This blog is first and foremost for me. Its my way of processing things and venting my frustrations. And so, after having a couple of tough days, I need to process and vent. You are welcome to read and post your thoughts, but I do ask that in this case in particular you leave only encouraging supportive comments, or nothing at all. Honestly, I could use some encouragement.
I have been going through some health issues. I was sick with a cold, then found out that I am once again very anaemic and now I'm dealing with (what is believed to be) this ulcer. I think all of this has resulted in a depleted milk supply. I have noticed lately that Noah seems to be losing interest in breastfeeding. He pulls off constantly and would rather look around the room then eat. He use to eat like a champ - every 3 hours for a solid 12-15 minutes. The past week or two it has been every 2 hours (if that) for 7 or 8 minutes. In other words, hes snacking. It has resulted in me getting very little sleep and one very fussy child.
I talked to my doctor on Monday and he suggested to supplement with formula or start on rice cereal. I know many woman have gone the formula route because that has been whats good for them and their babies. But I have always had it in my head that I would breastfeed for 6-8 months. Period. After all, breast is best! I read it many times in books and was bombarded with it from nurses at the hospital. And because Noah took to it so well I figured we'd be good. I'd stop when I wanted to. But here it goes... I don't think that's whats best for us anymore. And that is really hard for me to accept.
We`ve started on formula. I gave him his first bottle of it yesterday and he was full for a good 3.5 hours. He was also a much more content baby while it was in his system. He slept comfortably and peacefully, taking a 1.5 hour nap immediately following. The rest of the day was breastfeeding. Last night was the third night in a row where I didnt get much sleep (since hes waking constantly to snack.) I was beyond exhausted and had my mum come watch him so I could get some more sleep. We decided to once again give him a formula bottle to hold him over. He guzzled it down super quickly and once again, took a nice long nap afterwards. Rest of the day... breastfed snacking and a fussy child. It seemed that the formula bottle really satisfied his hunger and the breastfeeding didnt.
After lots of chatting with my mum and many tears, I have come to the realization that Im just not producing enough milk for him anymore. Yes, I could go the route of trying different methods to increase my supply. But since I dont plan to breasfeed longer then 6 months or so and want to be able to go on dates with my husband, I decided to go the formula route. He will be getting two or three formula bottles a day and breastfeed for the rest. I realize that my supply will deplete all the more, but Im okay with that and I do plan to pump when possible. Its been hard on me, but I am trying to convince myself that 4 months of straight breastfeeding is a job well done.
I need to let go of my expectations. I had a very `whatever happens happens` perspective on labour, so I dont know why this should be any different. Every child is different and I need to do whats best for Noah and myself.