When Ms Bug was born I threw myself whole heartedly into breast feeding. I had already purchased or received all of the accoutrements- the pump, the bras, the pads, the storage containers, etc. I had massive breasts at that point and after suffering through back pain for months due to them, they were going to serve their purposes, dammit.
She was a premie via an emergency C section, so I stayed in the hospital for 5 days and she was there for 10 days. I took full advantage of the nursing support and lessons, and it all went smoothly. I was producing too much, in fact, so much of it was bottled.
While she was in the hospital, I breast fed her when I was there. I didn’t live there, though, and every night I went home. That means from 10-8 she got bottles. She started to prefer them. I started pumping instead. No biggie for me. Breast feeding was increasingly painful and this meant my husband could feed her as well. I just kept pumping and snuggling her to my chest instead.
Then the staph infections came. The first one was on my ribs, directly under my chest. A gaping hole, on my bra line. I finally went to the ER later than I should’ve and was put on IV antibiotics for a day, and had surgery to remove the hole. More antibiotics followed, for weeks. This whole time my milk suffered. Bugs couldn’t have my milk and drank the stash we had built.
I kept pumping, frantically trying to continue producing, failing a little more each day. I took the fenugreek, ate the cookies, drank gallons of water. Finally it was almost back to normal. And thank goodness, the stash was gone.
Then the infection returned. Again with the antibiotics for weeks. This time they were stronger, giving me mygrains and making it hard to get out of the bed. Again Bugs couldn’t drink my milk, but again I frantically kept pumping.
We had to supliment with formula. Then it was mostly formula. I felt like a failure. I felt like my body failed both me and my baby. Remember- she was a Premie, and that was due to my body’s failings. It was just too much failure to bear. The post partumdepression I had been toying with since her birth overwhelmed me and took over.
My husband is rational, patient man. Thankfully he convinced me to let go of breast feeding. Thankfully I have friends who never breast fed and their kids thrived and are wonderful children.
Once I let go of breast feeding, the weight lifted somewhat. It wasn’t easy, but I had to let it go. It had become my focus, and a negative one, and once removed I could focus on the beautiful baby girl in front of me.
Breast feeding is beautiful and saving money is wonderful. Too often I see women making the same mistake I did, so focused on holding onto their feeble breast feeding instead of taking advantage of formula and enjoying their baby and their new life and love.