Milk

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

It looks like my breastfeeding days are coming to an end (at least with Mo).  We still have lots of frozen milk in our freezer but we are supplementing with formula and giving Mo his milk from a bottle.  It leaves me feeling very conflicted.  I think it will help me have a chance at getting pregnant again...yes, I know it is very soon, but it is something I am anxious to do again.  It makes life much easier not to be breastfeeding - I am more physically comfortable - my back hurts less and I don't have to worry about leaking or pumping, we can go out easier, and it makes it easier for other people to feed Mo.  BUT - I miss the closeness of our cuddles during middle of the night and pre-nap nursing sessions.  I am sad that this period of MO's babyhood is over....even though all I want in the world is for him to safely get through this first year and then continue growing big and strong.  I am also SCARED.  Max stopped breathing 2 weeks after I stopped breastfeeding him - he was still getting breastmilk in a bottle - but those were his last two weeks on earth.  It scares me.  I have been assured over and over that that had NOTHING to do with his death.  I think about ALL of the mommas I know who were never able to breastfeed their babies and their babies are just fine.  They are living and Max is not.  So, it couldn't have been that, right?  And, he WAS still getting breastmilk...albeit defrosted from our freezer breastmilk.....it WAS STILL breastmilk.  But, then again, my frozen supply won't last forever.  Am I over thinking?  AM I?  I seem to over think everything these days!  Then again, if you were in my shoes, wouldn't you?

4 comments:

Andria Elizabeth said...

What I hate:

I hate that ANYONE ever has to deal with what you've been through. I HATE that babies die. And somehow HATE even more to realize they can die for no apparent reason. I find myself angry just thinking of what you've lost. The experiences, hopes and dreams for Maxie that will never be realities because he is gone. I HATE that you were robbed of the chance to see him take his first steps, say his first words, draw his first picture for you, start his first day of school, play his favorite sport, and so much more. Heck, I HATE that you never got to experience the "joy" (haha) of potty training him, of his toddler tantrums, of his first stomach bug, of his first bad decision as a teenager, etc. I HATE the fucking nature of life. The uncontrollable things that happen that can rob us of these precious dreams. It makes me angry, sick, and so very sad for you, and for every other person who has had to deal with this. I HATE it. It infuriates me.

And while I know that the old reliable advice is "life goes on", when I reflect on situations like yours, you know what? I HATE that too. In a way. I can't speak from experience, but I think that if it was me I wouldn't take comfort in the fact that life goes on. To the contrary I imagine that I wouldn't WANT it to go on. I'd want it to STOP. I'd want to stay right there in that day. That day where my baby was alive. Yeah, life goes on. But in a way I HATE that it must. I wish you didn't have to take that step everyday. I'm perhaps being far too blunt, but honestly, I HATE that you have to wake up and eat breakfast, and get dressed, and go to work, and do your laundry, and do your taxes, and grocery shop and pay your bills, and generally LIVE. Live without Maxie. I hate that every day you do this is one more day you have to do this without Maxie. I HATE it. It's not fair. When I think about stuff like this I'm not even sure what fair IS. Or if it's even a thing. Clearly it's not, I guess. There's no such thing as fair. Anyone who says otherwise isn't thinking about this stuff. There is NOTHING fair about this. Life is not fair. And I HATE that. It's not fair. It's not logical. I HATE that. I HATE that that's one aspect of what I have to face when I read blogs like this.

I HATE that Maxie was robbed of a full, fun, amazing life.Who knows what his life would hold? Maybe he was going to be that stellar student, athlete, son and friend who succeeded and brought great joy to everyone around him. Maybe he was going to be that wild child that caused you tremendous stress, and made horrible decisions despite all good parenting. What would he have been? Would he have gone to college? What major would he choose? What job would he choose? What girls would he date? Good of bad. Smooth or rocky. We will never know. I HATE that you will never get to know, and he will never get to be that kid...whatever kid he was going to be. Whatever adult he was going to be. I HATE that he was robbed of the chance to BE. There is a horrifying finality in death. The loss of a future. No matter what that future might hold. I HATE THAT. And I HATE the way your blog reminds me of that, because, frankly, it's not a fun place to go in my head. I'm sure you know this better than I could even comprehend in my experience. But I DO know it is awful. And I HATE that reminder when I read blogs like this. I HATE that reality.

But here's what I LOVE about your blog, your story...Maxie's story:

Andria Elizabeth said...

I LOVE your honesty. I have read many blogs about infant loss. I have read few that put it all on the table like you have. Blogs like yours make me want to be all the more honest about my own life struggles. Because people are going through this stuff whether they say it like you do...in frank, honest, no sugar coating terms....or not. And I LOVE that you are willing to just SAY it. To maybe give one other mom who has dealt with the same thing the emotional "permission" to be angry. To NOT just "get over it." To NOT simply "move on." I think that is powerful. And I LOVE that you are willing to do this. I think it is your honesty...your "dark" posts...that are the most significant I think there is an extreme power in such honesty. There is some mom out there...many, in fact...who are feeling the same way and need to read this. They need to know that they are not the only one and that it's okay to say this. There are also those like me who have not been through what you have but still NEED to know that it's okay to be blunt and frank about our own struggles. They need examples like you who say it how it is, not how we wish it was. It inspires me to be all the more honest in my own interactions. I have not lost a child, but of course I have my issues. And your blog reminds me that being honest and open about this can be a huge source of validation to others. I LOVE how bold you are in your honesty. Do not lose that quality. Even if it's not what people want to hear. The things we DON'T want to hear are often some of things things we NEED to hear and process most. You are doing that. It's no consolation for losing your baby. But it is commendable, and I bet it's extremely helpful to others. I know that it was to me.

I will think of you and this blog often when I'm dealing with something unpleasant and trying to sugar coat it to a friend. There is no benefit to waxing poetic. There is GREAT benefit to open honesty. I LOVE that about your blog, and about you. I wish that you could have just kept your sweet baby, and that I didn't even have the chance to read this blog and reflect on this truth. But things being what they are, I want to take whatever good I can from this. I will think of you and Maxie often. And I will try to learn from your example. There is such power in your honesty, and I will not forget that.

Of course in the end, I wish I had some words on encouragement. At the same time I wonder if grasping for encourging words is the problem. Maybe you don't need me to tell you that I'm praying for you, and that it will get better. Maybe what you need is just to hear that I agree. This sucks. And there's no good answer. I'm with you. There is no good answer.

I AM a Christian. I know you are not. And I am NOT interested in preaching to you for even a second. But in the interest of full disclosure, yes I'm a Christian and I will be praying for you. This is not about "salvation" or whatever crap terminology you've heard from some Bible banger. I'll just be praying that you find as much peace and clarity as you can in this life. Not because I want to be a crazy Christian. But because as a Christian prayer is where I go to send every positive thought that I can to others. My religion could be totally wrong. But I think my spirituality helps me to support others. So I will be praying for you with that spirit of mind. This is not about religion. It's about support. Please know that you have mine. That some girl in Tampa, FL is thinking of you everyday, lifting you up, and sending the most postive "vibes" your way in the best way I know to do.

Thank you for your frank and honest acknowledgement of the depths of loss. I hope I will never be there. But I also know that if/when I am I will be inspired by those, like you, who chose to commiserate and validate such loss openly. Without regard for what we "should" do. Just acknowledging how we ARE.

Andria Elizabeth said...

I want so much to end this on an encouraging note. But, honestly, I struggle to know what that would be. Perhaps the best encouragement I can offer you is a simple THANK YOU for sharing your life and your hurt. THANK YOU for being real. The world needs more real people like you. There is nothing I can say that will change where you are and what you've lost. SO I'm not going to try. I'm just going to tell you that from what I've read, I love you and your family. I wish you all the best. You, Ted, Maxie, and Mo will not be far from my thoughts. I wish you peace, and thank you for your words.

Bless you!

Andria

Andria Elizabeth said...

P.S.

I'm married and planning to get pregnant soon (hopefully). Judah, happens to be the name I've had picked out for my first boy for years. When I saw that this was Maxie's middle name it brought me to tears. If I am ever so blessed to get my Judah, I will think of you all the more. I love that my son's name could remind me of all the good things I associate with the name (I have a long story behind my choice in this name), AND remind me of the bad...the fragility of life. You will be close to my heart forever, and I will not hesitate to share such a story with my own Judah if I'm ever so blessed as to get him.

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