This is gonna be a hard post to write. So let’s just be happy and supportive and banish all condemning thoughts, mmkay?
Two months ago I wrote about how I was still breastfeeding and everything was hunky dory. Well no less than about a week or so later, my milk supply started dropping. You remember, I wrote about it. You all had lots of suggestions of things I could try. So I went and bought the following: fenugreek, powerade, mother’s milk tea, IBC root beer, and I looked for Blessed Thistle but they couldn’t find it. I also tried really hard to get enough sleep, enough food, and I was guzzling water like crazy. I tried pumping but I just didn’t have time for it since for some reason my milk would take at least 10-20 minutes just to let down. And some days I thought it was working. But it wasn’t. I was more stressed out than ever, trying to get my milk supply to go back up.
Every day was a battle, trying to help Miss E be satisfied. She was getting enough, and gaining weight, but she wasn’t getting enough to be happy and content. She was always fussy. She wouldn’t take a bottle, which was the biggest issue. And it would be a huge struggle to get her to go to bed at night unless by some miracle I could coax her into taking a bottle. Every day I would tell my sister “That’s it–I can’t take it anymore, I’m quitting!” and she would talk me down, into trying to go a little longer, rating each day and how it went. But two weeks later, I just said Okay. This just isn’t working. It’s not worth the stress for both of us. I’m going to stop.
And I wasn’t looking for permission to stop. I just made the decision quietly and peacefully and instantly I felt SO. MUCH. BETTER. Just making that decision was such a burden off my shoulders.
So I started weaning slowly…very slowly actually. I found that I could give her a bottle if I gave it to her right when she woke up from a nap. So I would give her one or two supplemental bottles a day and then one right before bed. It was working okay and I was planning on doing that for a long time until my supply dried up completely.
But then she got another ear infection. A bad one. She spent most of the day and night screaming, poor girl. And she flat out refused to nurse. So after a day or two of her not nursing, I just decided to wean completely. And it was tough–and painful. I am really prone to getting clogged milk ducts and I am still fighting them. And seriously for some reason this time around pumping is just so hard. It seems to take forever and I get hardly anything out. That was the case even before I weaned too…it was very strange.
So I’m no longer nursing my baby. And I’m a little sad about it, since I worked so hard to do it. But really, I am so much less stressed out now and she is a breeze to feed. Thankfully when she went on strike she took bottles just fine. So I feed her formula and breastmilk, and to be honest, its nice to be in familiar territory. I know exactly how much she is eating, I can leave her with a baby sitter, and if she’s hungry I will always have food.
It’s a hard post for me to write because I feel like I’m letting down so many of you who have encouraged me and supported me. And I’m even still a little disappointed too. I don’t think it’s WRONG or BAD to formula feed (obviously since I have always done it,) it’s just not the ‘natural’ way. But at the end of the day, I made the right decision for me and my baby.
And I’ve always supported moms who formula feed because no matter what their reason, they are just as good of mothers as any breastfeeding mom. I seem to be the ‘both ways’ type of mom. I’ve had a C section AND a vaginal birth. I’ve breastfed AND bottle fed. I’ve co-slept AND not. I think I have a pretty broad view of motherhood. So I guess it’s a blessing that I can sympathize with many.
What does this have to do with Weigh-in Wednesday? Now that I’m no longer nursing, I am actually able to lose weight. I’m doing Weight Watchers (only 26 points a day now) and running in the mornings and I’ve lost 4 pounds. And I gotta say, it’s great to diet and not worry about my milk supply.