Monday, February 11

Numbered days

I have been reluctant to talk about this, not because I'm afraid of what people think, but because I feel guilty. So here it is. I think my breastfeeding days are numbered.

I can rationalize this a lot of ways. Here is one. I did an experiment and started giving Erin formula bottles before bed to see if she was waking up so much because she was hungry. Sure enough, she has slept between 10 and 11 hours at night straight since we started it. So she wasn't getting enough from me before bed to last her. I know that it is normal in breastfed babies to wake up in the night more often, but it doesn't make me enjoy it more.

Here is another one. Erin really seems to love bottles. Whenever one is in her sight, she opens up her little birdie mouth so wide and starts hooting in excitement. When I pull the bottle out for a break, she grabs it and tries to bring it back to her mouth immediately. Who am I to stand in the way of my daughter's happiness?

And really here is the most pressing reason. I am just done. From day one, I have never been one of those moms who feel such a special bond from breastfeeding. It was just my job. I worked through problems to do that job just like anyone else might. But I was never excited about it. I feel just as attached and bonded to Erin when I bottle-feed her.

So there it is. I feel guilty because I should be wanting to do it longer for my child. But six months is pretty good, right? Mike is fine with whatever I want to do, which is saying a lot when he knows our costs are going to go up. Those of you who know him know how very much that means. :)

So our days look like this:
wake-up time - breastfeed
an hour or so later - cereal and fruit
mid-AM - bottle (7 oz)
noon - veggie and maybe cereal
mid-PM - breastfeed
dinner - cereal and veggie
before bed - bottle (7 oz)
middle of night (if awake) - breastfeed

And those breastfeeds will probably gradually change to bottles as time goes on. I really don't anticipate a problem with engorgement because i just don't think I produce that much milk. Erin is always eager to take a bottle, even after breastfeeding. I do kind of feel like that is another rationalization. Well, I just don't have enough milk, I could tell myself. But I know there are things I can do to change that. I just don't really want to put in the effort to continue something I don't enjoy.

It was fun while it lasted.

12 comments:

Tiffanyrose said...

You really have nothing to feel guilty about. YOU did an amazing job keeping it up as long as you have and Erin has reaped the benefits from it. Every child is different and it takes a good mother to realize that. Good for you to be in sync with Erin and know what she needs.

brittany said...

I have no kids...so I'm not an expert, but I'm amazed that you've kept it up this long. It seems like a pain in the you know what, and I don't think I'll be that strong! =)

Chelsi said...

I second what Tiffany said. As someone who didn't have a choice about breastfeeding, doing it for any amount of time seems great to me. You have to do what feels right for you and Erin!

Nikki said...

It's good to hear a breastfeeding Mommy note that you can still form that same amazing bond feeding, nourishing, holding and snuggling your baby, even if your body isn't producing the milk they're drinking. I've always believed that anyway, but it's still good to hear. I know breastfeeding is the "natural" choice, but I often wonder just how much better it is for the baby. Formula babies seem to be doing just fine. And how thankful I am for that. Erin wants a happy, well-rested Mommy, and I'm sure she's in full support of whatever decision you make! :)

stacy said...

you're awesome...6 months is fantastic...sleep is better haha...i'm all for sleep

ljkolumbus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Keri Donald said...

From what I've read recently, 6 months is the point where they have gotten the maximum benefit and the rest is just icing on the cake. :) Don't feel guilty... You're a wonderful Mommy and I find myself thinking "WWAD?" (What Would Angelle Do?) more often then you know. :)

(Sorry... I posted from my mom's account just a sec ago)

Emily said...

I think you've done a wonderful job going that long! I tried and failed on BF'ing both boys - it's your choice and don't let anyone let you think differently - AND, don't feel guilty one bit about it.

Mirdonamy said...

You have to trust your instinct, and if it's time to stop... so be it! I think Erin will enjoy sleeping through the night as much as you will! :)

NaeNae said...

I can totally relate to this post. I had the exact feelings while breastfeeding my oldest. Breastfeeding did not help to bond us closer together - it felt just as you described it - a job. I too, felt a lot of guilt. Hats off to you for making it 6+ months! I only made it 2 weeks.

Christina said...

I understand exactly what you mean Angelle and I was feeling the same way. There are only so many hours in the day and I just can't do it anymore. I've pretty much come to the same decision. I'm only nursing twice a day now with Kaitlyn. I don't have time to pump while I'm at work.

I feel so much better now too...you put exactly how I was feeling in words!!!

The Ayers Family said...

I would LOVE to stop breastfeeding but my sweet little monster won't take formula to save his life! I guess he finds water just as satisfying.(i was even a bad mom and put choc. syrup in the formula to see if he would take it) He has been cut off from the boob except once a day and that was only implemented because I forgot exactly how much it hurts to quit. Breastfeeding IS a job! Don't feel guilty... you have to quit some jobs because there's always something else to replace it.