Saturday, January 27, 2018

MOVING ON.


If you didn't know this about me, 99.99% of my closet is basic t-shirts. If I had a uniform it'd be nice jeans and cheap t-shirts. Love them. So I was really excited last week when one of my faves was on sale, and as I clicked through the colors, I got SUPER EXCITED when I realized that I could get a crew neck because...

I stopped breastfeeding.

And if you didn't know, which I didn't until I did, when you're breastfeeding EVERYTHING you wear revolves around being able to breastfeed. My go-to's were button ups (for obvious reasons), loose tanks I could pull a boob out of the side, and v-necks because I'd just yank the v down.

* WARNING: I might be using the word boob a lot, lol. Sorry Dad!

So anyways, I got three new CREW NECK tee's. And it sounds silly now, but up until that moment, I knew breastfeeding was on it's way out, but that's what was what confirmed it for me that I was ready. And I feel good about the decision, but just like I was relieved to have a scheduled c-section, I think I might be part of the small percentage that didn't like, absolutely love the experience and think it was magical or something..

When you're pregnant - EVERYONE will start asking you if you plan to breastfeed. And my answer was always, "yes, I plan to. If we can!" Emphasis on IF because I had already read enough Mommy Blogs to know the disappointment (and guilt) when literally anything doesn't go your way when it comes to birth and breastfeeding expectations. So, I didn't put much thought into it, just hoped for the best. And maybe that's the secret because we had zero troubles. She latched right away - which I think people expect to be some huge moment, but post surgery I was nauseous and sweaty and couldn't keep my eyes open for the life of me, so I was like, "awesome news guys. But when can I sleep??" And I say GUYS because there's like six people standing around watching, haha. Definitely wasn't magical. But don't get me wrong - I was really, really thankful that it worked for us. I'm into health and I know the benefits, but mostly I'm glad it worked because the stress had it NOT worked for us, would have been tough. It's tough enough getting used to it when the boobs + the baby cooperate.

So up until a few weeks ago Emily exclusively breastfeed, on demand. Meaning whenever she wanted, or let's be real - whenever I thought it was what she wanted, lol. And it was all VERY EASY. Which is sort of my motto when it comes to anything, so this next part shouldn't be surprising...

Just after Christmas this past year, Emily got sick (with what we think was the flu) and in the middle of the night one night, just abruptly refused to nurse. She wanted NOTHING to do with it. And I was like, SHIT. Because prior to this night, she refused taking a bottle! Which I knew, because I had been trying to get her to take one, knowing we have travel plans soon without her. So I panicked for a minute, but quickly grabbed the pump and what do ya know - she took the dang bottle. AND SHE LOVED IT. Loved it so much, she never went back.

And maybe that's part of the reason I'm not sad about it, because she decided she was ready? But, really - I'M just not feeling sad about it because I was never really attached to the idea of it. And I feel some guilt that I should be sad, but there was never this crazy bond between us when it came to breastfeeding specifically. I think I feel MORE of a bond bottle feeding her because I've removed myself from it. Which sounds weird, because in one situation you're literally physically connected, but I can focus on the moment more now, or something. I enjoy it more. Even getting up in the middle of the night, I enjoy our little routine of making a bottle together in the kitchen and watching her little face get excited to eat. I never felt that with breastfeeding.

Is this me being selfish again? I don't know, maybe. And I wish I could, but I really can't say how Emily felt about breastfeeding and what her interpretation of that bond was, but she's happy. I'm happy. And after a rough start, it's starting to feel like we're the same page.

I may not have have put expectations on much when it came to her birth or breastfeeding, but I think a big part of my postpartum depression was the disappointment I felt in our early on connection. We definitely have a bond now, and a good one - but not the one I had imagined. When she was born, it felt as though she wanted nothing to do with me, and I was so hurt by that. I went to a breastfeeding class actually and the instructor talked about how when the baby is born and they place him/her on your chest and there's this moment of like, "ah - there you are baby." And the baby is like, "ah - there you are mama." Yeah - our moment was more like...

Emily: AHHHHHHHH, WHO ARE YOU?????

Me: WHO ARE YOU?

Or MAYBE it's because I had a c-section and she was pissed? Haha, I don't know. But I believe that that's just Emily. Born with such a strong personality and this sense of independence that's just so opposite of me. But once I let go of all these expectations, and ideas I had of her before I even knew her, those are the things I love most about her. Sometimes when she frustrates me or it seems like she's fighting against me, I stop and remind myself of that. I love her for being exactly who she is.

So, her deciding she was ready. I totally get it, and it's just a bonus that I'm ready too. Wait, MAYBE THAT IS A BONDING THING.

Wow, that thought just hit me, lol. Who needs therapy? Shopping and writing people, I'm telling you.

Anyways, it's been a big change of events over here along with me stopping my meds, and I feel like we're entering a new phase of life together, and things are just good. I'm ready to get my hormones balanced out again. And to have my body back for the first time in a long time. Which leads me to the obvious..

We didn't just start bottle feeding, but formula feeding. Which I refuse to feel guilty about honestly. Sure, is "breast best?" Yes, but is formula bad? NO. And if easy is what's best for us - then pumping isn't it. When Emily decided she was done nursing, I wasn't prepared at all, so there wasn't any kind of freezer stash to utilize, and unless I wanted to pump around the clock for a week to catch up, I was going to have to start supplementing. And pumping isn't for me. (Or else I would have already had a stash, lol.) Plus, it was proving to be really difficult with Emily crawling all over me and wanting to press the buttons and just being all into whatever it is that I'm doing, lol. (SEE WE HAVE A BOND.)

So, I bought formula. Asked the girls in my Mom group on Facebook HOW to make a bottle, lol. And Emily didn't even notice. She took that first formula bottle like it was no big deal. And I'm sure she can tell a difference, but she doesn't seem to prefer one over the other and I slowly increased her formula bottles per day while decreasing breast milk. It's been a process to wean myself, but I've been following THIS schedule, and we're getting real close to the end. Like I'm only pumping about an ounce (from each side) each morning, and I'm so excited about it.

WHICH I'M NOT GOING TO FEEL GUILTY ABOUT!

As Moms, I think we feel like we're supposed to, or we're expected to just give ourselves up entirely. And I'm not about that. I liked being pregnant, and I was thankful to be able to breastfeed for 8 months, but I think now's an okay time to claim my body back. For a while at least, because we don't plan on Emily being an only child. So I'll be doing it all over again. And probably soon. So I think it's totally okay to want to just be ME for a while. I'm excited to connect with myself again. I actually think it's really important. And Emily is fine.


Better than fine.

Because if I've learned anything, there is absolutely a connection between us + it's that a happy Mama makes for a happy baby. And we're both really, really happy with this decision. I get some space, she gets some space. I don't have to hold my boobs while I workout anymore, I can actually leave the house. She gets to bond more with John. AND - I can bring back 99.99% of my wardrobe, haha. For a while, at least..

3 comments:

  1. I loved reading this. When we weaned (although she was mixed fed) it was the same way. We both didn’t even notice or care and the best was getting a whole new wardrobe. I’m honestly dreading going back to nursing bras and button down or loose clothes again in a few months. But I also am not putting any pressure on myself for #2. If it works, great. If not, I have a toddler to chase so I’m not stressing. And just like everyone else is saying- blog more!

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  2. YES, the best attitude to have! Low expectations always wins haha. And thanks so much. I miss it a lot. Just finding the time...

    Story of every Moms life, I'm sure!

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  3. Yessss, to all of this! When I was finally done breastfeeding Jack I felt like I had my life back... so freeing! Part of me wished it wouldn’t have been so easy for us because, similar to you, it was not a bonding experience... but I couldn’t really find a good reason to stop - until he started biting - at that point I was like NOPE! :)

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