Feb 25, 2013

The One With the Ending

I have been avoiding writing this post for awhile now. This is a bit of hard topic for me. A sensitive topic. So I guess this is where I just need to just come out and say it: Over a month ago, I stopped breastfeeding. I stopped pumping. And Addie was switched to formula exclusively.

I had previously discussed breastfeeding and the struggles I was having (read about it here and here). For the first two months of her life, she was breastfed exclusively. I pumped occasionally but never enough so I never had much of a stash built up. Then for the next two month, following her two month appointment when Addie wasn't even on the chart because her weight was so low, I switched to exclusively pumping and supplementing with formula. But after a month of doing that, even that was over. I couldn't keep up with what she needed, and we had to switch exclusively to formula.

Now don't get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with exclusively formula feeding a baby. In fact my kid is doing awesome and because of the formula was finally able to gain the weight that she needed, but it was still heartbreaking for me. I had set a goal of six months. I wanted to breastfeed for six months, and clearly I didn't make it. I managed it give her breast milk for three months, which all in all isn't bad. Half my goal. But trust me when I say that I was bummed.

The decision was hard and one that I struggled with, but it was definitely the best decision I could have made for Addie in the long run. Prolonging breastfeeding because I had a goal I wanted to meet was not worth my having a constantly hungry and unhappy baby. I had to do what was right and best for my kid, and in this case formula was it. You always hear that "breast is best," well in our case it wasn't. So why would I do what society deems is "best" for my baby, when she is hungry all the time and not really growing the way she should? Why would I risk my kid failing to thrive?

So as much as it broke my heart to not breastfeed anymore, which I know sounds crazy since I really didn't like breastfeeding all that much, it was the best decision and I don't regret switching to formula for a second. I am proud of what I was able to do. Of the fact that I was able to give my daughter breast milk for three months. That I held on even though I hated breastfeeding because it was what I believed was best for her. That I was able to make the hard decision of switching to pumping and eventually just formula because that was what was best for her. (And the fact that I knew what to do - gotta be honest, when I was pregnant, I used to worry about not having any mommy instincts but turns out I have some after all!) I don't regret any of the decisions I have made regarding her and feeding because I know without a doubt that I made the best decision for my daughter. I mean, come on, look at this happy little girl!



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