Thursday, October 13, 2011

Let's Talk About


I am a firm believer in breast is best
!!!!DON'T SHOOT!!!!

I do believe that it is "best", but not always possible.
For many reasons.
Simply having a squishy baby is a huge adjustment; and sometimes, nursing just isn't possible.

And sometimes people just don't want to.
Not my business.

That said
I am no longer nursing, so I clearly have no room to judge.

I was an idiot firm believer that breastfeeding in public is offensive.
What a betch.
But after spending my fair share of time nursing in a bathroom stall listening to a melodious chorus of flushes and other awesome sounds I changed my tune. We went to a wedding when Ellie was 3 weeks old and I spent half the reception sitting in a bathroom stall. I'm not exaggerating.
Not my idea of a good time.
 A month ago I put away the nursing bras and tank tops, lanolin, and washed my pump kit for the last time and laid it in it's final resting place on the top shelf in the closet.
(That is, until I pop out another little mini) 
Oh breast pump let me count the ways I do not miss you.

I like that I can wear a regular bra. I don't have to worry about wearing something that gives easy access.
I don't have to pump before I go to bed: by golly I can just go to sleep!

We made 8 months; and all things aside I am really proud of myself. The decision to quit stop nursing was a hard one for me. I had given myself very specific goals. Breastfeed exclusively for 6 months, then continue on until the age of 1. And I thought if I didn't meet those goals then I was a failure. (Talk about mommy guilt!) I remember sobbing S.O.B.B.I.N.G. while I gave E her first bottle of formula when she was 3 months old.
I put waaaaaaay too much pressure on myself. It's not that serious. It obviously didn't kill her.
We had a lot of obstacles.
Not at first.
She was 6lbs 12oz at birth, 6lbs 5.5oz at newborn exam, and 9lbs at her one month appointment. We were doing great, but that didn't stop people from asking me if she was getting enough or if the Dr. was happy with her weight gain. SERIOUSLY??? 3lbs in a month, what do you think?? Anytime a baby cries (especially a breastfed baby) they "must" be hungry.
I didn't have a lot of support
I mean support in the sense of someone who has breastfed before and gave me advice, counsel, could show me what to do etc.
I had support in the sense of people telling me just to quit.
And then I read this book.
(Seriously La Leche is the best!)
But despite nay-sayers we were doing great.
She tricked me into thinking it was the easiest thing in the world!
She had some belly issues early on that led to about 3 months where scream-o was the soundtrack to my life.
It was awful. I cut out dairy-nada. Took her to the chiropractor-helped a little.
Started giving her a probiotic-hallelujah she started pooping again and the screaming stopped
(for the most part)
Then came the distractable months.
This in conjunction with the issues we had just conquered was too much. We struggled through about 4 more months nursing but it was just too much.
There were days that I would nurse her in the morning and then wouldn't nurse her again the rest of the day. That really took a toll on my supply. So by the time we put away the nursing pads it wasn't a huge adjustment for either of us.
There are days that I wish I was still nursing. I miss that bond. I wish I hadn't let other people get inside my head and make me doubt myself. 
Sometimes wonder if I should have just pushed through 4 more months but
I did a good job!
And I have full intentions of nursing every last one of our little offspring.

Next time I'll know to call La Leche League first instead of my Dr who knows nothing about breastfeeding. I'll know to not be so hard on myself and set realistic-short term goals. I'll know to trust my body and not let anyone make me doubt myself, my supply, or my instincts.
And that when I feel like something isn't normal, it probably isn't.
So now E is formula fed.
And that's ok.
Do I still have some mommy guilt
Breast may be "best"
but giving my baby formula doesn't make me any less of a {GREAT} mom.

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