Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Moral Dilemnas

Being a mom is a lot like walking a tightrope. While trying to juggle at the same time.

There are so many responsibilities pulling you in different directions.

Samantha pulls me one way, Workaholic another, Charlotte a third.

And then my emotions/hormones pull me in an entirely different direction.

Everyone always told us how easy we had it with Sam. From what I remember, she was a delightful child, and at 7 1/2 weeks, started sleeping through the night. That soon translated to 12 hours, and happy during the day, with a few naps. I attribute this to the E.A.S.Y. routine, which I am trying my damndest to get Charlie on. I often don't remember the hard times I went through with Sam, so why should everyone else?

***On a side note, Sam has definitely become her own person, and she isn't sure about this new little attention-stealer. For example, just now, I was trying to put Charlie to sleep. I feed her every 3 hours, she is up for about an hour, and then she must sleep. So I swaddle her, give her a pacifier, and sit quietly with her in her room, which used to be Sam's room. In that room, since we moved in, there are vertical blinds that go to the floor. Sam never once touched those blinds in the 19 months she lived there. Now?? When I am trying to sit quietly with Charlie, she comes in and pushes the blinds aside. Which makes all kinds of racket. And wakes up the previously almost-asleep Charlie. When I told her not to do it, she collapsed dramatically on the floor and USED HER TOES to move the blinds ever so slightly. ARE YOU KIDDING ME???

So Charlie has gas. For a long time, we thought she was crying a lot because she didn't poop. But now, I realize it is gas. For another long time, we thought her gas was due to formula, or my parent's well water. We now realize that isn't true. It doesn't matter if she has all breastmilk or a little formula, her gas will knock you on your ass, it is so foul. It is painful, and keeps her from being able to fall asleep, and considering I am trying to get her to sleep every 3 hours during the day...well...let's just say that I get frustrated. To say the least.

Which brings me to another point...I told my pediatrician a long time ago that she had the most awful smelling gas on the face of this Earth. And I was told that is normal. Today, I was told, "THAT IS NOT NORMAL." Are you kidding me??? Of course it isn't normal, but we could have started diagnosing this issue weeks ago!!

Last night, after both Workaholic and I spent what seemed like forever trying to comfort Charlie, Workaholic convinced me to do a test. Give her only soy-based formula for at least 24 hours. No breastmilk. As excited as I was about having to walk downstairs to prepare a bottle in the middle of the night, I agreed. Something wasn't right.

And knock-on-wood, so far, so good. I know I have proclaimed victory here before, so I'll try to be a little more subdued. But she has only had the Enfamil ProSobee since bedtime last night. Her gas wasn't smelly in the middle of the night, and she has had much less. What she had this morning wasn't nearly as foul. And?? And??? She pooped!! After only 4 days!! I did talk to my pediatrician, and she got me to thinking about formula versus breastmilk...which is what I mean by being pulled in different directions.

Everyone knows that "breast is best". I sort of don't mind breastfeeding. It can be quite annoying, seeing as how I don't actually know how much food Charlie is getting, and if I do give formula, I have to pump. Or if I will be out all day and have someone else watching Charlie, I have to pump. Or if I want to get a good night's sleep and she only ate off of one side, I have to pump. So let's just say that I don't LOVE breastfeeding like many moms do. I do it because it is best for the baby, it saves me money on formula, and I am lazy in the middle of the night.

But Charlie seems to have a problem with my breastmilk. And there is a good chance that the root of the problem is the lactose in cow's milk. And the only way to test that is for me to NOT EAT DAIRY. My pediatrician said that even testing it for 72 hours would give us an idea if that is the problem. So in addition to all the annoying aspects of breastfeeding, now I can't have milk, or yogurt, or cheese. And I also must check the ingredients of prepared food to make sure there isn't whey or some other crap in there that is considered cow's milk.

And here is my problem. Am I a terrible person if I would much rather just put Charlie on a soy-based formula and stop breastfeeding if cow-based lactose is the problem? Because if that is the problem, I can't eat dairy. At all. NO CHEESE. NO CHOCOLATE MILK. I am not sure I can do it. Does that make me a terrible mom? I am good at breastfeeding...but I am not sure I can handle such an adjustment. All of the "breast is best" advocates out there proclaim how it is such a personal decision, but once you quit breastfeeding, I feel like people look at you cross-eyed. So do I take the looks or go hungry? Amber Page even recently wrote about this very same subject!

I told you I am on a tightrope.


Pamela said...

You are NOT a bad person. If I had to drastically alter my diet to keep breastfeeding my son, I probably would have switched to formula too. If you can afford the switch, do it. Also, Mylocon (those drops for gas), I know I killed the spelling... it works wonders!

Anonymous said...

Choose your battles. Which battle are you more likely to win? Formula or milk free diet? When all is said and done, that will be the best result for Charlie.

Amber Page Writes said...

Do what's best for you - and keeps you happy. Because a happy mama makes for a happy baby...and an unhappy mama makes everyone miserable.

Good luck.