Friday, March 11, 2011

Trauma for the Mama

Have you ever had a picture in your head of how things should be and how things should go?
I have that picture alot.
If I were being really honest, I would have to say that I have that picture entirely too much.

If you remember my 1 month post on Gaines on 2.11.11, you will recall that I had the stomach virus the weekend before his 4th week.  I thought that I was recovered and that I was getting my breastmilk supply back.  Well, guess what actually happened....I really didn't get my supply back.  What I thought was a growth spurt in the days following my virus was actually Gaines not getting enough to eat and my body not producing enough to keep him satisfied, so, he wanted to eat every hour on the hour.  This went on for a good week before I realized what was happening.....During this week, Uncle Bob died.  This emotional upset more than likely also contributed to my loss of supply.

Its a really strange feeling to be told that you produce enough milk to feed triplets and then not have enough for one babe.  I did everything I could reasonably do to get my supply back.  I talked with a couple of lactation consultants who were somewhat helpful.  They were really sympathetic to my situation and did confirm that a dehydrating illness will decrease milk supply but coupled with the emotional upset would make it really hard to get my supply back.  They recomended that I ask my OBGYN for a perscription of Reglan.  I called my OB to tell her what was going on and after further discussion, we decided that it wasn't for me.  The side effects are anxiety, lethary, agitation, extreme tiredness, depression, etc.  On a personal note, I have a predisposition for depression and anxiety....it runs on both sides of my family and I had a little issue with the baby blues after Rutledge was born and my Dr. and I didn't think that any of those symptoms needed to be amplified.  I also talked with my general practitioner about this and he completely agreed with my OB.  I agreed with both of my Dr's.   

I think this was the hardest decision I've ever made....I could have taken this drug and gotten my milk back.  But, I don't think I could have handled the side effects along with everyday life! 

I had such a wonderful breastfeeding experience with Rutledge that I just knew that I would have the same with Gaines.  I just KNEW it.  Now I know that God is in control and there are some things that just need to be left up to Him.  I did the best I could for my baby and for myself and I know in my heart that taking that medication was NOT best for me. 

It still doesn't help the fact that I want to feed my baby.
I think that I had so much tied up into that one single mothering act that I lost sight of the other great things about motherhood.  This experience definitely knocked my ego down a few pegs but I think I'm going to get past this....eventually, because now I know that every breastfeeding experience is different...and that's ok.  I also think that I'm not as judgemental...yes, I said it.  I'm judgemental when it comes to breastfeeding.  I judged mama's who, in my opinion, really didn't give breastfeeding a real shot.  Breastfeeding is a choice and life is all about choices.  Sometimes breast isn't best for every baby.  Sometimes breast isn't best for the mama.  Sometimes mama's aren't educated about breastfeeding and sometimes they just plain don't want to.  And you know what?  All of those reasons are ok.  They really are ok.

I guess the most important thing I've learned is that I'm still a good mama.  I didn't need to tie so much of my self-worth into this one act.  And, while its a wonderful, life sustaining act and extremely selfless....its not the only thing you will ever do for your child.  Its not the best thing you will ever do for your child. 

I just keep telling myself this....
I have a healthy baby.
I have a healthy baby and he is well fed, even though its not the way I prefer.

So, how is Gaines doing on the bottle?  It took a good week for him to accept the bottle and decent feedings.  He lost a little weight but quickly gained it back, so that's good.

What have I learned about bottle feeding?  Its much easier to breastfeed a newborn.  Dealing with bottles and mixing up formula, and all that goes with it is just a hassle!  The positive is that I don't have to breastfeed my baby hunched in the backseat of my Tahoe before heading into Target;)

To continue with my saga....I also have to report that Matt and I had a HORRIBLE case of bronchitis.  During that sickness, BOTH boys came down with Type A flu.  Gaines had to spend 1 night in the hospital at Baptist South.  It was really scary but typical when you have a babe that young...they just slap you into the hospital.  So, while all of this was going on in a 2 week span.....stomach virus, Uncle Bob dying, Bronchitis, flu, I thought I was going to lose my mind.  I didn't know if we were going to make it....I kind of sunk into the depths of despair.  I hadn't recovered my strength after the stomach virus when I got Bronchitis and having a newborn on top of that was almost too much...no, it was too much. 

Its scary when both parents are sick and both babes are sick.
But, we survived and we are stronger as a family.

Now, that you have heard all of my "mama trauma" I bet you are exhausted!
But, I had to document all of this because it shows what we have overcome!

1 comment:

Mary Frances Stanford said...

Hi! Just wanted to say that I totally relate to your experience. Something similar happened with my sweet baby. I had tough complications after my delivery and the stress caused me not to produce milk! I'm sorry about your "Mama Trauma," but know that you are a wonderful mom and that sweet baby will be blessed not because he was nursed but because YOU are in his life!