to feel like bf is ruining my life

(110 Posts)
Beatrixemerald Sun 24-Aug-14 22:04:55

I am so fucking miserable (defo not pnd just tired and overwhelmed) husband went to watch football this aft, still out and absolutely hammered and I am here on my own, as usual, dd on breast, screaming If I try to put her down for a second. I feel lonely all the time but nights are the worst.
Dd is 9 weeks old, she was sleeping in 4/5 hr chunks at night but since her jabs last week its gone back to 2-3 hrs. She wont be put down at all which means we co-sleep and I carry her around all day, my husband does very little citing the fact I am bf as the main reason as he cant do ,uch (despite me giving him examples of things hecould do). I just feel if I could bring myself to give her some formula then I could at leastmake sure I couldleave her with my mum for a couple of hours to get a break.
I struggle to trust my husband with her as we have big arguments over leaving her to cry (I wont do it).
The pressure to breastfeed is so immense and as someone who wants positive feedback, I like all the pats on the head from the various hcp's that I am doing everything right and feel like I would be letting dd down.
I have also tried expressing, I barely get time to be able to do it inbetween feeds with someone else taking care of dd mearby whilst I do it, so exprrssing enough to be meaningful isnt really an option.
I feel like my relationship is going down the pan, we are living completely seperate lives and we cant have sex because we get no time when dd will be in her travel cot/moses basket etc. I have tried all the things like warming with a hot water bottle etc, dont work.
I love my dd to distraction, feel like I am obsessed with her, but cant get my head around being desperate for some time away from her but missing her when I am in the shower (when I get the opportunity when dh or dsd can hold her).
I dont have much support as dh's parents are both dead and mine both work full time and live in another city.
Feel like I am at my witse end, The only thing I can see i can change is moving to ff and hopefully then dh would be able to do more and dd might sleep better.
Apologies for the rant, I just want to know if anyone else has felt this way and what they have done about it, thanks

magoria Sun 24-Aug-14 22:07:33

You have given her 9 weeks of bf. That is more than some kids ever get. They grow up fine.

There is nothing wrong with switching to ff. Or have you considered trying to mix? Just make one night feed a ff so that your DH can do it and give you a bit of a break?

BabyGoose Sun 24-Aug-14 22:10:17

I b/fed in the day and formula at night (at the 11pm feed).
I'm not sure if you are asking about feeding of if your other half is being an arse. Well, you're doing great. Top ups with formula saved my sanity.
He seems like he should grow up.

GirlWithTheLionHeart Sun 24-Aug-14 22:11:56

It really won't be like this for very long, soon she will go much longer between feeds.

If you feel you really aren't happy, then give her a bottle. You shouldn't bf because you feel you should, only if you want to.

trappedinsuburbia Sun 24-Aug-14 22:12:53

Its not worth making yourself miserable over, i only ever managed a few weeks of bf with both of mine, a happier mum is more important imo.

BabyGoose Sun 24-Aug-14 22:13:50

Ps. Congratulations x x not being close to family is very hard. It gets better. Four hours sleep and you'll be back on track.

NormHonal Sun 24-Aug-14 22:14:06

You poor thing, the early weeks are overwhelming, so many hormones and emotions, and it doesn't sound like you have the support at home that you deserve.

I bf my DC1 exclusively until past 6mo and went through many of the emotions you describe, but with DC2 we did one bottle of formula a day so that I could put DC1 to bed and leave DH with DC2...and I felt so much more relaxed for it. I bf both of my DCs past 12mo.

It's really not worth all of the stress - one bottle of formula a day saved my sanity and allowed me to be a better mum. You don't even need to tell the hcps you are doing it, if that makes you feel bad. I was honest with the hcps and never made to feel bad about it. Have you tried asking them for some support/help?

I'm not qualified to talk about your DH but the early weeks are really tough for new parents.

NoSquirrels Sun 24-Aug-14 22:14:21

Nothing wrong with FF if that is what you want to do. I BF, it gets MUCH easier the bigger they get and I would encourage you to persevere, BUT

You need support.
Your husband needs to realise that parenting does not = who feeds the baby.
Your post doesn't really sound about the feeding itself, but about the lack of support.

(If my Dh had been out all day and came home hammered when we had a 9-week-old I'd have a hard time talking to him at all, let alone considering sex with him at any point in the near future.)

MrsMook Sun 24-Aug-14 22:14:46

There is a growth spurt at 9 weeks, so it is common for babies to cluster feed to increase the supply which can be relentless.

This was the point where my nipples cracked and we also had thrush which was no fun. It was a grit your teeth and go one feed at a time point, but it passed in a few days. I would have struggled to have got past that if he was my first; having had a long feeding experience before helped as I kept the promise of easier days ahead in mind.

There are lots of supporting things that can be done, baby care like nappies and general household maintenance all help ease the load.

DoYouThinkSheSawUs Sun 24-Aug-14 22:15:54

It sounds to me like it's not actually the bf that's the problem, but lack of you time, and help, and sleep! It's a huge adjustment to being solely in charge 24/7 of this tiny dictator who won't let you fucking do anything!

Believe me I know. Dd1 never bloody slept, wouldn't be put down, wouldn't go to anyone else from day 3 to about 9 months, not even DP.

But actually, you don't have to have sole care. Can you shift your mind set to sometimes enjoying that time spent bf as you time? Your DH has to run around after you during that time, you have control of the remote, he brings you tea and toast on demand, gives you foot rubs, cooks dinner etc? If your DH would do that for you would it help?

I'm not saying it very well sorry but if your DH stepped up a lot and pandered to you during evening bf times it might help a bit. And you are nearly through the hard bit of bf, once you get through this bit you have all the convenience of not having to sterilise, make bottles, worry about if you have enough on trips out etc,

TarkaTheOtter Sun 24-Aug-14 22:15:59

Do you honestly think your dh will do more if you ff? Or is he just using bf as an excuse?

HomeIsWhereTheHeartIs Sun 24-Aug-14 22:16:38

Another vote for mix feeding, it helped me continue with BFing for much longer. Just one bottle per day meant that someone else could look after him ( or even just hold him so I could move without being attached to a baby! I remember how it feels OP! ) for a few hours.
Well done on getting this far.
Does your husband regularly go out for long periods or is this a one-off? Baby is very little for him to be leaving you alone, and it's a very isolating time.

Elmersnewfriend Sun 24-Aug-14 22:20:46

Absolutely what NoSquirrels has said. If stopping bf would solve it all then blimey I'd say do it immediately! But it sounds as though bf is only part of a much bigger issue. Do you think that if you weren't feeding you might still get "it's you she needs, you've got that bond with her now" or something similar?

As everyone who has decided to FF will testify, there are so many more ways to bond with a child than by breast feeding them. There are also so many other things that are important in a baby's life... Your DH has so many other ways he can support you.

And as other people have said , bf really does start to get easier about now.

Please don't think I'm saying I think you should keep bf, I just think you need to assess if it really is the biggest issue right now. Best of luck whatever you decide.

Beatrixemerald Sun 24-Aug-14 22:23:25

Thanks, I was thinking of just a bottle a day in the evening. I did give H my blessing to go out but thought he would be back by 8ish so wouldnt be alone all evening, he cant drink, is very tipsy after 2 pints and slurring by 3 so wont be in any state to be near dd tonight. I have asked him to sleep in the spare room

IWillOnlyEatBeans Sun 24-Aug-14 22:23:41

I used BF as an excuse to get my DH to do everything else baby related...

"Here, I've been feeding DS2 for 90 mins, please can you take him for a nappy change and a cuddle while I do x, y and z with DS1".

BF does feel relentless in the early weeks, especially first time around. I bf DS1 for a month and struggled through every feed. I am still feeding DS2 now at 20 months.

Lots of my friends bf for longer than I did, first time around. If you lined our 4-yr-olds up now, you wouldn't know who had been bf and who hadn't. They are all thriving and healthy and intelligent and happy.

Try introducing a bottle and see how you get on. You don't need to stop bf completely if you don't want to (I found it much more convenient to bf when out and about - no faffing with bottles etc).

I'm not sure if it will make much of a difference to your husband's attitude though?

OxfordBags Sun 24-Aug-14 22:24:29

Virtually everything you mention will stay the same (or possibly deteriorate, who knows), if you give up BFing. That's not to say don't if you want to, but I think you are focusing on it being pivotal to all these things, whereas your problems can be reduced to 2 things:

1) the reality of having a baby. What you describe is totally normal. It's incredibly hard, but there it is. I don't mean to sound flippant, because I know it can seem so overwhelming at times, but a baby is what it is. If your baby is very clingy, taking away her primary source of comfort, your breasts, is going to make her more clingy, not less. Your feelings of needing some time to yourself, but missing her if you are away for even a few mins, are also completely normal. You need to hang on in there.

2) your OH is not pulling his weight. Do not fall for the whole 'I'd do more if you weren't BFing' bullshit. If and when you give up, he'll must find another excuse to let you do virtually everything. Going out and getting hammered, meaning he'll be neither use nor ornament to you for the rest of the day, when you are so exhausted and overwhelmed is really thoughtless and unacceptable.

I would suggest that, if you haven't, you try expressing, so that you can see if he'll put his money where his mouth is, and give your DD a bottle (of your milk). I used to express, and store milk, so my DH and parents could give my DS a bottle when I needed a break, sleep, etc.

Or, as magoria suggest, you could always mix-feed - breastfeed, but also give formula at some times. Then others can try to give her a bottle.

If you've not, seriously consider getting a sling or baby carrier, so you can carry her next to you most of the time, so she gets constant contact, and you get to do more stuff and have your hands free. They really can make a world of difference. Your OH can use it too, obviously, which will free you up.

I think though, you need to have serious words with your OH about his priorities, and also about finding ways to support you if you have a velcro baby (like providing you with food and drinks, making sure you are comfy, babywearing, lots of things), instead of blaming BF. Good luck.

Purpleflamingos Sun 24-Aug-14 22:25:05

It sounds to me as though you're overwhelmed by it all and need some reassurance that it gets better. It does. Whilst you're breast feeding and nurturing your daughter your husband needs to be helping more in the house and fixing meals (mine just called the takeaway but some food was better than nothing when dd was screaming with colic or attached to my breast). It's natural to miss her like crazy, shower as quickly as possible, then think wtf and regret that you didn't get a few extra minutes to yourself.
The best advicei got was to do something that made you feel better and more 'you', whether that be sleeping, staying awake and painting your toenails (this was mine) or similar.
Also, at this stage, find some shortcuts, whether that's buying a large bpa drinks bottle and keeping it next to you so you can have a sip of water instead of trekking to the kitchen, making sandwiches and wrapping them up for the next bf session (always made me hungry) or popping the washing machine on before bed. Ski care was one of my shortcuts. Facial oil morning and night, bb cream and a tinted lip balm that doubled as a blush.
It's hard right now but it does get easier.

Beatrixemerald Sun 24-Aug-14 22:29:09

If dh was more supportive with the feeding it would really help, I have asked him to bring me drinks etc but he forgets and then I need to ask again and feel like I am always asking for something.
I feel resentful that I have given up smoking (which I really liked) and he hasnt but not only that keeps forgetting to wash his hands etc.
I feel like I am always complaining or asking for something and have nothing to talk about except for dd

familygermsareok Sun 24-Aug-14 22:30:07

Sounds like you could really do with a break, no harm at all in giving ff. at this stage your milk supply should be well established so you could mix ff and bf as you want. But if you really don't want to continue bf at all then please don't feel pressurised, no one should ever feel they have to feed in a certain way, babies will grow fine with either.
I was desperate to bf both mine but after 10 days my nipples were so sore and I changed to mixed ff and expressed bm for a couple of weeks till they had healed. I felt like I was such a failure at the time, but DC have thrived and once I was able to resume bf I still used ff when suited.
12 and 10 years on and it really isn't important how they were fed, just that they were. It was a huge deal to me at the time though, I remember frantically hiding bottles before the HV arrived and I actually cut the edge off a photo which inadvertently showed a bottle in the background.

Just wanted to let you know, you are in the hardest part of bf just now. Even in just a few weeks more, it will becomes so much easier. I just wanted you to know there is light at the end of the tunnel. Because it is hard at 9 weeks.

We lived abroad, with no family support, when DDs were born. There were days in the first few months where I thought I would crack up. But I didn't, and before I knew it, we all turned a corner and things got easier.

You have done 9 weeks. That is more than many (most?) people. If you want to mix bf and ff, or switch to ff, go for it.

Also, give you DH direction on what you want him to do. So while you are bf, give him a list of jobs to get done...

Finally, congratulations on your LO!

thenightsky Sun 24-Aug-14 22:38:43

You are bloody amazing to be able to even think about sex when your baby is 9 weeks old shock

I'm trying to remember if I came round to the idea at 9 months. (was probably 9 years if I'm truthful wink

CultureSucksDownWords Sun 24-Aug-14 22:41:06

Your biggest problem here is your DH not doing his fair share of the workload, and being thoughtless eg not washing his hands after smoking (does he change his clothes too?).

It's a poor excuse that he can't help out because you are breastfeeding. As others have said he should be doing all the other stuff that needs doing so that you can feed and rest.

Can you have a serious discussion with him about this, and that it is making you really unhappy? I think you should agree some specific tasks that your DH can do on his own e.g. bath time, or taking her out for a walk at a set time each evening.

I fear that if you switch to FF you will end up doing all the feeds still, with the extra work of washing up and sterilising etc.

VeryLittleGravitasIndeed Sun 24-Aug-14 22:44:12

Your DH really needs to realise he has a baby now, and the world as he knows it has changed forever.

I agree with the pp who said this isn't about bf vs ff, it's about his attitude. A tiny person now depends on the two of you for everything, not just on you.

I don't understand why this seems to be such a leap for some men, it's kind of obvious that (a) the baby needs help, and (b) the baby's mother can't manage single-handed...

If he can't figure this out, I agree with you that constantly instructing him gets difficult (bring me this, do that etc). Does he have any mates who can educate him about responsible fatherhood? Or family who can explain it?

Beatrixemerald Sun 24-Aug-14 22:54:55

I know I need more support from H, we have had many discussions about it, he says the right things (sometimes) but ultimately he is very selfish and pretty lazy, and I keep telling myself I knew these things really when I married him so cant really expect him to change, I made my bed so to speak. He has a reappy good repationship with my dsd so I thought he would be more hands on (he often waxes lyrical about how much more involved he was able to be with dsd as she was ff from day 1, however he really doesnt want me to introduce any formula, he says because he knows how set I was on bf)

Ruralretreating Sun 24-Aug-14 22:55:59

I remember feeling as though I was stuck to the sofa for about 3 months with only terrible US sitcoms for company. It got easier though, and it will for you too. Can you join any local baby classes or groups for a bit of support? Don't feel bad about asking DH for help repeatedly until he gets what you need! Relationship issues are also not unusual as you settle in to different roles. If I hadn't been told that I would have thought my whole world was falling apart. You sound a great Mum, be kind to yourself.

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