Gentlemen, you might want to skip this post. Not because you aren’t welcome, but because I am gonna get all breastfeeding up in here. Disclaimer over.
So, I have had my ups and downs with nursing Oscar. It’s been a really interesting road. When I was pregnant, there was. no. way. that I would ever give him even an ounce of formula. I didn’t want to spend the money, or risk losing my milk supply. I read up a LOT on breastfeeding and how to keep things going. It was probably the thing about being a new mom that meant the most to me. And then when I had the C-Section, I was even more determined not to let my body fail me again. A lot of this was pressure I put on myself, partly because I wanted it that badly, and partly because the books said it was the right thing to do.
Fast forward to me having an 11lb baby. He lost weight immediately and many people while applauding my desire to breastfeed, were also saying that I might need to supplement with formula. I just couldn’t do it. And through some miracle of insomnia induced craziness, we made it through those first few weeks with me nursing and/or pumping around the clock. Victorious! And so it went for weeks. But by the time he was 5 months old, though he was gaining weight (slowly), my body just couldn’t keep up anymore. I agonized over what to do. Start solids? Give him a bit of formula? I felt betrayed. But my baby was the most important.
After reading books and article after article about how formula is the death of breastfeeding, I felt sure it was all or nothing. I wasn’t ready to end our nursing relationship, but Oscar was hungry. So we compromised. At 5 months we added cereal and one bottle each night before bed to his regular schedule of nursing. He was SO much happier! And I was too. As his mother, I WAS meeting his needs. And that felt like another victory.
My original plan was to breastfeed exclusively for 6 months (at least) and partially until he was at least a year old. We continued nursing through the days and giving a bottle at night and as his solids increased, we began to drop nursing sessions here and there. When he turned one, we were off formula completely and on to cow’s milk still nursing at least once a day.
And now, here we are at 16.5 months old, day 3 of not breastfeeding. Oscar just started to lose interest and even if he starts to nurse, he immediately wants to move on and eat eat eat. So I am no longer offering. I am overcome with joy for the success we had in the past 16 months. And even though my hard line stance gave way to a balance that our family needed, I feel that we made a great team and I am so proud. And now, it’s time to move on.
And just like that, I am no longer breastfeeding.