Breastfeeding

One of the sweetest discoveries as a new mom has been the joy of breastfeeding.  It’s amazing that I was so nonchalant about it before Davie was born – “if it works out, great, if I can’t, that’s ok, too.”  But from the first time I tried breastfeeding some deep, primal urge came over me and I HAD to breastfeed, I wanted it more than anything.  Then it took almost two agonizing weeks for my milk to come in!

Even though we’ve had to supplement with formula from the start, I’ve loved every minute of breastfeeding and I’ll take all we can get.  In between feedings I’ve been pumping like crazy to stimulate my breasts to make as much milk as they can.  Although it’s been uncomfortable at times, I’ve been fortuante that breastfeeding and pumping haven’t been painful for me.  I love the bonding, the knowledge that I can soothe her better than anyone else, even if I can’t supply all – or even half – of her intake.

I have two favorite times of the day – early in the morning, before anyone else gets up, I’ll change her diaper and snuggle down in our big bed with Davie and breastfeed.  She always curls up into a little ball against my side.  By the time we’re done, Troy is usually up and ready to top her off with a bottle.  The second is in the evening right before we put her to bed, we’ll breastfeed as long as she likes.  After she drifts off to sleep, I’ll pull her toasty little butterball body up on my chest and let her sleep there until we go to bed.  I love feeling her heartbeat next to mine, hearing her little murmers and chirps in her sleep, kissing her head and breathing in her sweet baby smell.

Lately Davie hasn’t been as ‘into’ breastfeeding as she used to – at times.  Most of the time, she’s still interested.  But when she’s really hungry or really upset, she’d rather have a bottle.  I’m sure she knows I don’t have a lot milk, and she’d rather get it easier and in volume.  And when she’s too upset a bottle calms her down faster.

I’m really struggling with the change, even though it’s subtle.  I’m sure she can sense if I’m tense or stressed, so I try to stay calm and be ok with offering her a bottle when the boob just won’t do.  Mom says babies will sometimes just naturally pull away on their own, but she seems too young to start doing that.  And I worry that the small milk supply I do produce is waning, despite dedicated pumping and nursing.  Maybe she senses that, too.

Eventually I’ll have to let go of breastfeeding so we can embark on IVF #2.  Tomorrow is my birthday, and I’ll be 40, so the sooner we start TTCin’ #2, the better.  But breastfeeding is so much sweeter than I ever would’ve imagined, I just don’t want to give it up.  What if we never get #2?  I’ll have given up my only opportunity to breastfeed.  Even if I did get pregnant again, I may still regret giving up the time with Davie.  On the other hand, every year our insurance coverage changes.  What if next year they cut out infertility coverage?  We’ll have lost our only way to have a baby.  Argh, I don’t know what to do. 

All I know is, I love what I have with Davie now.  I’ve decided to push the next IVF ’til August instead of July.  Who knows, maybe by then Davie will have given up breastfeeding on her own.  That would be easier on me than just taking it away from her, although it will still just break my heart.  What to do, what to do.

 

 

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15 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kari
    Jun 20, 2011 @ 16:43:51

    The nusing relationship is truly unique. You’re doing a great job!! I hope Davie is just going through a temporary bit of a nursing strike, but if not, its not your fault if she decides to quit nursing. Once these little ones realize how easy it is to get milk from a bottle its hard to get them to work for it sometimes. Keep up the good work and enjoy it while it lasts. Each moment is a blessing!!

    Reply

    • iamstacey
      Jun 23, 2011 @ 15:41:21

      I keep thinking about mistakes I’ve made … if only, if only, you know? If only I’d gotten up during the night more often to pump, maybe if she didn’t stay with my mom two nights a week …
      I know someday it’ll all feel like small potatoes, but right now I just wish I could’ve pumped enough to be her sole intake, and that I could’ve breastfed at least until she started eating solids.

      Reply

  2. Amber
    Jun 20, 2011 @ 17:05:41

    I loved every second of breastfeeding too, but I am quite relieved that my body is all mine again for now. Paisley and I still have lots of sweet cuddle time, but she was ready to move on to solids and I was ready for the break. So, while I miss it a lot when I read about your sweet moments, you’ll be fine when it’s over too. 🙂

    Reply

    • iamstacey
      Jun 23, 2011 @ 15:42:36

      I wish I could’ve made it until Davie started eating solids! And you have tons in the freezer, too. I keep thinking if only I hadn’t had a breast reduction, maybe …. but I think I just need to be happy with what we’ve gotten so far. Can’t go back and change it now!

      Reply

  3. My Bumpy Journey
    Jun 20, 2011 @ 23:40:48

    Such a hard decision, but I can totally understand! I think you are doing an awesome job!!!

    Reply

    • iamstacey
      Jun 23, 2011 @ 15:47:44

      It is hard! I had no idea how much guilt there was wrapped up in breastfeeding. It’s a much more complicated issue that I ever would’ve imagined before Davie. I know it sounds so naive, but it’s been a total surprise to me!

      Reply

  4. katery
    Jun 21, 2011 @ 12:54:50

    i’m sure you will miss it when the time comes to stop, but if you have to stop sooner rather than later, at least you have the peace of mind knowing that davie got breastmilk in the begining.

    Reply

    • iamstacey
      Jun 23, 2011 @ 15:49:19

      It does make me feel better to know she had it from the start. And when she was really little, I made enough that more than half her intake was breast milk and she had the seedy boob juice poo. Now that she’s bigger and she drinks so much more, the breastmilk is such a small part of her daily intake. But I’m glad she gets what she does!

      Reply

  5. Wombded
    Jun 21, 2011 @ 17:47:38

    You’ve made it to 4 months! Think of everything else as gravy. You’ve given her a precious gift and don’t second guess yourself if things peter out. Supply is bound to drop off with more pumping and less baby on the boob. Just work on being okay with that. You’re doing and have done the very best for your baby and your family. You’re a great mommy and Davie is going to be fine….and believe it or not, you will be, too!

    kisses

    Reply

    • iamstacey
      Jun 23, 2011 @ 15:53:05

      I just keep second-guessing myself! If only I nursed more, or pumped more … but if the boob doesn’t make her happy now, I can’t go back or change it. She still seems to enjoy it every now and then for comfort, though, and that’s comforting to me, too! I’ll keep pumping as long as I can!

      Reply

  6. Pie
    Jun 22, 2011 @ 16:16:32

    I’ve been thinking a lot about your post, and how to comment. You know I had mixed feelings (at best!!) about BFing, and have now stopped altogether. But I have to tell you, it was bittersweet when it was all over – I totally get that. I was sort of surprised how much I missed it. But, I still have sweet cuddles and closeness with her when she eats out of the bottle now too – so it’s not like that has to go away. It sounds like other people do a lot of the bottle feeding, while you do the breast. So maybe as you stop the breast, you do more bottle feeding? I still put her on the My Brest Friend, so it raises her up a bit, and that way we are head to head (or really my cheek to her forehead) as she eats. It is very snuggly and cozy for both of us, and she still gets that skin-to-skin contact. And I will say, I often notice now nice it is to have my body fully my own again (and making estrogen!!), so there is that upside.

    You are doing a great job by that sweet little girl!! Keep up the good work!

    Reply

    • iamstacey
      Jun 23, 2011 @ 15:54:46

      I like that suggestion, Pie! I did it the very next feeding. I propped her up on my breastfeeding pillow while I gave her a bottle and made lots of eye contact and gave her lots of kisses. It wasn’t quite the same as breastfeeding, but it was less stressful for both of us, I have to admit.

      Reply

  7. Aisha
    Jun 22, 2011 @ 22:02:02

    Awww your description of her little body as she breastfeeds and falls asleep- melts my heart! Kudos to you for doing all you can for this- either way breastfeeding or bottlefeeding you are an awesome mom and THAT is what your little sweetheart needs above all.

    Reply

    • iamstacey
      Jun 23, 2011 @ 15:55:51

      I hope so, I hope it’s been enough! I know I can’t go back, but if I could I would and would do things differently so I could breastfeed better now! I’m really going to miss it when she decides she doesn’t want it at all.

      Reply

  8. raisingbrainchild
    Jun 24, 2011 @ 14:48:08

    Hi, Stacey. I am a “come lately” to this post and to your blog, but I wanted you to know that I too really struggled with never making enough milk to feed my daughter solely from the breast. She had to be supplemented from her 2nd week on and she still didn’t return to her birth weight until after her first month. Feeding and pumping (and everything else that goes along with trying to increase a supply) was really hard and completely guilt-filled for me. However, I eventually came to a point where I HAD to give up those feelings, and suddenly, I could enjoy what breastfeeding I was able to do. It sounds like you have already found that joy. Just know that when you also give up breastfeeding that special time that you have together doesn’t completely go away…it just gets experienced a little differently and it’s still special and intimate. And, if it helps at all, once I gave up breastfeeding, I began to feel much more like my old self. That served as some consolation for me and helped to make the transition easier.

    Reply

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