Miss Rose is four months old and suddenly things have gotten hard. It was hard sometimes before, tiring and stressful of course, but ultimately it was good overall. However, things have changed.
I am still exclusively breast feeding her. I am wary of saying “exclusive” as it seems a little stuck up, but she’s been offered bottles with expressed milk or formula in try as we might she won’t take them, so it’s boob or nothing, but my goodness this has gotten difficult.
She is now waking more frequently in the night, MUCH more frequently, and wanting a good feed each time because she is so hungry. Since she turned four months she has fed every hour on a few nights, and most other nights aren’t a vast improvement on that. So I am TIRED.
Another problem is she is so big and so heavy that I am struggling to feed her unless we’re lying down. She kicks off furniture, is too heavy to hold straight so she falls away from the nipple, and is getting distracted by things around her so squirms and wriggles coming away from the boob to look around constantly, and generally is making breast feeding incredibly difficult. Lying down is fine, I’m happy to take her upstairs and lie down with her so she’s in a quiet, dark room with no distractions and has a good feed, supported in the right position by the mattress, however, this is rather socially limiting.
I like to go to the gym a few times a week to take her swimming and attempting to feed her after results in such baby rage that she is howling the place down and despite all my efforts she will not have a feed even though I know that is all she wants. I like to go shopping with my mum, am I supposed to lie on the ground in the Tesco café? She has also taken to having a fit if her face is covered so I can no longer hide her away under a shawl during a feed so I’m battling to get her onto the boob with my nipple thoroughly exposed every time she comes off. When I take her and lie down and calm her down she then feeds beautifully, but this is not a long term option!
I wrote in an earlier blog that I was considering weaning early as she’s started eating so much. I’m told my Health Visitors that it is normal as they often have a growth spurt at this stage and to just battle through. We did try, we gave her some carrot and potato mashed in breast milk but it just came straight back out again which means she’s not ready. I had planned to go with Baby Lead Weaning but was willing to try something different if necessary, but her refusal of solids has put that plan back in action. Also something was pointed out to me which I hadn’t considered and will share with you now, the foods we wean on, carrots, cucumber etc, are diet foods. We eat these when we are trying to lose weight. The average jar of baby food contains approximately 37 calories. The average breast feed contains approximately 210. If they are hungry and need filling up, it would appear breast milk is actually a better way to go.
But it’s exhausting. She is getting so angry. She wants her feeds frequently but can’t take them. I just cannot get her in the right position. To hold her sideways she needs to be in a straight line, her nose, nipples and knees need to line up, but she is so long and heavy I can’t support her, and the longer she has to wait the angrier she gets, the angrier she gets the harder she is to feed even if I CAN get her in the right position.
A lot of people give up breast feeding at four months and I can understand why, to be honest if she would take a bottle or solids I’d probably have done it, so maybe it’s a good thing. I am constantly being told that breast is best and at the minute it would appear I have little choice, but by golly as soon as she will accept something else it will make my life easier. Until then I don’t know what I’m going to do; I can’t go out. I’m stuck indoors until I’ve figured out how to feed her.
If you are struggling at the same stage then know you are not alone. I love my baby intensely and I feel like such a failure at times. My husband and mum keep assuring me that I am not failing her but when faced with Miss Rose in desperate baby rage and being unable to satiate her I struggle to believe them sometimes. It is hard. It is worth it. But it is hard.
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Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll speak to you soon I hope!