Saturday, February 26, 2005

Fuzzy Logic

I think I am having mild Baby Blues. Which I am aware is normal. It's different than the "sobbing whilst sitting on the toilet" episodes from weeks one and two. It's more like an emotional weariness.

I know that a lot of it is hormones and the growing realization that my life will never be the same. Which I am actually ultimately fine with. (I don't want to put her back in or anything.) But I think that it still takes a fair amount of acceptance. Jason lets me run to Wal-Mart without Anna, and I find myself savoring getting to stand in the Maxi Pad aisle by myself. But then my boobs start to leak all over my shirt, so that brings me back to reality.

I also think some of my Baby Blues are due to my confusion concerning feeding Anna. I just feel fuzzy. I have never been good at making decisions. Making large ones have usually sent me into a depressive tailspin. Right now, my whole menta l life is wrapped around what type of food goes into a little seven pound creature, and how the said food gets in there.

(The following is all pretty boring stuff, so feel free to skip this section on my feeding process.) What we have been doing is breastfeeding Anna during the day. First I try to get her to take the right breast. When she refuses that, I try the left breast. When she refuses that, I pull a bottle of breastmilk out of the fridge for her, feed her, then pump. If she happens to take the left breast, she nurses for forty five minutes, and then is generally hungry again an hour later. If I give her the bottle, it's two hours. End this with a half hour of trying to burp her and calm her wailing from all the gas build-up. Not much time left for anything else.

Which is why we made the decision to give her formula at night, so I could get a little sleep. She usually promptly falls asleep after the formula, and rarely needs burping. She also goes three to four hours between feedings. It's no wonder that I am greatly wooed by "the dark side." In fact, today (Saturday) we are trying a little experiment. I am pumping all day, and we are seeing how she does on formula. It's been pretty great, unfortunately (cue Darth Vader rasping: "Luke, join me... bring the Similac.") The real test will be this evening. I've had a week's worth of evening wailing sessions, due to gas.

A friend of mine called yesterday and reported back on a co-worker, who had her baby a week after me. She said, "Yeah, her baby latched right on. Apparently, they are naturals." I said, "I hate her."

I just feel paralyzed to make a decision, though. I really did want the 1970's glowing mother suckling child experience. I don't think it's possible, though. Jason asked me last night, "What do you want to do?" I said, "I want breastfeeding to be easy and do that." He said, "From where you are at in reality, what do you want to do?" I thought and said, "I honestly don't know."

What else is keeping me from giving up breastfeeding completely? Well, everything, every book, every doctor, even the side of the Similac can, say, "Breast is best." Also, and probably a dumb reason, but one often finds one amazed by what peer pressure can do, but every one of my friends has breastfed. By not sticking it out, I am a wuss. I have gotten lots of reassurance that, by two to three weeks, it suddenly gets much easier. I confessed to one friend that I was thinking of switching to formula. She said, "Oh, but it gets so much easier!" I told her that we were already giving her formula at night, and she said, "Oh." That was the "Oh" that constantly resounds in my head. The "I've already screwed it up by not trying to nurse her the minute she came out of my womb and then I resorted to pumping and formula at night" Oh. It's the same "Oh" I hear when people find out I'm returning to work.

I think that this whole experience has actually revealed to me several issues, which have lurked in my life for many years. 1) Caring what other people think way too much and 2) Not trusting my own Life Instincts.

...but right now, Le Baby stirs. Ellen out.


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