Breasts, such a tricky subject to dive in to. So let’s get at it.
After breastfeeding my first child for a crappy total of 8 weeks before I had to wean him off, I was pretty sure that I would be doing the same with our sweet little daughter. Imagine my intense disappointment when my milk supply gradually dwindled and died. So disappointing.
I made it about 7 weeks before it disappeared all together. And it was awful. Just plain old awful. I kept saying things like ‘This happens to women all the time’ and ‘I have to go back to work in a few weeks and I’d have to wean her off anyways’, but really those things were just to try to make myself feel better.
Because it frankly still sucks. And as much as I try to pretend that it doesn’t, it does. Still. And probably will for a while
I think the worse part was that the States has such crappy maternity leave benefits that it’s really hard to consider trying reviving anything milk-related. And again, because if you are a lucky person you will manage to get 12 weeks.
How can one properly nurture a child with 12 weeks of unpaid leave? It’s frankly impossible. It’s like government punishment for being a mother. I know I’m verging on the dramatic here, but that’s what it seems like. That is how the United States has made me feel. I feel punished for parenting.
And this time, since it’s (as far as I know anyways, unless Edward isn’t sharing something with me) our last child, it is particularly bittersweet. Every milestone is the last time I experience it ever. Until I have grandchildren. And I am SO not ready to go there (in my mind).
So the last time I breastfed my sweet little girl, I didn’t know it was going to be the last time. I just literally had no milk for 2 days. I think it might have been easier on my psyche if I had been expecting it and I was a little more mentally prepared. But this, well this was just a total and abrupt halt. And then absolutely no resurgence at all. Depressing.
It’s hard to not feel like a failure. And while looking back at the statement I’ve just written, I realize that that is completely unrealistic of me to think that I ever am. This is something that happens to women all the time. Some women have a hard time even breastfeeding in the first place. Some have no milk supply. Some have trouble with their little ones latching on properly. For some it’s very painful.
But for all of these women that have issues feeding their babies, not one fails at being a mother, myself included. Sometimes it’s just really hard to see that. And even though I say these words, that thought still rumbles around in my head. It is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to shake myself out of. It’s been 2 weeks now and I’ve been thinking and writing about it since. I’ve even been to see my doctor. I started taking vitamin supplements to help boost my….whatever. Mood? Mindset? Whatever you want to call it.
Sweet girl is doing just fine on formula. She is a plump and healthy 13 pounds at 2 months old. She is a total delight.