I have had my heart set on breast feeding for as long as I can remember. I read books, I watched videos, I spoke to people more experienced than I. I spent quite a bit of money in preparation. I was ready for it when Luke was born. Unfortunately, my body had other plans. Breastfeeding has been so incredibly difficult for pretty much everyone in this scenario.
We fought our way through late supply, low supply, tongue and lip ties, two bouts of thrush, milk and soy protein allergies and an inverted nipple. Yet I didn’t give up. I supplemented with formula while trying everything I could to increase my supply. I tried herbs, eating and drinking more, power pumping, skin to skin, exclusive breast feeding (didn’t go well as every time I tried it Luke lost weight), supplemental nursing systems, hospital grade pumps…..the works. I spent hundreds of dollars on products to help me be able to exclusively breast feed, and haven’t achieved that goal.
I sit here after having fed my son a bottle of hypoallergenic formula, looking at him passed out in the Mamaroo and wonder why can’t I give up on breast feeding? Why do I need to breast feed him so badly? Why do I feel like such a failure as a mom knowing that he has to have formula to survive? Why can’t I just give up already?
Luke absolutely loves when he gets to eat from my breasts. His eyes light up when he sees me undo my bra, and his eyeballs roll into the back of his head when he gets that first taste as if to say that it is the best thing he’s ever experienced. He loves to pull off after a few sucks and looks up at me wide eyed with the biggest smile. Honestly, I couldn’t tell you if breast feeding makes me or Luke happier. Not only does it make both of us happy, but it’s so much easier at night to dream feed him than it would be to make a bottle or two in the middle of the night.
For now I am going to continue to feed him as much as I can from me, and supplement the rest. I don’t know when it will become to heart breaking or worth the struggle.