So our breastfeeding journy has ended. I know it went pretty quick. I never thought I'd give up after just five days. But apparently there were a lot of things about breastfeeding that I never thought about.
I knew it would be difficult. I knew all the feedings would be on me. I knew I ran the risk of the pain of latch problems, clogged ducts, mastitis. I knew I'd be dealing with the stress of how much she's eating, how much to pump, when to pump, etc. Basically, what I knew was that it would be tough, but it would mainly be tough on me. I would be the one to go through this, and I was okay with that.
Here's what I didn't know. I didn't know how hard it would be to get what the LC called a picture perfect latch to become actual feeding. I didn't know how to make a baby just close her mouth and suck. I didn't know how much time and effort it would take to try to get milk to come in. I didn't know I would have to spend days with a baby on my bare skin, eating all the prefered lacto inducing foods, and still not have any milk to show for it. I didn't know I'd ignore AJ for days just to try to get C to eat anything at all. I didn't know I'd resent M for having the free time to play with AJ. I didn't know I could pump and pump and pump and only have one tenth of an ounce to show for it. I didn't know I would end up basically starving my baby because my body just didn't want to work the way I thought it would.
Last night, after my crying, C's crying and M just looking lost, we broke out the bottles. C took one and she ate. She gulped that thing down so fast, I had to keep taking it out so she could breathe and swallow. She was starved. Once she ate, she slept. She slept more soundly than I had ever seen her. And she had a nice wet diaper after. She was finally content. This morning, I attempted the breast routine again, one last time. I did the sugar water again, but she wasn't having any of it. I decided in a last effort before giving up, I'd go to a breastfeeding support group that was held today. What I saw was 20 very supportive and friendly women, all having issues with breastfeeding. Their babies were at all ages, and every one of them was having an issue. At that point, I felt okay in the decision to stop forcing it.
So, we all went to lunch as a family and enjoyed ourselves for the first time in days. I played with AJ while M fed C. It was such a weight off my shoulders.
Then, tonight, it started. I do believe my milk is finally making it's appearance. Now that we came to the acceptance of formula, I get that choice back. However the choice now is to pump only and keep with the bottle, or try to re-teach C to take to the breast. After much discussion, M and I decide it's just not worth the stress. AJ was formula fed, we are used to it and we just don't want to bring this back into the mix again. I was so torn all day. I cried more than I have in a long time. Then, I got a sign that we made the right choice for us. C pooped for the first time since late Friday night!
I am all smiles tonight as I bind my chest.