Forrest has been my biggest blessing, but I have struggled as a mom. Being a past nanny and a current nurse who cares for babies, I felt like I had a little bit of experience. Motherhood has shook me, and I don’t know if it’s not talked about enough or I wasn’t listening.
Everyone I knew from strangers to parents of patients at work always raved about what a great mom I would be, how calm I am and how great I am with their children, and then I became a mom. Crippled with anxiety about doing “what is right” and “why is he upset, what did I do?”. I know babies cry because they are just that, babies! But he has seemed like he is suffering and my nurse mom brain knows too much.
Within his 6 weeks of life he was diagnosed with a tongue and lip tie that was revised (although I didn’t want to originally), he has reflux and a hard time sleeping flat, and makes sooo many noises from a floppy noise-box (called laryngomalacia). These last two are fairly common as they are small little babes and will usually grow out of. Which I knew, but didn’t make hearing and seeing it easier. I also have an oversupply of milk and with all the above combined was choking him for basically 6 weeks. This can also be fairly common until your milk regulates but we were both miserable and from all the above he was suffering from gas and “colic” and that left me reddened with anxiety.
I used to give “advice” from my experiences and from what I knew was “right”. Then I became a mom and broke all the “rules” and my own advice.
While pregnant, I researched hours about bassinets, mattresses, natural child birth and so forth. I planned on breastfeeding but just assumed it would come somewhat natural. Well guess what- something so natural is hard! I was so surprised and the more I struggled and reached out to others, a lot of women do! I wish I knew this and feel like women should be more prepared! It would lower womens expectations and give women more of a chance to do what they were created to be able to do. Fed is best, formula or breast. My husband was formula fed and is healthier than I have ever been. I also suffer from a ton of food sensitivities and issues and assume I will need an expensive formula for my little one. This will be about my breastfeeding experience so far, so stop reading if you don’t want to hear about boobs 😂 The one thing I have learned during my short time as a mom already is that most moms are secretly struggling, don’t let social media steer you to think otherwise!
I googled everything. And I tried everything on google to help my little man to stop crying and from struggling. I called lactation a hundred times while crying every time I fed him which resulted in him choking and swallowing so much air. I tried pumping and doing bottles but that made my oversupply soo much worse and was making me even more depressed. Hats off to you exclusive pumping moms, I did it for a weekend and that was all I could handle! Even with lactation I didn’t feel like I had the right support and see why so many moms give up. Which I have absolutely nothing against formula and respect all fed moms as I do all births! This is more of a journal than an advice blog these days. Personally I really wanted to breastfeed and have let the anxiety and stress of it over take me. But why has no one told me about these troubles?
Luckily I kept reaching out, to social media, moms anyone that could listen honestly. I admit, I am sometimes too open but in this case it saved my breastfeeding journey. I know we will have more ups and downs (as this entire six weeks has shown me), but I finally feel like we are getting it and it will only get better from here. A mutual friend suggested a lactation consultant who was so empathetic and very involved allowed me to finally believed I could do this. I also took him to see an awesome chiropractor. I tried the natural route first (because thats who I am) and ended up on medication for a short time to hell regulate my supply. This was so stressful for me as everyone kept saying give it 8-12 weeks to regulate and I tried but the hours of crying and no sleep from the stress of me simply trying to feed my baby was beyond exhausting and depressing. I would say I gave it my all before resulting to medication and I wouldn’t have done it without medical supervision because I easily could have went a full 360 and lost my supply.
Your baby is with you for 9+ months. They feel your emotions. They feel your stress and anxiety. They feed of this, literally. I wish someone gave me a warning about how hard breastfeeding can be. I was not prepared and and hope this little post doesn’t scare you but helps prepare someone else. Don’t give up, at the end of the day if your baby is gaining weight you are doing something right. And if you have to switch to formula that is okay too. But it can get better. I still don’t have it all together breast-feeding still work. My nipples and husband and I would have disagreed a few weeks ago that there would be a light at the end of the tunnel – haha I know I am no where near the end of this roller coaster, our next battle to tackle is sleep!
Your killing it mamas or mamas to be 🤍