Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Green Milk and the Bad Break Up

I am nearing the end of a really bad and painful break up. No, my marriage is still intact. It is with nursing. Thomas just wasn’t that into it. At first, he nursed like a champ. He was done really quickly, no fussing so I was feeling really good about it. And then there was the first nursing strike. Three weeks later there was another one. When he came back from his strike, he would bob on and off like he was bobbing for apples. I was so confused. But during those nursing strikes, he would shriek and cry like he was in pain. So I gave him a bottle and that calmed him down. I was confused because he hadn’t had a lot of bottles at that point. After much sleuthing, I figured I had really fast let down and coupled with his acid reflux/colic, he could enjoy eating more from the bottle. Emotionally, that was really hard to accept since I nursed Marie for 11 months. Wasn’t I supposed to make things equal and fair for both kids? Not to mention the pressure to breast feed is enormous! I felt so guilty! (And still do). But breast feeding wasn’t working for him. When I gave him the bottle, he ate so peacefully. When he would nurse, it would have to be in a quiet, dark room so he wouldn’t get distracted. Marie was having issues with me always mysteriously missing. Thomas would cry after eating, and I wouldn’t know if he had had enough or what was wrong. When I say crying, that is an understatement. It was the most painful, horrible crying I had ever heard. When I would try to put him back on, he would arch and cry even more. I should also mention that I wasn’t a breast feeding so much for the emotional connection because I felt that I was able to achieve that through other ways. I mainly breast fed for the nutritive values. I felt that I was robbing him by give him *gasp* formula! Here was my question: Do I push for breast feeding at the cost of his enjoyment of eating and the stress it was putting on my family or do I what would make him most comfortable? I chose not to push my agenda and go with what would make him happy. So now Thomas is an official bottle-fed baby. He seems much less fussy, and although I don’t think the bottle was the only factor, but it definitely helped.

So I thought that would be the end of it. I would slowly wean my production with the pump and be done with it. My body did not want to accept the fact that Thomas just wasn’t that into me. After I was down to one pumping session a day, my milk turned green. It was similar in color to a McDonald’s shamrock shake. I eventually called the doctor, and they wanted to see me. When I showed Nurse Practitioner S the color, she was not too shocked by that, but by the amount I was still producing. I could still produce up to 8 ounces! (Seriously, I would have been the village wet nurse). To my shock and horror, they tested me for “irregular cells” (read: cancer) and bacteria. Thankfully they turned out negative. So Nurse S tested for blood. None. She was still shocked that after a week of not pumping, I still was super engorged. So I had to choose between two courses of action: a ductogram, which is really invasive procedure with needles and radioactive dye or wait for my milk to dry up and go for an exam. I choose the second one since she didn’t think the ductogram would be really helpful or necessary.

So here I am, still waiting for my body to accept the fact it is just not needed in that way anymore. I am sad (and concerned), but I feel isn’t that what having kids is all about: letting go of my expectations and doing what is best for them? I guess it would be easier to move on if my body cooperated. Anyway –

Has anyone out there ever had to adjust their expectations in order to do right by their kids? And have you ever heard of anyone having green milk that was not related to diet?


Unknown said...

UM vs. WMU are among the times this mom had to adjust her expectations in order to do right by her daughter.

Zoe said...

I just wrote about this very topic on my blog for Eli! I never had green milk but I did have pink milk because of blood. It was really gross. As far as expectations go, I feel like God has been trying to teach me the lesson of grace and humility otherwise known as "accept that you're not in control" all my life. Having kids and wanting to do right by them has been the ultimate gotcha in that department. I'm really trying to learn but it sure doesn't come naturally.