As I've mentioned before, I was only able to breastfeed Connor for 3 months, and I was always having to supplement. My body never really got the swing of things when it came to feeding him, and I wasn't able to pump enough to keep my supply when I went back to work. Within 2 weeks of getting back in my classroom, my milk was gone. It was devastating and I felt indescribably guilty and at fault for several months afterwards.
Flash forward 2 years, and here I am, 5.5 months into my breastfeeding journey with Kylar and I'm over it. Yeah, it's cool that I am able to provide the nutrients he needs without any outside supplements (well, without formula. I love my lactation smoothies) and I'm really happy that we aren't spending $40 a week on formula, but the novelty of this experience is gone. It started fading when he started biting, or waking up at 4 am to eat for 20 minutes, then spit it back up, all over me, my pjs, and my bed. It's not this sweet bonding experience for me anymore. It's just part of my life.
Don't misunderstand, I am very grateful that my body is able to feed our son, I just wish it didn't have to happen every 2-4 hours regardless of day or night. I've been told that kids his age are typically sleeping 6 hours straight every night. I'm thrilled if he goes for 4.5 hours. I don't remember the last time I slept for 6 hours straight.
I will continue to feed him until my body craps out, or he turns a year old, whichever comes first, I'm just not enjoying it like I thought I would. I missed out on all of this with Connor. The biting. Getting kicked in the face. Feeling tired all the time. I romanticized it because I didn't know how hard it can actually be to feed a kid who can see more than 6 inches past his face and gets easily distracted, jerking to look at something without actually disconnecting from me first. Those are the worst.
I commend those women that do this for years. I think that is impressive and admirable and I know I will definitely not be one of them. I want to sleep again. I want to have a drink without having to plan it out: pump myself dry, then do math to calculate how long I'll have before I will need to feed him directly again. I want to drink coffee without feeling guilty that I might be over caffeinating our babe. Basically, I want to be a selfish human being again. I haven't been since early December 2015.
I love that my body is rocking at breastfeeding this time around. I'm even able to pump an extra 3-6 ounces everyday to put in storage, which I plan to donate soon. I love that I'm able to do that. I plan to pump even after Kylar's birthday, for as long as my body will allow. I know there are women out there who can't breastfeed for any number of reasons and I'm more than happy to share my milk, since I can this time.
I just want my sleep back, to stop getting bitten, and to not wear regurgitated milk.
Get your daily Nerdy fix by following us on Instagram
Writer and Contributor for the Motherhood Community