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Saturday, September 21, 2013

On My Mind: Store Bought Guilt

Over the past few years I've made a lot of handmade gifts for my children.  Every Christmas they've received at least one handmade item.  I've made their halloween costumes for the last three years, and as newborn's I made their blessing outfits.

I'm trying to come to grips with the fact that I will probably not be able to find the time to make five handmade Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costumes by Halloween.  I am also trying to accept the fact, that I will not be able to finish up a blessing outfit for August by next Sunday.  I want to.  I have this fear that he's going to hold it against me if the other boys have one made by mom, and he doesn't.

 The truth is, yesterday I held/bounced that boy for the better part of NINE HOURS.  It was a rough day.  I'm quite convinced that he is highly sensitive to something I'm eating.  Let the elimination continue.  Hopefully one day he'll appreciate the fact I held him all day long, and didn't break into tears myself. He's getting my time, even if it doesn't result in a tangible handmade product. But I can't help but continue to feel a bit of irrational guilt.  Why do mothers do that?  Always so much unnecessary guilt.

Want to hear another irrational point of guilt for me.  With the idea of eliminating something else from my diet, possibly eggs or dairy, I'm faced with the fact that it might be better for both of us to have him formula feed.  I am already on a a gluten free diet, and I don't know how much more I can cut out and still keep myself healthy.  For some reason, I feel that I would be failing him in some way.  Why?  Formula is specially designed to meet babies' needs, and there have been many healthy human beings that have survived and thrived on formula.  What's my deal....maybe it's the fact that I don't want to wash a hundred bottles a week.  I dislike washing dishes. Or perhaps it's the fact that I am a normal new mother riding the emotional post-partum hormone roller coaster.


Iris said...

I have two friends that had to switch to formula and their babies were soooooo much better. One lady was literally on her end when, even on an extremely strict diet (no gluten, no milk, etc) her baby continued to cry from pain.....

Yes, breast feeding may be best but not best for every baby.....don't. I had more formula than breast milk because my mom could not produce enough. ☺

Don't feel guilty.


Jenny said...

Aww hang in there! Whatever you decide to feed August, I am sure he will turn out healthy and happy. I know it's hard, but try not to give in to the guilt. I never had a drop of breast milk from my mom, and I turned out just fine! :-)

Anonymous said...

You might look into getting a wrap (a woven one will work for the longest and even big babies/toddlers). If he is happy when you hold him, if you wear him, your hands are free and he is happy. Good skin to skin and closeness does amazing things for baby anyways.

Formula? yeah, that's a hard decision. I went dairy free for a few months (and then egg free, which turned out to be the true culprit), and then Little Man outgrew the issues -- that is his intestines matured enough. But I have a good friend who finally had to ween her babies because she was at gluten, egg, dairy, soy and corn free, and was struggling to figure out what to eat. I certainly understand, I think I'd starve at that point.

Jolien said...

Moms are just weird like that. Whatever you choose, it's your choice, meaning: mom's choice and it's a good one. <3 Believe in yourself.

Wish you all the best!

By the way, what I mentioned last time about my friends, I learnt in the mean time that "kiss syndrome" is what my friend's baby is being treated for. Noticed that most of the info is in Dutch/German, but there is English info available as well.

Anonymous said...

Hello there! My name is Katie and I just stumbled across your blog through a friend. I was reading this post and wanted to let you know I know how you feel! Being a first time mom (she's 14 months old now) I didn't realize how guilty I would feel about things, and how guilty others would make me feel. When I had to switch over to formula, the lactation consultant that had been hounding me from the day my daughter Sophia was born, made me feel like total trash. That is just one of multiple instances I could name.
But here is why I no longer feel guilty, and why I believe it was best for both me and my daughter.

When Sophie was born they told me I couldn't leave the delivery room until I fed her. So I tried and tried and TRIED to get that little baby to nurse for 2 hours and she just wouldn't latch on. Back in recovery room (without her eating more than a couple drops) I kept trying. After a 15 feeding of excruciating pain (I'm talking worse than labor!)I called the nurse who told me discomfort was normal and I should keep trying. She said the baby would get it and so would I. So I kept trying and ended up so bruised and swollen and sore I could barely stand to wear clothes. The lactation consultant tried a few different things. After a couple weeks with a shield that was incredibly annoying and still didn't work very well, I switched to pumping. My baby wasn't getting much to eat, and she was small and needed more than what she was getting. So I started pumping. Lord it was so awful. I hated doing it. I hated the machine. It made me feel weird. I hated washing it every 3 hours. Literally I would pump, wash it, and maybe get an hour off before the lactation consultant said I should be pumping again. It made me super irritable. And that is not good for me, my baby, or my poor husband who wanted the best for me and our daughter but really couldn't help in this area at all. After pumping a couple weeks I noticed my supply was decreasing. Consultant said wake up at night and pump. As if I wasn't already waking up enough, now I was supposed to get up an extra time and pump on that dreaded machine?!?! I was miserable. So after 6 weeks, I quit and switched to formula.
My daughter gained weight a lot better. I was a lot happier. I had a lot more time to get the rest I needed, and to spend time with Sophie rather than always sitting around pumping. Sophia is 14 months old now and is a very healthy and happy child. She walked steadily at 11 months, and is developing verbally as normal. I really would like to nurse any future children, but if it doesn't work, I'm not going to sweat it. I didn't have a single drop of breast milk as a baby and I turned out great! :)

Society has so many standards and a lot of it is garbage. You are her mom. Your situation is different than anyone else's. You are the only one able to make the best choice for her and for yourself. :)

Hope it helped to hear a story of someone who went through a similar trial.

Good luck!

Tamara D. said...

Hi! I am a long time reader, but usually never leave comments :) my little guys are almost exactly the same ages as your two older boys! I just wanted to lend some support as both my kids had food sensitivities while nursing... Both to dairy and my younger one to gluten too, and we have since found out he has issues with eggs as well! It definitely feels overwhelming at times. I hope you are able to make a choice that feels right for you, as the very most important thing he needs is a healthy and happy mama! If you decide to continue nursing and exploring food sensitivities and are looking for resources or links or have questions (we have been dairy free forever and the first few weeks are the most overwhelming), feel free to email! Tamdeford at yahoo dot ca. Good luck with your decision and your journey... We mamas put way too much pressure on ourselves to make perfect decisions. I'm sure whatever you decide will be the best choice for your little family :)

Kristie said...

I made outfits for all my kids. The only one who actually wore it when they were blessed was my son. The girls have theirs, but they weren't done in time to wear on the big day. I figure that if they have it in the long run, that is what is important. They know mom loved them enough to have something special for them.
I had to do the elimination stuff for each kid. Thankfully it was pretty easy to figure it out. But I wasn't already doing a gluten free diet or anything.
Do what works best for you. Because what works best for you, isn't the same as what works best for me. If the nurse with my last baby had listened to me, he may not have ended up in the NICU. (he wasn't breastfeeding, and I said I was going to breastfeed. But knowing my body, it wasn't going to happen until we got home. He ended up with low blood sugar, which sometimes indicates an infection, so they put him in the NICU.)
Anyway. Listen to yourself. Your body, your kids. Hand washing does stink, but maybe it will be worth it, and help you get away from the new mother hormones.
Good Luck!

Anonymous said...

I had similar with my youngest. To cut long story short, I had to cut ALL dairy and soya from my diet and she thrived, just a little sneaky cookie and she'd suffer pain. By doing this she was diagnosed with a milk protein allergy and a soya intolerance. I lost way too much weight and so was told by the doctors to wean onto a special formula. It was hard and I felt bad. Needless to say, my daughter is very healthy and grew out of the allergy completely by the time she was 2 and a half.
With hindsight, if I'd gone straight to formula it would have made her so much worse as she needed a special one and I'm glad the paediatricians guided us through the process. I'd advise going to the doctors for their help.
By the way, my boys were both formula fed fairly early on and they're very fit, clever and healthy. I think the food we feed them after weaning has more of an effect personally. Good luck x x

Julia @ Blue-J Cottage said...

Oh mama! You are doing great! Holding your baby is all he needs right now, even if it means he doesn't have a hand made outfit. I too would feel the same as you...the guilt, the pressure, the regret... There will be plenty of handmade outfits to come, I'm sure! And as for formula vs BM, I think you are right... You have to be healthy too! If supplementing with formula (or going full fledge formula) will hopefully help, do it! I mean after all it's worth a shot, right? Good luck!

Maria said...

I love you so much right now. :)
I don't remember if I ever posted a comment on your blog, although I read it for more than a year. But, if I didn't, now is the moment to do it.
Giult comes with mothership. I would say that guilt comes with parentship, but I noticed that, even when he feels guilty, my husband has an air of "well, if we turned up pretty well, then those little ones will do just perfect - in spite of or because of our mistakes".
So, think of this period of time as another trial on your path: you don't have to be perfect, you have to be loving.