Last month was National Breastfeeding Month and I can honestly say I’m actually pretty sad about all the Boobie Mania. Milan and I had quite a lot of difficulties getting going but after a couple of weeks everything went smoothly and I nursed him until he was 2. I enjoyed nearly every minute of it. In fact, if I hadn’t been pregnant, I don’t know if I could have stopped the breastfeeding so easily. At the end he only breastfed for comfort. I loved having my growing son in my arms cuddled up. It was as close as I could get to him being a little baby. To be honest, I still sometimes miss those moments with him. Luckily, he’s a great cuddler and loves his mommy time so now we spend it snuggled up on the couch or at nap time.
However with Max, I was never able to get my supply and demand in sync with him. So we’ve had to supplement with formula which is really not a big deal. But as we have given our son more and more formula, I’m overcome with such guilt. When I see a mom whip out a bottle of formula, I don’t judge but I do wonder if they do breastfeed simultaneously, because its such a special experience. With every bottle I’m painstakingly aware that it is just one more time that I’m not able to breastfeed him. And to make matters worse, the majority of the bottles that I gave him I did the big no-no… I propped the bottle!
At the beginning I needed to prop the bottle because he would get frustrated when I held him in my arms. He would get a bottle after nursing so I was already out of milk. He would pull off the bottle and try to nurse and get so completely frustrated. I realized early on that he was much calmer and happier if he was by himself. Luckily, he doesn’t mind hanging out in my arms with a bottle now but that’s a recent development (like in the last couple of weeks).
And one more reason to feel guilty… formula costs a lot of money! Sadly, we qualify for WIC but they don’t offer any of the formula types that agree with Max. And I really prefer to give him an organic brand of formula anyways. If he can’t get booby milk from me, the least I can do is give him milk with the least amount of pesticides and chemicals.
So with each canister of formula we buy, I’m not only cringing at the money but crying inside because I realize how many more precious moments with my baby are slipping by.
I know there are plenty of ways to increase your milk supply but I’m not good at pumping. Its really hard with an active, energetic toddler in the house. Now that he started back in preschool, hopefully I’ll get some more time to pump, but realistically, I’m only adding in one pumping session while he’s at school. Some kids will let their mommies pump… mine does not. Almost every time I break out the breast pump, he knows that I’m tied to the couch for the next 20-30 minutes so he decides to go and do all the things that he knows he’s not allowed to. Thus forcing me to stop pumping and get up and go to him. Its understandable but frustrating.
I can’t just let my toddler do whatever he wants while I’m pumping, but if I stop pumping I feel like I’m letting Max down. Damned if I do, damned if I don’t!