Monday, October 5, 2009

On your worst day...

Anyone who knows me even a little bit knows that I'm a die-hard breastfeeding advocate.  I breastfed Abby for fifteen months, through severe engorgement, her terrible tongue thrust, cracked and bleeding nipples, and the first three months of my pregnancy with her sister.  I breastfed Ashlynn for two and a half years.  I'm going on eleven months with Max, and we've lasted through just about everything.  We kept breastfeeding when I couldn't get a decent latch and no one could help it get better, we kept breastfeeding when the doctors told us he was at risk from aspiration, we kept breastfeeding through major skull sugery and a week in the PICU, and we kept breastfeeding when we discovered a few weeks ago that his upper lip was tied and he had to have minor surgery to have it clipped. I've breastfed so far for a cumulative fifty-six months.  That's almost four and a half years.

But tossing all that aside, I hit my worst breastfeeding day this weekend.  A week ago, I was laying down nursing Max when he chomped down on my nipple and then pulled off.  I screamed, he screamed, (and no, we did not all scream for ice cream) and I discovered that my nipple was bleeding in four places.  It hurt terribly, but I decided to stick it through since I could mostly just nurse on the other side while that one healed.  Then a few nights later, I was nursing Max in the middle of the night.  I was  dead asleep and woken up by another chomp.  I sat up in bed screaming.  (If you ever want to give you husband a heart attack, sitting up and screaming at three in the morning is the way to do it.  I'm not sure he's forgiven me yet.) 

Enter the Cold From Hell.  I woke up early Friday morning and knew I was in trouble.  I started coughing like I had lung cancer, the snot was flowing everywhere, and every five minutes I was either begging for blankets or tossing them off me.  Problem was, Max was teething (obviously) and we suspect he was getting an ear infection,  And all he wanted to do was nurse.  And every time I tried to nurse him, it felt like a small animal was chewing on me.  With razor blades.  Add that to the Nyquil commercial I was living in and I have never wanted to wean so badly in my life. 

Problem is, there's no way to wean a baby instantaneously and gently at the same time.   Weaning a near-toddler (especially one as addicted as Max!) can take weeks or months, and that wasn't going to help me.  I hopped on a discussion board to try to find some kind of quick fix solution and I found this:

Never Quit on Your Worst Day

That was it.  I knew it.  I knew that I would regret it if I stopped then.  And you know what?  That day was awful.  I think I only nursed him three or four times that day, but everytime left me almost in tears.  (Or in tears.  Or hacking coughing.  Or all of the above...)  Saturday wasn't any better.  But Saturday night I asked for a Priesthood Blessing, and then Max slept for nine straight hours.  And by yesterday, things were starting to feel more normal again. 

I know a lot of you are going to think I'm crazy for sticking it through, and that's ok.  And I'm not posting this to show "Oh look what a dedicated nursing mom I am" or anything like that.  Its because I think the sentiment is so profound.

You can't quit on your worst day.

So that means when I'm so frustrated with violin practice that I want to back over the violin with the minivan, I can't quit.  (Or let Abby quit!) Because it will get better.  It has to.

And that means that when I'm still feeling like I've been hit by a semi-truck, and I just got done with teaching five violin lessons, and I'm trying to avoid hacking up my lung, and I pop the frozen lasagna in the oven not realizing that I misread the directions and its going to take two hours to cook, I can't quit.  Because my husband can bring home takeout so we don't have to eat half-frozen Stouffers Lasagna, and it won't seem so bad tomorrow.

And when the surgeries keep coming, and my kids are screaming, and the laundry is multiplying, the birthday party invitations are begging to be addressed, the bills are late, two phones are ringing, the violin student arrives, the snow is falling in early October, I couldn't stop coughing if you offered me a tropical vacation, and all I want to do is curl up under a blanket, hire a nanny, and sleep until Spring, you all have to remind me that if I take two Benadryl, three advil some herbal tea, and get a good night's sleep, everything will look better in the morning.


  1. That's a really wonderful mantra. I'll need to remember it.

  2. Where do you come up with this crap??? Just kidding! You've gotten quite profound lately. I'm sorry you've been so sick. I hope you are feeling better. And I hope Max decides to stop using you as a chew-toy soon. You are a better mom than I'll ever be.

  3. That was really beautiful, and I'm going to remember that sentiment! I love it!

  4. I love this Stacey!! I have never heard this.. or maybe I have but it's never hit me like it's hit me today. You are AMAZING!!! You seem to have lemons coming at you from all directions but always get through it! Thanks for sharing this! :o)

  5. Wow. You are are are an amazing breastfeeder! And I'm soo sorry about the swine flu! I've done the screaming when they bite bit too, but you're does pass. Though I have wondered at times if my nipple would be bitten right off...and would their next sibbling be able to breastfeed? Gruesome thoughts, I know...just can't help but wonder. Thanks for your inspiration...I think I can tackle today better prepared! luvs to you...take lots of Vit D and get some rest...or call me so I can watch your lil' ones (654.1696). luvs, trina

  6. Stacy, I love you! Just such a lovely, honest post.

  7. so I don't know you... and you don't know me... I stumbled across your blog via Mormon Mommy Blogs.

    I just wanted to comment on your persistence with breastfeeding."Never quit on your worst day" is an excellent mantra. Go you!


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