Monday, September 1, 2008

Trust

I never thought I had trust issues, heh heh. And maybe that's not even the way to say it. But as the weeks progress, I realize that my worries could be resolved with just a little more trust.

Each day I get more and more attached to my son, which is a great thing really. I feel personally responsible for every aspect of his well-being. He's my guy. But I have acknowledged that when Aaron is taking care of our little guy and he starts crying, I can't help but run to his aid, even when I know Dad is doing all that can be done. Partly I feel like this is my job, and if I let someone help me then I'm failing at my job. But more and more I realize I just WANT to be the one that provides the comfort, the one that solves the problem -- the one that he needs. In the early weeks I really felt that Sam was more comfortable in anyone else's arms than he was in mine. Now that he and I have started to understand each other better, I see how I can be the preferred arms, and I like that. But not letting Aaron comfort Sam not only causes me undue concern and work, but, more importantly, it also undermines Aaron and interrupts his chance to bond with our son. Ugh. I didn't want to be a wife like that, but it's hard not to be a mother like that. It's hard not to be a baby hog. Heck, he's my baby -- we'd been physically attached for over nine months and only separate for nearly two.

I had a more difficult time giving him up to others this weekend as we had Great Grandma Nemec and Aunt Sarah Nemec visiting. I had to consciously share my little guy, and I think it was good for me. And good for Sam, Great Grandma, and Aunt Sarah too! I don't believe that it's a lack of trust in others, but sometimes it seems like it's a lack of trust in general -- a lack of trust that things will work out even if I don't worry about them or solve them myself. Or maybe lack of trust that I will still be his primary comfort even if others do some of the comforting. I don't know.

Another example of where I lack trust that things are going ok. I got my period today. Yes, I'm exclusively breastfeeding. I think we are averaging every three hours (ranging from every two to four or so hours). MOST exclusively breastfeeding mamas get the pleasure of no menstruation for at least five months or so -- many don't see the return of their periods the whole time they are breastfeeding (often a year or two). Not me. I get it after two stinkin' months. Grrr. I of course, am all freaked out. Why am I getting my period? Am I not breastfeeding enough? Am I not producing enough milk? Is it because we use a pacifier? Yes, I have read many a site that says that using a pacifier is related to early return of periods. I suppose this is because the idea is that the pacifier is prolonging time between feedings, decreasing feeding times, decreasing milk production, etc. etc. I don't know. I know my milk production has gone down because of the decreased feeling of fullness (by the way, increased feeding on my right side evened that out, and my left side has gone down a bit so they are pretty equal, though I think left side is indeed naturally more productive) but Sam is still eating well, getting big, seeming happy, and filling lotsa diapers. I have no real signs that Sam is NOT getting the food he needs, so why do I still worry?? The thing is, I think if I didn't know that I wasn't "supposed" to get my period I probably wouldn't think much of it. If I just paid attention to my baby and my body I would be able to trust that things were going the way they should be -- no warning signs after all. But instead, I worry. I read that bleeding after 56 days after delivery is considered menstruation. I'm like 53 days or something. So what does that mean? And could it really be telling me that I'm not feeding my big boy enough?? He doesn't seem like he's hurting for food. I really need to just trust that things are going the way they should be. Why is it so hard not to worry??

There has been a bit of a change in his eating, I suppose. Some of what I read said that when babies start feeding less at night, menstruation might resume. Well, Sam is doing good at his night sleeping. He usually starts off giving us a 4-5 hour stretch of sleep, followed by two 3-hour stretches -- with only a feeding and diaper change in between while he's still sorta half asleep. Pretty nice! Maybe that's influencing this change, I dunno.

Ok, so a feeding question for all of you breastfeeding moms out there (who have made it all the way through this lengthy post) to help me determine if I am somehow not feeding my babe enough -- when did/do you feed? Did you watch the clock? Did you feed at the very first signs of rooting? My guy shoves his hands in his mouth and that's my trigger. But he also of course likes to just suck on stuff and sticks his tongue in and out and all that, so I don't think EVERY time he is mouthing at stuff he wants to eat, right? I mean, the mouth is one of the ways he learns to explore the world, right? Anyway, if you wanna share what signals you followed let me know. For now, I try to do a combination watch the clock/watch his signs to decide when to feed. And I think it's absolutely ridiculous that I'm still worried that my giant baby might not be getting enough, but the worry isn't whether he has gotten enough SO FAR it's about whether he will continue to get enough. Sigh. I guess worrying just comes with the territory. Let me know your thoughts.

Anyway, here are a couple of pics of Sam with his relatives!


3 comments:

margaret e said...

I had the same protective feeling about not wanting to share my babies. Maybe it's a wired in instinct to keep moms on task.

I remember feeling less full of milk as the babies grew older. I believe it is quite common.

Sam looks wonderfully round and peaceful. He's a beauty! You're lucky to have him sleep so well at night.

IME said...

Bummer about the period -- I bet the 4-5 hour stretches of sleep are what triggered its return (it's great that he's sleeping that long already!!). Both of my kids used a paci and I don't think it impacted their nursing at all. In my experience (which, granted, wasn't entirely typical any way you slice it), after the first month or two of bfing, your production evens out and you stop getting that overfull feeling as much (unless you go extra long between feeds), even though you're producing plenty of milk. If Sam is filling diapers and gaining weight nicely, he's totally getting enough milk. As for nursing schedule, I watched the clock and paid attention to the baby's cues. If it had been 2 1/2 - 3 hours since the last feed and they were rooting around or eating their hands, I knew it was time to nurse. But, sometimes they'd want to eat at different interval, both shorter and longer, and I'd just feed them when it seemed like they wanted to eat. If it makes you feel better, I always was concerned about my babies nursing enough, even when it was obvious that my big, fat babies were definitely not underfed! :)

margaret e said...

Also I believe it is highly unlikely that you should lose your ability to produce enough milk for Sam in the future, unless you were to have a serious illness or (yikes!) become pregnant.