An Ongoing Journey...Breastfeeding and Fibromyalgia

Baby Arielle is almost 2 months old now and things have changed only slightly for the better. While fibromyalgia did not seem to assail me the first few weeks post-partum, the symptoms are now back to what I have gotten used to be "normal". I am eternally tired, achey and get easily grumpy. Breastfeeding obviously doesn't help my case as:
- I am up on Arielle's demand, whether that's at 4am or during my 3pm nap, when I have time to nap that is.
- The position I breastfeed in tires my back and shoulders, spots already tender from my fibro.

The solution is quite straightforward but difficult to attain. I must sleep more and exercise, as this will give me physical strength and ease my symptoms. However, breastfeeding 9-12 times a day leaves very little time. In fact, some days I have to actually schedule time to eat and shower and when hubby gets home I tend to want to cook and clean. If I nap during the day, it is usually by cutting out a meal or a shower, which then cuts on time when hubby returns home. Since hubby works, I need to get up at night and do everything (diaper change, etc) which takes around 2 hours each time. My breastfeeding schedule, which includes supplementing with formula or expressed milk, simply does not make time to exercise... here is an example of half of one of my days:

9h30 - baby cries, wake up, run to the bathroom, come back, undress her and put her to the breast.
9h50 - she has fallen asleep at the breast. Get up, change her diaper to wake her up, put her onto the other breast.
10h10 - fallen asleep again. Burp her, try to lay her down.
10h15 - she's still hungry. Prepare formula or breast milk in a bottle.
10h40 - Put her in her chair and pump each breast to empty whatever she didn't nurse.
11h15 - Eat breakfast.
11h30 - she's ready to feed again.

Its a tiring vicious circle. I have been told repeatedly "why don't you give up?" but I still trudge on. Why? Because I want what is best for my daughter, no matter how many times I cry, feel resentment, despair... We have been slowly weening her off the formula, giving 1.5oz after each feeding instead of 2.5 we used to give her before. She is now 2 months old and drinks 2 extra times a day as compared to when we started weening her. Its rough but I know we are working towards exclusively breastfeeding her and I have hope.

My message to mothers with issues breastfeeding and or with fibromyalgia, who think of quitting is don't. Get help, surround yourself with positive energy and people. I may not be able to take meds whilst breastfeeding, nor do much exercise (I do walk a few times a week, if only to go to the store!), nor get much sleep... but baby Arielle is worth it ... worth the multiple visits to the breastfeeding clinic, the herbs and meds to up my milk production, the pumping, feeling like a cow, the nudging and sweet talking to get her to latch properly. I know that in a few weeks, maybe a month, I WILL be breastfeeding her exclusively... or so i hope.
In the meantime,

To Breastfeeding!


Lucas said...

I hate to be cast and the evil daddy who sleeps all night, works all day, and never takes care of her daughter... But unfortunately that's somewhat the case. I mean, I try to take care of her when I'm there in the evening, but I can hardly be blamed if I need to sleep before working.

After all, though I love our daughter and wish the best for her, Arielle would be quite content with drinking formula every day. Maybe it's hard to admit that you simply can't breastfeed normally and that sucks, but you know what all the people say... "That's Life!"

I'll support you in whatever decision you take, but I think mental stability should be taken over the desire to breastfeed. After all, it's not like we're stuffing her with Pablum... :|

roxie said...

Wow Lucas, I never even thought about anyone being the evil dad but the fact that you yourself already have that notion means you know you could be doing a bit more to help. Having to work is no excuse to not help your wife who has a disorder that causes pain all the time! Everyone knows when you have a baby, whether you work or not, that your sleep cycle will be different because you have to get up and take care of your child. That is why so many men and women go to work exhausted because they "have been up all night with the baby." Your partner could obviously use your help and making her doubt her decision on caring for your child in the best way possible (extremely beneficial to her health, cost saving)by saying that's life, is a cop out and very insensitive. When I first read this it did not even cross my mind to think oh what a horrible partner but your comment may have changed my mind.

John Dudley said...

You can get very useful information on hair transplant in gurgaon

Post a Comment

The Lemon Aid © 2008 | Créditos: Templates Novo Blogger