That is the face of a happy, exclusively formula fed baby! Yup, all formula, all the time.
It’s no secret that breastfeeding, on a personal level, is not my favorite. This has nothing to do with other people. This is strictly about me and my breastfeeding journey which has been complicated, to say the least. So you would think that if I would just stop, I would be happy, relieved even. Surprisingly, I’m not.
Last week marked the end of my breast feeding journey and it’s bittersweet. I’m not really sure why I’m sad about stopping something I didn’t really enjoy and was difficult for me. I had been trying to do as much as I could in my power (and my comfort zone) to nurse RC. Anytime we were out, I would give him a bottle, but other than that, I would nurse him for as long as he would do it. But something just wasn’t working. I think that if we hadn’t had to supplement so early that maybe this would have been easier. Maybe he wouldn’t have prefered the bottle over me. But at that time, it was a choice between strictly breastfeeding or getting my baby to gain weight and get the jaundice out. Baby wins! Also, I just wasn’t producing what he needed. I know that from pumping. Who’s to say that, even if we didn’t supplement so early, it would have been any different.
Maybe part of it is a feeling of failure. That I didn’t try hard enough. If I could have just gotten over my discomfort and done it even in public, he would’ve gotten used to it. I know I can’t think that way but I do. I can’t force my body to make anymore milk than it’s capable of making. I can’t think of my self as a failure at breastfeeding because of that just as I can’t think of myself as a failure at basketball becuase I’m 5’1″.
If anything, I feel like I can bond more with my son now because I’m less stressed. He looks right at me when I give him a bottle, something he didn’t really do while breastfeeding. I can smile at him and talk to him, not constantly fidget and fuss trying to get him to stay latched or keep from leaking out the other side. It’s made for calmer nights and easier days. RC is sleeping better (let’s knock on some wood!) and so are we!
While I’m sad that that part of my mommyhood journey is officailly over, I’m definitely more so relieved at the pressure I no longer feel.