I saw a post from Katy about how her and her daughter have had a 20 month+ breastfeeding relationship. I’m not gonna lie, I was a little shattered.
I see the fully engorged beautiful milk laden boobs of my friends and I feel a tinge of jealousy –> I want to know what it’s like to feel letdown, to leak, to have an over supply. I know it sounds a bit nuts, but I wanted to breastfeed exclusively sooooo badly.
Having tried everything to get my supply up, I had to come to terms with what is…It will be what it will be…insufficient glandular tissue
We’ve started formula for Ainslie at night time and I SOBBED throughout the first bottle. My Husband was supportive but didn’t quite understand. It was the four weeks of trying so hard to overcome the impossible and it poured out of me. She was fine, I was grieving. The blow of it all has been eased by the incredible generosity of local mama’s who have donated their extra supply to us, so that we could keep Ainslie off of formula for as long as possible.
I’m forever grateful.
I never expected to be taking this path and there are still times when I really am pissed off about the fact that no matter what, I can’t feed her totally. I know that people are sweet and kind (and I do appreciate it) when they say things like “well that’s why formula was made” or “she’s happy and thriving” or “no matter how you feed her, it’s that she’s being fed.”
And they’re right
But I still grieve
And I think that I’ve had to allow myself to grieve. I’m still popping pills (fenegrek and Motilium) because at the very least I want to be able to bond with her.
To comfort nurse her, to ease her when she’s having a hard time falling asleep. I want to do it for her, and I want to do it (lets be honest) to keep the dream/hope/aspiration alive that I would breastfeed. There have been times when I’ve wanted to quit, when I felt that really this was more about ME then her. But I keep going. I’ve stopped pumping, I offer a full feed once/day and comfort nurse her throughout the day when she needs it.
I write because I KNOW that I’m not the only one..and perhaps because I have some sort of intense ‘over share’ gene in my body and like to talk a lot. I’ll give words to the thousands of women how have perhaps faced the same challenges and grieved, like I did, quietly. There’s a lot of pressure on women to breastfeed, and I’ll have to admit, humbly, that I to was a staunch supporter of ‘boob is best and just suck it up!’ beforehand. I’ve rescinded my harsh stance (as I have with A LOT of aspects about parenting). I can feel the anxiety about having to feed her a bottle in public, because I KNOW that before I had her, seeing a little squish with a bottle would send thoughts through my head about the mother ‘already giving her kid formula, poor baby!’. I’m just being honest. I’m breaking down my own walls here.
So we go boldly forward. Our donor milk is dwindling daily, her intake is increasing and the need to exclusively formula feed will become a reality. We’re grateful that so far, touch wood, she’s had not reactions to it at all and hasn’t refused it. She’s thriving and moving up sizes in clothes and smiling at us. She’s happy.
You learn a lot, very quickly, as a parent about your own transgressions, your own pre-parenting thoughts, how to survive, how important community is, and knowing that when you’ve done your best…it really is your best.