Wah Wah Wah.

Wow, I bet ya’ll are all tired of hearing about Ruby and breastfeeding!  I’m tired of thinking about it, and talking about it, and worrying about it.  Seriously.

So, I wanted to clarify some things.  First, and I heard this one a lot – Ruby doesn’t hate breastfeeding.  She’s not miserable.  She loves it.  She adores clawing at my chest, and pulling back on the nipple, and biting down with her gums.  She pulls at my shirt to get to my boobs.  She dives towards them like she’s starving.  She plays with them, and smiles at them, and cuddles them in her sleep.  She doesn’t hate nursing, and I’m not forcing her to nurse.  She just has NO IDEA how to nurse without hurting me.  Her behavior changes when I don’t allow her to nurse for an extended period of time, and I feel like she misses it.  It breaks my heart a little bit.  I’m not making her miserable when we keep trying… only me.

Second – I don’t feel guilty.  How could I possibly feel guilty?  I have fought and fought for this little girl.  I have questioned everything, everyone.  I have TRIED everything.  I have done everything possible to make this work; when it doesn’t, it wont be for lack of trying.  When I give up nursing and start pumping for good, it will be because I have exhausted every option, tried every trick, called on every resource possible to me and NOT because I backed out and didn’t try hard enough.  I have no reason to feel guilt, so I don’t.

I am raising a beautiful, happy, healthy, smart, funny, wiggly little girl.  She makes me smile every single day.  She loves her brother and adores her daddy.  She is growing like a weed, meeting and exceeding all of her milestones… she just wont nurse.  That doesn’t make me a failure, or make her a bad baby.  It doesn’t mean we wont survive this.

But it also doesn’t mean I wont be sad about the loss of the sweet nursing relationship I had dreamed of as I grew her inside of me.  And it doesn’t mean I wont try again with my next child.  I have learned.  A lot.   I wont make the same mistakes again.  Maybe someone out there will learn from my mistakes, and be more successful than we have been.  Maybe good will come of this.

I haven’t given up yet.  Not quite yet.  I have a plan, I have a few more cards up my sleeve… and if they don’t work, it’s okay.  We will be okay.  I keep trying because when this ends, which it will, I will be able to look back knowing fully and completely that there was nothing else I could do – and be proud of all that I did.

I AM proud.  No matter what, I am proud of Ruby Kate, and I am proud of myself.  We are doing pretty good.

And we will be okay.

  • http://notesoflifeandlove.blogspot.com jessi

    I hope the few tricks you have work!!! I know what you mean about the nursing relationship you envisioned while pregnant, I can’t wait for October when my 2nd little one is born. Good luck! I’m rooting for you and Ruby Kate!!

  • Jackie

    I’m proud of you too, you are one loving, caring determined momma, and I’m proud of Ruby too, for continuing to try and work with you. You’re doing a great job, regardless of the outcome. :)

    • http://www.tempestbeauty.com/about-this-blogger/admin/ Mandy

      Aww, Jackie. I adore you, and your momma love. Thank you!

  • MOM

    Sooooo, the next time you feel down about all of this, log on and reread this post over and over. You have stated the very obvious. You ARE a wonderful mom and you ARE raising a wonderful happy daughter. You just are too much like your father and you hate to feel that you have failed. At anything! You have not failed, you have modified and you have done what you do best always. You have ADAPTED!!! I love you so much.

    • http://www.tempestbeauty.com/about-this-blogger/admin/ Mandy

      Damn, mom. I love you so much. Haha, I just read this comment and it made me cry again.

  • http://jessicaandesther.blogspot.com/ jessica Fleming

    Your the best!

    • http://www.tempestbeauty.com/about-this-blogger/admin/ Mandy

      Hehe! Thanks Jessica! 😀

  • http://janusfiles.xanga.com Janus

    I know it’s frustrating, but I’m glad to see you’re keeping your hopes up. As I’ve said more than a few times, All Will Be Well.

    • http://www.tempestbeauty.com/about-this-blogger/admin/ Mandy

      Thanks Janus. I actually find myself saying it in my head now. It’s sinking in. 😀

  • http://mvstephenson.wordpress.com Verna

    Good for you!! At least if you can’t make it work, you know that you’ve tried EVERYTHING. I know how frustrated I was with my low supply issues, I can’t imagine how hard this is for you. It’s normal to be sad that it didn’t work out the way you dreamed. I wanted to nurse my son for his first year. We made it 10 months. I was sad. ((HUG))

    • http://www.tempestbeauty.com/about-this-blogger/admin/ Mandy

      Oh Verna… don’t be sad for making it to 10 months – be PROUD! That 10 months is SO amazing. I’m not even to six months yet, and I’m so tired. The battle is exhausting. I’m proud of you – you are an inspiration. <3

  • Cath

    Your passion for breastfeeding is really inspiring! I had troubles too, in fact, DD is now 10months and she is finally BFing (I EPed for her till then). :)
    Would you share what you’ve learned? And the mistakes you think you’ve made? I’m terrified this will happen again when baby#2comes around someday. :-/
    I know for me, no bottles. No nipple shields. And a pediatrician that is as concerned about protecting my nursing relationship as I am. Period.
    Hope it goes well for you and Ruby!

    • http://www.tempestbeauty.com/about-this-blogger/admin/ Mandy

      Oh boy… what did I learn?

      I learned… to check for tongue and lip tie at birth. To have a professional check, someone I believe qualified to make the call.

      … to not listen when everyone tells me things are fine, and I know they are not. To push, seek appropriate help, have my problems addressed.

      … to find a lactation consultant that addresses and validates my concerns, and doesn’t leave me feeling like I wasted my time at the end of the trip. Someone committed to helping.

      … to NEVER give a bottle. Nipple preference and confusion are VERY real. I will syringe/cup/finger feed my next child if I must return to work.

      … that it’s okay if it is a struggle. Babies have to learn how to nurse just like we have to learn to nurse them. It’s a process.

      … to not get yeast! Next time around, I am going to be preventative, rather than reactive. I will start using GSE, garlic, laundry, cutting back sugar, etc before I have the baby instead of after we feel symptoms.

      … to protect my supply, but handle/manage over-supply. It’s going to be a difficult balance.

      I’m SO proud of you for getting to breastfeed! Would you be willing to share how you eventually got her to breast? I’d LOVE to hear it! Thank you for your support <3

  • Cath

    Those are all wonderful tips for mamas on any point in their BFing journey! Thanks! You should make that into a post so others can find it!
    I’ve been working on a post for a while… Hard to put into words and it’s almost like I don’t want to write it for fear it may dissapear. Strange right? Will let you know when I post! :)

    • http://www.tempestbeauty.com/about-this-blogger/admin/ Mandy

      That’s a great idea! I’ll work on that this week 😀

      I know what you mean, though. I’m always afraid of putting things into words. It helps so much when you do! Please let me know, I’d love to read it!

  • Kate

    I will never get tired of hearing about Ruby & you & breastfeeding. Never. Never ever.

    You are such an inspiration, mama. Makes me proud to call you my compadre. <3 <3

    • http://www.tempestbeauty.com/about-this-blogger/admin/ Mandy

      Thanks Kate <3 I adore you!

  • Rebekah

    I thought you should know.

    When I read your post crying out for help with breastfeeding, I thought I would help you with my comment and suggestions. I didn’t know if I could provide any answers to you, but thought I would try.

    Later that day, I started thinking about lip tie and how Ruby’s behavior was so like my daughter’s had been. So I looked at my daughter’s lip and to my amazement I realized that not only did she have lip tie, but it was more severe than the pictures you posted: it came down to the half-way mark between her two front teeth!

    Thank you so much for your post. I spent 15 months wondering why my daughter wouldn’t nurse like other babies. I wondered why I got *more* sore after the first 2 weeks of nursing instead of getting better; why I had engorgement for the first 6 months of her life; why she wouldn’t use a deep suck like other babies but wanted only the tip of my nipple in her mouth; why she took 2 hours at a time (1 hour per breast) to nurse, just sitting on there waiting for the let downs and sleeping between them, for the first 8 weeks; why none of the remedies people recommended helped; why she would never latch on properly and I would have to take my finger to make her mouth get in the proper position and shape, or at least near to it; why even lactation consultants’ advice didn’t help, and Dr. Newman’s advice and ointment made no difference in my pain levels while nursing (I cried through so many nursing sessions); why she had so much gas that she would scream for 2 hours at a time no matter what we did; why I couldn’t love nursing like so many other moms I knew and had read about.

    Now I know, and knowing that I nursed my baby exclusively for 10 months, and she was 15 months when weaned, in spite of it, is wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing your struggle. In doing so you created a wealth of information concerning breastfeeding that is all in one place, something that is rare and difficult to find. Thank you!

    • http://www.tempestbeauty.com/about-this-blogger/admin/ Mandy

      Thank you Rebekah. I’m sorry you and your little love had such a difficult time, but SO proud of you for persevering and being SO successful! I hope your experience makes and children you may have in the future so much easier. I hope the same for me as well. Thank you for your support <3