Thursday, October 11, 2012

Pushing Through

When we went to see the GI Specialist back in August he said Maizy has reflux but since it didn't seem to be causing her pain, and she was still eating well and gaining weight well he didn't want to prescribe anything for it.  Over the past week or so it has gotten worse.  She is spitting up more often and more volume when she does.  She has also started having a hard time while nursing.  She is on and off and on and off and on and off the breast, crying fussing, arching her back, clearly miserable.  She's not the only one.  Often the only way I can get her to nurse is standing up with her straight up and down paralleling my body.  I hold onto her little bum sway back and forth and try and get her to latch on.  It's a circus for sure.  It's uncomfortable for me, and difficult, but the only way that Maizy will nurse for any length of time.  All weekend she was doing this, and Monday was even worse.  It was a struggle almost every feeding to get her to eat.

We are also still dealing with thrush, 6 weeks later.  At first I thought all of her fussiness at the breast was being caused by the thrush, but as I watched closer and noticed the back arching (they do this to lengthen the esophagus to try and find some relief) I thought maybe it wasn't the (only) cause.  I am still having symptoms from it and sick of thrush!

Maizy is still nursing every 2-3 hours during the day, typically 2 1/2 hours.  She is only going 3 hours between feedings at night.  I'm typically up feeding until 10ish and then up at 12, 3, and 6 where half the time I'm just up for the day.  I'm not sure the last time I slept in stretches longer then 2 1/2 hrs. I really think this is at least in part caused by the reflux.  She'll wake up and still seem tired, but can't go back to sleep.  She doesn't seem eager to nurse.  I think she's waking up because she's hurting.  I'm tired all the time and have a headache almost constantly to remind me of my fatigue. 
Also in researching her symptoms and causes of them it seems like I have over active let down.  Often she'll pull away when my milk lets down gagging and choking all the while my milk is spraying all over both of us.  Thankfully I was able to find some good tips on managing this.  But just one more thing to make breastfeeding a challenge.

Monday when Brent got home I told him I was so ready to just be done with breast feeding.  It's just too much, too hard.  I felt like I was on the verge of tears all night as I thought about how complicated something as simple as feeding my baby has become.  That night I nursed Maizy to sleep after an exhausting day and laid her down and collapsed into my bed.  The sweet baby that was asleep started fussing.  I pulled myself out of bed and pat her back trying to ease her back to sleep.  It was not working.  I was all the sudden just too overwhelmed to even care.  I went into the bathroom and tried to ignore my now screaming baby.  I brushed my teeth and started getting ready for bed.  Brent came up and asked if I was just going to let her cry it out?  I told him I didn't care, I just didn't even care.  He tried patting her back and I ended up saying just take her down stairs.  When they left the room and I finally made it to bed I just broke down and sobbed.  Not just crying, the kind of sobbing that shakes your whole body and you gasp for air.  I thought If I'm sobbing over breast feeding does that mean it's time to call it quits?  I finally cried myself out and fell asleep. 

The next morning I gave it some serious thought, is it time to call it quits?  I feel like to quit now would be such a injustice to us!  We're so close to testing Maizy to see if the diet is working for her allergies.  Next week!  She started a new med for her thrush which seems to be working a lot better.  I've upped the dosage for myself and I'm hoping that will help soon.  We went the pediatrician and got a Rx for the reflux which after one day started to help.  Less fussing during feedings and less spiting up.  And honestly that good cry helped.  I think I just had so much stress and pressure built up and needed to get it out.

So now the plan is just to keep on until next week and see how Maizy's little tummy is doing.  If it is doing better then we'll add something back. If she's not doing any better we'll just switch to formula.  That is a lot less sad to say now then it was 6 weeks ago.  Sure it will still be sad, but not nearly as sad after being on this diet for 6 weeks.  Either way life is getting at least a little easier next week.

I started out 6 weeks ago down the road to treat thrush and be on this diet and continue breast feeding thinking I was being super Mom.  Now I just feel a little crazy.  But I'll continue on in the craziness for at least another week and then we will go from there.  I have contacted our insurance to see if we can get the formula covered.  Even if we continue breastfeeding for a while longer I don't know that I'll be making it to a year like I did with Croix.  It will also help in decision making to know if insurance will cover it.  In the mean time I'm just thankful to be seeing an improvement in the thrush and reflux!


Erin L said...

I have to say that I think the pressure society puts on mothers to breastfeed is a little ridiculous. I know there are benefits, but what a baby needs the most is love and a calm, happy mommy. My husband was bottle fed - evaporated milk and corn syrup - and he is one of the smartest, awesome-est men I know. I breast fed my babies, but it worked for me. Sometimes it just doesn't work and you shouldn't feel pressure to continue if it isn't working. I hope everything works out for you. It is so obvious you want what is best for your baby and that makes you the best mommy for that little girl.

Heather said...

Sweet friend! You are doing such an amazing job and I am proud of you. Regardless of which direction you choose to go, the most important thing is a happy mom and family. You are the hub of the home and if something isn't working, do NOT feel badly about changing things up.

A good cry is so cleansing, isn't it? Big hugs.

Elizabeth Farnsworth said...

I'm with Heather. Change things if it will make you and everyone feel more peace. A mom has got to do what she knows is best for everyone!

I am so sorry you are going through this!