Friday, October 14, 2011

Decisions

After thinking and praying and agonizing, I finally decided to stop pumping, and then God decided that today was a good day for me to begin the process.

I am very sad about this. I realize that some people might not understand why, so since I want everyone who wants to to know and understand me, I am going to tell you why.

It will make life easier on Tim. I will be able to accomplish my own reponsiilities, like feeding the boys, instead of having Tim do it because I have to go pump.

I will be able to spend more time with the boys. Currently we take Tim to work, then we come home and I seclude myself for a while, then finally the boys get to eat breakfast. Then later I seclude myself again, and then the boys nap. Poor kids, they need their mommy. They have been very patient.

I miss Ilse. I don't get to hold her very often, believe it or not.

We can't have people over since I have a very strict schedule.

We can't go anywhere since I have a very strict schedule.

I miss way too much church.

I get too little sleep which makes me miss church and makes me drowsy every day, so I nap, which is sad for my boys, since they are awake.

I get stressed out at the beginning of the day and trying to fit in all the pumpings along with doctors appointments, getting Tim places, feeding Ilse, cleaning up barf, etc.. It is exhausting.

My supply isn't enough, lately. I have had to start using my refrigerated stores. I am thankful for them, but we are almost out.

I don't get to take my boys to the park. We didn't get to go to the fair. We don't go to bible study, because I'll miss it anyway.

I think that is enough reasons.

I am still sad about it, though, because I wanted to be able to provide for my baby. I have worked SO HARD for my milk. I got up in the night with a sliced up tummy to pump. I made multiple trips a day to the NICU just to take milk up there, sometimes at eleven at night. I have increased my supply again and again. I spend hours a day pumping and washing pump pieces. I have never worked so hard for anything in my life, and it is very emotional to just stop. I feel like a failure, but at the same time I know I did the best I could for as long as I could, and Ilse will likely not know the difference, even though I am afraid formula won't sit as well on her tummy as my milk does. But I still feel like I am betraying her.

I have cried about this decision, and I am sure I will again. I took five months to make this decision, that's how hard it was.

I was planning on waiting until Ilse was six months old, and I was going to have a nice long transition period to get my baby used to formula, and then today happened. We slept in- yay!-- and then we had therapy, and then we had Ilse's geneticist appointment, and before I knew it, it was four thirty and I had pumped once. Usually by then I have pumped three times. So then I pumped again, and I will pump once more before bed, which will end up being two times fewer than usual. Tomorrow I will try to pump two to three times as well, and then twice on Sunday. Perhaps by Monday I will be nearly done.

This is another dream I am letting go of. It wasn't always a dream. I was pretty convinced I wouldn't like nursing, but a few people told me to give it a try, and so I decided to. One of the reasons they gave me was that it would be so much easier than lugging around formula. And nursing would have been, but pumping certainly is not. And then Ilse had problems and pumping was one of the only ways I could take care of her, that and taking her clean clothes up at the hospital. So I kept it up. Then I didn't want to stop until we knew if she would ever be able to nurse. Then I didn't want to stop knowing she needed the cholesterol.

So yes, I am grieving, and I fully recognize that it probably seems dramatic. No, I don't need to be committed to an insane asylum. I need to see that my baby is happy, healthy, and fat on formula. I need to be in church. I need to be more involved around my home. I need to teach my boys to read and I need to hold my baby.

Maybe someday the Lord will give me another opportunity to nurse. I will pray for that, because it is hard to miss out on this. Of course, Tim and I have to deal with the possibility, though, of having another baby with SLOS, or something similar, and we have to decide if the next time we would even start pumping. That is too hard a decision for me to even think about right now. So many emotions and so much sadness.

Lord, please temper my sadness about this issue with joy.

3 comments:

  1. Your grieving and sadness is totally normal. You have done so much for Ilse and your family. Pumping is hard and very time consuming. There can still be bonding with being formula fed. I think your decision is very wise and will be praying the sadness goes away and is replaced with joy.

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  2. Em's you are doing what is best for everybody! Wise decisions are never easy. :)

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  3. Emily, I can understand your grief, and feeling the way you do is perfectly normal. Nursing a baby/providing milk for a baby sometimes seems like the ultimate act of giving and love, but you have to remember that you are not loving Ilse any less by not doing that, you aren't a lesser mother by giving her formula, and by making this decision you are freeing yourself up to actually be a better mommy for the circumstances that y'all are in right now. You'll get to spend more time with your sweet kids and husband and won't have to stress about pumping schedules. You are doing a wonderful job taking care of your family. You are a great mommy!

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