This Abundant Life

This Abundant Life
"I came that they may have life and have it abundantly." - John 10:10

Monday, March 02, 2009

Nursing


I haven't written an update about nursing because it's not a fun topic for me, these days. You may remember a previous blog about how poorly things were going and how Gwendolyn was hungry and not getting enough to eat and that's when I started supplementing with formula.

Well, I spent weeks trying to build up my milk supply by a feeding process of nursing until she was frustrated, then giving a bottle, then pumping for 15 minutes. I did it much of the time...but not every time. I also tried drinking lots of water...but at the end of the day, somehow, I never had reached my intended amount. I planned to take vitamins and an herbal supplement that might help with milk supply...but started to forget after the first couple of days.
-- Nursing was really important to me...but somehow I did a half-ass
(pardon my french) job at the fight to continue it. Why?
-- Maybe it's because I felt like I was failing and it
almost felt better to let it slip away instead of continue to spend enormous
amounts of time, energy and emotional concentration on something that I felt
wasn't actually going to get better.
-- Maybe it's because when I gave Gwendolyn a bottle, she was happy and
full and she slept better and played better and stopped crying.
-- Maybe it's because the nursing process was so stressful for me and Gwendolyn when she would be frustrated with what she was getting from me
and start squirming and shrieking for more milk. When I gave her the bottle...it
felt like a relief.
Anyway...Gwendolyn turned 5 months on Saturday. I've been in this crazy feeding cycle for the last month and a half. Every day there is less breast milk and more formula...which is to be expected with a supply and demand system like nursing. I'll probably still continue to try and nurse her at each feeding before giving the bottle (for the next few weeks)...but I've no longer been pumping after each feeding. I think letting it slip away gradually has been easier to take, for me.

I am so thankful to the Lord for giving me 3 months of almost exclusively breastfeeding. I am so thankful that he allowed me to get through the extreme pain I had in the beginning and gave me the gift of really getting the hang of the nursing thing and the opportunity to even feel like I knew what I was doing, even in public. That feeling of really "getting it" lasted about 3 weeks before things started going south...but it was very meaningful to me.

I'm so thankful to the Lord for answering my prayer..."Lord, I pray that I would be able to nurse my baby and that she would be able to get all she needs from my milk...and if this is not your will, I pray that you would enable me to trust you."

Well, as I've mentioned, the nursing thing is NOT going well and will be ceasing soon. But, my faithful God has answered my prayer...I do feel less upset and anxious about this than I ever dreamed I would have, at the beginning. I am able to trust Him with the feeding of my daughter. I praise Him for that!

3 comments:

Sarah said...

You did everything right. You tried breastfeeding, and now you are giving your girl what she needs to be happy and healthy!

Breastfeeding is so hard and no one ever talks about it. Who knows too, I have had Mom's tell me that with each kid it is different, so if you have more, it will be a new experience with new successes and new challenges.

Good for you for making peace with your decision. It is a great decision and you should be so proud for all you do for your little love!

BTW- if you are going to make your own baby food- I totally recommend getting the Cooking for Baby cookbook from Williams Sonoma. It explains so much and tells you why. (I always need to know the why) and has some really amazing recipes. It also gives you recipes through the toddler years so it's a good long term purchase.

Also, I have found www.wholesomebabyfood.com
super helpful.

Lindsay said...

Your experience sounds exactly like mine...I quit after 6 mon. with Brody because it just wasn't worth all the effort and exhaustion...and my milk supply NEVER increased. God is good!!

Josh and Jenni said...

Wow Jenn! You are still a hero to me! I think I am more terrified of breast-feeding than I am of actually giving birth. You are a trooper as far as I am concerned. And if God gave you peace, than it is a good decision for you. If it makes you feel any better, I pee my pants every time I sneeze lately... :o)