First, I just want to say: yes, I’m still alive and kickin’ over here. I have really been slack lately about posting on the ol’ blog. I think it’s actually a good thing, though, because I’ve been really productive at work and in my personal life for a change. Anyway, I promised to share how I’m doing with breastfeeding and my thoughts on all of that. Today is as good a day as any to get all of this off of my chest. Pun not intended, but it totally rocks.
Okay. Here goes nothing… I’m ending my relationship with my pump. I will soon be feeding Maddux formula only, and I plan to slowly reduce the amount of breast milk he receives each day.
I don’t know why sharing the fact that I’m quitting breastfeeding is so hard for me. Well, that’s a lie. I do know why. I feel like a failure. A quitter. A fake.
But I’m not. Maddux will get breast milk up until his 6 month birthday. SIX MONTHS of anything is a pretty big commitment. I worked HARD to do this for six months. Working full time and pumping is no easy task. Yes, some women can do it for a year (or longer) and have no trouble at all. I’m not one of those women. Physically, I do believe I could keep it up for another year. I have a decent supply, haven’t had any issues with using the pump, and I haven’t had too hard of a time keeping up with Maddux’s changing needs. There were some rough patches with keeping my supply up, but I tried my best to keep it going. I was pretty darn successful. So, physically, I was right on track to being able to make it a while longer.
Mentally, though, I am shot. I never was able to relax. My mind was constantly on my pump. If I was at work and couldn’t pump, I would freak out. If Ryne and I left Maddux with my mom and tried to go to dinner, I would track the minutes like a maniac. I would literally melt down and have full blown panic attacks. I wasn’t connecting the dots, but Ryne was. He knew it was the pumping and breastfeeding that was causing me to feel such extreme stress, anxiety, and guilt.
I had fully intended a week ago to be writing about how I plan to supplement breast milk with formula. I thought that by decreasing the amount of pressure I felt to pump and produce for my child, that I would feel less stressed.
It didn’t work. If anything, I felt increasing pressure to only have to use one or two bottles of formula each day. I had turned it into an even more important “battle” in my head.
So, to make a long story short, I am beginning to transition fully to formula. It’s what is best for my family and myself. I don’t feel that I’m being selfish anymore. I felt that way when I first starting considering it, but now I realize it is exactly what I need to do! I don’t really know how to end this post, except to say that I’m already starting to feel a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders. I’m happier. My child is happier. It’s good.
**I just want to add that no matter what or how you choose to feed your child, your LOVE matters most. I felt pressure to breastfeed (from myself only!), but that doesn’t mean breastfeeding is right for everyone. Formula isn’t right for everyone either. Only YOU know what will work for you and your child. Don’t let anyone tell you differently! We all judge and compare ourselves to each other as mothers, and it has got to stop! Anyway, that’s my PSA for today. :)**