Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Feeling Defeated

I don’t even know where it started...maybe with how little success I’m having getting Elena into her crib…maybe it’s that I’m feeling exhausted with having to breastfeed every 2 hours (or less) & being concerned I’m just not producing enough to satisfy Elena...maybe it's what I perceive as criticism from family members…I don’t know…I do know that these are “Fun Problems” & I’ll take them over the myriad of other problems I could be having…I’m left feeling so defeated & tired though…
Oh, breastfeeding…I am so very grateful that I am able to…the closeness & bonding time it allows me to share with Elena is priceless…the way she stares up into my eyes as she nurses is so precious…the convenience of not having to mix formula, wash bottles, heat bottles works well for my lazy ass & saving the expense on formula is such a blessing right now with money being so tight…I worry that I’m just not good enough…what I mean is that my milk isn’t good enough…Elena nurses about every 2 hours but usually it’s more like every hour & a half…rationally, I know she’s fine…she’s growing well, man is this kid growing!! She’s getting heavier & more roly-poly & it seems like she grows longer (taller?) everyday!! She’s already grown out of some of her size 6 months clothes!!! A drawback with her nursing so often is that it limits us for going out…though she takes a bottle well from other people, she will not take one from me…so if I go out alone, which most often I do, we have to either A) make sure there’s a place to nurse her while we’re out or B) not stray too far from home as we can only be gone for an hour & a half tops…that’s very limiting & a little isolating…there’s not as many places to nurse while we’re out as I thought there’d be.
Then there’s the crib issue…I was so naïve to think that I’d just be able to put Elena in it & she’d just take to sleeping in it without any problem…for every nap I lay her into the crib & she wakes within minutes & won’t be soothed to stay…the longest she’s made it (asleep) was 20 minutes…She doesn’t cry or get upset or anything & I’ve left her in there awake for 15-20 minutes hoping she’d fall asleep or at least become comfortable being there. I’ve tried a dozen techniques of placing her down…I’ve tried staying in the room, I’ve tried leaving right away…I’ve tried using a heating pad to warm her place before putting her down…I’ve waited until she’s deep asleep before putting her down…I’ve tried laying a t-shirt of mine down hoping the scent would trick her…I’ve tried running a fan for white noise like we have at night…nothing works! I’m at my wits end & ready to give up but know it’ll just get harder...
Then I’m questioning why I’m even putting so much pressure on us both to use the crib! A big part of me feels like I’m only doing it because everyone (my family) seems to think I should…I mean, Elena is sleeping just fine in my bed!! She naps really well in my bed & sleeps 8-10 hours through the night!! Why mess with that? It’s not like I have a partner that shares my bed & we have to worry about our relationship or intimacy or whatever…I know I always said I wouldn’t co-sleep but can’t I change my mind? The night before last (the 1st (& only) night I put Elena in her crib at night) as I watched her sleep through the bars of the crib while I lay in my bed, it made me really sad…really, really sad. When I read about the negatives of co-sleeping, all that’s listed is the detriments to a couple or safety issues…well I don’t need to worry about the couple issues & I have been very diligent in making Elena’s sleep space safe…the benefits, however, seem to be plentiful…so am I just using these as an excuse to take the easy route? I don’t think so…
Everything I’ve done for Elena so far, every decision I’ve made, I’ve done research & asked advice but bottom line, I’ve trusted my gut…when I’ve considered stopping breastfeeding, my gut says, “NO!!!” When I think about keeping Elena in my bed, my gut says, “Yes”. I know that’s not a popular choice but I feel it’s the best choice for us.
I even feel better already having put it all out there! What do you all think?


  1. Go with your gut!! Elsie and I have had a bunch of breast feeding issues and I went with my gut. While I wonder about if it the 'right' thing to do, all I have to do is look at her and know it was right for us. Everyone else including your family is not her mom.

  2. If its not broken don't fix it. Keep her in your bed and get some sleep. Breastfeeding is tough but you'll know when something is really wrong. Jett went the last few weeks or so and still during the day sometimes wanting to nurse that often. It could be growth. As long as she's happy, healthy keep it up. Family always has something to say. Raise your child your way. . Breastfeeding is tough but you'll know when something is really wrong. Jett went the last few weeks or so and still during the day sometimes wanting to nurse that often. It could be growth. As long as she's happy, healthy keep it up. Family always has something to say. Raise your child your way.

  3. I'm sorry you're feeling so much pressure from your family, T. The thing is, only YOU know exactly what you and Elena need. Your living your life, doing what is best for you and your baby. People always have advice to give, but you get to decide what you want to do. (thankfully)

    So, I agree with the pp, and exactly what you said: "go with your gut" You can never go wrong.

  4. Oh I sooo remember those marathon nursing sessions! I felt like every day was just one big long boobfest. It's perfectly normal and pretty soon your girl will start to go longer between feedings and you won't be feeling so crazy. Nursing in public took some getting used to for me. I would arrange outings around places that I knew had a place I wouldn't mind using. If you're out shopping you could hijack a dressing room or top her off in the car. Do you have a nursing cover? I never leave the house without mine.

    My son spent his first few weeks in a co-sleeper beside my bed but mostly it was just for show so that my mother wouldn't give me a hard time. I decided that I didn't care if she gave me grief and just went full time co-sleeping. The comments died down when I made it clear that my parenting decisions weren't up for debate.

    O is 16 months and we're still nursing and co-sleeping. (I will say that sometimes I wish we had a crib for naptimes now that he's older and walking)

  5. Last night I was talking to my friend Lisa, who is the mom of 5 (ages 12-20) and has the best relationship with her children of anyone I've ever seen - even her 16 year old twin daughters. I was telling her how I was worried I was setting bad habits with letting Finn sleep with me and letting him hang out on my breast for long feeding sessions.

    She told me that with her first child she listened to her parents and others and gave up on the cosleeping and switched to formula early, and she's always regretted it. She coslept with the rest, and breast fed as long as she felt comfortable - even when it meant feeding every 2 hours (which I'm doing, too - sigh) and she was so much happier with that decision. Her children are all well adjusted and none of them have sleeping problems.

    So I'm passing on her advice to me - go with your gut - you know your daughter better than anyone else, and only you can decide what's best for the two of you!

  6. I agree with Shannon. And I know it's hard when the people who are with you every single day are questioning your every move. My little guy will be 2 in exactly one month. His crib is still in my room, and we co-sleep about half the time. I used to worry about it for a variety of reasons, but not anymore. It works for us. It's just the 2 of us, and certainly I would parent differently if I had a partner; heck I'd parent differently if I had 2 kids.

    What I know for sure is that in just a few years I'll be begging for a hug and a kiss. So, I'm going to co-sleep while he will, and enjoy rocking him to sleep when he needs it, as he's totally capable of falling asleep on his own. (and FYI I rocked him to sleep completely for 15 months! yes 15! And at 15 months one night I put him in the crib what I thought was wide awake and went to put a load of laundry in and came back and he was out. Since then, I do it either way...sometimes rocked to sleep, sometimes just rocked a bit)

    Go with your gut. And if anyone asks where or how she's sleeping, just say 'at home' and 'fine.' And know that co-sleeping is alot more popular than you think especially in other countries!!!

    Good luck!! Enjoy your sleep!!!

  7. Reading how you tried this and that to make her sleep in the crib, I was asking myself the same question you later asked - why? why are you trying so hard to get her to sleep in a crib? My sister has a saying - if it isn't broken, don't fix it. 8-10 hours.. yay for that! And if you're taking all safety precautions and you are enjoying it, I would keep it at that. Moreso when your gut tells you you should!
    As for the breastfeeding, no advice here, just a yay for sticking up with it every 2 hours! You really deserve a medal! (and sad that you can't go out with her because of breastfeeding. Sad that there are not places you can and/or not acceptance to breastfeeding in public).

  8. You are doing a fabulous job. Breastfeeding is very difficult on moms. Are you hungry all the time? I was. Remember to keep hydrated, too. I guarantee you that Elena is getting everything she needs from you--so don't worry about that. As far as the co-sleeping, if it ain't broke, don't fix it. It's great that she sleeps so long at night--wow! My boys were not comfortable in their cribs for many months. Do what feels best for you and your daughter. that's all that matters.

  9. Sounds like Elena might be having a growth spurt! And also, if she's sleeping 8-10 hours at night, she has to cram all her calories into daytime hours... that makes for lots of meals for a growing girl!

    you sound confident about her growth so try not to worry about how she does it.

    and i agree with the others about trusting your gut about co-sleeping. sounds like you want to do it. so go for it! it works for the two of you, and no one else matters!

  10. To hell what anyone else thinks. My sister is still hounding me about co-sleeping. We love it! I planned on co-sleeping, and we're still happily doing it. She'll be 19 months on Wednesday. It made nursing so much easier. You know, we accept without question that most adults like sleeping with a warm body near them, why wouldn't babies want that, too. We mostly stay on our respective sides of the bed, but we often cuddle, and I love to be able to just reach out and brush her hair out of her face or stroke her back.

    This baby time is truly precious. They'll be independent very quickly. I kind of think one of the reasons my daughter is so outgoing is because she feels so secure with me. And I think co-sleeping contributed to that.

  11. I just want to say to stop beating yourself up. Sounds like she's happy and healthy which means you haven't made a wrong decision yet. Trust your gut. As long as she's safe in your bed than what's the problem. There's plenty of time to get her in her own bed.


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