Sunday, September 21, 2008

Grieving...for the boob

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My milk is just about done. It's been a rough day feeling such excitement that Shimmy has been tolerating the higher calorie formula (we're now at 50/50 with breast milk ) and so getting the nutrition that he desperately needs to grow and heal and also realizing that my milk is quickly drying up. It feels like this devastating loss to me that I know I can get over but it also just brings it way home that I have a Son who is so sick he can't nurse and it's been going on long enough that my milk is drying up even with the pumping, drinking (water) and supplementation that I've been doing/taking for the last 7 weeks. And straight breastmilk is not enough for him as he needs so much more to heal his very sick heart.
I can't help but remember that these days, as normal as they've begun to feel, are not anywhere near normal. As much as Simon seemed so normal and healthy and loving life today, he is battling for it with every heart beat. The end of my body making milk for my son feels huge. I know there are so many other things I can do for him but this was one of the first and kept us connected as he went from being in my body to getting his sustenance directly from my body. Even for the last few weeks as his nursing stopped I was still feeling that connection as he at least got my milk through his NG tube. I cannot stop the tears each time I think of this loss. It's nothing compared to how much I would rather have his heart heal and his beautiful growing body get the energy it needs. And, it still feels like a huge loss.
And, Simon had a great day today.


Anonymous said...

I know you feel sad now regarding the breastfeeding, but there is so much more that you can do for your son. If the doctors say he needs weight and formula, then do what is best for the child. I nursed for 7 months. My child was a poor nurser from the get go, (later had development issues) and I pumped like a heifer 24/7. But you know what? Sure breastmilk is ideal, but you don't need to beat yourself up over this. Really. Formula is not the anti-christ. Give him smooches and hugs. He knows you are his mommy and even without the "boob" he'll know that. You are his mom and nothing, not even empty boobies, will change that.

Jen said...

Hi sister,
It can be very emotional to end nursing, whether you want to or not. I was so done nursing Maya by the time she decided she was done too, and I still got sad (and a little crazy for about 24 hours). This is the hardest time for you my dearest. I am so sorry. I'm with you.
Love and love and sending you strength and laughter and light,

Anonymous said...

Laura, what's to say that Simon wouldn't have stopped now on his own? He sure looked like he was enjoying his rice cereal.

Anyway, I remember when Katie decided it was over. We had gone to a wedding and left her for the day with my parents. That night she was like I'm fine. I have my thumb,my blanket and my book. And, in about a week she was totally boob free. I had no say in the discussion.

My point is that Simon loves you. And just because he isn't nursing doesn't mean he needs you less ~ just different. You are his voice!

Sending you all our love and support from FL.

Carol, Pat and Katie
(Z and Cecelia, too!)

P.S. I talked to your Mom, today, on her way home. She was stuck in traffic and telling me stories about her visit with all of you.

Sara said...

Just wanted to throw some support to you -- my milk never really came in and we had to supplement from the get go, and then my supply totally tanked at three 1/2 months post partum. It was incredibly sad for me and hard to come to terms with the fact that breastfeeding wasn't going to be part of my relationship with Hank, but now, seven months later, he couldn't be more attatched to me (which was something I worried about a lot). I don't know if any of that is helpful or not, but rest assured you are one Heroic Mommy and Simon knows it -- with or without the breastfeeding.
Love to your family,
Sara (Smithie)