I agree with Carly - I was the same as you - I could never produce enough to keep up with my boys - she is right...no one will ever know - formula kids are just as smart, just as healthy, just as everything!!!! DO NOT BEAT YOURSELF UP!!!! My oldest was like Coop but he ended up having acid reflux - as soon as he was on medicine for it - completely different kid, so I know exactly what you mean - you can actually THINK for a couple of seconds!!!

  3. I had a similar experience with breastfeeding. I wanted to so much but he was in the NICU and then I couldn't produce very much milk once we got home. I tried to pump but it wasn't worth it for what I was producing. I beat myself up over it and felt guilty. But now my son is 2 and a half and totally healthy! Try not to worry about it! He will be fine. Try to enjoy him while he is small, they grow so fast! :)

  4. Shannon- You have been so generous and giving on your other blog- I'm sorry that things are hard right now! You sound like a great mom (as well as teacher!) Your life is completely different right now and you have probably never been this exhausted... no sleep during pregnancy, demanding class(I'm assuming that one- you never complain!) , upset baby, no rest now! Hang in there-- you are doing everything a good mommy can do.

  5. I just wanted to let you know, you aren't alone at all. Every mother goes thru this, anyone who says they don't or that their baby never cries is either lying or slipping drugs into their bottle (or drinking and breastfeeding lol).

    Are there amazing rewards to being a parent and watching your baby grow into their very own? Absolutely, but it is 100% the hardest job on the planet. We also have so many opinions thrown our way with the best intentions, but they almost always leave us feeling worse than we did before we got that awful advice.

    The one thing I wish someone had told me when I was a mother for the first time was to just relax and always remember that YOU are that baby's mom - no one else knows him like you do and that's all that matters.

    Love you!

  6. I hope that formula is working! I have a three month old and we are still trying to find the right formula. I have come to the conclusion he is just a spitter upper and that is the way he is. He is happy and is rarely fussy and is gaining weight so as long as that is happening that is most important! Ethan also had jaundice and we had to use the bili blanket. It was definitely a pain to use especially when trying to breastfeed! Just remember to do the best that you can and to try to take a few moments everyday for yourself to keep your sanity! I think every mom experiences similar problems and the sleep may come with time. A book I found helpful with the sleeping issues was Babywise. I liked the routine that they suggested to get the baby on and it has worked for Ethan and for a few of my friends babies. You may want to check it out! Good luck and it does get better! :)

  7. Love following your kinderblog and am enjoying reading your mommy blog too! I have 3 boys and was not able to breastfeed with any of them. I was like you, I could pump for an hour and get an ounce. My first boy was losing weight, fussy from hunger, so after I went back to work I stopped pumping too. I just did not have the time and it was too emotionally draining. So I hear your pain with breastfeeding situation. It will all be okay though! I have seen that my boys are healthier than my friend who breast feed her kids the entire time. So don't feel guilty for not being able to breast feed. He will be fine! BTW love the nickname! My last boy is Loogie-Boogie! (Long story behind that) His real name is Lucas. Keep enjoying your little man!

  8. The good news is that after 3 or 4 months, most if not all of these issues seem to work themselves out in even the most colicky of babies! I had a rough first 4 months with my first one (he cried for what seemed like hours and hours at a time) and I cried myself almost all the time as well. Then one day, all of a sudden, things were better. My true advice to you is this: As hard as these times are, enjoy them! They only come along once. That is my biggest regret - I had a hard time enjoying the little glimpses of bliss amidst all the turmoil. I sure wish I had known then what I know now...

  9. I found your blog through your teaching blog. I am a Kindergarten teacher also, and two years ago on December 22nd, I had a baby boy and named him Cooper! Ironic, isn't it? The even more ironic part is that I, too, had a hard time nursing Cooper. My older son never had a problem with any of it or switching between a bottle and the breast but when Cooper was 3 weeks old I found out he had MSPI (Milk Soy Protein Intolerance) and decided instead of eliminating practically everything from my diet that I would quit nursing and put him on hypo-allergenic formula. We used Alimentum and Nutramigen, and they were expensive. We had to use them until he was 9 months old, and most babies grow out of MSPI before then. But it was all worth it to have him happy and sleeping and it was far less stressful then having to worry about what I was eating or pumping. Everything gets easier as the babies become more independent. I hope you can enjoy every second with your little one.