Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Breast Stressed

So I think my title is pretty clever, eh? Made you want to read it, maybe? Here's my dilemma: I'm breast-feeding and not sure when, how, if I should continue or stop. I'm going to ramble on and on because I'm needing this time to reflect and you get to hear it. (lucky you) Anyhoo-I am BFing my 6 month old daughter. It has been a serious milestone for me because I wasn't successful with Big Brother. I tried and tried (and cried and cried) and finally gave up. We lasted MAYBE 2 1/2 months. I was more successful pumping, so that is what I did.

This time; however, I was able to make it work. It has been a blessing. I have pretty much exclusively breastfed Miss Bug since birth. I've pumped here and there and she's had a bottle of formula a few times so I could have some freedom (or a break from hurting boobs), so it's not like she won't take the bottle. We just don't give it to her much. The thing is that summertime is coming and I'm starting to itch for some freedom. I guess my biggest reason is b/c I know I'm going to be out and about and I'm not crazy about bfing in front of other people. In particular I have a friend that I go to the beach with quite often in the summer and I know that she'll be uncomfortable. Plus she has a 8 year old daughter and 5 year old son that I know she won't want to have to explain what I'm doing to them. So that is reason #1 (not b/c it is most important, though--these are in random order). I know it shouldn't really be a reason b/c I shouldn't care what other people think, but it still bothers me. #2 I'll also be going to the neighborhood pool and don't want to whip it out there. I'm modest. I'm also not graceful when using a blanket or towel. I'm awkward with it. (though I could work on that) #3. I'm SICK SICK SICK of my boobs being big. They are big anyway, but now I've had to buy bigger shirts and I'm sick of them. This is probably my biggest reason for considering weaning. For example, I got out a cute Kelly green sweater to wear and looked at myself in the mirror and was horrified at my chest. It looked like my boobs were headed north, but facing east and west. EEEEECCCKKKKKK! It just made my mood sour. So, I went to my black collection and picked something there. I do have the Medella nursing bras, but there's only so much a bra can do for a woman who is a 33DDD though it feels like a 33ZZZ! I don't mean to seem so drama, but it REALLY REALLY bothers me. Many people don't see that I'm large-chested, but that is because I hide ie pretty well. I'm a 34DD (or larger sometimes) when I'm not breastfeeding. Back to my reasons: #4. I would like the freedom of having the hubby do the bottle sometimes--like before bedtime or in the morning when we all wake up--then I could have my coffee FIRST. #5. Sand + breastmilk = Possibly Sticky & Gross
*Also, I've had to wear a bra 24/7 since I gave birth.....

BUT then there are the wonderful attributes to bfing. #1. I know it is SO wonderful for my little one. I know that. #2 I do like the bonding (though I am one of those that believe you still bond with a bottle). #3. It is SUPER convenient-available and ready 100% of the time. #4. It is only for a short amount of time. I think the most important is how good it is for her. That is huge for me. Here are the other things--I don't want to pump to slowly wean her off and mix formula and expressed milk. I don't want to be super engorged too. PAIN IN MY ASS

So there you have it--advice and opinions are welcome on any of the above material. Help me figure this one out. I feel like I'm Wilma Whiner, but I really do need some advice even though I know that it is ultimately my decision. I also thought someone might have some wonderful plan that I've not thought of that would help. I think also b/c it is the summertime that it makes me want to quit so I'll feel more free. If it wasn't, I probably wouldn't be feeling this way yet.

Plus, I just looked up some images of bfing to put at the top of this blog and it kind of grossed me out seeing all those boobs. What is my problem? Do I just have boob issues? I did see Ashley's blog (Ashley's Closet) a while back about boobs and it did make me feel better (she had a bunch of pics) b/c those boobs were SCARY. I would attach the link for you, but I haven't figured out how to do that yet. My boobs aren't ugly, just big. Maybe we just need to discuss my boob issues and not breastfeeding issues? Shi-ot, one more thing I'm needing to deal with.....HELP ME OUT!
Just thinking right before I post this--I wasn't necessarily grossed out by the pics, I think it was just the ones that people were all 'out there' showing everything, and I'm not about that. And don't get me wrong, I don't get grossed out by people I see doing it--friends, family, people at the mall, whatever--it is the ones who have no couth when doing it......
Oh my gosh, give me a glass of Pinot Grigio someone, quick! (and yes, I partake some while breastfeeding so that isn't one of my reasons to stop....yet)


Emily said...

Ok. This is the first time I've EVER read your blog (and I've already put it into my favorites because I already love you). A friend passed it on to me b/c of this post.

I'd like to say that I can totally relate. I've been breastfeeding my son for almost 8 months and while I love it and know how great it is for him, I kinda wouldn't mind having my body back. I don't resent feeding him but sometimes I just wish someone else would do it for me. Just for a day. And that I wouldn't have to pump for that day.

But... I've made it this far, why not continue? And I think the same for you. You've made it 6 months! 6 whole months is QUITE an accomplishment. It's all downhill from here, right? Before you know it, you will be dropping feedings and it'll be so.much.easier.

I say keep going. Keep going for a year and build yourself a hut by the pool to nurse under. HA! Or, rather, make sure you have a ton of antifreeze in your car and nurse there? Or, practice so that you are better at it under a towel?

I just really think you should keep going. Not because I'm a "gung-ho go get 'em" breastfeeder but because think of how proud it will make you.

One day at a time.. you can do it!!

and, p.s. I have total boob issues too. I remember thinking while the lactation consultant was working with me "what have I done? A stranger is playing with my boobs AND I'm paying her for it?!" I NEVER touched my boobs until I had my son. It totally grosses me out. Yes, I'm a weirdo! :)

Somewhere Between Pinot and Pacifiers said...

Ohhhhhhhh, I could have written this myself. I struggled with DD and lasted about 5 months. I hated it for the same reasons you do but felt so guilty about giving it up. I don't know what I will do with #2. I think you have to do what makes everyone happy all around. You have to be a happy mom or else your kids will suffer. You could always start weaning a little-say cut back one feeding a month. Then, she will be about a year and still getting 1-2 a day. Good luck!

Somewhere Between Pinot and Pacifiers said...

Hey-you are welcome! BTW-pregnancy in general freaks me out. I am almost 16 weeks and feel like a science experiment. Boobs during pregnancy and after are something I have never liked!

Scarlet O'Kara said...

Ok...when did you crawl inside of my head and read my thoughts? Just about everything you write sounds like me...are we twins?

Bry is 5 months old and still nuring all the time. It is easy, but I don't want to think about nursing her at the beach when we go today...guess I will take her to the the dirty old men don't oogle me.

I was thinking that we will continue to nurse until Bry starts bitting me...How about you?

Katie AKA Cricket said...

hi, i too just read your blog for the first time. i am nursing my 8 month old and nursed my toddler for 2o months. i love it, yes i have days where i am tired of it, feel sticky and all used up. but it works for me. if its not working for you any longer, stop. be proud that you did it for as long as you did!!!

i am a freak because i dont mind nursing in public. we have restaurants like Hooters that cater to people wanting boobs at the center of their meals, i find that odd.

we have religious icons in museums that show breastfeeding. so why when a baby is crying in church should we leave the santuary and nurse in a unpleasant bathroom.

Kate said...

I nursed both of my kids for about 20 months (each not total) so here is my 2 cents.

Yeah, the big boob thing sucks sometimes. I know a lot of flat chesterd girls don't think so but sometimes it's a pain. They will calm down. If you are having pain @ 6 months - it might be worth seeing a lactation consultant. YOu really shouldn't be having pain at this point.

Even though I am glad I bf'd the kids - I was always nervous about nursing in public too. If you are discreet about it (i.e. a big t-shirt and just pull your bra aside) most people won't notice. Most women who nurse in public have less boob showing than a skimpy bikini - it's the ones with the whole boob out that give eveyone else a bad rep;) You could also nurse in the car or find a private area - which I have done when we were out places where I just didn't feel comforable.

If I remember correctly, 6 months is a pretty big growth spurt time. Things should start calming down in terms of frequency soon. Also, if you can do it - try having your husband put the baby to sleep rather than nursing her to sleep. She may fight it for a few days, but you will be glad in the long run. If she doesn't need you to fall asleep, it will be much easier for you to go out, run errands, etc. if you continue to breastfeed to a year or longer.

What I found difficult is the fact that there is a lot of info out there for women who nurse for a few months and then switch to formula. And there is a lot of info for moms who just want to keep nursing until their child decides to stop (now knocking it - but that was NOT for me!) But there is not much info for people who fall somewhere in between those two groups. Feel free to drop me a line if you ever need any suggestions or advice on nursing.

Kate said...

Holy cow - didn't mean to ramble on so long!!

Ashley said...

See those are mostly my reasons too. I can't stand the huge boobs anymore.

Nice to see you frequent the Closet as well. Ashley is one funny chick!