Thursday, October 19, 2006

Falling apart

I'm not doing so well here. I need to get all of this out.

Eleanor recovered from her nursing strike. I figured out that for whatever reason, she didn't want to lie on her left side in order to nurse on the right. I brought her to the ped, but no ear infection; she was just being picky. She's back to nursing normally, but now we have the opposite problem - all of a sudden, at three months, she's refusing the bottle. She took it fine from the time she was 3 weeks old - she'd even take it from me. Now all of a sudden when you put it in her mouth, she just sits there, then cries if you try again. We've tried breast milk, we even tried formula. We tried bottles and nipples from Medela, Dr. Brown's, Evenflo, and Nuk. We tried Andy giving her the bottle and we tried me giving it to her. Nothing works.

This is a big problem. I have not been away from her for more than two hours since she was born, and it was only two hours on two occasions, and on both of them it was just me, not Andy (he stayed with her). I am going crazy. I need to get out. Things have been better since I joined Gymboree and met some nice-enough women - we even went to a Reel Moms matinee this week, which was fun. But I need some non-baby time. We have a wedding coming up in a few weeks and my mom was going to watch Eleanor (not overnight, we were going to stay with my mom too, but we'll be gone from 3 pm - 12 amish. Now if the baby won't eat, I don't know what I'll do.

All of the information I can find online says that maybe she'll take a sippy cup, but a baby can't get a lot of milk from a cup at this age. And that's a problem because...well...please don't flame me but...I want to stop breastfeeding in the next few months.

I don't mind the actual physical act of breastfeeding - it's fine, although I don't get the whole magical mystical bonding experience from it that people go on and on about. It's just feeding her, plain and simple. But I hate so many things that go along with it. I hate being the default middle-of-the-night parent. I hate not being able to go anywhere without the baby. I hate that none of my shirts fit. I hate strapping myself into industrial bras even to sleep. And most of all I hate the breastfeeding information I find online. It's almost all of the breastfeeding as religion/lifestyle type, the kind of information that cheerfully advises me that no, my breastfed baby will never sleep through the night, and that's as it should be, and I really should give in and let her sleep in the bed with me, and why should I mind not being away from her when I can just wear her in a hand-sewn organic hemp sling 24 hours a day? All of this does not make me feel better. It makes me feel worse, much much worse. I think of spending the next year waking up multiple times a night to nurse, and never going anywhere alone or with just my husband, and I feel this uncontrollable panic.

And the worst is the guilt. How can I feel this way after what I've been through? Why should I WANT to get away from this baby we waited for for so long? What's wrong with me? Why should I not want to nurse her til she's 20 to make sure she's as healthy as possible? Maybe Joseph is better off, not having to be parented by me. Maybe I should have taken what happened as a sign that I wasn't meant to be a mother.

I still see the therapist that I've been seeing all along, but she's no help at all. Honestly, I don't see why one needs a social worker license to sit there and tell me, "Well, you're going through a lot of hormonal changes. You'll be fine." Shit, I could tell myself that for free. And I can't talk to Andy because we end up fighting; he accuses me of LIKING or NEEDING to worry, and of making everyone around me (read: him) suffer because of it.

I just don't know what to do.