Not long ago I was bitching and moaning about my ongoing nursing issues and my friend asked me point blank…why not stop? Why not make it easier on yourself? Hm…there’s a thought.
Noah is nearing five months and I am still going strong. I’ve actually gotten myself in a very nice rhythm where I’m minimally put out by it and find that supplementing has helped my quality of life on so many levels. It’s easier to separate from him knowing that he can always have some formula if I don’t have enough back up breast milk. I don’t find that I am suckered into following his schedule exactly because I can pump when it’s convenient for me and just give him a bottle when it’s convenient for him. All in all, it’s working for me and I’m so glad for that.
Why am I so stubbornly sticking with nursing? Is it because I feel like breast is best? Is it because I don’t trust scientists in a lab to put together a suitable concoction for my newborn? No. Obviously not, he’s getting his fair share of formula these days. And I do believe that formula can provide babies with suitable nourishment even if breast milk is ideal.
Is it because I love burning the extra calories? I used to think that was a nice added bonus with nursing and that propelled me in the beginning with Drew to try and make the most of it. I find that I eat way more and my body is holding onto some extra pounds which I am attributing to nursing (clearly not my insatiable appetite for all the wrong things).
Am I still nursing because I find the bonding session so special? Although I know many people feel that way, it has always been a little weird to me that I have to put my boob in my child’s mouth to feel a certain bonding with them. In some ways I feel closer to him with the bottle because I can adjust him so I can see him more clearly and watch his little fingers surround the bottle.
I can’t help but feel two strong feelings when I think about giving up nursing. One is because I’m a mental case, even though I know I’m not the first to struggle with this, and feel that I somehow will have failed. Not necessarily failed Noah but failed myself. I wanted to accomplish a year of nursing and for heavens sake I will! It’s like when I set my mind to running an 8K less than 43 minutes, I wasn’t going to be happy unless I reached that goal. At least this time there is some benefit for my child out of the deal but talk about competition in its finest.
And the other feeling, the one that I’m going to focus on, is that this is my last baby. Once I am done nursing him, I am done. This phase, this experience will never happen again. I can’t help but feel a little claustrophobic that once I finish I can never go back. So I’m gonna hold on a little longer.