Friday, July 3, 2009

Yet Another Breastfeeding Post

I feel like I keep proclaiming the end of breastfeeding, turning myself into the girl who cried wean, but I think this really is it. Now that he has top teeth, the biting has become unbearable. He bites all the time, yanking on the breast with his teeth as he pulls away, and the pain is excruciating. Some of the time he won't latch on at all -- as the breast approaches his mouth, he clamps down, biting before even thinking of doing anything else. And it breaks me heart. And the pain. I love him more than I could ever express, but sometimes it's hard to like him. If he isn't biting, he is scratching or punching me in the face or pulling my hair. I don't want to end up resenting my son, who I love with all my heart.

Truth be told, I'm often scared he is eventually going to rip the nipple right off, even though various sources claim that isn't possible, or just isn't going to happen. Most of those same sources also claim that any number of techniques will keep the baby from biting more than once and/or that babies outgrow the biting after a few das or at most a few weeks. Many techniques and many months later, I have lost all faith in such words of wisdom. And I'm out of ideas.

I am also eventually going to run out of tears. I spend far too large a percentage of my day crying over this. I feel very rejected. When I was encountering schedule problems at work, P made a comment about how it's important that I get enough time with Harry "because he's nursing." Not because I'm his mom and babies need time with their moms, but because he's nursing. And what about now? Does he not need me anymore? I fear that in Ps eyes, he doesn't. At least no more than he needs anyone else.

Plus, I already feel like I don't get enough time with him, being at work during the week. Nursing was always our time, time that was just for us. Now we will be giving up this time too, either giving up the time spent feeding to pump or the time I could otherwise play with him to pumping. And I hate pumping. But I am also not willing to switch to formula when I'm still perfectly capable of giving him breastmilk (please know that I am not judging anyone else who does so -- it's just not where I'm at).

I guess that last note is part of the issue for me. I was prepared to accept that I might not be able to breastfeed. That I might not produce enough milk. That he might not be able to figure it all out. That we could have encountered issues from day one. I was also prepared to accept that he would one day be a big boy and be ready to stop nursing. I just didn't expect that it would happen so soon, before he hit ten months. Before he has even figured out crawling, or called me mama. I'm just not ready, but I'm learning that it's not up to me.


Jen said...

I'm sorry, it sucks that it seems to be happening when you aren't ready.

Nicky said...

I'm so so sorry. I could have written this post myself, every word. When LL decided that he was done with nursing, I cried constantly. It was insane. Every little thing would set me off, as everything seemed to remind me about the relationship with him that I had lost forever.

I don't think that this would have made me feel better at the time (nothing would have, I think) but I'm going to say it anyway, as someone who has been there: it gets better. I know that right now it seems like you're just always going to be sad about this, but it will pass. And there will be a million new things that will create bonds that just you and Harry share. I don't breastfeed LL anymore, and I do miss it, but I'm not heartbroken about it anymore. And there's no doubt in my mind that LL knows I'm his mommy and needs me, with or without my breasts.

You'll get over it. I promise. Just give yourself some time.

Mommy, Esq. said...

He is clearly bonded to his mom and you've done a great job. When I stopped with Ned (at 5+ months) I was afraid we wouldn't have special time but I was also worried about not being bonded to Penny at all because she couldn't be held to eat (when she ate at all). But we have such wonderful little moments together that it is okay. And I do the morning routine with them and spend time on the floor of the nursery with both of them and I absolutely love it. It's a good way to start my days and pumps me up for when I'm not home. P.S. Ned is biting too and I'm trying to nip it in the bud before he starts biting Penny. I hope it is just teething related. I know people are iffy about Orajel when they are little but Harry is old and big enough that might help? I'd suggest doing a little research before proceeding though.

Intrepidgirl said...

Wow, that sucks. I know exactly what you mean. I seem to go through little episodes of biting every time he is teething. The "bite-and-pull" is especially fun. At six months when this first started happening, firmly told him no and then he proceeded to go on a two day nursing strike. But now I just end the nursing session when it gets too bad. The worst was when he was teething and had a cold and kept having to unlatch to breathe after every couple sucks and bit me every time he relatched. He must have bit me 20+ times in a row. Finally I just had to end that bf session and he screamed. Basically I just try to remember that he doesn't know what he is doing.

I'll tell you though that sometimes I have mistaken soreness and sensitivity (I know this sounds weird) for biting. The prescription "APNO" (all purpose nipple ointment) takes away all discomfort within 12 hours for me. If you don't have any, go out and get it. It's just the best.

Good luck!