I can’t believe that I am at 5 months breastfeeding! It is celebratory moment for me but also a sad moment. I struggled with breastfeeding it the beginning but ended up loving it. I eventually did feel that bond that had formed from those one on one moments with my son. I know how much it means to me because of how much it hurts that I have to stop. If you had told me a few months ago that I would struggle with stopping breastfeeding, I would have sarcastically snorted in disagreement. Well, here we are, about to start month six and I am sad!
Our little guy has been the spit up king, there is a receiving blanket in every room of our home and it wasn’t enough. This was more than just your average spit up, it was getting to an extreme, he wasn’t able to keep anything down. He would spit up hours after eating and was hungry all the time. It was heartbreaking. We started supplementing by mixing Lactose Sensitive formula with my pumped breastmilk. We started with just an ounce of the formula and then moved up to two ounces. Our little guy is like a different baby. We have less crying, better sleeping, and the spit up is minimal. We aren’t sure if he is allergic to something or sensitive to something in the breastmilk (we had already tried me cutting out basically everything in my diet, it didn’t help). Seeing him happier and finally satisfied we made the decision to ease off of breastmilk and move to just formula.
Here comes the struggles!
- I feel like a bad mom: Breast is best is everywhere and I get judgmental looks when I tell people he is moving to formula. Give me a break people! I’m heartbroken enough that my milk was causing my son pain, I don’t need the guilt of moving him to formula too. I have always been an advocate of fed is best and now, more than ever, I remind myself of that. I was blessed to have 5 months of breastfeeding my son and I will cherish that fact.
- My breasts hurt: I haven’t quite mastered the easing off processes. Little man is getting cut off of breastfeeding and I am pumping to help the transition but it is awful. If I skip a pumping or pump for less time my boobs get hard as rocks and ache. I’m trying to stair step the time I pump down but blaaaaah it is the worst.
- Bottles, bottles everywhere: We haven’t had to deal with bottles before and it is a pain. I am constantly cleaning bottles or my pumping supplies. Thank the Lord that we bought a bottle warmer because running a bottle under warm water takes FOREVER when you have a crying baby. That is $25.00 of well spent money.
- We mix like bartenders: Little man will get part breastmilk until my froze supply runs out. I am so happy that he will get at least some breast milk until he is 6 months old but making the bottles is a pain. 2 ounces’ breast milk and 2 ounces’ formula – shake, shake, shake – and warm. Baby bottle bartenders!
- That special bond is done: It has been a journey of ups and downs but it was special that I was able to literally give my son a part of me. It was an intimate connection and I am tearful writing this because it is ending.
I am so lucky that I was able to get 5 months of breastfeeding my son. I know there are mothers who wish they had that much time. Now we move forward with what is best for my son’s health.
Fed is best! My mantra to get me through.