im a first time mom, and for the length of my pregnancy I was dead set on breastfeeding. I tried unsuccessfully for a year to get pregnant before my daughter was conceived and I wanted to do everything right for her. I wanted to do it badly, though I was bottle fed and never actually knew anyone who breastfed their babies. I had also had a breast reduction surgery when I was 14. That was 7 years ago, and I was sure that I could overcome the challenges.
Then my baby came. She had to be induced, which after hours of hard labor turned into am emergency cesarean section. I hadn't wanted an epidural so I ended up being completely unconscious when she was born. I woke up an hour later and didn't get to breastfeed her for another hour after that.
She latched on well and seemed to be doing well for two days. On the third day in the hospital when I put her to my breast, she screamed bloody murder. She arched her back and fought me with a rigor unheard of in newborns.
I struggled through and got her fed. The next day the fighting continued, made worse by the fact that my nipples were so flat I had to use a nipple shield, which would come off as soon as she began to thrash.
The struggle started taking its toll immediately and I got really stressed. However when we left the hospital she was jaundiced but hadn't lost as much of her birthweight as most babies, so I was hopeful that things would work out.
Her first appointment with a pediatrician the day after we came home revealed a rapid weight loss, leading the dr. To strongly suggest I supplement with formula. It made me so sad to give it to her, but after she took her first bottle she looked at me and smiled for the first time.
I cried like a baby. All that fighting and screaming replaced by a sweet smile all because of something as evil as formula. I hated the formula but I was confident that she would get back to breastfeeding happily.
My husband and I paid to rent a hospital grade pump because I was still bound and determined to feed her my breast milk, though I was heart broken that for whatever reason she wouldn't nurse.
She continued to fight and scream, and she doesn't seem happy when I even hold her, like she's just dreading something she hates. Every time I pump it makes me feel like a failure and I cry and cry at the thought of her not wanting to nurse from me.
I took her to a lactation consultant today and was nicely told that I would probably always have to supplement, and that my baby was the hardest baby to breastfeed that she had seen in her 30 years of practice.
I'm now struggling with the decision to quit breastfeeding altogether. I know it's best for her and I want so badly to do it for her, but pumping makes me so miserable that I don't even enjoy my time with my baby, and nursing her involves so much screaming and fighting that I wonder if we'd both be happier just giving up the ghost.
I know If I stop completely I'll drown even deeper in guilt, but if I don't then I'm only prolonging the misery for both of us and delaying the inevitable day when I can't pump enough for her anyway.
I know a week is early to give up, and I'm absolutely heartbroken at the thought, but if I have to hold my baby down and force something in her mouth between screams, is it really worth it? I know pumping is the alternative, but it's just a constant reminder of what I can't do. I feel like I'm stuck in quicksand and I'm afraid if I don't make a decision and get fully behind it soon I'm going to keep being miserable and miss out on these special days with my newborn.
What should I do?