Defeated Today.

I want to write blogs that make people happy.  I want people to cheer for us, and be proud of us, and be so thankful they stopped by to read.  I want to inspire moms, and empower women, make dads laugh.  I want to make people smile.

So when something doesn’t go the way I want it to, or when I’m down and frustrated and upset, I don’t want to write.  Instead, I just do nothing.  I don’t blog, and I don’t tweet and I turn my back on my friends.  I don’t want people to feel sorry for me, or to feel pity for me.  I don’t want it, so I do nothing.

Right now, I’m writing instead of doing nothing.

I worked all weekend.  This means that I pumped and Ruby was bottle-fed.  Since Saturday morning, I haven’t had the chance to nurse her, and she drank more milk than I was able to pump.  When I left Saturday evening, there were 25 ounces of milk in the fridge.  When I got home, I brought 13 ounces with me.  I didn’t even come close to replacing what she had drank, and it scares the shit out of me.  I hate myself for ever taking the steps to decrease my oversupply, because I had never, ever dealt with this problem beforehand.  It’s stressful.  And it sucks.

When I woke today, Ruby was acting hungry.  I offered her the breast, and she wouldn’t even put it in her mouth.  She played like it was a neat toy.  LIke she had forgotten the purpose of a nipple.  Like she was willing to sit quietly and patiently until I got her a bottle, and then she would eat.  I didn’t force her.  I put her in the bumbo and gave her a hunk of banana. (BLW!) I put her down for a nap.  And when she woke, I offered again.

No thanks, mama.

I prepared a bottle, and I fed it to her.  And I cried.

I cried because I want it to work so badly, and it’s not working.  I cried because I somehow failed her, at some stage of this, and allowed it to get to the point that I can’t recover.  I cried because I want to seek help so badly, and the funds aren’t there.  I cried because it shouldn’t cost us our grocery money and our car payment to seek help, to teach my daughter to eat properly.  I cried because I felt defeated today.

I don’t want to feel heartbroken every time things don’t go right.  I don’t want to be done, but my heart hurts.  I’m tired of crying.

From now on, I’m taking it one day at a time.  We will do what we can, when we can.

Because no matter what happens, she will always be my baby girl.

  • Dahnya,

    Maybe baby #3 will be boobie ready ALL the time!

    Because, c’mon, Mandy: you guys make the most beautiful babies! You have to have a third in the works. :)

    • Mandy

      Hahaha! Not yet, but someday!

      I told Brock I was going to need a ‘healing baby’ to heal my heart after all of this struggle. And he said Ok. 😀

  • Janus

    Take it one day at a time, Mandy. Just keep telling yourself, All Will Be Well.

    “In fearful day, in raging night,
    With strong hearts full, our souls ignite,
    When all seems lost in the War of Light,
    Look to the stars — For hope burns bright!”

    • Mandy

      Thanks Janus. You have always been amazing support.

  • jessica Fleming

    She loves her mama not for her milk but for her love, cuddles, tickles, smiles, and support. Everyone is different, but my desperation to nurse became more about me than her. I loved it so much and I didn’t want us to give up! And it never even bothered her once.

    I love your blogs. You are an inspiration! You love your babies so much it hurts!
    You are a sweet mama.

    • Mandy

      Thank you Jessica. Thank you so much. <3

  • Verna

    I’m sorry you are having such a rough time. I think you are very inspiring. After my son was born, I often felt like I was the only one having problems with breastfeeding. Granted they were nothing compared to what you’re going through but we had a rough start. It took 6 long, painful weeks for my nipples to get used to nursing. He was latched correctly and everything, it just took me that long to get used to it. Then I started drying up. Fenugreek saved me! We made it 10 months before I dried up for good. Breastfeeding isn’t always easy. It wasn’t really for me. The only thing that kept me going as long as I did, was pure, stubborn, determination. Good luck, and I’ll be praying for you!

    • Mandy

      Sounds like you are just as stubborn as I am. 😀 Good for you for keeping with it! I hope to say we’ll get there too. <3

  • nic @mybottlesup

    one day at a time. one moment at a time. one feeding at a time. if you think about anything more than that, your head will explode. you’re doing good, mama.

    • Mandy


  • Lisa

    Hang in there. I have so been in your shoes. Every day that I couldn’t seem to even try nursing with my daughter once, I felt so defeated. The anxiety ate at me. I started keeping a journal of my attempts so that I could look at our progress week by week, instead of day by day. There were MANY days where I coudn’t get her to latch at all. One that that did help was for me prepare a bottle, and drop some milk on my nipple. Sometimes that alone was enough to get her interested. Other times, I will feed her for 30 seconds or so with the bottle and then quickly change it out for my nipple. The quick feed at the beginning was enough to take the edge off of her hunger to where she would relax and nurse for a bit. This is also why I tried nursing my daughter so much at night since she didn’t seem so interested in the bottle. Try to offer your breast to her before each feed. Lay her on your chest and see if she will latch but be VERY casual and laid back about it. Before each feed, I would offer my breast to my daughter and if she wouldn’t latch, I would say, “OK, not this time, that is alright”. I would then feed her a bit of bottle and then in a very calm voice offer it again. Sometimes she would nurse for a bit, othertimes not, but I would calmly tell her that it was alright. Over the course of a few weeks, she slowly started latching more often and I would praise her constantly when she did. Eventually we got to where she would nurse for a whole feed and then eventually for multiple feeds a day. It is still possible. Don’t lose faith. Just try to offer it as often as you can but don’t feel defeated if she doesn’t take it.

    • Mandy

      Thank you Lisa <3 I've been getting closer and closer to that calmness… and I'm so happy every time she nurses. I hope we get there. I hope we do.

  • Elin

    Crying as I write this. Pumping right along with you.

    Wouldn’t it be wonderful if our babies would just nurse?

    • Mandy

      Hugs, Elin. So many women don’t care, don’t try, don’t want to breastfeed. We want it so badly. It doesn’t seem fair. :/

  • Cate

    Happy or sad, I love your blog posts. And you!

    • Mandy

      I love you!

  • Jackie

    love you Mandy, I won’t give you the pity you dont want, but I’ll give all the love you need.

    • Mandy

      Thank you Jackie. I love you too. <3

  • SB

    I love your blogs! I always remember the times I had with my boy… Over 15 years ago! That is a gift you give me each time you share your stories and struggles.
    Thanks Kiddo!

  • Brea

    I’m still checking in (sorry I didn’t respond to your last email – I have just returned from an extended trip).

    You won’t have my pity. I don’t really do pity. 😉

    I remember very clearly trying to find the balance – where do my wants and needs and desires end and my baby’s begin? My visions of motherhood involve a baby at the breast. Breastfeeding is my familial norm, and it’s one aspect of my motherhood that I know honors my late mother’s choices. And nursing my babies is not just a matter of feeding them. When I was bottle-feeding Squeak and giving him a pacifier every now and then, I felt really *confused.* There was no guilt – but TONS of confusion. I didn’t know how to tell if he was hungry or wanted comfort – those two things were so easily delivered at the breast, simultaneously, in whatever ratio he desired.

    What about forgetting about feeding Ruby and snuggling her skin-to-skin? Do it *after* a feeding so it’s not even in the back of your mind that it might turn into a feeding and be magic. 😉 Just enjoy. You can still be skin-to-skin with your baby while you feed her a bottle, too.

    I have only just started following your blog, so forgive me if that is a lame suggestion (like, say you already spend your days topless and how did I not already know that?). —-> it is so hot here that I would not blame anyone for wandering around topless and keeping their children stripped down to diapers/underwear right now!

    • Mandy

      Not lame at all, Brea! I have been loving our time together, despite it being with a bottle. I find the loss of that “ratio” you mentioned one of the hardest parts – I have lost my most powerful mothering tool. I mourn that. But I haven’t lost any love, or any of the sweet relationship we have. And she nurses VERY well in her sleep, so we still get some breast time. I’m finding peace with the situation. 😀

      Thank you for your support and help! I’m sorry it took me so long to respond, but I appreciate every single word. You are a gem. <3

  • Amber S.

    (((hugs))) mama

    I understand the frustration and the heartbreak. And no, it’s not fair.

    I like Brea’s suggestion.