Did you know that August is National Breastfeeding month? That, combined with the fact that my boobs have tendered their resignation, makes it a good time to chat about the Big B: Breastfeeding.
Before I say another word I want to make one thing very clear: what you feed your baby is up to you. People have to do what is right for them and who am I to question their decisions. I am certainly not the “Teat Nazi” that Tina Fey hysterically describes in Bossy Pants but when I became pregnant I knew that I wanted to give breastfeeding a shot.
All that being said the little man is 10 months old today which means that I have been thinking about breastfeeding for 19 months. When I was pregnant people asked “are you planning on breastfeeding?”, when Hugh was born people asked “how is the breastfeeding going?”, a few months in I was asked “are you still breastfeeding?”. Questions, questions, questions and my answer was always the same: “I’m going to do it until, and unless I can’t”.
I was anxious before Hugh arrived because I really did feel this weight of expectation and responsibility to breastfeed. Not only from myself but from society in general. What if I couldn’t do it? Would I disappoint everyone, most importantly my baby? Would baby be okay if they had formula? I know from personal experience the answer is YES; I am the oldest of four children, none of whom were breastfed and all of whom are healthy.
So 10 months ago today I was relieved when both myself and Hugh worked well together on the breastfeeding front. I did not have such a positive relationship with the breast pump which meant that I have to exclusively nurse. I had heard horror stories of exclusively breastfed babies rejecting bottles so at six months we introduced a bottle and formula to make sure he was okay with both and he was cool with that too.
At the beginning breastfeeding was a lot of work but it was so worth it. Then the idea of making bottles seemed like a lot more effort than nursing so I just kept on going and have made it so much longer than I ever thought I would. I figured I made it this long I will just keep going for the year when he will more than likely switch to milk anyway. But alas it would seem that my body is not on the same page as me and for the last week or so I have felt a serious decline in my supply. Luckily I have a friend that is a lactation consultant and she assured me that it “was normal for my milk to decrease around now”.
And so the emotional roller coaster continues. I didn’t want it to end like this. I want to say when and how. I have tried everything you are supposed to for increasing supply (hydration, oatmeal, supplements) but I think it is time to accept that my baby is growing up, my body is moving on to the next stage in our relationship and now I have to as well.
I am sad. I will miss it and the ease, comfort and connection I have felt with my son. But there is a bright side. I will not miss nursing tank tops and look forward to wearing the majority of my wardrobe that has been off limits because of boob accessibility!
And that is a day in the life of a mom.
In case you missed it:
A day in the life of a ROYAL mom….
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