Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Letting Go

I'm going to let go of breastfeeding. 

Oh let the breastfeeding advocates descend upon me and tear me apart, limb by limb, via blog comments.

I started having trouble keeping up with his appetite a couple of months ago and had been supplementing him with one bottle of formula per day for a little while now.  His appetite has only grown and my milk supply hasn't.  I was up to two bottles of formula per day and have recently gone to three. 

I have a love/hate relationship with breastfeeding. On one hand it's so convenient to always have food with me and to never have to worry about packing around bottles and formula or trying to figure out ways to heat a bottle on the go.  And there's the bond.  Yes, I believe breastfeeding my son has given us a special bond, and I have some very special memories of he and I nursing. 

On the other hand, I get a physical feeling of depression/anxiety while I am nursing. It is not caused by my thoughts but from the actual sensation of breastfeeding.  Also, I struggled with being the sole person responsible for feeding my son - especially with a busy toddler to chase.  It is nice to be able to put him in his daddy or his grandma's arms and hand them a bottle and let someone else feed him when he is hungry - which is often.

I have long since put away the breast pump. Never to be used again. Ever. (Good riddance, Motherfucker!)

When I nurse him he is hungry such a short time later - less than two hours.  With a bottle of formula he'll go three.  I need the extra time, I really really do. I have diminishing milk supply which I realize I could correct by drinking copious amounts of herbal tea and taking supplements but I'll tell ya, I've got enough things to try to remember and take care of every day. 

So it seems like we're on the path to weaning.  There have been times in the past that I've thought about it but it made me feel too sad/guilty/not ready.  But I think I'm ok with it now.


Alicia said...

And I say good for you, Tara. You're doing what you need to do, one step at a time, and I applaud you for it. Helping yourself will help your family. Not having EVERYTHING depend on you is a step in the right direction. I know you'll miss the bond, but I can also attest to the fact that there's still a bond when formula feeding. There is. Staring into your child's eyes while (s)he's chowing down, whether breast or bottle, makes that bond.

Anonymous said...

Ditto to the above comments. You gave him what you had to give, and who can ask for more than that! Maybe you can just nurse once a day before bed or something for the "bonding", and move onto the bottle for all other times :) Thinking of you!

Anonymous said...

You are in that time where the best thing you can do is the thing that helps you get in the best possible place. Let go of the guilt, don't worry about what others will think and do what you need to do. I gave up breastfeeding very early on for the exact same reasons and I was so much happier for it. I will tell people about it till the cows come home because ultimately, I was the one who was going to have to live with the depression and guilt to stick with the breastfeeding, not them. So, I am a formula fan all the way. I'm glad I had the breastfeeding opportunity but I'm also glad that I gave it up on my terms.

Good for you.

Eb 40+ said...

Yeah, I agree, well done that women! I pump twice a day. Yep, that is it. I tried to do it every three hours to get my supply up but I work full time, have two little ones and it pissed me off.
So I stopped and I give the kids 'milk expresso' (about 2 fl oz).
In the beginning my nanny bitched about how they should be breast fed. Then she had to look after them. She hasn't mentioned it since :-)

You made the right choice for you. Fanatics be dammed.

JJ Keith said...

Gosh, I hope no one would dare to give you flack for this. You gotta do what you gotta do and I think it might really improve your quality of life to give up your monopoly on feeding Lincoln. I imagine I will be relieved when someone else can feed my boy too (I mean, that is without that f*cking pump).

Esperanza said...

I'm also letting go of breastfeeding. I can't pump at work, it just gives me too little time for myself there, and I need that time for myself. I'm going to start reading the chapters on weaning when I get home, then all my breastfeeding books will go to my friend who is having a baby in March. I have to say, I'm 99% elated to give it up, but there is small part of me that will miss it. The thing is, I think my daughter is also ready for the change. She doesn't seem to enjoy it much of the time anyway. I think we're both ready. I hope it goes well for you. Give us any tips that you figure out as you do it!