Old Wounds Reopen

For the last 2 months I've had this lump in my throat that I just couldn't swallow...something in the pit of my stomach that worried me almost constantly. Actually, it's secretly been there since Kamden was about 2 weeks old. Even though it hid itself away in the recesses of my mind for awhile it was still filed away in the category of things I don't like to talk about, think about, or unfortunately, for some reason I can't forget about.


Kamden struggled with nursing, thrush, acid reflux, and anything related to eating or gaining weight for 3 months...until I switched him over to formula. He was a completely different baby. I cried for hours at a time, for days about not wanting to give up but mentally and emotionally my sweet little boy and his tired momma were spent. He would scream when I tried to nurse him, I would cry, I'd get flustered, he'd get frustrated and it was this never ending cycle of intense dread. I resolved to let my hopes go of the bonding and emotional attachment I always heard about would happen when nursing my little babe. Yet, I never really let it go. I still haven't. I will always remember the comment that came from the mother (who I had just met) of someone I  know (who has a baby just 2 weeks older than Kamden) comment on how skinny he was, with an ever so disgusted look on her face.

Now, I'm on my second go round as a mother. Kaliana nurses like a champ. She always has...from the first time she latched on. Thrush still made itself known this time around as well but we got over it and I know how to better prevent it now.

When Kali was born she was 8 lbs. 12 oz. She was a chunker, a big baby, and I just knew I wouldn't have to deal with the same issues again. Ha...I jinxed myself...I must have spoken too soon.


At her 2 month appointment she was doing good but not gaining enough weight. The doctor acted a little nervous but didn't want to worry and said we would worry about it at her 4 month appointment if we needed too. Since that day a couple months ago I dreaded August 26th because I just knew that she wasn't going to gain enough and we would have to supplement and I would once again feel as though I failed motherhood altogether. I'm supposed to be able to nourish my child. Heavenly Father gave me the ability to feed my child and keep her healthy so why was I failing at this god-given gift AGAIN.

It came and in two months she didn't even gain a pound. She weighs 11 lbs and when she was born she weighed almost 9 lbs. In the first 4 months of life babies are supposed to double their birth weight. My baby has just gained over 2 lbs. Can you see why I feel like I failed? After we found out her weight and the nurse left us to wait for the doctor, I cried. I did. I let it all seep out my sad eyes, right there in that happy, bright orange room and I continued to cry through the whole pep talk the pediatrician gave me about how we will always worry no matter what, and at least she wasn't too big, that it was something that could be fixed, and other what nots. She was really, very understanding but deep down the scar that healed my wound from one previous failed attempt at nourishing my baby, gaped wide open and I knew this was something that will probably stay with me for the rest of motherhood (which, really, in my book is eternity).

We are supplementing. We are starting rice cereal and I'm hoping and I'm praying that even though I can't nurse exclusively like I have hoped for, that I can at least still nurse my baby and give her what I can.


Motherhood is a hard road to take. There aren't any shortcuts. You take one road and it's the long, bumpy one with potholes, rocks, sharp turns, and lots of breakdowns. Deep down I want to nurse my baby. In reality my baby is thriving in every other way. She is already rolling over, laughing, cooing, and doing all the normal stuff a 4 month old should. I can continue to nourish her I just can't make her gain weight and I don't know why. I don't know if my supply is low or I just produce skim rather than whole milk like other moms. For me that's a hard thing to swallow. I don't know how to change it.

Every time I hear someone comment on how small she is, or ask how much she weighs, or if she is gaining weight it hurts a little. Even though they don't know it that scar of mine gapes open just a little bit more. Eventually it will heal over once again, after she gains weight, after I stop hearing the questions and comments. However, I won't ever forget the disgusted looks like I'm starving my baby or the questions about whether she's gaining weight. I won't forget the comments on how my babies are skinny. I won't forget the feeling that I'm being judged. I won't forget the feeling of failure and a sinking stomach seeing the babies who are months younger and weigh more than my baby.

On this road we will crash and burn, we will be bruised, and we will develop scars that stay with us throughout the rest of our lives but you know out of all the worry, the stress, the feelings of failure I've learned that even though I for some reason cannot exclusively nourish my babies, that it doesn't make me any less of a mom. My 2 year old still runs to me to kiss his "owies" better. He runs to me when I've been gone and he clings to me when I try to leave. My 4 month old stares at  my face, searching it, and studying it. She cries when I walk by and don't pick her up. She knows who her mom is and she loves me. The 2 year old, he loves me too; and while it's not always easy, that's enough. I don't have to produce and feed them whole milk, exclusively, for them to love me. They'll take what I have and revel in it.

They will love me, nonetheless. No matter what.

1 comment:

  1. Sharon I Think It Is In Our Family Genes Or Something That We Just Can't Make Good Milk.........I Don't Know Why Either. Heavenly Father Does Not Base Your Value As A Mother On Weather Or Not The Body That HE Gave You Can Produce Enough Milk. That Does Not Weigh A Single Ounce Our Your Scale Of Motherhood. Give Your Sweet Little Self A Brake And Know That HE Made Your Body And He Made It Just Right For You.