I haven’t mentioned anything about this for fear of jinxing it, but it’s been a couple of weeks now, so I think it’s safe to talk about it. Here’s my big confession: we’ve given breastfeeding another shot.
After I had that little meltdown a couple of weeks ago, I took a couple of days off, and I announced to Dave, my mom, the Internet and anyone else who would listen that I was Not Going to Do This Anymore. Then the next day, for reasons that I still can’t explain, I stuck Cate on the boob again. I guess I felt like I had officially given up, so I had nothing to lose.
Aaaand, we’ve been doing it pretty consistently ever since then. I nurse her an average of five or six times a day – and despite what all of the breastfeeding experts say, the frequency and duration has not made my milk supply increase at all. Each time she nurses, I only hear her swallow a few times, and she’s still ravenous for a bottle afterward. And I keep having to increase the amount of formula she gets, so obviously my milk supply isn’t keeping up with her appetite. So I don’t know how much benefit (if any) she’s getting from it. I rationalize it by thinking that some breastmilk must be better than none, so we’re hanging in there.
I honestly don’t know how long we’ll keep it up. I’m thinking in short-term goals. We’re about to reach the one month point, and it’s not so bad, so I’ve started thinking that maybe I’ll try to keep breastfeeding until she’s six weeks old. Maybe, just maybe, I might make it to two months. But I’m not holding my breath on that one. We’re working the “one day at a time” plan here.
And I still don’t get the whole crazy-love-bonding thing from it. I’m constantly trying to make sure she’s latched on right, counting the number of times I hear her swallow, and watching the clock to see how long she’s been nursing. It’s not this Sweet Hallmark Moment that people make it sound like. It feels like Work – something you do out of some sense of obligation, not because you like it.
In contrast, this morning, Cate and I lay on the couch together and did nothing but stare at each other for a half hour. That was an awesome little Mommy & Baby Hallmark Moment. The nursing thing? Eh, not so much. And that’s ok, I just don’t know how long I can keep myself motivated to keep it up. But we’re doing alright for now.
I think the bottom line is you have to do what works for you. If nursing, and then following up with a bottle, works for you, then go for it. 🙂
It is totally work, especially in the beginning. Good for you for hanging in there, and don’t feel guilty when it’s no longer working. Life goes on, even without breastmilk.
Staring into the whorling baby vortex = fun for hours. 🙂