Monday, August 9, 2010

Got Milk? I Could Use More.

Here's a giant preface to what I'm about to write: I know that *nothing* I'm going to say is based in logic. Nothing. You are entering a logic-free zone. Enter at your own risk.

It was traumatic. For me. Tobin couldn't have cared less, but when William told me that Tobin had his first formula today, it was traumatic. I can't help it that giving the baby formula made me want to cry. It's stupid, but there it is.  And William has been nothing but encouraging and helpful, but that doesn't make milk either.

Tobin is 5 months old, we nurse in the mornings, when I get home from work, before bed, and sometimes in the middle of the night. He's not hurting for breast milk. I'm pumping during the day, but it's just not enough for him to have breast milk only and it's making me sad. He's also already eating solids, so he doesn't need as much milk during the day, but even that I can't keep up with.

I'm working to build up my supply, drinking more water, eating better, trying to get more rest. I haven't started taking supplements yet, but that's coming. I've talked with healthcare professionals about it, and there is a game plan, but it still makes me sad.

My friend, Jenna, and I have talked about how breastfeeding is almost a "macho" thing for us. A look-what-my-body-can-do-for-my-baby thing. I don't blink at parents who formula feed, but I start losing my milk? That's a whole different story (did I mention there was no logic going on right now?)

Part of the problem is that I'm comparing my two boys. With Nicholas, I nursed for 23 months, pumping for his first year with not a drop of formula necessary. Now, 5 years later, I'm having to give Tobin formula? It sucks. And I'm not thrilled that it makes me so sad...and we're back to the no logic thing. Someone asked the other day if I was under a lot of stress. Well, I guess. I mean, the normal stress of a mom with a job and a family and a home. I can't use the stress card when, during Nicholas' first year I was spending so much time in the hospital with Mark that everyone knew Nicholas and me on sight. Talk about stress.

Were you a nursing mom who had to go to formula? Did you choose to formula feed? I'd love to hear your stories...maybe you can bring some logic to my swirling thoughts.


Mrs. Tantrum said...

My milk NEVER came in for Bacon. I still have guilt over the fact that we had no choice but to give him formula. He's six. Mom guilt is ridiculous. Let him have both, and don't worry. He'll be fine. This will let you relax too, no more worrying about hooking yourself up to the double pumper to make enough. This relief of stress alone wil get your milk flowing like crazy!

Mainline Mom said...

I doubt I will add any logic. I nursed AND formula fed both babies right from the start. Mostly nursing in the beginning but my second baby we purposely gave one bottle of formula a day to keep him used to the taste and bottle so that I could leave him with someone even if I didn't have pumped breast milk. I liked nursing ok, but I was happy to give it up after a year.

Brittany at Mommy Words said...

Oh no! In all honesty I would be freaking out too although you so should not worry or feel bad! You cannot make your body do something it doesn't want to and with 5 years things can change. You may be under more stress or any number of different things that are affecting your supply. I totally get where you are coming from and I can only say that he will be fine - and maybe if you can relax (seriously I get how hard that is) your milk supply will improve! Hugs!

Anonymous said...

I understand. I'm all about the breastfeeding. I would, irrationally, be upset as well. My milk is doing well, but I am in the incredibly privileged potion of stay-at-home Mom. It was what I wanted and Sweet Babou was 110% supportive of my wants/needs. So it is easier for me to keep up the milk. It's all I do all day!I've been nursing and/or pregnant for 5 years now, so I can give one tip. One bottle of Guinness a day. They give it to moms in Europe and it really works. Good Luck!!!!!!