Things that make me emotional post-partum

There were a ton of things that would lead me to burst into tears in the weeks following my delivery of Nate and some of them are the same as what makes me burst into tears now, with Gabby, but some are different.  So far, the following things have led to me crying for periods of time on end – nothing major like hour long crying sprees, but definitely crying sprees nonetheless:

1. To breastfeed or not to breastfeed or something in between?  I felt a TON of pressure to breastfeed both Nate and Gabby and I understand why it’s important to do so. Colustrum (the stuff that is there before your milk comes in) and the breastmilk have a ton of nutrients and immunities that you just don’t get necessarily (immunity wise at least) from formula. And then there’s the bonding thing too.  I had a really hard time with Nate – I was in a lot of pain because I had to have an emergency c-section.  I couldn’t pick him and position him without having pain in my abdomen.  And that wasn’t conducive to anything. I also struggled with significant post partum depression- nothing like what Brooke Shields had and nothing like psychosis (think Andrea Yates) but that made caring for myself, let alone a newborn, very difficult. I ended up pumping into bottles for the first six months of Nate’s life and feeding him breastmilk this way and it worked. I have decided to do that with Gabby too because we have had to supplement with her and once we started doing that, she refused to latch on. I still want her to get the benefits of breastmilk for as long as i can provide that to her but i just can’t do the breastfeeding thing- I get stressed out and frustrated and start to cry and it’s just not a good experience for either of us.  And I bond with her when I feed her now with breastmilk in bottles. I talk to her. I look at her face. We make eye contact. I was honestly a wreck in coming to this decision though. I felt guilty – like a bad parent and like I was useless because I couldn’t do this. It’s the worst feeling in the world. And I know that I’m going to be judged for pumping into bottles and feeding my child this way and that bothers me too. I know that I shouldn’t let it bother me but it does – a lot. 

2. Nate. I want him to feel like we still love him so much and that this hasn’t changed because we have Gabby and because we have to give her a lot of attention right now. i’ve been trying to make a big deal of him – I get him little presents. We watched a movie together today and we held hands during it. Does anyone have any suggestions about how to make a sibling feel ok about a new addition and to still feel all right?


3 thoughts on “Things that make me emotional post-partum

  1. Just wanted to send *hugs*. I hope the pumping goes well; I can sympathize. It’s hard to understand if you’ve never done it or gone through a hard time with it. You’re doing great.

  2. First of all, I wish you didn’t feel so bad about the breast feeding thing. That makes me sad. You are giving her a gift as it is, and you’re right, the stress isn’t good for any of you.
    As for Nate, I would just go about business as usual as much as you can. Kids find comfort in the routine of things as much as anything else. Boundaries and rules also bring security, because they also show you still care how he behaves and is growing. So things like washing his hands, making sure he eats well, and naps/sleeps well, bathes… Those things show him you are still caring for him in a real way, you may just want to articulate some of that along with some extra cuddles.
    You are doing GREAT Melissa.

  3. Can you give Nate a special assignment to keep him involved with Gabby? Can he help in bathing–be there to hold the towel? Could he have a job to read her a little story at night or to say a little prayer for her before she goes to sleep?

    Are you able to designate or schedule special time for just you and him? a half hour of time just to do something thats special to him–talking to him about his school day–or say having your husband care for Gabby while you sit on the couch with Nate and just talk? and then you switch off?

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