Lemonade is by far one of my favorite drinks.
I remember when I was a young girl, my parents took my sister and I to visit one of my dad’s aunts. They were quite old. The house smelled of musty wood and stale air.
We were invited to sit on their couches and offered lemonade. Boy, was I excited…until I sipped the yellow juice.
It was beyond sour. It was a hundred Warhead candies in your mouth sour. It was eye twitching – cheek tightening – neck twisting back sour.
I refrained from curling my lips, although my toes surely curled in my shoes, and politely put the glass down.
I still fancy sweeter lemonade, but the sour ones are needed every once in a while to remind me of why I prefer the sweet ones.
Yea, we have all heard the phrase “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” This blanket phrase has no time to collect dust alongside other cliches.
I feel that I could not only make lemonade, but sell it underneath a lemonade stand for a quarter a pop and turn a profit.
My journey in motherhood so far has been a wonderful mess, full of lemon-experiences at times.
A lemon is a circumstance or experience that has potential to be transformed or positively adjusted.
My biggest lemons:
Daphne’s small frame and low weight/slow weight gain
I feel that Daph’s doctor chucks a crate full of lemons at me sans warning while yelling ‘CATCH’ at every appointment.
I’ve had issues with Daphne’s doctor ever since Daphne started showing signs of slow weight gain.
Today was no different. Daphne’s 4 month well baby checkup was today. It definitely was a lemonade worthy moment.
We arrived early to the clinic and were called back. Daphne’s statistics were measured:
41 cm head circumference
23.5 inches long/tall
Doctor Doom had a different demeanor than usual. She seemed even more serious and gloomy than usual. She commented that Daphne is growing, but very slowly. She was concerned that Daphne is not receiving the proper nutrition for her to grow.
At that, my heart sank. I was already dreading her coming into the room after the nurses took her stats. I knew she would get on my case about Daphne’s weight, after all, she had lost about 11 ounces in a few weeks.
The next half hour was spent with Dr. Doom examining Daphne.
She offered this solution for Daphne’s weight and growth issues: Supplement her feedings with formula.
That was it.
I was so emotional, I was surprised I was able to hold myself together and not start crying.
I was able to ask her if there was a specific reason she wanted Daphne up in the weight charts.
Dr. Doom replied that now it’s about Daphne’s growth and she fears she is not growing adequately.
We set up yet another weight check for next week with a different doctor, as Dr. Doom would be out of town.
I walked Daphs out to the car in the cool morning air, reeking of fishy-sewage-water. I got in the car and started crying.
All that work.
All that hard work building up my supply…for what?
All that time and effort spent frustrated while Daphs cried for her pacifier…
All the extra calories I’ve been eating…
All the fenugreek I’ve been taking…
All of it…for what?
Apparently it hasn’t helped. Daphne actually LOST weight instead of gaining it since I stopped pumping and quit using the Supplemental Nutrition System.
I felt defeated. Deflated.
One thing I had not planned on was having troubles with feeding my daughter. I should have learned my lesson that life loves handing me lemons, as seen with my plans to have a natural unmedicated birth and how it actually turned out.
One thing that I shouldn’t have to worry about is feeding my daughter. It shouldn’t be that hard.
Yet…here we are.
I realize that it is not the end of the world to offer Daphne formula. I am not disrespecting formula, however, I never had any intention on feeding it to Daphne. I was and am still a huge advocate for breastfeeding.
In reality, there are bigger fish to fry than stressing about the breast milk versus formula issue. There are bigger battles to fight than this. The important thing is that Daphne grows big and strong and that she gets what she needs.
Again, I sit at a crossroads.
I must be frank with you, friend; I do not want to go back to pumping every hour and using the SNS each time I feed Daphne. That was so very time consuming and draining. I would rather not be hooked up to my machines A. in front of my roommates, B. for hours at a time during the day, and C. have to retreat to my bedroom to do so every time I feed Daphs. It is such a heavy weight to be attached to me to have to pump and use the SNS.
I can’t just open my shirt to feed Daphs. No. I would have to first set down my fussy crying child long enough to fill the SNS and hang it on my neck, tape the tubes to my boobs and nipples. and then prop her up on the pillow–hoping she doesn’t choke on the tube or grab it with her exploratory hands.
Of course, after all that, she drains the SNS with ease and sometimes wants more. AND of course, I don’t have more because I only pump and ounce or two from the previous pumping session and don’t have any more to give her.
It is a frustrating mess of tubes just to feed my baby. Is the breastmilk worth it? At times I truly wonder.
With so many lemons in my hands, I don’t have a free ounce of strength in me to make lemonade right now. The weight of all those yellow bitter fruits weigh heavily on me.
What options do I have?
-Switch doctors. Get a second opinion
-Go back to pumping and using the SNS
-Pump exclusively and use bottles
-Supplement my boob juice with formula in the SNS.
-Switch to formula.
-Continue exclusively breastfeeding
I honestly am not happy with any of these options. Dr. Doom has placed doubt in my heart and I fully admit that I have a complex from it. It is so hard not to let it get to me.
I had always thought I’d be one of those proud breastfeeding moms…making enough milk to rival dairy farms with flowing fountains of milk for baby. Breastfeeding in public with no cover, proud to show off my motherly mammory skills.
That’s not how it is in reality.
I don’t feed Daphne in public. I leave the room to feed her in my own house. I am not proud to whip out my boob and feed my daughter in public. I feel that it is a private bonding time between me and Daphne. I can tout all I want about how boobs are first and foremost feeding tools for babies, but this overly sexualized society won’t initially think that. I just am not comfortable feeding Daphne in front of other people. Period.
It is as if nothing else is on my mind but breastfeeding. Feeding Daphne has been a source of inner turmoil for me as of late. My stress over it cannot be helping my supply.
I am overflowing with lemons and am honestly a bit tired of making lemonade. I think a person can have too much lemonade.
Why can’t I have tea?
My beautiful daughter lights up my life. I want the best for her. I will do what it takes to ensure her health and safety.