Sunday, October 17, 2010
A Very Tough Decision.
I've had to make a very difficult decision--yet again. With every one of my children I've had the goal to breast feed for a year. With Savannah I was successful, but she was really tiny, which I would not have expected for MY child. With Abby I started supplementing early to be sure she'd take a bottle, because Savannah would not. I ended up nursing for 6 months and had to quit due to supply issues. With Luke it was pretty much the same as with Abby. With Aaron, I was convinced that if I could take herbs and pump and nurse as much as possible, I'd be successful. Aaron was doing great (as all of my children for the first 2 months or so), but at his last appointment he didn't gain as much weight as one would expect. His doctor did not seem concerned, as long as he had gained, which he had. I kept taking my herbs and nursing every 2 hours or so...even throughout the night. I was tired, he always seemed hungry and although he certainly is not skinny, he was not sleeping well. I recently found out that I'm pregnant with #5 and I had to stop taking the herbs. I kept nursing all of the time, but the lack of napping and the frequent night wakings were really starting to get to me. If I was making enough milk, he wouldn't need to eat every 2 hours at nearly 4 months old, right? It was time to face the facts...under the best of circumstances my milk supply isn't the best. I always say, I'm made for making babies, not feeding them. It is a very, very difficult decision for me...it breaks my heart to stop nursing. Not only is it such a sweet experience, I know it's also best for his little growing body...but I need rest, he needs nourishment and this little bean growing inside of me needs everything I have to offer as well. So I'm gradually weaning him to the bottle. The first time I gave him 2oz of formula, I put him down for a nap and he slept for 3.5 hours--for the first time in weeks. The other night he woke up 3 times and after the 3rd time, I was so tired I could have cried...I had to decide that formula is going to keep him through the night better...and I desperately need rest. I can't help but to feel like an absolute failure...even if rationally I know that I'm not. I've done a good job--we made it to 4 months without supplements of any kind. He's happy, he's healthy and he's OHHHHH so loved! I know once is all said and done it will be fine, I'll be fine...it's this transition period that has always been a bit difficult for me. I do have to admit that there are a few things I'm looking forward to though--like tonight, Abby gave Aaron a bottle! She LOVED it, it helped me out and now others can have the bonding experience of feeding the little cherub. I can go to the store alone if I need/want to. I can go to doctor's appointments alone...AND, when the new baby arrives, I won't have to worry about how I'm going to deal with a baby who is entirely attached to me and me alone.