Thursday, May 28, 2009

An Act of Pure Selfishness

I have come to the conclusion that it's time to wean Amelia. I know that some people may see this as almost unforgivable, but there are many reasons. I'll tell you about a few, not to excuse myself, but so that you might understand the torment that has gone into this decision.

1. Amelia has been a champion eater since she was born. This is in stark contrast to Felix, who struggled the entire time he breastfed. Even nursing well, it hasn't been a great experience. I've had one terrible yeast infection (the pain associated was excruciating) and one plugged milk duct (again, the pain - this time on the other side). But despite generic health, I've been in constant discomfort (those who have nursed will surely remember their own experience).

2. I own one bra that fits. It cost me $40 and I can't afford another one. It was the biggest one they had in the store. I'm sick of shopping at specialty stores for things that barely fit.

3. Amelia has started on food besides milk. She LOVES food. Anything she can get in her mouth. She loves cereal, hard things to chomp on (no sign of teeth yet) like carrots, soft things to chomp on (she really liked the tree of broccoli I gave her this weekend), and she'll lick everything to death if she can hold it that long. 4. Amelia has a bad habit or two associated with nursing. The first she developed was to chomp down and then yank. Thank goodness she has no teeth yet or there might be blood. Seriously, yeowch! The other habit is to only eat on one side. I haven't figured out what her deal is, but that can be painful too, especially first thing in the morning.

5. I can't lose weight. I can't even begin to express my dissatisfaction with my body right now. I know what to do, but I can't nurse if I'm going to do it. I saw myself in a mirror yesterday and was purely disgusted with my reflection.

6. I'm in near-constant pain. I blame this on a few things, most notably the weight and lack of sleep. Interestingly, the weight and the sleep are tied together too. When I weigh less, I sleep better. The poor sleep, tossing and turning, is killing my back, and I'm having more and more headaches from the sleep deprivation.

7. I've been told not to take my RLS medication while nursing. I guess this is tied to #6. I'm sick of my legs twitching all the time. I dream about getting good sleep. That may seem difficult, but you could almost call them day-dreams. I'm not really all the way asleep.

8. Tied to all the frustrations (sleep, weight, nursing issues) is a general crankiness. It's made worse by my feeling that I have no control over my life. I see myself taking that frustration out on my family and it makes me really sad. I don't want to be cranky anymore. I don't want to be sad and angry and in pain.

So, that's it. This is my "new year's day". My resolution is to lose about 50% of my current body fat. That may seem like a lot, but I've got plenty to lose. I'm guessing it'll end up being about 100 pounds. I don't especially like talking about how fat I am. But I need your help. I need your support and your understanding. I'll need you to please keep the temptations away as much as possible. To encourage me appropriately. To sympathize with the struggle. I'm sure most of you do silently already to some point.

I will be posting my progress here. I'm going to start by weaning in the next week or two. Softening the blow to Amelia is a large store of milk I have in the freezer that I pumped when she was a newborn. As soon as that weaning is complete, I will embark on the weight loss. I'm serious this time. Because I'm desperate this time.


Patricia said...

Hi Heather!
Look, I found your blog! (wonder how? lol)
I know exactly how you feel, I breastfed my youngest four years (everyone thought I was totally weird)and did almost the same with all three of them. It was awsome but I gained a LOT of weight (serious!)for some reason those 500 calories you're supposed to be losing daily when nursing did not make any efect on me. All the oposite, I was turning huge.
I did lose weight though, a few years afer weaning Marco I lost 25Kg (which is a lot, remember I am 1.50m, about 5 feet).
Do as you feel like doing, you are be a great Mum no matter what (the fact you think you are selfish and all that troubling thoughts of yours prove it babe).
However I solved crankiness with a vitamin B complex (B12 more that anything)That would help with sleeping too.
Chomping and yanking with a little(not painful) spank in the butt and a loud NO! (I was afraid my nipples were going to touch the floor by the time I'll stop nursing).
And the diet I made does not control amounts or eliminates any nutrients so I think is totally "compatible" with nursing.
(this is just a way to say that you could also "think out of the box - think spanish! jajaja)
Look, fifteen years without knowing anything from me and I come back turned into a boring para-maternal pain in the neck.
Love you tons, let's keep in touch!

Sylwia Lipinska Hardman said...

Good Luck! i actually lost the most weight the fastest while i was nursing. i just increased my water intake, decreased my calories, walked, and the baby ate 600 calories per day. it was so easy while nursing. the weight dropped off.

i hope your plan works for you. i know your mom and dad are going great on it. so you have lots of support right there at home!

Jane of Seagull Fountain said...

I've never lost weight while nursing, no matter what my diet. I usually lose almost 30 pounds in the first two weeks after giving birth (tons of water weight + big babies) and then I usually gain while nursing, even when I drink 2 gallons of water a day. I am RAVENOUS when I nurse. And my babies have all been incredible nursers too.

I agree with everything about this post -- except the title. It's not selfish to want to take care of and make healthy your baby's mother. In fact you OWE it to Amelia to be as healthy and happy as you can.

Good for you for doing what you need to do to get there!

Kristin said...

Good for you for knowing what is best for you and doing it. You need to feel good about yourself and you need your rest. Those things will help you to be a better Mom to Amelia than continuing to nurse even though it makes you miserable. Motherhood is full of so many good, better and best decisions. It is tough. Good luck with the weaning and the weight loss. My best suggestion is exercise with the diet. I do better with exercise than with dieting myself and it helps a lot. YOU CAN DO IT!!!!

Nancy said...

I love you, Heather. You can do this. Sometimes, things just have to "click," and when they do, the weight starts melting away. Consider this a very exciting adventure about to begin!

And by the way, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Love, Mom

nora.lakehurst said...

You are amazing and bottle fed babies are just as well loved and healthy as any Breast fed babies. I couldnt BF and my kids are healthy as any breast fed baby. I do not think any less of you. And for those who do critize us then they can just go suck an egg. Or whatever they want to suck on.
If you go to Golds i go there too. If you want we can get together at least once a week and work it out.
Good luck. And if you can pray for me too. I have had so much fun trying to loose weight (saracstic) anyways Love ya

Karin said...


Do what your heart tells you is right, when what you do is consistent with what your heart is telling you there is no need for guilt...or defending yourself.

You know I'm always here (respecting the decision that you make for your family) with any questions you may have. I have some great weaning resources.

Good Luck with your weight loss journey! Any amount can only make you healthier. And a healthier mommy is usually a happier mommy. :-)

Denys said...

Hey Heather - I am sorry you are feeling so crappy. We all know a happy Mom is a happy family and vice versa. So, you know you are doing the right thing if it is going to improve you and your family's overall quality of life, general health and well-being and just plain happiness. I wish I could tell you a secret to weight loss, but the only thing that worked for me was starving myself-haha! And we don't want to go there - an impossiblity with kids anyway! I wish you all the best. Don't worry a second about Amelia. The Lord will bless you and her - you ARE doing the right thing.
Happy Belated Birthday!

Adam and Cassie said...

You totally have my support. Let me know if you have any questions or help. You know I'm a certified personal trainer right? We love you.

Anonymous said...

Um, I don't really know what to say... This post seems just a little centered towards mothers, which I'm not :-)

I'd support whatever decision you make, Heather... Mainly because I don't understand enough to object, but still this seems reasonable to me.

I don't think I was ever breast-fed, but I'd have to check with my mom on that...?

-- Eepii

Anonymous said...


Lina Hardman said...

Hey Head! Happy birthday! Good luck with the weight-loss. Restless legs are the worst. We'll be as supportive as we can. Here's an idea I had that you can take or leave, and I won't be offended - set a rule for yourself that you can't turn on the tv until you've ridden your stationary bike for twenty minutes. I use rules like that for myself all the time: no computer games until I've studied for two hours, no fun reading until my homework is done, and in high school, no computer until I've practiced the piano for an hour. That way you're motivated to get the hard stuff done. Just an idea. Good luck! - Nathaniel

Becca said...

I'm with Ethan on the first part of that comment. FROM NOW ON, NO MORE FAST FOOD!!!!!! even when i come over, there will be NO MORE "Hey hun, should I just pick up something?" K? I'm okay with eating anything.

Shell said...

With each of my kids I had to wean earlier. It got to the point that I would feel myself tense up when it was time to nurse, and I know that tension was relayed to the baby. Not at all the bonding moment it was supposed to be. Even though it made me sad, I knew it was the right thing to do, and when it's right for you, it will be right for Amelia too. It's always better for everyone to have a well-rested mom than a tired, cranky one. I hope she doesn't make it difficult for you and that you are able to then start doing the things for yourself that you need to.

CarrieAnne said...

I never lost weight nursing. Not even an ounce. Not with any of my kids. Commie bastards.

I *did* find that when I got pneumonia, and was sick for several weeks, that the weight dropped off. So that's what I recommend, get really sick. Or a tapeworm. Or both. I've tried to figure out how I can get some sort of tragic thigh/butt injury that can only be resolved via emergency lipo...but I haven't worked that out yet. ;-p

I love you girl!

jenica said...

love you.
you can do this!


ps putting cabbage leaves on your breasts will really help with the weaning pain and reduction of milk.

Anonymous said...

No new posts? :-(

-- Eepii

Marcy said...

Heather, I just wanted to chime in and say that I think you're doing just right for your family. Also, I have never liked exercise before this past year and now I'm kind of addicted. It's wonderful. I hope you get there too. It's a great feeling to enjoy what your body can do.