Breast feeding was a challenge from the get go for us. It always ended up the same…me in pain, Valorie frustrated, and still hungry. I would pump, but I was never able to get more than a measly 1-2 ounces total. I was tired and sore, she was always frustrated and fussy.
When she was admitted to the PICU with RSV, she refused feedings for nearly a week. I still pumped, but my supply was dwindling. By the time she was discharged, my supply had completely disappeared.
I tried supplements, I tried dietary changes, I tried anything I could. It didn’t matter, my breasts were empty, my milk was gone. I held so much guilt about it, I felt like such a failure, like the one thing my body was designed to do, couldn’t be done. I fought the process of moving on from nursing for a few agonizing weeks before Justin stopped me in the kitchen one day as I was in tears after another frustrating pumping session. He told me it was okay, that I’d done something hard and it didn’t work out, and that what mattered most was that both she and I were happy and healthy.
I just kind of realized that I wasn’t being fair to myself in my attempts to do what everyone says is best for a baby, and that in turn, it wasn’t best for either of us. She has been happily, and healthily formula fed since that day, and we occasionally comfort nurse.
Nursing is wonderful yes, if it works for you. But it isn’t what makes a good mama. Loving, nurturing, doing what’s best for BOTH of us, that is what makes a good mama.