Saturday, February 21, 2009

It's like bad karaoke, really.

I can not stop singing the following ditty in my head, over and over, to the tune of Beauty School Dropout from Grease:

Breastfeeding dropout
No more lactation days for you
Breastfeeding dropout
Boobs like a porn star that leak, too

Except instead of the ladies with all the curlers piled on top of their heads dancing around, there are gnomes with nipple hats who are giving you the finger and farting in your general direction.

(I reread this and I know I am weird. I'd blame lack of sleep but that isn't really a good enough excuse.)

OH MY GOD YOU GUYS. My milk is in, and my boobs look like I had a serious upgrade. You know, on Dr. 90210? When they show them waking the person up after a boob job surgery, and their boobs are like basketballs with little pixels over the nipples and you think Dear Sweet Baby Jesus I would never do that to myself?

That is what my boobs look like, except instead of pixels, I have really disgusting bloody nipples that got HUGE overnight. HUGE! And they leak! Like a faucet! I had to stand with toilet paper over my nipples for 15 minutes after my shower. And I can't raise my arms above my shoulders because it hurts and also because I would create milky spray wall art with the milk stored in these BOULDERS.

And also? My right boob is bigger than my left on a normal day. Today? My right boob is like Texas, and my left is like Rhode Island. It makes for a really interesting uniboob in my sports bra, that's for sure! (And if anyone has tips on how to get rid of all this fucking milk, PLEASE post them! Please!)

So. Engorged. Because, listen: Breastfeeding was just not working for us.

And I know, I know, my GOD I KNOW that breastfeeding strikes a nerve with the internets sometimes, and that some people are really judgy about choosing not to breastfeed. And obviously I wouldn't write a blog post about it if I didn't feel at least a bit guilty for quitting.

The first problem was the jaundice. (Which, by the way, seems to have cleared up - no more doctor visits until her 1 month visit.) I was able to attempt breastfeeding just a couple times before her test results came back and she was taken to the nursery to be put under the bilirubin lights. After that, she was brought to me for a limit of 20 minutes to try to nurse. And seriously - it took her 20 minutes to calm her down after being taken from her easy bake cradle to my Alaska-like recovery room.

I pumped what colostrum I could, and it was given to her by syringe. I did meet with two lactation consultants who were very helpful, but we still couldn't get it all done in the 20 minutes. Finally we just gave into skin-to-skin contact and let them just go with the formula. I pumped for 15 minutes after every visit.

After coming home, I tried really, really hard to breastfeed. It would take about a 45 minutes to get a good latch that lasted more than 30 seconds, and by that time, Olivia was crying and frustrated, as was I, and she would nurse for 5 minutes and fall asleep. Finally, I'd just give her the formula supplement, change her diaper, pump for 15 minutes, and that would leave me with an hour to start it all again.

So stop me if you've heard this one:
That first night at home was hard. Harder than I ever ever imagined.
HAHA! I know - a very unique experience for a first-time mom, right?

The next day, we found out that Olivia might have to go back to the hospital, and all I could do is cry and wish for her that she would just be OK and would just get to stay home with us. I just felt like she wasn't mine yet, or like she was just on loan to us. The very little sleep I got was crappy - I kept thinking that the baby was in the bed, and I woke up a few times digging in the blankets to find her.

In other words: Bitch was going crazy.

Two bilirubin checks later, her jaundice is clearing up. I decided that I just could not breastfeed. My major problem with quitting was hurt pride; I said I was going to breastfeed and damnit, I was going to breastfeed. I wanted to lose weight and save money and if I'm being honest with you, the benefits for the baby had nothing to do with my choice.

So we have Olivia. Hungry, tired, completely frustrated, and only satisfied when she got her formula after an hour of fighting the breast. And we have me - determined to torture my daughter to get skinny and to be able to buy more clothes?

Yesterday was the first full day of the breast boycott. It was a good day.


I remember reading that every day that you breastfeed is a precious gift for your baby. And I guess I generally think that breastfeeding is the better option. I see the benefit in feeding the baby milk that was made especially for her, and being able to bond, and all of the other fantastic perks of breastfeeding. I get it. I also know that I could've tried more - gotten less sleep to work on the latch; seen lactation consultants; pumped more until she got the hang of it; tried different positioning; learned ways to keep her awake.

But instead, I gave up. And you know what? Olivia is satisfied. She is getting healthy.

She is getting to know her mommy and daddy.

And I think that is also a precious gift.

80 comments:

Sally said...

I am all about mothers who make the choice to be the best mother they can, so I applaud your courage to give your little girl what she really needs - you. Also, she is gorgeous and you look too pretty to have a newborn. Congrats all around.

KP said...

And all of that is okay, and you are still a good mommy, and you should feel okay with that decision. Because sometimes breastfeeding just doesn't work out. Olivia is adorable, you look so happy in the picture above, and now your husband can do some overnight feedings! Yay for that! (and no, I do not sell formula for a living...I've been lucky to be able to breastfeed my daughter for the last six months, but have plenty of friends who just could not for one reason or another. And their babies are just as healthy as mine!)

Try cold cabbage leaves--keep a head of cabbage in the freezer and tuck a leaf into each bra cup until it stops being cold. Then repeat (there's a chemical in the cabbage that helps, not just the cold). Also, you can try sudafed 30-60mg three times a day--that's another method that's been shown to work. Good luck and enjoy your sweet little girl!!!!!

Emily said...

I am so sorry it didn't work out. Glad Olivia is getting to know her Mommy & Daddy - that is a precious gift! Beautiful pics!

The Thai Family said...

Same exact thing happened with our first. I gave up on breastfeeding and felt so much better with giving her formula. Helped the jaundice and we were all happier and more well rested for it! I tried again with my second and it almost worked out as she latched much better but also gave up as my milk just didn't come in quick enough for her. Due again in April and we'll see if it works out but really, both my kids are healthy and thriving and formula did them no harm. It's a personal choice and you'll make the right one for you and your baby based on your circumestances. Don't let other's opinions bother you and be happy. That's all that matters in the end!Your milk will dry up soon. Just be patient!

Anonymous said...

I'd blame the hospital more than I'd ever blame you (which I don't). Our doula said a baby's instinct to latch can disappear within 2 hours after birth if they don't get a good latch. And then taking her away from you after trying for just 20 minutes? That's cruel.

You're not evil for forumla feeding. Your baby will be ok. Hang in there.

bb and mtb said...

No flaming because the choice is up to each mom. But I will say that I am jealous of your jugs. Mine don't seem to want to make enough to sustain my precious baby girl no matter how many people pulled, tugged, and pinched my melons looking for that liquid gold. And while I had been supplementing with formula at night, our pedi told me to supplement at every feeding because she had still not gained enough to get back to her birth weight at 3 weeks. Guilt trip galore - my baby was hungry! So, yes, I would love to have your ginormous, milk-factory boobies.

Zoie said...

This is what happen to us, I tried to breastfeed for the 3 days B was in NICU and when we got home. When we got home he LOST more weight, scared the hell out of me. I couldn't even try to breastfeed until his weight got back up. By the time I got the green light, I was so tired from feeding him, pumping and cleaning up projective vomit, I had to stop after 3 weeks. Try to NOT beat yourself up, it's so hard. He's a very healthy 7 months and I still beat myself up (working on stopping that). You did the best you could.....

Amy, queen of the world. said...

The same exact thing happened to me... but replace a jaundiced baby with a baby that was born SCREAMING and didn't stop screaming for the first 6 weeks of his life! I gave it the good ol' college try, but I couldn't do it. He wasn't getting enough, he was never satisfied, and plus I was recovering from an emergency c-section... I was exhausted... not to mention my lack of experience being around a baby EVER. You tried. There are worse things in life than having to bottle feed your baby. And as long as the little munchkin is eating well and is happy... well, there ya go. :)

Sunny said...

Good for you! Im not sure why there is so much guilt with the whole breastfeeding thing? I have two Daughters one I nursed for a year and one who never latched and was bottle fed, they both are smart healthy and super attached to me. No need to worry breast or bottle its the parent love that matters!

Chelle said...

I can't imagine how hard it was to decide not to breastfeed, but know what? You're doing what you feel is best for YOUR CHILD. If anyone faults you for that, send 'em my way. I'll knock some sense into them.

Gorgeous pics btw.

alison said...

Don't feel guilty! It doesn't work for everyone, and don't let people make you feel guiltier by what they may say. You've got too much cuteness - healthy, growing cuteness to worry. She (and you) will be a-ok.

Love the pictures!!

*hugs*

Sully said...

I could have wrote this post word for word. Bfeeding wasn't working for us either. My motivaitons were the same as yours (weight loss and $$$), but after bleeding nipples, my son's insatiable appetite, constant crying, and little to no sleep, I decided to hang up the ol' milk bags. Eight weeks later, he's healthy and happy....and so am I.

I give a TON of credit to the moms who do BF, but it just wasn't for me...I'm there with ya!

KLTTX said...

No judgment from me. Congratulations on your beautiful baby girl!

Amy said...

I proudly tell the world I didn't breastfeed. I didn't even try. I'm too modest, and I didn't want to spend the whole of my days locked up in my bedroom trying to figure it all out. Formula isn't toxic, it's not poison. Adopted children aren't any less healthy than children raised by birth parents, and I'd venture a guess that most adopted kids are never nursed.

Don't feel guilty. Enjoy the time. You're the mommy! You can do whatever you want... because you said so!

Aunt Becky said...

It happened with me and my first and I remember how it feels. The way I always thought of it was this: having a new baby is hard enough without having to battle over food.

Ben? LAZY EATER. He was bottle fed and he is easily the smartest AND healthiest person I know. I, however, was nursed. And I am the sickliest person I know. AND stupid! That's what my trolls tell me!

I guess what I'm saying (like you, I am totally sleep deprived) is this: don't beat yourself up too much about it, no matter what happens. And I'm stupid. But you knew that.

Anonymous said...

Wow, she is amazing! Congratulations!! Now I don't know teh science behind this, but what I did worked while I weaning. It sounds bizarre but Cabbage leaves in your bra until it gets wilty and then put in new ones. Try to google it, I did it almost 4 years ago after 9 months of BF and I swear it helped. Hope it helps you too. Good Luck

Jaci said...

Oh, sweetie! I'm sending you big sympathetic mom hugs. You two are absolutely precious together, and don't you dare beat yourself up (or let any internet weirdos get to you) over breastfeeding.

I didn't breastfeed, and I know all about the whole engorgement mess. My boobs were exactly like a freakish porn star's, and when I laid on my back I couldn't see over them. Tight sports bra and wrapping a tight ace bandage over that helped, and then I put bags of frozen veges on top because holy hell IT HURT. I leaked milk for a few weeks and then got so fed up I called the doctor and begged for him to do something--and he prescribed water pills. Between the boobs and the stitches and the hideously deflated balloon belly, and worrying about the baby--ugh. It's the worst time for your self confidence.

You're doing great!

(And thank you for admitting your reasons for wanting to breast feed--they were exactly my reasons, too.)

Sheila said...

Good for you for deciding what's best for your family. I just had to comment because I had a baby 7 weeks ago and I totally have the thinking-the-baby-is-in-bed thing going on. I wake up and I could swear that the pillow I've been cuddling with is really her, and I freak out that I've been smothering her. Awesome how even the little sleep we get isn't restful. Anyway, know that you're not the only crazy one!

Paranoid said...

Oh, I could so have written this post after my first daughter was born. Turns out, nursing a 38-weeker can be really freaking hard! They're so floppy and they absolutely refuse to take direction.

There's no shame in deciding that nursing wasn't the right thing for you and you baby. You need to do what leaves you sane and happy, and if that's formula, then so be it.

Congrats on your little girl.

Deanna said...

I'm not a mom (though I do have two goddaughters), so maybe my opinion is worth less? But when I was a kid, a bunch of my friends were bottle-fed, and they grew up just fine. I think as a mom, you do what's best for your child, and you have her best interests at heart. Who is anyone else to say what's wrong for YOUR daughter? Good for you and good luck.

Becca said...

She is beautiful and she needs food AND a sane mother. Whatever you have to do to give her both of those things is what you should do. This post cracked me up by the way. I did the wake up in a panic dig through the bed thing so many times with my first! Congratulations!!

iamagrownup said...

I hated breastfeeding. I did it, but I hated it. I did not feel as if i bonded more through that than I did by playing, holding and cuddling. But the good catholic guilt got to me and I ended up pumping and feeding her breastmilk that way. So if you want to try that, go for it. But don't let the judgy folks ruin it for you. Do what is best for you and your family. I know breastfeeding is hard, especially at first. And I know that if you pushed through you might get it. But I also know that if you don't breastfeed your baby is going to be just fine and you are still going to be a fabulous mom. Breastfeeding doesn't = good mom.

If you want to dry up. you have to get through the engorged feeling. Tylenol. I found some benadryl helped. They tell bf-ing mom not to take it because it dries you up some, so I took it and it helped some. A good few days of suffering through the pain and you will dry up. Sorry.

Laura said...

At least you gave it a try. I know you are trying to do what is best for you and Olivia and your her mom and only you can know that. In the coming days you might try to pump to relieve some of the pressure and then decide to supplement with some of your abundance and then you can get some of the benefits of both worlds, being able to eat a few extra calories :) while still losing weight and even cutting out the cost of just one can of formula a month can be a big savings. Not to mention a bit of the extra benefits for Olivia. Just my two cents, and if you decide to do something different, it's all good because only you can know what is going to work out best for you and your beautiful baby girl!

Kathleen said...

It sounds like a lot of careful thought went into your decision, and that's all that matters. I'm sure you're doing what you know to be best for now. Other than that, I have nothing to add-- when my baby arrives in a few weeks, I really do hope to breastfeed, but I'm making no commitments. Who knows if it will work out for us either?

Really, though, I just wanted to comment on your photos. They are the sweetest new mother ones I've ever seen. Thank you for sharing!

Anabelle said...

i breastfed for 8 1/2 months.. at which point the sound of the pump made me physcially naucious and I just coudlnt' do it anymore.... but if I had issues with latching and dealt with what you had to go through, i'd never have done it.

honestly.... being close and happy with your baby is soooo much more important. Rock on.

Anabelle said...

i breastfed for 8 1/2 months.. at which point the sound of the pump made me physcially naucious and I just coudlnt' do it anymore.... but if I had issues with latching and dealt with what you had to go through, i'd never have done it.

honestly.... being close and happy with your baby is soooo much more important. Rock on.

This_Cross_I_Embrace said...

Well, my plan (and I'm not even pg yet, just projecting here) is to BF. But obviously the heavens like to laugh at my plans, because my plan was also to have 3 children by now :P

Anyway, just wanted to pop in and say I think you're doing a fantastic job. Plus? I was never BF'd. And look how awesome I turned out!

Poppy said...

BFing works for many, but not all. You do what's best for you and yours and don't worry one whit what others think.

No one is Olivia's mommy but YOU.

Rotten said...

You don't need me to tell you that whatever choice you made was the right one. You feel better, she feels better, enough said. I am beyond curious to see what happens with me. Have fun with it all. Everyone keeps telling me each persons journey is so different.

WellaWitch said...

Good for you! You love your daughter and yourself and you're doing what's best for both of you.

Engorgement is awful. A benefit of not breastfeeding is you get to take narcotics (if you want to and if you can get your hands on them) to help ease breast pain.

Another excellent benefit of bottle feeding is that you get to share the joy/exhaustion of nighttime feedings with your husband.

PJ said...

Texas and Rhode Island, eh?

I'm SOOO glad that you didn't have to go back to the hospital and glad she's doing better!

Love the pictures!

What IF? said...

You and Olivia together is such a precious image. The pics you posted are simply gorgeous. I hope you feel more comfortable soon. Doing what's right for you and your baby is all that matters. It's YOUR choice, and not one anyone can judge you for.

mrsyak said...

The AAP recommends 1 year OR as long as mutually desired. Don't let people push you around about stopping, you're doing what's best for y'all. Honestly, I forced it with Julia and my feelings were hurt that I wasn't enough for her, she was perpetually grumpy and I was a little resentful that it was freaking painful as hell. We're still breast feeding but it was awful for 8 weeks. 8 weeks. 8 very long weeks.

*It doesn't have to be all or nothing though. You can pump to give your nips a break and bottle feed the milk. You can then pump less and less until your milk dries. If you got a hands free, like the Medela freestyle, you could pump and bottlefeed at the same time so you don't have to stay awake any longer than necessary. If you just want to shut it down, I think there are meds and I've heard something about wrapping up in cabbage leaves.

Anonymous said...

I do think that you should do what is best for you and your baby and that a happy mama makes a happy baby. I'm no nipple nazi. But, I also think to have really tried breastfeeding you have to give it a few weeks. It's really hard at the beginning- especially if there are any intervening factors (like jaundice). My daughter was premature and in the NICU for 6 weeks -- it took a long time until she could actually breastfeed at all and even longer until she could breastfeed excusively. While we worked up to it, I pumped and she ate breastmilk through a bottle. The pumping SUCKS -- especially doing it every 3 hours. I've now been pumping for a year because I work and still have to pump a few times a day. It's a pain, I won't lie. And, it obviously wouldn't be for everyone. But - let me just say - once you do get the hang of it, breastfeeding is SOOOOO much easier. It makes nighttime easier, traveling easier, everything. It's hard at first, but then totally pays off. I don't think it leads to better bonding or that your baby will be impaired in some way because of formula. But, the weight loss, the convenience and the savings cannot be overrated... you just have to put in the hellish few weeks of pumping, bottle feeding, and frustrating feedings.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful Pictures!! Glad to hear Olivia is doing better! She is so precious...

Kkay

Ben and Kristen said...

I did (do) breastfeed, but i think if I had had to go through everything that you went through with the pumping and jaundice and latch problems etc. that I wouldn't have kept it up either! And I STILL (6 months later) wake up furiously patting the bed, thinking I have smothered him.
I have been following your blog since you were about 20 weeks or so (went back and read the whole thing), and I love it.

KristenWiley said...

She is so precious. Sorry it didn't work out. But you have to do what is best for both of you. :) Also, I have heard about the cabbage as well. Jay's cousin swore by it when she had her first. So it must work! Glad to hear she is doing well and no more hospital visits. She is soooo cute!! Good job!

Anonymous said...

Just FYI - it's not too late to retry breastfeeding, if you reconsider. I had a friend who initially could not get nursing to work out when the baby was a newborn, and then tried again (she'd been pumping intermittently in the meantime) when the baby was almost a month old. The second time was the charm - she got the baby to latch just fine, and they've been nursing ever since.

I wish that someone would give the straight facts to all first time moms who want to try nursing, just so they know. My sister told it to me straight before I had baby #1, and I think it's really valuable to hear it from a friend.

Fact 1 - In the beginning, nursing hurts like hell, and everyone gets bloody gross nipples. It hurts everyone, and everyone hates it at first, and if they say they don't, they're lying.

Fact 2 - It takes most babies some trying to figure out how to latch on, and it takes some work on the mom's part. It is not effortless for most people.

Fact 3 - If you stick with it, nursing gets to be completely pain free and easy after about 2-3 weeks (for the majority of women).

Fact 4 - Nursing the second baby is much easier than the first.

I am sorry it didn't work out for you, but I do think it's not too late to give it another shot. Being able to nurse is a wonderful thing - for the weight loss (for you)), for the benefits to the baby, for the fact that it's free, for the convenience factor of never having to ever pack a bottle, and on and on. I wish someone would explain to women that, yes, nursing truly sucks like hell for a few weeks (no pun intended!), but if you can stick it out, it's really worth it.

Red Headed Mama said...

I have a few blog posts about the ordeal of BFing Ian. I think in one of them I said: Your boobs, your baby, your choice...and I'm sticking with that.

I'm glad you and Olivia are both healthy and happy!

Jen said...

No judging here- I love that first picture with you and Olivia- so serene! and can I just say that your highlights look awesome! You're the picture of beautiful motherhood! breastfeeding shmeastfeeding, in my opinion! Congrats!

Seriously? - Erin said...

Hi Jen! Thanks for this post. I really am unsure about breastfeeding and have only promised to give it the good old try. You having this experience makes me feel good about that choice.

Most of us (I think we are close to the same age) grew up on formula and we are pretty normal, no worries. I know it isn't your situation but glow in the woods has a page about stopping lactation.

minnie said...

good for you, mammy needs to be sane and baby needs to be fed (baby is also lovely as an aunty to preemie twins she looks so big to me!) I was bottle fed and you know what my iq is in the top 9% im at uni and im not off the rails and crazy, funny huh? my nephew who is bottle fed is the happiest chripest toddler going, theres more important things for you to be doing like cuddles and being terrifide by how quickly she'll grow!

Anonymous said...

I also tell the world proudly that I did not breastfeed. I tried it with my first - and did it for about 8 weeks, but I hated it. With my second, I got up the courage to just say no to breastfeeding and I was so happier because of it!! We went with formula right off the bat. Mommy was happy and that made for a much happier baby. Do what is best for you and your baby and don't feel guilty for it!!

Tammy

Sarah said...

Sorry the breasts feeding didnt work out. Great pics.

Valeta said...

Breastfeeding doesn't work for everyone. I only BF my first for 4 weeks. He is now a healthy 5 year old. Don't listen to the judgers! You are doing a great job!

The first night home was hard for me too, and I just had my third baby on the 17th. Every baby is different and lack of sleep sucks. Heh.

Arron & Christine said...

It is SO ok. My first and I fought it for 3 weeks because of my stupid pride. Finally went to formula and the whole house found a glint of sanity we hadn't seen yet. She's five, healthy and as bonded to me as you can imagine. Don't let anyone make you feel guilty.

Laura said...

In the end, all that matters is a happy mom and a happy and healthy baby. You continue to feed her, and love her, and you are obviously such a great mom! So, continue to take care of your baby, and yourself. And many congratulations on your beautiful Olivia!

Anonymous said...

We had a lot of trouble breastfeeding in the beginning also. My daughter couldn't latch because she is tongue tied. I pumped exclusively for 3 months because I couldn't let myself quit. After 3 months, one day she finally latched. I breastfed her for 13 months. If breastfeeding is something you really want just keep in mind that things are very difficult in the beginning for everyone but it can get better. But if bottlefeeding is what works for you and your baby, you shouldn't feel guilty. You should do whatever you feel is best for your family. Good luck and wanted to say that your daughter is so beautiful!

andrea said...

i think it's totally fine and perfect for you to do what is best.

and i melted a little at your pictures. you are already a great mom jen!

Anonymous said...

Either way it is ok, little Olivia will still be healthy and you will get your figure back before you know it.

As for your big bossoms! I know they don't suggest binding, but it was the only thing that worked for me. I took two ace bandages and wrapped my breasts as tight as I could and then used bags of frozen veggies to help alleviate the pain. Within two days I felt relief and by day four or five I was almost back to normal with only a little leaking which slowly stopped over the next few days.

Anonymous said...

I could have written your post minus the jaundice and adding in mastitis and thrush (that is the most my nipples have ever hurt!) and supply issues. I lasted for 6 weeks BF and it was the most miserable six weeks EVER! The next baby due in July is getting formula from the beginning.
Don't feel guilty. Happy Mama makes a happy baby. And you can still bond just fine with your sweetie, I honestly don't think it makes a difference. I was bonding less with my baby when I was breastfeeding than when I bottlefed. Love the pics.

Bianca said...

First of all, gorgeous baby!

Second, as someone said, you can pump and feed breast milk in a bottle (you can do it exclusively or you can pair with formula). If you plan on weaning to formula, just pump enough to release your painful breasts, and eventually you won't produce much milk.

Also, as someone said, breastfeeding hurts the first few weeks, it just DOES, but the pain stops eventually (for most) and then it's very easy.

I am not judgey, I think formula fed babies are still loved babies and happy babies! BUT, I do think women are not given enough breastfeeding support and I also believe with so many of us formula fed ourselves (not me, I had a hippie mom, but most mothers in the 60-80s formula fed) you don't get the support for your own mother, and it's hard.

For those who have a hard time (and breastfeeding can be HARD) I think there are ways to incorporate breast and formula together. You obviously make enough milk, but you could try a combo of bottle feeding with breastfeeding, (doing one first and then trying the other and only doing early in the day when baby is happier) or bottle feeding breastmilk so your baby still gets the immune system support of breastmilk. It doesn't have to be all or nothing.

I believe sometimes I want to stop things before I feel like I have exhausted all my options, because it seems like more of a "choice" and not like I tried everything and "failed". But regardless of the outcome (and actually it sounds like you are pretty convinced that you don't want to breastfeed at this point) you haven't failed. As many people have said, ultimately it's your choice and your baby, and your baby will still be a happy baby!

I simply write to add that there are other options besides exclusively breastfeeding or exclusively formula feeding.

Amanda said...

Look at them fresh highlights-lol.

I was going to suggest what KP said-cabbage leaves or sudfed. I am currently breastfeeding our 3rd baby. With our 2cd I dried up from using Sudafed. Engorgement really hurts-trust me-been there-and after a couple weeks when you nipples are poker red and flaming? Well, you will be missing all that joy...lol.

It was suggested to me to use cabbage leaves to dry up my milk after we lost a baby at 6 months pregnant but luckily my milk didn't come in so I didn't try it-but many have sworn by it!

Good luck!
btw-she's adorable!

Anonymous said...

The fact that ANYONE would try to make you feel guilty for not breastfeeding is appalling! I didn't have a choice, I could not breastfeed; no milk ever. I listened to years of criticism from family and friends who had to judge me because I bottle fed my son. Well, guess what? I didn't have a choice - it was bottle feed him or starve the little booger! People should mind their own business and be happy for you that you have such a wonderful little angel!

Bekah said...

You are doing the best thing you can for your baby. Breastfeeding (and feeding in general) should not be a source of frustration that keeps you and your baby from enjoying each other. While I fully support breastfeeding, I support doing what's best for mom and baby even more. If that means feeding formula instead of breastmilk, then there is NOTHING wrong with that. Of course you're going to feel some guilt. We new mothers feel guilt about EVERYTHING. But know that there are people out here that think you're doing a great job being a mother by making the choices you make. She's beautiful, Jen. You do whatever you have to do to enjoy this time with Olivia and keep her happy and healthy.

Teresa said...

Thank you for saying out loud that you felt like she was on loan or something. It took a long time to feel like my Olivia was really mine...at a little over two now, I have no doubts and those feeling have begun to subside. I think we spend time with infertility thinking it's just not possible, and then for the lucky of us,we get this extraordinary gift. Breastfeeding or no, you're her mother and that is so very obvious in these photos. Best wishes to your family!

Dawn's Recipes / The Baby Blog said...

I hope no one dare's judge you. It sounds to me like you really are putting Olivia's needs before your own. Who can ask for more than that? I'm glad to hear she's doing well and the jaundice has cleared up!

Rebecca said...

Definitely try the cabbage leaves. I was seriously engorged when my milk came in, I couldn't even pump any out and the cabbage leaves helped A LOT.

Tiffanie said...

olivia is beautiful! are you going to post the rest of your birth story or what??!!
anyway, i know it sounds ghey, but cabbage leaves in your bra, which should be as tight as you can stand should help get rid of your milk. also, don't stand in a hot shower and let the water fall directly on your ta-ta's for an extended time until it starts drying up. seriously, i'm not pulling your leg about the cabbage. i used to work L&D.

congrats again. i love your pics:)

Lis said...

Above all I believe baby needs a happy mama. My son never took to BF either, and he is a healthy 2.5 year old.

Steph said...

Aw, I'm sorry breastfeeding didn't work out. I'm sure you wish it had gone better but the important thing is that Olivia is here, safe and healthy. While breastfeeding is the ideal answer, it just doesn't work for everyone. I intend on breastfeeding, once we actually get pregnant, but the whole process terrifies me. Kudos to you for trying!

Olivia is beautiful!!

Malloryn said...

I think Red Headed Mama said it best -- your boobs, your baby, your choice. Olivia is a beautiful little girl and she will do wonderfully.

Anonymous said...

Lovely pictures. Thank you for sharing. All the best to you and your little family and whatever works best for everyone!

JP

Mel said...

Keep singing. You are doing great and in 18 years from now when she is telling you to get out of her room and stay out of her business, you'll look back on this time SO fondly. ;)
*hugs*

Rebecca said...

I love your blog...been following along for months. Kept me laughing during my own pregnancy (baby is 3 months now). Anyway...really, who the heck cares if you BF or do formula. You gotta do what makes you sane. There are just too many "rules" for new moms/babies. Drives me nuts.

One thing I wanted to say though about BFing is that my first baby (I've got three now) was losing weight, hacked off, freaking out, not latching. UNTIL THE MILK. Once that milk came in after 6 days, you'd have thought he was drinking Pina Coladas. Kid couldn't get enough. Mind you, I had to pump a little off first b/c it was so hard and fast he was choking himself, but we managed to get it down after a couple of weeks. Anyway, just mentioning in case you wanted to give it another go, just for pride's sake (I totally get that). If not, you will LOVE the freedom of formula. Once we finally switched over, I could actually be my own person!

Beth said...

As many have said, a lot of women go through it, guilt and all. When I went through it, it came down to this...thank God I live in a time with good formula that will nurish my baby when the breastfeeding isn't working.

Congratulations on a healthy cupcake!

Parsing Nonsense said...

It takes a lot of guts to admit when something just isn't working, and if breastfeeding is making you both crazy it's not worth it! How you can even think straight on such little sleep I have no idea, but kudos anyway.

To A T said...

You have to do what is best for you and Olivia... not what the masses think you should do. Don't feel guilty. Besides, now days formula is pretty amazing stuff!

alicia said...

I think as long as she is getting fed that is all that matters! don't beat your self up over it. It breaks my heart to see women try and try and try for months and are in pain and agony and their babies are mad and it just all sucks! so I think you are doing the right thing. I am so glad she is getting healthier too! good news.

Anonymous said...

i love your blog. . .came over from redbook so i've followed your journey. olivia is precious beyond words. each day just gets better and better. i'm now in my 40's (yikes) and 1st kid was breastfed.(he was almost 9lbs and took to it just fine) our 2nd was almost 7lbs and she had the tiniest mouth and it was excrutiating!!!! i bled and got an infection that ended it. but back then pumps weren't as good as they are now and that might be a great idea if you still want to "breastfeed" without the pain or difficulty of her latching on. also they make nipple shields now that help with the whole issue of discomfort and difficulty. wish they had had those then. from my experience either worked ok, but i thought the breastfeeding was easier, more economical, i got my shape back really fast and i wished it had worked for my 2nd. but i didn't beat myself up for her being bottlefed and you shouldn't either if you decide that. just enjoy the joys she will bring to you and your husband. there isn't anything like it again.

Kristin said...

I fought hard core to BF so I totally understand. You are giving your baby the gift of food, does it really matter if it comes from the boob or bottle? If Miss O is happy and your happy, then you made the BEST decision for your entire family. Plus everyone else can feed her. And I found after I switched to a bottle I was able to look at my daughter and son in the eyes, what could be better? And I will work on not using so many commas next time-sorry!!!!

Anonymous said...

One of the first things you learn as a new Mum, is that there will ALWAYS be someone who has a different opinion than you...So what do you do? Fuck em and do whats right for your situation!

Heather said...

You won't hear me try to make you feel guilty. I agree with others that say that she's being fed, she's happy and that's what matters. Let go of the guilt and just enjoy her!!!!

Leah said...

Can't you pump and give her expressed breast milk? To each her own. You might try that so she's getting boob juice, she's just getting it through a bottle. Dad can still help with the night feedings and your jugs will be relieved of the engorgement.

Congrats again on a beautiful lil cupcake.

Anonymous said...

Its only the beginning of self doubt and anxiety. It comes with every new step/phase of your babies life. Just wait until sleep training! Made me want to tear my hair out! Anyway, learn early what it took me 2 years to learn - TRUST YOURSELF. Your the Mama and you know best.

Anonymous said...

OMG I could've written this post. Complete with freakout each time I woke up thinking that I had smothered my baby. Only insert 9 lb baby frustrated with no food for three days, and no milk whatsoever, up til maybe a little engorgement on day 8.

Formula was the best decision we ever made, aside from deciding to "see what happens" and throw out the condoms...2.5 years and 3 m/c ago. Bastards...oh wait, where was I? Ya, formula. Happy baby is a happy mommy.

And she is cuuuuute!

Jill said...

I would never criticize any Mom who decided not to breastfeed. It's a personal decision and I feel it's sad when others try to make the non-BF mother feel guilty about her choice. You are a GREAT mother and it doesn't matter how you feed your baby. Now, if you didn't feed her at all, then I would judge. LOL

BTW, you should take a pic of your porn start boobs. Just for a reminder later in the event you want some implants! :-)

sarah23 said...

I've been breastfeeding for 4 weeks and I still have the nipples that drip and spray all over the place. Like, jets of milk squirt out 2 feet -- all over her face, my clothes, the couch, the park bench (Sunday), or the Macy's dressing room (today). Hee hee.

Sorry that it didn't work out for you!

FSD said...

GIRL....I feel you!!! I've been struggling so bad with BF my 2.5 week daughter!! But unlike you, I haven't had the courage to throw in the towel. And I honestly mean "courage." I've put myself on the biggest guilt trip about quitting. I'm such a Type A personality!!! We've worked with 4, and I repeat 4, lactation consultants! Zoe is just a lazy nurser. I have milk, she can latch, but then she zonks out at the breast! So I have to pump after EVERY feeding and supplement with breast milk (and a little formula from time to time) to make sure she gets enough. MISERABLE!!!

You've made the best decision for you and your family. No looking back! Enjoy your precious Olivia. That's more important than breastfeeding. BTW---this is the pep talk I've been giving myself for quitting. LOL.

Kirsten said...

It takes courage sometimes to do what is best for you and your family (because you may feel it goes against what society sez it "right"). But, at the end of the day, taking care of yourself first IS the right thing for your family.

Like many others I gave it the old college try, with cracked bleeding nipples, and pumping and lactation consultants and lack of sleep and anxiety over supply, etc. etc. ... and I just never JIVED with it. I started tapering off at 6 weeks and was done at 3 months. And of course I felt guilty. But here at 6 months we have a happy, healthy, thriving baby (and a happy, relaxed and rested mama) and I don't give NOT breastfeeding a second thought any more. It's a non-issue. It will be for you too.

As far as the engorgement, hang in there. The big puffy painful stage is over pretty quickly (like just a few days). Tylenol/Advil. I hear the cabbage thing is helpful too. I slept in my nursing bra to keep them "contained." You'll be leaky a bit longer tho - nursing pads are handy for that, especially at night.

Congratulations!