Day 1: Baaba Back To Work

Assalamu Alaykum-

I dreaded this day since the birth of iBaby- especially when I learned how awesome my husband would be....

I might as well be truthful- it was awful. iBaby had a rough day; his mama was exhausted and terrified. Breastfeeding was a total nightmare; we had made it almost one full week of exclusive nursing, and that ended this day. We've been for several lactation consults, and made some progress with the 'bionic nipple'. My nipples are flat, there is nothing for iBaby to really latch onto, so Im using a silicone shield. the draw back is that I have to hold the nipple on, and football cradle him with my other hand. That leaves me helpless when a problem arises. When baby sucks, the silicone nip draws breast tissue into it, to create more of an utter (for lack of appropriate vocab). He really doesn't like it, if he fusses- it falls off, and if his feisty little hands go bananas (like the usually do when he is hungry), the nip gets knocked off. By the time he latches, 20 minutes has passed, Ive pulled out every trick in the book, hes cried real tears, I've balled my eyes out, and then he falls asleep after 10 minutes of nursing. I then have to wake him and start over. Overall, it's taking about 1 1/2 hours to get a good solid 30 minutes nursing session. I am frustrated- disappointed, depressed. I've been wanting to nurse him and do the best for his health. It seems that the forces of nature are working against me. Mashaallah Ive been able to keep up a decent supply of milk by pumping, so I have not had to give him formula, yet.

I'm feeling angry- this is the most natural process, and I cant do it. At what point do I surrender and try to enjoy him more? Feedings are an ugly process, and I watch the clock now- waiting for the next session to begin.

I'm sure, some of you are reading and thinking that I should simply be thankful for my son, and wonder how I could be whining about this. I don't know how to explain my feelings. Nursing is a very strong instinct, as natural as the desire to be pregnant. Ive dreamed of this for a really long time, and time is passing quickly. I feel almost like I am grieving. I find myself unable to even talk to other moms about it. My son is growing mashaallah, and the window of opportunity to nurse him is growing smaller and smaller. I couldn't birth him the natural way, and now I cant feed him- and I feel completely and totally inadequate. I am feeling more and more like a failure. When I look into my baby's twinkling little eyes, I get lost in them and start to cry. I love him so intensely, and hope that my inability to do the best thing doesn't affect him. I cant stand the idea of even supplementing with formula. I have some here- because I do realize I will eventually need it, because my milk supply dwindles when I'm only pumping without nursing.

I'm sorry for sounding so blue. I need to get all of this off my chest. I realize there are many couples out there dying to start a family.

I never made it out of my pajamas. I never napped. I was awake for 20 hours, and when my husband came home from work at 3am, I handed iBaby to him and went to sleep. I feel guilty for that. He worked 12 hours and didn't have a chance to get his shoes off. He stayed awake until 6am, slept for 5 hours, woke up, made me a beautiful breakfast and packed his own lunch then went back to work for 12 more hours. I have to do better.

May Allah subhana wa ta'ala help me to be a better mother and wife, Ameen

2 Birds Chirpin':

Umm Salihah said...

Assalam-alaikam Sis,
I don't think you are being ungrateful, its just this mothering lark is the hardest thing we ever do and yet there are so many things we don't have control over.

Maybe it might help not to think baout the window of opportunity closing, breast feeding is more flexible than that, it can increase, decrease, stop and then start again some time later as I did with my daughter. Even if you do have to supplement with formula you haven't failed in any way. I hope you guys get the hang of it though.

I've done that to my husband too, the frustration builds up and they are the first sympathetis person there. Sis iMuslimah, it will get easier - for sure it will, the first few weeks are the hardest then it gets better(although the parents of teenagers always disagree!)

American Muslima Writer said...

Subhan'Allah I don't know how i missed this post! I'm so sorry you're having difficulty and it seems liek you are definitly try very hard and that is good as a mother you'r already doing everything you can and if you fall short it's not for lack of effort.
All mothers have this trouble of feeling weak in the face of those baby eyes of innocence and it will pass in intensity as you both change and get used ot the other more. Mash'ALlah you a very good and caring mother.
It's ko to lean on your husband sometimes because that's why he's there. as long as it doesn't turn to habit everyday you know. men have a responsability as Fathers too not just "bringin home the halal bacon". Part of his having a baby means some nights he wont get sleep and still he has to work. I can't tell you how many times my husband stayed up pacing with my crying kids and then had to go to work half asleep just so I could get a few hours rest so I could deal with teh baby the next 24 hours. Subhanallah.