Stubborness and endings.

December 1, 2008 at 2:22 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

**It’s funny.

After I wrote that post yesterday? I ADDED a pumping session to my day.

I mean, that doesn’t MAKE SENSE. If I really want to QUIT, then why add another session? Why not REDUCE the amount of time I spend pumping every day?

See.

Just the act of writing “I want to quit BFing” made me really re-examine what I’ve been doing. And, as Kathy pointed out, WHY I want to make it to 12 months.

Because quitting is so FINAL… I need to make sure that I’m doing it for the RIGHT reasons, you know?

So why do I want to continue BFing Baby O, despite my dwindling supply?

Part of it is the antibodies, yeah. Partly. Because he’s had three colds which led to three ear infections. In three months. If I stopped sharing my immune system with him, would he get sick WORSE than just an ear infection? I don’t know. And that’s the part that worries me. If I quit, and he gets REALLY sick, I know I’d have to work at not feeling guilty.

Really, though? This all boils down to the fact that parenthood is not about convenience for ME. Would I prefer it that I don’t have to pump, or worry about taking fenugreek, or make sure I’m drinking enough (or too much) water? Definitely. It would be MUCH easier for me not to have to pump. Or worry about nursing.

But I know that if I didn’t give it my all, didn’t do my best to attempt to maintain nursing… then a part of me would feel like I took the easy way out. That I wasn’t willing to do what’s necessary to give my kid the best.

Now see. I don’t even THINK that BM is best. I was formula fed. Other than the exorbitant COST of formula, I have no issues with the fact that we’re giving Baby O 2oz of formula with every bottle he gets. (Ok well I will say I ABHOR washing bottles these days. I mean, seriously. There’s ALWAYS a bottle to wash in our house. The days where I was tickled to clean a bottle, that we were even ABLE to have bottles in our house? Those days are LONG GONE, people.)

So it’s not like I’m hung up on HAVING to BF because I think it’s best. I just WANT to do it.

In talking with my friend D, I likened it to stubbornness. In the early days, when my nips ware SO freaking sore and Baby O was eating every two seconds… it took sheer stubbornness to keep going. Back then I didn’t really THINK I’d quit. I wasn’t sure I could do it. I worried I couldn’t keep up with Baby O. But I never really seriously considered quitting.

It’s sort of like that. Regardless of WHEN I decide to end the pumping and/or the nursing – this feeding relationship with Baby O is going to end. And it’s not that far away, either.

So if I walked away from it now, just because it’s HARD?

I don’t know. It would make me feel bad about myself.

What I NEED to do is get comfortable with the fact that, at some point, my output will have dwindled enough to make pumping worthwhile. And that most likely Baby O will need a bottle after nursing when he’s hungry in the mornings.

I just have to decide at what point I’ll feel ok with walking away from pumping. From nursing.

I don’t know what that is yet. But clearly I’m not there yet.

Seriously, though? You ladies are fantastic. Because you’re right. Making it almost 9 months BFing is a BIG DEAL. It IS a cause for celebration, not self-denigration.

 

**As a TOTAL aside, could I use any more capitalized words in this post??? 🙂

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8 Comments »

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  1. I am so with you on this. I have often gone back and forth with BFing only to do everything in power to boost my supply and keep it going. I’m not really sure why I do it or when I’ll call it quits, but I hope that when the time comes I can do so with little heartache.

    Very glad to hear that you are doing what is best for you both! 🙂

  2. 9 months isn’t bad.

    In fact I think that about 9 mo is when Ethan started getting more pediasure to up cals, and we have pretty much stopped bfing for all PRACTICAL PURPOSES.

    I say for all practical purposes because he does still BF….sort of. I don’t think that he gets much at all…but we do “nurse” once or twice a day at bedtime always and sometimes at nap. He’s not routinely very interested. So I let him go if he’s not and once in a while he does nurse a bit, but for all practical purposes, it’s not REALLY breastFEEDING anymore so much as we’re still doing it for comfort if it works. Though in reality, it rarely DOES anymore.

    Could you do something like that? Start with formula some and your stash and then just nurse for comfort to keep up the relationship? I believe at SOME point a baby has firmly developed their own immune system and it likely doesn’t matter much if you quit nursing, but I’m not SURE at what point that IS.

  3. I haven’t completely given myself permission yet. But I think we’ll both know when we’re there. I recently allowed myself to let go of one pumping session. Which means I’m digging into the stash. And using some formula. And it’s fine.

    You’ve done amazingly well, though. I truly believe the vast majority of the benefits of BFing happen before 9 months. Not saying it’s not good after that, just saying you’ve gotten baby O off to a fantastic start. Good luck figuring out where to go from here.

  4. No advice, just reading along for when I get to this point.

  5. There are NEVER enough capitalized words:-)

  6. I love Capitalized words!! 🙂

    I think it is a BIG DEAL (hey I didn’t even consider BFing and I never ever regret that decision) so for you to make it to 10 or 11 or a year is a big deal and I know you’ll be doing it for Baby O. Formula is expensive and when I wash bottles it’s normally about 6 at a time, (we take 6 to daycare) so I know that feeling of “being over that ” now too.

    I have always applauded and been glad that you could BF after thinking maybe you wouldn’t be able to. I know it meant so much to you. So now when it’s time to wean, I know you’ll make that decision in your own time.

    as always, you’re doing great!!!!!

  7. Hard as it is, time-consuming as it is, it’s obviously working for you.
    I’ve nursed four babies and each time presented a different set of challenges that made me think about quitting earlier than my goal of a year. But I never took myself seriously.
    Unless and until my milk COMPLETELY abandoned me, I was gonna do it. And that was the bottom line for me. It wasn’t always pretty, wasn’t always easy, but since it’s what I truly wanted to do, I did it.
    I think you’ll find that you will know when it’s time to stop. Not give up. Just be finished with it with this baby. There might be a tinge of regret, but it won’t be lasting.

  8. It’s interesting to read this because I remember that you had a similarly tenacious approach to resolving infertility, and thus it makes me think about my own approach to IF and BFing.

    Formula is expensive, even the basic types. You should have seen our receipt at BRU today for diapers and formula times two.


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