Monday, August 23, 2010

Confessions of an At-Home Mom

I'm starting to wonder if I should change the name of my blog to just that... "Confessions of an At-Home Mom".

Now back to what I want to confess about...

*DISCLAIMER - This post is personal. It's about me. It's about my son. My life. My family. It's about what means most to me and if you do take the time to read it and leave a comment, please be respectful. All comments are reviewed and nasty comments will be deleted. If you do feel the need to judge me and want to leave a nasty comment, please feel free to email me directly at: stephanie[at]mynewlifeasmom[dot]com.*

Today was an interesting day. It started off well at home, relaxing with my boys. Today was J's 9 month appointment and we had to be there by 1 o' clock pm. We made it on time, as usual and got all set up. He was weighed, measured and poked. He received one shot and we talked about the last couple months of J's development as well as how I've been handling mother hood.

J - 9m 11d
17 pounds 10 ounces - 7th Percentile
28 1/2 inches long - 50th Percentile
18 1/2 inch head - 75th Percentile

As for how I'm handling motherhood, great! There were a few things I wanted to ask about, however.

One. I find myself getting grumpy over the dumbest things. It's been getting more frequent and I hate it. Not with J, so much, but more with adults. I've been talking to my friends and some of the things they say just get my goat and I seriously just want to tell them to screw off. I get pissed off and snap back. Up until the last couple days I've blamed it on them. I've wondered what's crawled up their butt and why they were taking it out on me. Now? Now I realize that maybe it wasn't them after all. I've been getting pretty 'snappy' with everyone lately and I feel like such a horrible friend. Who would do such a thing to those they love? I hate that I've treated people this way.

Two. Everyday has put a tighter and tighter strain on mine and J's breastfeeding relationship. I love nursing him. It's so easy! What I don't love, however, is that his top teeth are causing such a problem with our latch/nursing experience. The more they grow in, the more painful it becomes and the harder it is to nurse him. I have nursed him for 9.5 months and every day has become harder. My goal has always been to make it to one year. It would devastate me to give up early. Not only because I want to give my son the very best for the first year of life, but also because I would be embarrassed to tell someone (later in life) that I stopped at 9 months. I am so damn competitive that I simply can't give up now. If others can make it a year, I have to, too. However, when I am crying every single time he nurses, this is where it becomes a problem and we need to rethink our planning. I've tried every different position. Every different latching technique and every different tool that I can think of. He wont take a nipple shield, at all. He just tries to bite it, which makes it worse.

Not to mention that I'm so tired lately that everything is making it worse. I love my dr and trust him with our lives. He explained that the mood shift is par for the course. He thinks that a teething baby, lack of sleep, extreme pain when nursing, etc... is the cause for my moodiness and I'm right at the cusp of things getting better. J will get a little bit older and a little less needy. A little easier in a since. (harder in another). We talked about when we should wean and what would be an appropriate time. His comment was, "9 months is an honorable amount of time to breastfeed! If you feel like nursing is contributing to your mood swings, it's not worth it to continue. Sometimes sanity for the entire family is a little more important than continuing to nurse." The one thing that helps me with this is that he will only be on formula for 2.5 months which, in turn, isn't an extreme amount of time to be on it before he can go to cows milk. However, I don't want to feel like a failure to him or anyone else I know. I want to make it to 12 months. Oh how I wish to make it to 12 months. I want it to be easy for me or even tolerable but when you're nursing a piranha, it's a little difficult when you think that this could go on for another TWO.AND.A.HALF.MONTHS! He has to be in the PERFECT position and that takes some work, some things to prop him up and a wide space for me to sit on. It's definitely not easy, but it works, for now. Nursing in public, however, fail!

On top of all of this, Senior and I have been way too busy (and exhausted) lately to do pretty much anything. We've had a hard time keeping up with daily chores and one thing that has gone to the way side is laundry. I've been able to keep up with diapers but it's getting very difficult. The system that I have current (and even the one I want to get) will require me to use half the stash on day one while the second half is in the laundry. Then while the first half is being washed on day two, the second half will be used. So essentially I'm still doing one load of laundry per day. PLUS, it's not just a load of laundry. It's in the washer for 3 wash/rinse cycles and in the dryer for 2 full drying cycles. It ends up taking up space for like 4 hours and when you only have a few hours a day to get house work done.. it can be a chaotic mess. I've been so exhausted that the last thing I want to be doing at the end of the day is spraying out cloth diapers or staying up late to get them finished, as I have been. I mean it's bad enough that J gets up 4-5 times per night. I'd kind of like to get some sleep at some point.

Needless to say, decisions had to be made at some point in time. I try not to say I failed but I have a hard time not thinking that. My mom hit the nail on the head when she said, "You can't think of it as you failed! You have to think of it as he's growing up and moving from one point of his life... to another. He's extremely healthy and has received the absolute best for 9.5 months! What more can you ask for?" It will take a while for me to get this through my head though, I'm sure.

As a family we've decided two things and come to a realization in the process. We will continue breastfeeding but at home only. J is a large kid and I am a small mom. J is almost half my size and it's so hard to try to get him latched on in a position that doesn't just kill me. Then I have no room to prop him up (football hold - only one that even helps the pain) so he's squirming, trying to nurse, screaming because he's not getting anything and I'm trying to get my boob in his mouth, hold him in the right position, hold the nursing cover down, hold his hands from pinching my boob (to get it in his mouth). Etc. It's an endless battle that is completely impossible without getting milk EVERYWHERE, soaking my outfit AND his.. showing the entire room my breast and having him scream because it's just not working as he'd like it to. We will nurse at home and formula feed when we're out in public. (We're usually only out 2 days per week so I'm okay with that.)

We've also decided to switch back to disposable diapers. I know how bad this sounds and I truly feel awful about it but when it comes down to it.. I NEED the help from my husband and he just doesn't understand cloth diapers. He doesn't get it, regardless of how many times I show him. It confuses him. You should see the way my son comes out with the diaper on. Many times the front flaps are hanging out his leg holes and many many times it has leaked and it's useless. Not to mention that J is having HORRIBLE diaper rash. He has a very strong pee and lately has had a horrible bout with diarrhea. I've put him in disposables to save the cloth diapers from the nastiness. Not only is it EVERYWHERE but it gives him instant diaper rash. The only way I can even keep it under control is to SLATHER on some extra strength diaper rash cream. It prevents future potty from coming in contact with his skin. (I've removed foods from our diet, looked at everything we've done and can't figure out what's causing it.. the dr is watching us both closely to see what's going on).

Lastly, we've realized that we need to stop worrying about what people will think of our decisions and do what is right for our family. Ultimately, when it comes down to it, our family is what matters and over all, we need to do what is right for us and do what keeps us sane.

Thank you for reading my vent. I guess I'm more just trying to get this out there, rather than looking for input. But please, feel free to leave comments if you'd like to.

IF YOU'RE LEAVING HATE MAIL, PLEASE EMAIL IT TO: stephanie[at]mynewlifeasmom[dot]com


  1. I am having the exact same breastfeeding issue. though its only been a few days since my daughters top tooth has come out. she only has one top tooth so it only hurts on the right nipple, and i havent noticed when i lay down. did you try that position?
    Just do what feels right for you, and really dont worry what others think, I am like that too.
    I hope everything works out for you!
    If you need to talk to someone in the same boat you can email me at
    here is my blog:

  2. I never breastfed any of my four so I really have no expertise but it seems like you are putting too much pressure on yourself to live up to a really high expectation. Maybe the little guy is trying to tell you that he is done...he quits. I hope you don't read this as offensive, I remember how trying it was bottle feeding (with a mood disorder) and I didn't even have to endure physical pain. Things will fall into place when they are meant to. :)

  3. Oh man. I'm so sorry you are having such an issue! I think your solution to nurse at home and do something else in public is probably a good idea for now. He will probably outgrow the wiggly screamy thing soon though so you could always try again later. Also, he is old enough to take a sippy cup now and you could try just giving him water or watered down juice when you are out if you really don't want to go the formula route. Or even just nurse in the car before or after you go out. I have had to do that with both of my boys for a bit around 9 months. They just get so active and nosey!

    For the cloth diapers, I have so been there too. lol. It sounds to me like maybe build up on the diapers is causing his bum to hurt. Switch to disposables for awhile and maybe try again later with the cloth.

    I hope any of that helps!

  4. Sounds like you are doing an excellent job. No judging here. I use disposable diapers and my boobs could not produce enough to keep up with Potato. He was put on formula at 3 weeks. I think you are doing what is best and who knows...that may all change tomorrow.

  5. You are awesome! You are doing great! I can only wish that I am as strong as you are! Many hugs!

  6. I think you've made some excellent decisions. Breastfeeding is so hard! I had a hard time in public also. I noticed that every time my son would cut a new set of teeth (he had his top teeth by 7 months) breastfeeding would be painful for a little while. Then, after a little while, it wouldn't hurt anymore. Until the next set of teeth came in! How long has J had his top teeth? Maybe it will be similar for you, and will get better after a little more time. Your choice to switch to disposables is in no-way a failure. You're ahead of the game as far as I'm concerned. I didn't even try my first cloth diaper until my son was like 18 months! And I still only have 4 (one thanks to you!!!!). Like I said you are far ahead of the game in every respect as far as I'm concerned!! You can always go back to cloth when your issues are resolved, or the time is right for you again. Good luck with all.

  7. With our journey with breastfeeding, I made it 5 months before I was pretty much forced to stop (we had a major house issue and ended up living with a relatives who didn't approve for several months) I still feel some guilt about it, but I was turning into a basket case constantly locking myself away in the bedroom to feed. I realize though, that whatever gives your child the best of you is what you should do - in my situation me not aching from being in bed all the time (the only place to nurse) and feeling resentment towards my son, was way better and more beneficial to him than the milk.

    With your situation, can you pump? If you can it may solve a lot of problems, because then nothing is biting you, and the milk bath won't be in public. It would add some time of course, but if you factor in the time your getting back from no longer doing cloth; it might be feasable for you.

    And in the end it doesn't matter what you do, your child won't be forever wounded in any way because of these issues. Just so long as you continue loving him, that's the most important thing.

  8. I think you should do what's best for your family, and it sounds like you are doing just that! I understand all your feelings, and have a tendency to over analyze myself constantly, so I get what you are going through.

    Just wanted to make a quick remark about the bouts of diarrhea. My kids, when teething really bad, will get horibble diarrhea. It is a side effect to teething.

    Hope you get some well needed rest.

  9. You're doing great! I stopped nursing my 4yo when she was 10.5 months. She wouldn't take ANY kind of bottle, sippy or anything, so I pumped and gave milk to her in a cup. Once she figured out she could take that cup wherever she decided to toddle, she was done with me. A suggestion, try goats milk instead of formula. It's a lot closer to breastmilk than formula, and *if* you can get it raw it has a lot of the immune support benefits of breastmilk. We raise dairy goats and have a customer that feeds her 6mo old goats milk during the day, breastfeeds at night. You can see if there's a raw milk farm by you at Once my son is ready to wean, we'll be doing the same thing. It might reduce a little of the stress of weaning. And there's no shame in using sposies, especially if he's got rash and diarrhea. Understand that you have to do what's best for your baby, but also your WHOLE family. That's part of being a wife and a mother. And when life slows down, you might be able to start up again. Have you called the LLL? They might be able to help with the latch issues, pediatricians don't cover some of that stuff, because it's half you, half him. When my son was born, my nipples tore really bad, and his dr couldn't do anything, even though they tore because of him, my dr prescribed some cream to help them heal, but she couldn't help with his latch. Sorry so long. I've been in both of those places with my kids and it does get easier. I believe the sposies make the rash worse, but it is worth a shot. At least so you can put cream on. My CDiaper store sells little fleece sheets to put over the diaper to protect the diaper from cream and then you can wash those with dawn or something to strip them. Just telling you what I know, hope some of it helps.

  10. I understand exactly what you mean by being competitive about breastfeeding. The whole first two months with my daughter were kinda ruined because I was so competitive and stubborn about nursing. I'll never get that time back!

    You just gotta do what's best for you and, like you decided, just don't worry what other people think. They aren't living your life so what the heck do they know?

  11. My dad likes to say that you can only do what you can do. It seems simple but it's very true. Do what's right for you and your family and don't worry what anybody else's not their life.

  12. Guess what? There's absolutely nothing wrong with disposable diapers or formula feeding. Nothing at all. You have worked your butt off to give your little one everything you can, and he's at the perfect age to introduce new things.

    A happy baby and a happy mommy is the priority, and people who justify picking on moms for their personal choices are just trying to validate their own decisions. I hope the new changes help, and feel free to forward any hate mail to me. I'll take care of 'em :)

  13. I completely understand how you feel about breastfeeding and manageing your expectations. I do have to tell are lucky that your little one will keep trying with all the trouble you're having. My plan was also to bf through 12 months (with NO other foods for 7 months)...and things were going perfectly. She got 2 upper teeth at 4 months, and by 8 months she also had 3 lower teeth...but we were still going strong. Then on day (at 8.5 months)...BAM! Baby girl wont nurse in the morning. Wierd, but I had lots of milk in the freezer so we fed her and I went to work. That night...she wont nurse again. Long story short...she never nursed again. All of a sudden she quit nursing...3.5 months before I wanted to wean her. I. was. devestated! I cried and cried every time I tried to nurse her (which went on for at least 10 days...I was convinced it was just a nursing strike)...and she cried and cried. Needless to say, she never nursed again and was on formula for about 3 months (I had enough frozen milk for 2 more weeks and to wean her onto formula).
    It was a very difficult time, and it's hard to believe that a baby can make those sorts of decisions...but the fact that you are upset by this transition shows how good of a mother you are. Breast milk is the best thing for babies, and nursing for 9.5 months has given your son the best start in life. He is healthy and happy...shouldn't you be too?

    Stay strong!

  14. ((HUGS)) mama... Keep up the good work, you're obviously trying your hardest to be the best mom you can be.

    I want to make it a year BF'ing my now 4 1/2 mo old son, but I try to take it one day at a time. I think you should be proud that you've made it 9 months!

    Do what works for you and your family... whether that is switching back to disposables or continuing BF'ing or not... do what works for you and don't worry about the rest!

    Good luck!!

  15. You can try using a breast pump. He will be drinking it out of a bottle but he will still be getting the breast milk that is so much better for him. Its no shame that he is hurting you. They all do it. Don't feel bad because you are not a failure. And about the dipers you can always use organic dipers. Everyone I know loved pampers and unfortunatly I don't know anyone who has used the organic ones but they are an option and you can always try them and see if you like them. I hope it works out for you.

  16. Stephanie, Ultimately you need to do what you can handle! It is more important for you to be a happy Mommy to Jeffie. Do not worry what other people think in life, someone will always disagree with what you are doing. I know it does not make it easy, but it is true. You know yourself, you know your family, and most importantly you know your son. Your son will not remember a lot of things, and he will remember if he had parents who loved him. I hope your new changes help you. Thinking about you!

  17. First of all, I think you deserve some congratulations for making it 9 1/2 months with the breastfeeding. I'm pretty sure you're well above the average. I didn't make it to 12 months with my 1st either (bf'ed for even less time w/ #2 & #3). It was incredibly painful for me too - maybe not many tears but LOTS of four-letter words! The bottom teeth I could handle but once the top teeth came in - OUCH! (not the 4-letter word I was referring to either.)
    Your baby has received a lot of benefit from the breastmilk he's already received. A couple months of formula won't hurt him.
    And you shouldn't feel bad for going back to disposables either. I didn't start cloth diapering until my 3rd, I'm still new at it, and sometimes have moments when I just say forget it and pull out a disposable. You can always go back to cloth diapering if you feel like it. You have to do what's right for your family at this moment in time. Situations can always change. Best of luck with it all. I'd say you're still doing great.

  18. I wanted to respond when I first read your post but as I'm sure you know the life of a mom gets busy at times...

    I just wanted to say that you are doing what's best for your family. If people have a problem with it they should keep it to themselves.

    I know that I have been blessed to nurse my 18 month old this long but am very aware of the fact that he's a calm nurser. I don't know what I'd do if he started using his chompers regularly! And I'm so sorry you aren't getting the support from your husband with cloth diapering. It truly is a team effort.

    Hopefully with these changes in your life you'll see less stress!

  19. I don't have kids yet, so I have no idea what you're going through, but I wish for you a lovely break, even if it's only an hour alone in a great big bubble bath! ♥

  20. I'm so sorry that your little J has diaper rash... that is so not fun at all. It can make for sleepless nights all by itself. And, disposable diapers aren't something that you should worry about using... especially when you're dealing with a rash. I've gone back to them several times, when our J has one of his bad rashes. I just pour on diaper paste and put on sposies... Because, thankyouverymuch, I don't want to ruin more of our diapers, like I did the first time. ;)

  21. if it helps at all... we've all been there and you are not alone. I admire you for looking at the problem and deciding to put your family first... and your decisions to change to formula/diapers IS PUTTING YOUR FAMILY FIRST AND DOING WHAT'S BEST!! That is a good thing. I am an older mother (and hopefully wiser :D) and I can tell you, that looking back 14 or 16 years ago when my girls were infants/toddlers and they had a cookie or two or we stopped nursing and guess what... it was a drop in the bucket of events in their lives and nobody can tell by looking at them... they are happy and healthy... so try not to sweat the small stuff.


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