I went to my 17 week appointment last week and my ob told me something that shocked me. She said I could try breast feeding again if I wanted to.
Hold the pump!
What?!! I thought she had told me that I could never do it again because of my ppd and what nursing does to a person hormonally. She clarified and said that last time it wasn’t an option for me but that if I wanted to, I could try it again. This time I will be on medication right away and I will be “monitored” so to speak because she will be aware of my past problem and she said this time could be different.
I told her that I had resolved and come to terms with the fact that I would never do it again. I mean, I mourned that fact. I cried over not being able to nurse another child on several occasions. It took me until Eden was a good 10 months old to be able to let it go and hold up my lactose free Similac proudly. Finally, I came to terms with it and even wrote the declaration of my acceptance in the post “Here I Give To You My Dreams In This Fashionable Medela Bag”.
When I told my ob that I had resolved never to nurse again she said, “Then I wouldn’t. It’s a big commitment and you have to be committed to doing it.” She is so stinkin’ right.
I talked to Lance about the prospect of me nursing again and it makes him really nervous. He is worried for me. He said that he didn’t care if it was hard for him if I were to have a bad time but that he doesn’t want that to happen to me again. He also said he would support me either way.
Drat! Drat this prospect and drat this support! Sort of =0)
Honestly, I just don’t know if I can even if I want to. I think part of my “want” is to just be normal. Just to do it like you thought you would pre-baby. Nobody plans on a c-section with their first. No one thinks they will have ppd when they set up their nursery. No one thinks breastfeeding will kill them when they buy their new shiny breast pump but in life, these things happen.
Those first three weeks were hell for me and I just couldn’t do it. I couldn’t nurse! I couldn’t keep up with the every 2-3 hour schedule round the clock. It was painful. It was consuming and it was hormonal. It kicked my butt so hard. SO hard. It was never easy. I still look in awe when someone walks in our church nursery with an 8 ounce bottle of pumped milk. How did you do that? How was it easy to get? Do you moo? You are so a breastfeeding winner.
Breastfeeding defeated me. There is a part of me that just wants to be able to do it. Nobody likes to be defeated.
I know it’s not worth the risk but I’m haunted not only by the defeat of something I wanted to do so badly but by the reality that maybe I could successfully do it. If I’m on meds, what if I would have been fine? What if it nursing would be easier with baby number 2 like it is for so many women? What if?
Ultimately, I guess the “what if” has to be worth chance if my “what if” turns into “it wasn’t”. In light of what I went through, I’m not sure there exists such a potent and nutritious breast milk that outweighs the benefits and importance of a happy, healthy mom.
Thinking about all of this, I wrote a friend who helped me when I had my ppd who is also a 3 time ppd haver herself. I laid out my concerns and my hang ups and she told me that the best advice is to do whatever will allow you to be the best mom, whatever that may be. She also told me that she breastfed all three times and had to stop all three times because of emotional/hormonal reasons and that every time she got better afterwards.
She even shared with me about one of her friends who is one of my blog readers who just had her first baby maybe a month ago who has had a terrible experience. Once this girl quit breastfeeding and went back on her anxiety medications, she got not only good but great. I even say myself that my first piece of advice to ANY woman in throws of ppd would be to stop breastfeeding. There is a science to why it exacerbates the problems when it arises for mothers.
I don’t know a person who had a good ole’ case of ppd who didn’t stop nursing. It’s not only the havoc it brings on your hormones, but also the demand on the mom who is feels like they are losing it, or anxious, or depressed. Even one of my best friends who didn’t have ppd but had a difficult start to motherhood said she cried inexplicably for the first year and only realized how much better she felt after she had quit nursing. I know the reality is that nursing is not kind to the depressed mother or the mother who has had a history of emotional or anxious issues.
It seems so obvious. I know I’ve given some reasons why I’m flip flopping a little bit in my mind but I just can’t fully explain to myself why I’m wavering back and forth at all. I guess I just wonder, “What if I never did it again and I really would’ve been okay?” Then again, what if i did it, had a hard time, and ended up never knowing what it is like to bring home a baby and not cry and have panic attacks and feel depressed. I feel like that’s almost the greater loss.
I know for fact that I will do the first latch after birth and maybe some in the hospital just so she can get some colostrum and so I can at least have that small experience with her. My milk is coming in regardless so at least then, I’ll have some of the experience and she will get the first nutrition. I could stop then when I go home and it gets real all up in that piece.
It’s so easy to just give a bottle that doing some hospital nursing will either make me sad to stop OR remind me that anyone can feed my baby a bottle at 4 am and last I checked, it causes no pain or energy to shake a bottle around. =0)
Who am I kidding? Formula is great! Haha.
Sigh. I’m such a schizo. I don’t even have to re-read this to know that I’m more scattered than cats in a room full of rocking chairs.
I think what we may be experiencing here is the re-entering of the dream and the exiting phase which is marked by huge denial. What? Who said that?
Everything baby has been so different for me than I ever imagined it would be 3 years ago. But then again, Eden is more wonderful than I ever conceived possible for a child of mine to be. God has a way of trading our picketed fences in life. Either way, you still end up happy looking through the planks.
Milkman by photographer Imgorthan