Nadir

I’ve hit a low point in both my relationship with Mi.Vida and breastfeeding. It’s not a mere coincidence that the two coincide. Things have been hard and I’m struggling. We had some great days this weekend but even those were laced with significant challenges. We’re both exhausted and at our wit’s end. Osita continues to struggle mightily with the transition. I don’t remember reading that it was this hard for older siblings in any of the blogs I read but some books suggested it would be a real challenge. I wonder if it’s all because she is 3.5 years old and so aware of everything that is going on. It seems it’s much easier for two year olds but maybe that not the case. Maybe it would have been this hard for my daughter no matter what.

As for breastfeeding I don’t know quite what is going on but my right breast (the one we’re much better at achieving a decent latch on) is really hurting me. Like excruciating pain, hurting me. It could be mastitis but it looks like it was just badly bruised. It’s horribly painful all the time but when he eats it’s almost unbearable. I tried to pump last night and feed him a bottle but it was a total disaster. He wouldn’t take it (even when MV attempted) and ended up basically crying himself to sleep. The he woke up every 30-45 minutes for three hours trying to get more than a few drops out of my tapped out chest. It was miserable and makes me feel even more trapped in this dysfunctional breastfeeding relationship than I did before.

I have an OB appointment tomorrow to get my breast looked at and my 6 week check up, plus a lactation appointment, is the next day. I wish I could say I thought they’d have something helpful to contribute but my guess is only time will make this better. Until the pain subsides I’m popping ibuprofen like it’s candy and icing it when I can. Seriously, why can I not catch a break?

So that is where we are right now, at the nadir of quite a few things. I suppose the good news there is no where to go but up?

My daughter just woke up and after I settled her again she told me that I was the best mommy in the world and she loves me with all her heart (direct quote). If that isn’t a good reminder of what is ultimately important I don’t know what is. I’ll just have to carry that with me through the next week and hope things get better.

6 responses

  1. Just read your post and wanted you to know I’m thinking of you. I hope the doctors appointments and the LC can figure out a solution that feels workable. I can’t think of anything to add that someone else hasn’t already written here. I remember how fraught the early months are and all the decisions surrounding feeding. As for relationship stuff: I remember once when I was in college I went to a therapy group of all women. There were women of all ages from their 60s to me must of been the youngest at 20–one of the older women said something that stuck with me. She said that some months even some years she hated her husband with a burning passion. What that highlighted for me was that this was all an ebb and flow — a journey, a natural progression and that it wasn’t always all good or all bad but it was okay to have those periods. I find raising children to be very stressful to a relationship. My husband and I talk very honestly about how if things were different we may have been a happier couple without children (but that is so taboo to talk about/acknowledge in this culture). We honestly spend a lot of time talking about retirement which sounds ridiculous but we talk about 15 years from now when we can spend time together again. We love our family obviously and our children but it’s a stressful time filled with things we both have to do in order to make the family functional and run.

    Anyway, my two cents. I am thinking of you and just know you’re not alone,

    Pam

  2. Ugh. I am so sorry. I know what you mean about not being hopeful about the OB or LC. The message is always, “sorry it hurts, keep it up!” Blah. Remember this – it goes in phases. I am in a “better” phase right now, which means there are better parts, ups and downs. My left breast hurt so badly I gave it a break for a week, it really helped. It’s not totally healed yet, but I went back to feeding on it today because I was so tired of pumping.

    Also, it’s definitely not a coincidence about relationship struggles coinciding with this frustration. The added stress is just too much (on top of normal stress of having two kids!). I wish I could have positive, upbeat advice but I am so close to you in the trenches I’m not sure what to say except to remind you there are good days and bad days. Go easy on yourself. This is hard.

  3. Oh these early days are soooo hard. I do think it’s harder for older kids to adjust, but I’ve known plenty of 2 year olds who had a terrible time with it, my best friend’s twins being two of them. Their younger sister is 2 years and 2 days younger than them, and all hell broke loose in their house when she joined the family. They still struggle sometimes, but it is better. Hang in there!

    Sent from my Windows Phone ________________________________

  4. Many hugs. I imagine you’ve been to a La Leche League meeting by now trying to get some help, and if you haven’t, give it a shot.

    I’m with you that the transition to big sister is hard, but it goes in phases. Some weeks are better than others. It’s really fun now that the baby is big enough to play with the kid to watch them have fun together. It’s also terrifying that the kid takes the baby and carries her about at pretty high speed (baby giggling the whole way) and the throwing things at the baby… ugh… Keep on keeping on. Hopefully something helps or gets better or makes your next move easier to see.

  5. I hope that they’re able to help, and that things get better soon. Your perspective on this time — that it’s a “nadir” — reminds us that this is a continuum, and that there is an up, no matter how far we feel like we’re falling. Sending love and many hugs.

  6. I appreciate your honesty about the difficulties we all face in relationships and raising children. It’s not easy, but it’s nice to read about other people’s struggles and realize that it’s only me who feels defeated some days.

    It’s funny, the other day I thought about the time my mom got in the car and drove off for a few hours after a long day with the kids and a silly argument with my dad. As a kid, I was so confused as to why she would do that. Now that I”ve been married for a long time and I’m the mom of a jealous toddler and a new baby, I TOTALLY understand needing a few hours away from it all! It’s not that I don’t appreciate wholeheartedly what I have been given, it’s that we’re only human and we all have limits when it comes to stress.

    Hang in there and I hope that things improve for you in the next few weeks.

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