This picture is of my husband and son the day he turned 1 month old. That was the day we went from feeling awesome about ourselves as new parents to wondering what the heck happened. During our first month as new parents our baby was a perfectly predictable alarm clock who politely notified me every 2-3 hours that it was time to eat. Then suddenly, a flip switched and our baby refused to eat and would scream uncontrollably all day. Before this day I was
plugging struggling along with breastfeeding. I was incredibly proud of myself for enduring my 12 hour long appointments with my adorable cheese grater, despite horrible nipple pain and a mastitis infection. When our baby was 29 days old I distinctly remember thinking “it finally doesn’t hurt anymore, I think I can do this whole breastfeeding thing!” Fast forward 24 hours and this was the image:
Around 8:00 pm my husband held my child who decided to replace eating with screaming. I stood at the kitchen sink wearing just my pajama pants and my “My Breast Friend” pillow strapped around my waist. I filled my first bottle of formula, with tears streaming down my face, hysterically sobbing “I’m not ready to quit breastfeeding, but my baby just won’t eat!” My husband and I decided it was time to quit breastfeeding because the stress it caused pushed me past my breaking point. We tried feeding our baby his first bottle of formula, but he screamed at that too. We were at our wits end. In desperation we put our baby in his bassinet and closed the door. By some miracle he fell asleep which gave me 2 hours to pull myself together before his next feed. During this time I read the only piece of advice that has worked for us every time we get to that desperate place. Just give it two weeks. The next two weeks were very hard. He continued to scream at every feed. We saw a lactation consultant and tried every gadget and gismo that Babies R Us had in the breastfeeding aisle. Finally, two weeks later I got my old baby back. This 2 week rule has worked for me every time I found myself at the point of desperation. During each two week period, 1 of 2 things would happen:
The biggest thing I’ve learned in the transition to parenthood is that every baby is different. You are the expert on your baby. Because my baby was healthy, I found this 2 week rule to work every time. Obviously, other babies have health issues and other factors to consider. Trust your instincts and if you think something is seriously wrong and it can’t wait two weeks, do what you need to do for your baby. As I sit here admiring my 6 month old baby I am incredibly proud that we made it this far. We aren’t just surviving anymore. We are thriving.