Monday, September 26, 2011

It hurts like $!&%!!!

What is it about being a mom that makes us feel guilty about every darn thing? Or is it just something about being a woman? Today I have been fretting over whether or not I want to continue nursing my sweet, precious baby. This is not the first time I have visited my options. Before she was born I questioned whether I wanted to breastfeed at all. It has never been my favorite thing. But I decided to give it a month both for the benefit of my baby and for the special one on one time it gives me with her.

After that first month, I again decided to keep going. This time my dilemma was that I was struggling to finish my work assignments in a timely manner and to balance all of my responsibilities. I chose to continue breastfeeding because it FORCES me to slow down. While work isn't an option, I am blessed to work from home on my own timetable. I decided that in ten years I won't miss whatever project I am currently working on and I won't care so much that my house wasn't perfect. I will, however, miss this precious baby time that speeds by much too quickly.

Today (she's now 4 months) I am again at a crossroads. I am in such horrible pain - maybe thrush, maybe mastitis... I don't know - that I honestly do not know if I can bear to continue on. Feeding my baby is a tearful, very painful ordeal that has only been getting worse for the last couple of weeks. Expressing the milk with a pump now hurts horrendously as well. It's even getting difficult to hold my sweet baby because of the excruciating pain. I'm not sure that breastfeeding is worth that or my shortness (caused by pain) with my older kids.

I made a doctor's appointment (later today) to assess the issue, but the point is... why do we have to guilt ourselves so much when things aren't absolutely perfect?  Personally, I feel very strongly that "the right way" of doing things looks very different for each of us. Yet, we still feel the need to compare ourselves to some golden standard of SuperWoman.

In the end, I'd rather make the decision myself than have some illness determine whether or not I continue nursing.That being said, I don't see how torturing myself makes me a better mom. I'll let you know how it goes.


Update: The doctor says it's mastitis. I started the meds and nursed again on the ouchie side (insert swear word of choice --- yes, it hurts that bad). Still on the fence about my "options". We'll see how it goes.


  1. My thoughts? The guilt is internal. Your baby will fuss a little at first, but she will survive going to a bottle. :) I'm all for doing what you believe in, but if it's hurting you in the process, why?

  2. oooh, yes, guilt is almost a choice... not at first, but we can change our minds... change our thoughts. I counter guilt with two things, gratitude, which you've got, and a list of two or three things I do well... every day.

    Plus, your hormones are still swinging so be gentle with yourself and your babe.

    After 90 days or so most of the benefits of nursing have been given to the baby... no need to hurt if formula is an option.

  3. Thanks for your comments! Guilt can really keep us from moving forward, can't it? Especially if we feel "guilty" about either direction we move in. Maybe because we want the best of both worlds and that just isn't always possible. You're probably right, Anne... my hormones definitely aren't quite back to normal.


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