Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bye Bye Breastfeeding

The week before Samantha turned 8 months, my milk started to dry up.  Not just a little.  But a drastic amount, to the point where poor Samantha was hungry, thirsty and not wetting enough diapers.  For days, I tried nursing more to help bring it back.  I drank more water, cut out anything bad, ate more, and it did not help.

I had been through this road with Kaitlyn to.  With Kaitlyn, I added herbs, teas, tinctures, old wives tales and anything I could think of to try and protect my supply.  I got 2 1/2 more months.  It was frustrating.  I constantly worried about whether she was getting enough, weighed her before and after every meal with the baby scale and didn't enjoy it at all.  But, she spit up formula worse than she did breast milk, and she was miserable on formula. Which, is why she went to milk at 10 months.  With, her doctor's approval, obviously.

This time, I wasn't going to stress about it.  I really, really, really wanted to get to a year of breastfeeding, but not at all possible costs.  I refused to have breastfeeding turn into something that wasn't enjoyable, something that was so stressful I was ripping my hair out and something that caused me to worry about my daughter around the clock.

I'll be honest.  I do not like formula.  I know there is nothing wrong with it.  And I know many kids thrive on formula.  I know that it passes regulations and protocols.  I know all this.  But, I still hated it.  I hated the smell, I hated the cost, I felt that it was gross and actually did (and still kinda do) feel guilty about giving it to my kid.  I know I should be proud that we went nearly 8 months without opening a can of the stuff, but instead I do feel let down that I didn't make it further.

At first, we were still nursing at night.  It comforted her and me, and it's when my supply has always been the most abundant.  But, we've gone over 24 hours without nursing now and she doesn't try to latch on through my clothes anymore.  She's excited about a bottle and is finally taking more than 2-4 ounces at a time.

I know that there isn't anything wrong with formula and I'm not sure why I have such a stigma about it.  It's not poison.  It's nutrition and nourishing her should be all that truly matters.  But, I have to admit, I really do miss nursing.  I miss cuddling her so close and no matter how similar the bottle can be at feeding times, it just isn't the same.  But, there is one huge positive to formula.  Our youngest princess, the queen of spit-up who will easily spit up 2-4 oz after every feeding, even on Enfamil's A.R. spit up formula, has spit up once in the past week she's been on Similac's spit up formula.  That is a HUGE plus.   It's just one more reminder that she isn't our little, itty, bitty, nuzzle into your chest baby anymore.  She's on her way to toddlerhood, no matter how much I try to prevent it....


Christina said...

Oh wow, I can completely relate to the guilt and the not "liking" of formula (especially the smell! Both before feeding and after, lol). I decided recently to supplement on the rare occasion that I can't be with my baby, or just when I need a break. I'm struggling with PPD and I feel like this will help me tremendously, and it has so far. But I still feel so much guilt and shame for it, which is just kind of silly. We put so much pressure on ourselves to do the best we can for our kids, that anything less than the absolute best makes us feel like we've failed in some way. I'm working on trying to keep things in perspective, but it's definitely a struggle for me.

Reading sites like The Fearless Formula Feeder help me a lot.

AKD said...

We have officially made it a year, but it has been a struggle with all kinds of bumps! I often wish I had stopped around 8 months, before she started biting and it was still enjoyable. I am proud of you, mama!