The One Thing

I had a pretty upsetting realization today: if I it weren’t for thrush/breastfeeding, the past six weeks with my baby boy would have been an incredibly positive time. But because of thrush and the constant pain and discomfort, it has been a nightmare. I keep trying to combat it because I think it might get better but there is every reason to believe that won’t ever happen. I might get to the end of my maternity leave and realize that if it weren’t for breastfeeding, I would have enjoyed a blissful three months with my baby, but instead I spent all those weeks frustrated and in agony.

I really think it’s time to quit. I promised myself I’d finish up my 4 weeks of Diflucan before I threw in the towel. That gives me ten days. If it’s not gone by then (and there is no reason to think it will be, my symptoms seem to be getting worse again, as I’m not restricting sugar and dairy as much anymore) I’m going to stop breastfeeding. Just writing that makes me cry, but the idea of losing the battle against thrush makes me cry too. There is no positive decision to be made here and I’m really angry about it. I don’t understand why I have to deal with this horrible affliction. Why is this such an impossible thing for me to fix? Why is it ruining something that is so important to me, that is so important to my son? I’m just so demoralized by the whole thing. And I just can’t do this anymore. Of course I don’t think I can quit either, but I’m going to have to have to do one or the other.

No matter what I do, I lose.

It’s clear a lot more tears will be shed. There is no right answer. There is no easy answer. There is no answer that feels acceptable to me. But I have to make a choice. And I suppose I have to make it in ten days.

Fuck this. Fuck thrush. Fuck all of it.

9 responses

  1. Ok what you’re describing right now is exactly how I felt just before quitting, and then maybe for a few hours after it, until I felt the biggest weight in the world lift off my shoulders. Hon, no pressure- but I think it’s time to let go. Trust me on this please- you will feel so much better. Maybe even immediately, and if not immediately then very very very soon. You deserve to enjoy the rest of your leave. Please let yourself.

    • I agree with Mo. You’ve done everything to perfect the breastfeeding and frankly spending time with him before you have to go back to work is so much more important. You need to be gentler on yourself. Kay?

  2. I have no experience with this…so forgive me if this sounds harsh…but it sounds like it’s time to start enjoying your time with your son/family. That’s just my two cents, so take it as you will…

    But, overall….BIG HUGS!!!!

  3. I can see being sad about stopping BFing, but it does sound like maybe it’s time. The pain would be even harder to deal with once you’re back at work, I think. I am wondering, though, whether the cost of formula is going to be a problem. I guess it can’t cost any more than the gentian violet, grapefruit seed extract, probiotics, and Diflucan together!

  4. This post scares me…because I could have easily written it. It’s such a knife edge to be constantly walking. But the bottom line is – you are right. You need to be enjoying your time with him. It is ridiculous if you can’t do that because of the way you choose to feed him. It’s seems like most women feel a huge relief after deciding to stop. Maybe you deserve that relief. There certainly would be no judgment here! It is ridiculously hard. And, give yourself credit for making it for six weeks. That is an accomplishment!!

    • Also, not to make this about me, but how do you know you still have thrush? What I’ve read us some women can have no symptoms other than the nipple pain that won’t go away and I keep getting scared I have it.

  5. Oh E this all breaks my heart. I quit BF-ing with my first, and while I occasionally get twinges of regret, I am still quite firm in my realization that it was the best for us AT THE TIME. I was spiraling into severe anxiety/depression related to the pain and futility of the feeding and I had absolutely ZERO feelings of bonding because I just dreaded when he would wake and I’d have to feed him again. I did BF my second and after the initial hiccups it was wonderful…it was right. The first time it wasn’t, and when I stopped, it was like Mo said “like the weight of the world had lifted”.

  6. Yep, it’s time. It’s time to stop beating yourself up- you are NOT a failure. It’s time to start enjoying as much of your maternity leave as you can. Hugs- thinking about you a lot right now.

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