My goal was to breastfeed Emma until she turned 1.
And even then I didn’t know if I would/could completely stop.
The morning I noticed that Emma wasn’t getting enough milk from me, AKA getting super frustrated, crying and still hungry I lost it.
I started pumping like crazy, and nothing was coming out, I would latch her on me and latch her on, and latch her on every 30 minutes and it came to the point where she wouldn’t even open her mouth anymore.
I was DEVASTATED.
Because I was pregnant I couldn’t take any supplements to help my milk production.
Because I was pregnant I felt guilty.
Because I was pregnant I beat myself up.
Because I was pregnant it was MY fault that my body wasn’t producing enough breast milk for my baby girl.
I decided to message my lactation consultant and cry to her.
She is an angel on Earth, let me tell you.
I had just found out I was pregnant with baby #2 just days before and I wasn’t ready to tell anyone since it wasn’t “confirmed”. I’m weird and didn’t want to “jinx” it, but after a little while I fessed up. I told her that I was pregnant, and asked if that was the reason I felt like I was drying up.
She reassured me that everything was going to be ok.
She said that yes, being pregnant my hormones were different and that it could affect my milk production.
She told me to not feel guilty, and that I should be proud of breastfeeding for as long as I could.
She explained to me that formula is not the devil, and that any amount of breast milk is great, and better than none.
Now, before I continue, I want to make it very clear that I never saw formula as something bad. I am actually one of the few moms I know who actually breastfed their babies, 98% of my mom friends formula fed/feed their kids and that is ok!
To each their own, I do not judge other mom’s decisions at all.
Breastfeeding was a personal goal I had.
I wanted to breastfeed my baby, and that was my choice.
I put my selfish thoughts aside, and used some “emergency” formula I had in the house and fed Emma a formula bottle. She drank it up. She was hungry. My heart broke.
I felt like I had starved her, and I felt horrible.
For the next few days I continued to nurse Emma, then I would supplement with a bottle.
The first morning feed was great, she got enough breast milk from me to be satisfied for a whole feeding, but for lunch, snack and dinner I supplemented with formula, then before bed I breastfed only.
That went on for a couple of days, until my body started producing less and less, so I was only making enough milk for the morning feed and the bedtime feed.
Eventually I guess the taste of my milk started to change, and Emma would nurse a little, then smack her tongue and look at me like “What is this mommy?”
And the morning and bedtime nursing sessions became just morning sessions, until it sadly became none.
Thankfully Emma did not seem to miss nursing, and she did just fine with formula in a bottle, which made it so much easier to accept the fact that I would no longer be nursing her.
Looking back at those days, I miss bonding with Emma while nursing.
I miss her playing with my hair and my face, and I miss our special time alone, just the two of us.
It’s funny because sometimes she will touch my boobs and look at me, like “these seem familiar”, or if I change in front of her (which was IMPOSSIBLE to do before without her crying and wanting to nurse) she will look at them in a curious way, like she remembers that they were her #1 source of food not too long ago, haha.
I am very proud of myself for nursing my baby girl for as long as I could.
10 whole months!
I am proud of myself for not giving up and I am proud to say that I am a breastfeeding advocate! I love to support my new mom friends, who are taking on this important journey called breastfeeding.
I am also forever thankful for these pictures I got of myself nursing Emma as part of one of her Grow with Me sessions. It was spontaneous but they came out beautiful.
I never thought that I would share them all, but I truly love them, and I feel like sharing them as I talk about this beautiful journey I went on with my baby is the right time to do so.
Breastfeeding is one of the hardest, but most rewarding things I have ever done in my life, but I am looking forward to doing it all over again with baby #2.